Some time ago, we walked away thoroughly impressed after spending some quality time with Optoma’s GT720. As an alternative for big-screen gaming, it featured sharp and detailed visuals and a respectable number of picture controls that gave little to complain about (even though we still preferred the Home Theater experience of the Optoma HD20). As with most retail products, the competition continues to get fiercer with each generation, especially in the niche market of DLPs where value is more important than ever. Luckily, Optoma’s freshly-updated GT750E 3D GameTime Projector appears to have most of the essentials down pat.
If you recall our review of the GT720, then you’ll notice a bit of déjà-vu with this projector; the GT750E sports the same black glossy styling and clean curvy shell with plenty of venting grates on the sides like the previous model. Unsurprisingly, the control button layout is also carried over and includes the power and menu buttons along with an adjustable focus dial right above the lens, with three height nibs to keep the unit properly on its toes. And like before, you’re also given a branded padded backpack to easily transport your 6.6lb baby if you decide on sharing the wealth.
Connectivity is solid with all of the expected inputs/outputs on hand, including composite, S-Video, VGA/Component (a YPbPr to VGA adapter is included) with a RCA audio and 3.5mm output taking care of sound. The real external changes come with the HDMI options, which now include two inputs compared to the lone HDMI port of its predecessor. The ports are officially certified for 3D output (Ver. 1.4a) on your required Blu-ray player or game console, along with a 3D-Sync port (unique to the GT750E and pre-standardized 3D DLP TVs but more on that later). Finally the RS-232 port rounds out the package just in case you have you have dreams of bigger installations in mind.
When we first went through our tests, getting a big-screen was pretty simple, as you turn it on and have at least 4’ of space between a wall for an instant 73” screen (diagonal) in its native resolution (1280×800 WXGA). The other supported display sizes ranging from 480p (854×480), 1080p, to its maximum of 1600×1200 (UXGA) also looked great, if not somewhat scaled to the eagle-eyed videophiles. Fortunately, concerns of resolution should be moot for the majority when you consider that this short throw projector is meant to work in pretty small rooms and is capable of projecting a humongous 322” screen, which is more than enough real estate to put pernicious pixel counters at bay.
Being a well-rounded machine, it looks like Optoma has learned from their previous misstep and provided better sound here with the internal speakers (10 watt); enough to satisfy most gamers and casual movie buffs. Also, they’ve also finally did away with that clunky remote control and dutifully replaced it with the clicker from the HD20/HD33. These are actually the two areas I complained about the loudest, so it’s nice to see these issues rectified.
Considering we didn’t have too many issues with the performance of its predecessor, the GT750E follows in its footsteps with the available adjustments in picture and color controls that offer more user precision that the readily available picture presets (cinema/bright/presentation/game/blackboard/classroom/3D). For those sticking with the defaults, the setting will probably be sufficient enough until they familiarize themselves with the advanced options. And I really do mean familiarize, as further tweaking involves going beyond the basics of contrasts and sharpness. Options such as color gain/bias and digamma will reward viewers with a great image, but you’ll have to spend quite a bit of your free time getting things just right.
Our test unit had a warm/reddish tone and some lighter blacks than we’d like, but most of the irregularities can be defeated in the advanced settings which involved a whole afternoon of absolute fine tuning and toning down the BrilliantColor enhancements. Getting deeper blacks on the other hand had us making due with the contrast and lamp settings. Ultimately, if you’re looking for the best natural and dynamic look possible, don’t be surprised if you spend quite a bit of time staring at menu screens.
Thanks to DLPs inherent ability of not succumbing to refresh lag similar to traditional CRTs and current PDP TVs, playing games such as Forza Motorsport 4 and Battlefield 3 looked sharp and pretty smooth during the most intensive sessions without the need of any “Game mode” enhancements. Of course consoles like the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and gaming desktops will make the most of this projector. Similar results can be had with standard and enhanced definition games, as what they lack in crisp detail is made up with excellent, robust color. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was a prime example of this, as it shows how a massive display can make up for a few of the source material’s technical shortcomings.
For those looking for a genuine cinematic experience, the GT750E is capable of showing Blu-ray content in 1080p at 24 fps (1080p/24), though there were issues such as slight flickering and motion shutter whenever the camera panned across horizontal landscapes. Our 2D reference film The Dark Knight had evidence of such irregularities, but still looked great nonetheless.
For a relatively capable 3D DLP ,the GT750E is a logical choice, especially now that Optoma has finally adopted a more mainstream approach for 3D capability. Before, achieving that extra dimension in a projector was a confusing endeavor, as you either needed a computer with the right graphics card (preferably an Nvidia 3D Vision branded one) and/or Optoma’s own 3D-XL converter box (with DLP-Link glasses) to correctly sync the HDMI feed, making the process simply too exhausting for anyone except bleeding edge videophiles to adopt. The biggest leap in the right direction is how the processing is now in the projector itself through HDMI and VGA like on most available 3D-capable HDTVs, thus eliminating the need of that converter box. You’ll still need active shutter 3D eyewear, and you can either use the DLP-Link (universally compatible with other DLP projectors and RPTVs) or Universal VESA RF type glasses (they also require an external RF emitter which is included), both of which provide the stereoscopic experience, but can’t be used simultaneously.
As far as actual performance goes, the GT750E is about as good as any high-end PDP from Panasonic or Samsung, as we were able to take some DLP-Link glasses and enjoy movies (Avatar, The Adventures of Tintin, The Lion King 3D) and games (Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception) without feeling disoriented or strained. The effect is enough with little-to-no crosstalk (ghosting) or sync flicker with plenty of depth added too. Though with most things, the experience is only as good as the content itself which admittedly is limited.
It seems that Optoma has made a little magic with their updated GT750E 3D GameTime Projector, despite the fact that it’s essentially the same short throw DLP we enjoyed playing with before. That said, there are more than enough additions and technical improvements here to keep it high on the list of gamers and 3D movie buffs that are looking for the biggest bang for their buck, especially when the static display sizes of non-projectors just aren’t enough. It can dish out just about anything thrown at it and then some, no matter how you decide to use it. Setting up the GT750E may not be the easiest way of getting the largest screen in your home, but it’s certainly one of the largest and most intimately immersive options out there.