Many of us would love to be able to get a huge screen in our home cinema set-up without having to worry about the long throw ratio to work out from the back of the room. Thankfully Optoma has answered our prayers.
We were fortunate enough at the Eton store to have been given one of these impressive machines to test with Optoma’s unique ALR screens that absorb light from below and reflect it from other angles – which works perfectly with the GT5000. Unlike many other short throw projectors, you can actually place this right in front of your screen and the image is projected upwards rather than directly towards the screen, so they could be clever with their DLP chip and create something rather unique.
Boasting a throw ratio of only 0.25:1, you can create a 100” width image, or 115” diagonal screen size (the method for measuring TV screen sizes) from a mere 25” inches (33cm) distance from the screen. That’s an incredible feat considering that you get a great looking picture from such a short distance. The brightness also has a handsome figure of 3000 lumens giving it the ability to perform very well in a room where ambient light might cause other projectors a problem. The GT5000 also has a contrast ratio of 23000:1 meaning it will outperform many of the lesser priced models in the DLP chip category. Great news for fans of very dark movies such as the Batman series, Star Wars and other darker looking movies or series.
Twin HDMI inputs are at your disposal to connect up a couple of HD based devices, but as with all projectors we would recommend an AV receiver as a selector for your source. While the projector does have an inbuilt speaker pumping out 16W of power, it’s hardly earth shattering. To truly enjoy a big screen experience you need a surround sound system. We would also recommend the 100″ fixed ALR screen I mentioned earlier. That’s an Ambient Light Reflective screen to you and I, which basically has the ability to reflect light that isn’t coming from below it (where the projector will be located). So any lights you may have above the screen or any light coming through your windows will be reflected away from the image it is trying to display. Ensuring that your picture remains clear and visible in brighter areas – pretty cool. Also with the screen being fixed it means you won’t be having to constantly re-calibrate it and is ready to use at a moment’s notice, unlike a drop down screen or pull down screen where some work or wait is required.
This projector is 1080p HD capable and the first thing we decided to try out was the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie on Blu-ray. We had to get our heads around where the projector was and just how huge the image is at 100”! The next thing that struck me was that thanks to the jiggery-pokery in the chip they have managed to minimize the amount of rainbow effect you notice while faster images are shown on the screen. It was also very smooth in terms of how the image was looking when it was showing a fast-paced action scene like where Finn and Po evade the first order in a Tie Fighter after breaking out of jail. We played the first few scenes with the curtains open in our demo room allowing light to come in from the outside, even for a pitch black scene the darker areas of the picture held up remarkably well. When we closed the curtains we were greeted by an even better contrast. The scene at the end where the Sun is being drained by the First Order’s weapon and darkness begins to spread across the picture, it left very minimal “halo-ing” around the outside of the image and once again the action was smooth and defined with good edges and colour to boot. All-in-all we were very impressed.
Next up, we popped in Ant-Man the Marvel movie. The scene where he first tries on the suit and ends up landing on a record at a house party has loads of flashing lights, colour, and darker patches so can catch some units out. Whilst the lighting was bright and vibrant there were a couple of areas of the picture that lost a little focus but I would have expected more, so once again it was outmatching my expectations. Cloud detail in this movie can also catch even the best of TV’s out but again there were defined edges and it still had that wispy effect you would want to notice in the cinema. Even better still the fight scene between Ant-Man and Falcon almost seemed to be getting continually better at tracking the movement.
Overall I would say that if you are going to buy this projector then you will also need the screen to go with it and that can put some people off. However, if you are going to use this projector regularly with either your Sky, Virgin or BT Vision feed, a Blu-ray and most definitely a games console like a PlayStation 4 then it is almost a no-brainer if you have a limited amount of space to play with. A huge home cinema experience without the wires and long HDMI cables, you can’t ask for much more than that.
To find out more about the GT5000, click here.
Author – Andrew, Eton Store