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Optoma Themescene HD72i review

Optimum value for money, but have corners been cut?

Our Verdict

This projector has enough high-level features to please anyone on a budget


  • Good value for money

    Excellent colour levels


  • Looks a bit lightweight

For £1,500, the HD27i offers a lot more than you have any right to expect in the high-definition world. Not only is it a DLP model - usually found on the higher branches of the consumer electronics money tree - but it boasts a compatibility with 1080p sources, which it scales down to its 1280 x 768 resolution.

Its white exterior doesn't successfully gloss over its rather lightweight and plastic appearance but if you look a bit harder you will see inputs that are for both HDMI and DVI as well as component video inputs, composite and S-video. While it doesn't have a PC input, the DVI socket takes both video and PC signals. Both the HDMI and DVI sockets are also HDCP compatible.

Also of note is a 4-speed, 7-segment colour wheel that handles the optics while contrast levels are monitored and adjusted by what's known as Image A1. TrueLife and TrueVision modes help deal with both detail and jagged edges.

Otherwise, important stats claimed by the company rate the contrast ratio at a more than very respectable 5,000:1 as well as boasting 1,300 ANSI Lumens brightness. It also has a 1.58-1.90:1 throw ratio that will help fit your projection to the walls of your room.

The cinematic qualities of the HD72i come across immediately and it serves up a bright, sharp picture that will light up your screen or wall enticingly. Motion was dealt with smoothly without any ghostly and unsightly blemishes pursuing the assembled giant lizards and monkey in King Kong.

Colours were handled with a good degree of expertise with all the shades of the rainbow on show (without the unpleasant effect) and retaining their intended purity closely for a projector within this price range.

The contrast levels also came across very positively revealing a surprising depth to the levels of darkness that were needed to make out clearly what was going on in the dimmer and more dangerous corners of Kong's island kingdom.

The depressing gloom that engulfed the appearance of the natives' village and Anne's tunnel hideaway looked all the more engrossing for this ability. A quiet running performance too - rated at 27dB - was a further boon; only when the ImageA1 was put on did we get mildly disturbed.

So overall, this is a projector that offers many things that tend to command a far higher premium. With good pictures and a more than budget range of features, many buyers will be quite happy swinging on the lower branches.