"Good Bright Picture"4.0 starson by 350ZMO
Pros: Good Bright Picture
Cons: Up-Scalar Is Average De-Interlacer is below Average
Summary: This is my second projector. My first was the Optoma HD-72. You can read my review on it here on CNET. I'd post the link here but CNET will just stip it out.
I bought the HC1500 as a backup to my HD72. The HD72 died hard and had to be sent back to Optoma for repair.
I used the THX optimizer on the Pirates DVD with the THX Blue glasses to calibrate the HC1500 as I did with the Optoma HD72 and the Vizio Gallevia GV47LF. It is interesting to note that the HC1500 took a larger deviation out of the box to calibrate it than the GV47 or the HD72. But, it did calibrate within the range of control.
It is also interesting to note that the HC1500 does not have a DVI-D or DVI-D connector like the HD72 had. However you can buy an adapter to go from DVI female to VGA male. The HC1500 has a VGA female connector on it like the GV47 and HD72 and most other display products these days. You won't find this gender combination at popular stores like COMPUSA or BEST BUY. You can find it at online stores like cablestogo.
Throw angles are a little different from the HD72 but not by much. There were a couple other minor differences in controls but nothing that I found to be a major impediment. Some people complain about the lack of lens shift but I don't find this to be an issue for my setup and can't comment on it. Other than to say like the HD72 in the menu there is a control for vertical picture shift. But these have their limitations as oppossed to a optical/mechanical mechanism. If your worried about those things you might try the reviews at avsforums or projectorcentral or projectorreviews.
When I first connected the HC1500 I immediately noticed it was brighter than the HD72. I checked and it was on the LOW Lamp setting. I found I prefered leaving it on LOW. THe High setting tends to make the colors look washed out.
After I finally got my HD72 back I swapped it out with the HC1500 and watched the same program. It is interesting to note that even on High setting the HD72 was not as bright as the HC1500 was on low. In truth I had not reperformed the THX optimization on the HD72 but I don't think it would make up the difference. I even turned on Image AI on the HD72.
However, I must say that the HD72 had a better picture even though it was darker. Better in terms of display of low def content using DCDi on the HD72. The jaggies on the HC1500 were very noticeable. Also, on any interlaced input the line jitter was noticeable.
I also had a difficult time focusing the HC1500. I'm not saying you can't focus it. I'm just saying it was more difficult to achieve focus. I'm not sure why this is but it was quite noticeable.
It is interesting to note that there is light leakage out the front vent of the HC1500. Not a big deal but just interesting to note.
I really didn't notice a big difference in fan noise over the HD72. Both are very quiet to me. THere is a difference in HIGH setting though. But then my surround system seems to drown out most noises .
I have no scientific tools to test this so all I have is my subjective experience. But I have to say I believe the picture quality on the HD72 to be better than the HC1500. That is not to say the 1500 is bad. It's not. The PQ on the HC1500 is very good. But it does suffer from an inferior deinterlacer/scalar IMHO. Not a big deal if you let another device upscale and deinterlace for you. It is interesting to note that even the inferior upscaler/deinterlacer in my Panasonic DMRES-45V/46V did better than the HC1500. In other words letting the VCR/DVR upscale and de-interlace to 720P and using the HDMI port on the HC1500 looks better than component video into the HC1500 letting it upscale to 720. Whereas on my HD72 I let it do the upscaling and deinterlacing. That is to say the up-scaling of the HD72 looks even better than the Panasonic. De-interlacing between the Panasonic and the Optoma is the same IMHO. For the benefits of DCDI and similar upscaling read my HD72 review or search in Google.
So bottom line is the HC1500 should be considered just for it's brightness. If you have other components that can do the de-interlacing and upscaling go with the brighter projector. Once calibrated color performance is essentially the same. If you prefer the up-scaling benefits of a top-notch upscaler like DCDi as I do, then look at the Optoma HD72.
Note: DLP projectors exhibit a phenomenon known as the "rainbow effect". I saw slightly more of that on the HC1500 than the HD72 but not much more. And even at that it's very rare.