Originally Posted by krishelnino
Just brought this 10 days ago from Best Buy when the price was 699. I had 55 in reward certificates so used them towards this purchase, making it 684 with taxes. I am fairly new to the projection world but i'll list my impressions here.
A month ago, I purchased the Optoma GT1080 Darbee from Amazon. I had a fairly small room 15' x 10' so thought a short throw would be nice. The Optoma was good but after 20 days of using it I felt that the image color wasn't accurate and i somehow felt it wasn't worth the 749 price. The 3300 ANSI lumen rating on that thing is a real joke as it's nowhere near that. Beside i couldn't get a great color reproduction in any of the color modes. It didn't have lens shift or manual zoom so setting it up was a real pain. But the short throw was really nice, it came with a nice carrying bag and the remote was backlit, also the projector was light and compact so carrying it would be easier so those were the few things I liked about it. I returned it and started the hunt again. Next I considered the Epson HC2040 for 599 and the BenQ HT2050 which was 699. I almost went with the BenQ HT2050 after reading multiple reviews everywhere where everyone praised the HT2050. But somehow I found the HC2150 and saw that it was on sale at that time for 699 and besides the cheaper $49 really tempted me. I decide to give it a shot.
The moment i turned on the HT2150 I realized that the projected image was way brighter and sharper than the Optoma GT1080 Darbee. The HC2150 is in a completely different league altogether. The colors were bright, vivid and it simply put up a great picture. My room is dark and even in Eco lamp mode with Natural setting, I found the brightness to be high. I turned down the brightness but noticed that in dark scenes, the black detail was getting washed out. So decreasing brightness wasn't really an option and I am using the default settings. Overall, I would say the HC2150 is well worth the money. The blacks may not be perfect but I found it to be completely acceptable. At the 699 sale price and the $49 replacement lamp, I would say it's a steal. Some of the features i really liked on this were
i) Built in lens cover, where you just slide a button at the top to protect the lens
ii) Vertical lens shift while it's not much it moves the image by a significant amount
iii) Manual zoom of 1.6x there's a slider at the top where you can zoom the image rather than having to move the projector backward
iv) Lot of features for the price, i haven't tested the wireless features yet. There's also a split screen mode
v) Great remote with all the buttons for easy access
vi) Have a BT portable speaker connected via Aux cable to the projector so it's nice to be able to control the speaker volume levels using remote, they are in sync. The Optoma didn't have this.
i) It gets very hot in Eco mode after using it for few minutes, not sure if this is the case with all projectors so please excuse me here
ii) The fan gets noisy and loud sometimes, i am always using it in Eco mode but still noticed it
iii) No way to decrease brightness without losing picture quality. I wish someone could help me here
iv) Wish the remote was backlit
I have a 84' 1.1 gain screen that I purchased from Amazon (Excel van). I am not sure if this is a defect with the projector but I noticed that while using my computer via HDMI or when projecting a plain white background the left portion is not white. Not sure if you can make it out from the picture attached.
Also any HC2150 owners if you could share some input regarding the optimal image settings, I would really appreciate it. Thanks
Thanks for your review and welcome!
I think it's normal to hear the fan, but your perception of it being noisy plus the heat coming from the unit makes me wonder. How warm is the room you're in?
How far away from the screen is your projector? I'm thinking that the HC 2150 'squeezed down' into 84" and on a 1.1. gain screen might be contributing to what you're experiencing as intense brightness. I'm not a projector pro, but from the research I've done here's what's at play:
As you focus the projector beam into a smaller area, that area reflects more light per square foot. Check out Projector Central's projection calculator. You should see a number called 'FL' or 'foot lamberts' which shows that light 'density' for lack of a better term.
The gain on the screen is basically how reflective it is. I believe 1.0 is the standard, and anything above that is intended to reflect a bit more light - usually to deal with ambient light in the room. Darker rooms, or light 'controlled' rooms as you'll hear them referred to as, tend to require less gain. Higher gain and brightness can actually work against you in that case because of light reflecting off the walls etc. Then gains lower than 1.0 absorb more light.
Check out the projection calculator and, if you can, experiment with moving your projector closer and further away to get a feel for what happens to the brightness of the image as it gets bigger/smaller.