Review: Optoma DV10 MovieTime projector
The MovieTime DV10 from Optoma is a projector aimed at those who occasionally want a massive screen, without the commitment of having a projector installed. It’s one stop shop solution, which means that you’ve got a DVD player and speakers built into the projector.
There are a few of these types of projectors about, such as the Epson TWD1, but it does come in at about £100 cheaper than other models.
The MovieTime DV10 is designed with simplicity in mind – you can take it out of the box and have it up and running in about 5 minutes. It’s simply a case of plugging it in and loading your DVD into the player positioned on the top. The DVD function is automatically selected, so there’s no searching for sources. The speakers are also in-built, so you don’t even need to wire those up. For those that want more than the 5.1 Dolby sound supplied by the two 5 watt speakers, there is an audio output dock for you to hook up your own speaker system.
You can also hook up your television or games console for the full cinema experience via the RGB connection – great if you’re hooked on Sing Star on the Playstation 2. Finding the input is also easy, as the projector will scan through all the options until it detects a feed.
In keeping with its brief, you don’t need a cinema room to get a decent size screen – you don’t even need a large room. 1.5 metres away from the wall gives you a screen size of about 1.5 metres square (which is big enough for you to pretend you’re in a cinema, albeit a small one).
The projector uses DLP technology rather than LCD. This is often criticised for creating a kind of rainbow effect on dark images which only some people can see. Now, either I’m not one of those people, or this projector doesn’t suffer. But out of the four people that watched the film, nobody could see the rainbow effect, prompting me to conclude that Optoma have it licked.
The native resolution of the DV10 is 852×480, so it’s can’t be classed as HD, which starts at 1,280×720. However, it can handle the HD input signal, so can be branded ‘HD Compatible’.
I projected onto a beige wall, which was absolutely fine as a background, although there is an optional screen you can purchase. However, whilst it’s bright and crisp in darkness, it’s no good in the daytime, even with all the curtains shut. In fact, it’s really annoying to be watching a film and then for the sun to emerge and completely wipe out the screen.
The positioning of the projector can also take a bit of getting used to. It’s designed to be set up on a coffee table, so doesn’t come with the option of mounting it. It can adjust up to 16 degrees of correction, which is useful when you need to project onto the space above a book case/television/whatever and need to set it at an angle. However, it takes its air input from the bottom of the projector, so piling magazines underneath it, or even carpet, can be a risky business. There were several remarks made about the burning smell that the fan gave off after a while.
The design of the projector itself ensures that it’s not something that would take up permanent residence on your coffee table. The top loading DVD player reminded me of cheap CD players we used to get given for our birthdays from Argos, and the white plastic finish didn’t help. The remote is also fairly old-fashioned. Noticeably, it’s not backlit, which is annoying when you really need to be using the product in total darkness. This is likely a result of them trying to keep the costs down, but is annoying when it comes to using the controls.
Contrast ratio: 4000:1
Lamp Type: 200W
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen (16:9)
Projection Distance: 1.5 – 10 metres
Audio: 2 x 5W stereo speakers
Video Compatability: PAL, SECAM (576i/p), NTSC (480i/p), HDTV (1080i, 720p)
Weight: 3.5 kg
In our opinion
Personally, I can’t yet justify spending £560 for a projector bought especially for watching films in the evenings, but if you want a projector that you can set up anywhere in the house, or cart about to mate’s houses with you, this is a comparatively reasonably priced option. It’s not designed to be a solution to replace your television, so I can’t whine about the brightness during the day and the like.
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I’ve had the DV 10 for eight months now and had to have the color wheel replaced and several things adjusted, all via mail in of course costing $28 for shipping. The technicial rep said that the bulb was dim also, which only has 1000 hours, and that my only option to get a fully bright picture is to buy a new one which they could sell me for $250. He also tells me that bulbs will grow dim before they expire, not work perfectly until I hear a “pop” as the salesman said. Now just a few weeks after them fixing it, it shuts off after being on for a few minutes. Additionally, you truly do have to have a dark space to see the picture well, which is not the case with an LCD projector, and having it at coffee table top height is not handy most of the time. My experience with the DV10 is that it’s breakage prone, is too dark for most rooms (unless it’s night time), and is too expensive for what you get. My dealings with Optoma’s customer service dictates I will not buy from them again. Bottom line, go with a non-projector TV and you won’t have problems for at least a couple of years, or go with an LCD project and you can watch movies with the lamp on.