Holiday Buyer's Guide 2005

Time For Movies: The Optoma Projector

Once you make your movies, you may want to project them in your home theater, or perhaps just against your living room wall. In either case, the product you want to take a look at is the Optoma MovieTime DV10 DVD Projector.

If you're after the ultimate in lightweight, portable, full-fledged plug-and-play home theater entertainment, rejoice! Optoma delivers with its MovieTime DVD Projector. At 7.8 lbs (3.5 kg), it's light enough to transport from place to place, and it even includes a stylish protective carrying case reminiscent of designer laptop bags.

Optoma rounded out the MovieTime DVD Projector with an array of inputs and outputs that should satisfy the most demanding requirements. There's a fully-integrated DVD player with two 5 watt stereo speakers to get you going in the absence of a proper audio hook-up - or for more mobile uses. MovieTime outputs direct digital signals from DVD to any projection screen; it's also HDTV compatible, and displays widescreen formats with ease. The display technology is powered by a single 480p (native) 12 degree TI DarkChip2 and projected through a 1,000 lumens (200 W) lamp with a maximum contrast ratio of 4,000:1. Image size varies from 48 to 359 diagonal inches, at a depth of 4.9 to 32.8 feet. The unit can display up to 16 million colors at 24 bit color depth; it also displays at resolutions equivalent to 480P (854x480 pixels) or SXGA+ (1400x1050 pixels).

Video formats supported include NTSC, PAL, SECAM, EDTV, and SDTV, covering the most common types used around the world. The MovieTime can also handle MP3 and WAV formatted audio, JPEGs, and will gladly read VCDs or audio CDs in the following media formats: DVD, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, CD-R, and CD-RW. In all, the MovieTime handles pretty much all of the most commonly available media quite adeptly. For best image quality, a digital video projection screen is recommended, but we got good results from an old glass-coated slide projection screen, and from aiming the projector at a smooth untextured wall painted off-white.

Physical connectors provide compatibility with devices linked through the following: composite (RCA); 15 pin D-sub VGA analog RGB; component HDTV; S-Video; RS-232; S/PDIF optical; and coaxial. The DV10 even includes a single USB type B connector on the rear interface panel. Optical audio outputs complement the cinema-quality picture clarity, when combined with Dolby Surround Sound capable equipment.

The MovieTime DVD Projector has a footprint of 14.5 x 4.6 x 10.7" (36.8 x 11.7 x 27.2 cm), making it small enough to fit inside a typical school bookbag. How's that for portable? It also has a slick pearlescent housing with black trim, in a rounded enclosure that makes it look like a modern take on a carousel projector. For those in the market for a mid-priced ($1499 MSRP), quality video projector, the MovieTime DVD Projector is the one to have. Perhaps you should think about amending your Christmas list?

Ed Tittel

Ed Tittel is a long-time IT writer, researcher and consultant, and occasional contributor to Tom’s Hardware. A Windows Insider MVP since 2018, he likes to cover OS-related driver, troubleshooting, and security topics.