Hi-def on a shoestring? We'll take two! Just when we'd thought the projector world had left us to suffer the insult of high-definition at a mere 32 inches, Optoma finally smashes thuggishly through the £1,000 barrier with a £700-HD-ready projector that puts in a quite phenomenal performance for the asking price.
It's a DLP unit which uses a quadspeed, seven-segment colour wheel, so there's not a hint of the rainbow effect. At 1,000 Lumens it's certainly bright enough for movie use and at times seems brighter than this. The 4,000:1 contrast belies its excellent colour performance with rich, warm skin tones and yellows - something DLP rarely achieves.
This is helped by the battery of image-enhancing technologies Optoma has thrown at the HD70, which can be a little bewildering even with its well-designed menu system and pleasingly backlit remote.
Up and running at standard brightness, the 28dB noise level is nothing more than a background purring - a far cry from most projectors. And even on high-power, the 30dB isn't very distracting at all. With HDMI, VGA D-Sub, component, S-video, composite and SCART via an adaptor, there are connections aplenty, and there's even a 12-volt trigger line for those with electric screens.
The only area of complaint is performance over S-video, which is less impressive than via D-Sub or HDMI sources. But then, S-Video is a bit of a legacy technology these days. And, on the positive side, D-sub content from your PC does look astoundingly sharp and vibrant, showing off widescreen games to their utmost. Oblivion on your living-room wall at last... sweet.