The Optoma EH330UST is a 3,600 lumen, 1080p resolution (1920 x 1080) projector, with a list price of $1,599. It features DLP technology, so it produces its color using a color wheel – in this case, not your typical RGBW, but instead the EH330UST uses a 6-segment RGBWYC color wheel. That’s red, green, blue, white, yellow, and cyan, giving the projector more depth of color. Having the white, or rather, clear slice on the wheel, makes it so the projector has more brightness on whites than if it had no clear slice. This is particularly useful when viewing documents with white backgrounds, such as Word documents or spreadsheets.
Generally speaking, the more slices on a color wheel, the less lumens per slice. We’ll discuss this more on the Picture and Sound Quality Page, but what we’re looking for here is this: Does the projector have good color, and how well does it perform in various lighting conditions, such as when there is ambient light present. With a brightness claim of 3,600 lumens, there should be no issues when viewing presentations, documents, spreadsheets, and websites. On the Performance Page, you can expect to see a comparison photo of the same image being projected in ambient light versus in a fully darkened room.
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A quick note on the benefits of DLP projectors: DLP technology allows manufacturers to make smaller, more portable projectors. DLP projectors give more white lumens dollar-for-dollar than projectors with 3LCD technology, so you can expect to get a brighter overall image in the face of ambient light – for things with light backgrounds like those documents and spreadsheets. 3LCD projectors, however, have as many color lumens as they do white ones, so your colors will be more vibrant than with a DLP. 3LCDs tend to cost more than DLPs, however, so if you don’t need accurate color in ambient light situations, DLP may win your purchase.
DLP projectors also have sealed light paths, so there’s no worry of dust particles getting inside of the optics. Dust can cause huge issues with your projected image, in that the “dust blob” blocks the light and results in a dark spot on the screen. To clean that our would be a major maintenance call, resulting in a loss in time and money. 3LCD manufacturers are starting to seal their light paths as well, though they do so in a different way.
The Optoma EH330UST has a lamp life of up to 15,000 hours – in Dynamic Mode. In ECO, it’s rated to last up to 10,000 hours, and 4,000 hours at full power. It is important to keep in mind that using ECO modes significantly lowers the brightness output, so in situations with high ambient light, using these modes will not be practical. However, in rooms with good control over lighting conditions, you should be able to use one of the two ECO modes and extend the lamp life of the projector. Even if you have to run the projector at full power all the time, lamps are a small expense these days, and at 4,000 hours with heavy use, you can expect the lamp to last a few years.
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