Having moved last year, I was looking into the idea of getting an LCD TV. For a few months I was stuck with just a 21" CRT televison and it just wasn't big enough to enjoy films on. While reading about all the different TVs on offer I came across the possibility of a projector instead. Having only seen them in meetings or training at work and pubs showing the football I wasn't impressed with the quality. They always seemed blurred or lacking colour and contrast. After reading a lot of reviews and forums I got very excited about the prospect and eventually bought the Optoma HD65.
It was the cheapest HD project I found and also had some of the best reviews. When I first fired it up and focused the image I was greeted with a 120" reproduction of my desktop on my wall. The definition and brightness of the picture impressed me instantly. Eagerly I started a 720p version of The Matrix (cliched I know) and skipped ahead to Neo and Smith fighting in the subway. I truly was like having a cinema screen in my living room. Connected to a 2.1 set up with the bass turned up I sat back and enjoyed the experience.
The HD65 is great projector, brighter than it's peers while still having excellent image quality making it much more versatile than others. You don't have to wait till the darkness of night rolls in or black out all your windows to enjoy it. Of course the darker the enviroment the better but it's bright enough to hold it's own. When projecting a 720p image it's hard to fault. When I had my desktop up on the wall I could actually see the individual pixels with clearly defined edges when right up close.
The Projector has an excellent remote which seems to work wherever you point it which is a definate plus. As the projector will almost always be behind you it means you never have to twist around or point you arm behind you to change the settings. All the possible functions can be accessed from the remote and there are many. Nothing is forgotten and the menu system is simple and easy to navigate. There are also controls on the project itself which are unlikely to be used much but it's good to have them incase the remote gets misplaced or damaged. The remote also lights up with an attractive blue light to help you pick the right options in the dark.
With HDMI, VGA, composite, component and S-Video connections on the back, the HD65 will connect to pretty much anything. It can switch between any of the inputs at the press of a button so you don't have to keep swapping out cables, just attach everything and use the remote to flick between the inputs. The feet it stands on are adjustable so you get maybe 15 degrees range up and down. One of the back feet can be used to change the horizontal tilt of the picture and there is a zoom function. The level of adjustablility of the physical positioning is standard but adequate. The HD65 also gives you the option of adjusting the image from the menu system.
The life of the bulb is rated at 2000 - 3000 hours which is average. If we take the middle ground and say it lasts for 2500 hours, that works out as a 2 hour film a night, every night for over 3 years. Not too bad when replacement bulbs cost less than £100 and are easy to change.
Like all projectors, the HD65 has a fan inside which is spinning all the time. This can be heard when the room is silent and if the projector is closeby. It isn't an issue for me, I have the HD65 2 metres away from my head and it's hard to notice, when there's sound in the room it's impossible to hear.
I managed to get this projector for under £400 new which was a steal but now I know how good it is I would pay much more if it ever needed replacing.