Acer’s H9500BD 3D video projector is the most expensive of the three models here, but it has a couple of features the other two lack. Its overall image quality, however, is only on par with projectors in this price range. We’ll leave it up to you to match those considerations to your needs/wants list.
The H9500BD, like Optoma’s HD33, is based on Texas Instrument’s DLP technology. When connected to a PC or Blu-ray 3D player via HDMI, the projector is capable of producing frame-packed 3D video at 1920x1080 resolution at a refresh rate of 24Hz (the same frame rate movies are filmed at). If you want to play games, you’ll need to drop the resolution down to 1280x720, so you can use a 60Hz refresh rate (markedly better for games).
Unless you’ll be the only person watching the projector in 3D mode, though, you should keep in mind that Acer provides only one pair of 3D glasses with the projector; additional pairs of DLP Link 3D glasses cost about $100 each. (Flip over to Lab Notes on page 92 for a longer discussion of what you’ll need to drive any of these projectors with an AMD or Nvidia GPU.)
Acer’s H9500BD uses DLP Link 3D glasses, so there’s no need for an IR or RF emitter to sync the glasses to the projector.
Lens shift is one high-end feature the H9500BD boasts that the other two projectors lack. The ability to physically move the lens inside the projector housing makes it easier to place the projector—be it on a table or mounted from the ceiling—without the need for keystone adjustments if you can’t align the projector’s lens perfectly with the screen. Keystone adjustments correct distortion at the top, bottom, or sides of the projected image, but they do so by sacrificing resolution and image detail through compression.
The H9500BD turns on TI’s Brilliant Color, a feature integrated into DLP chips to boost brightness, by default. This produces a color palette that video purists will criticize as overemphasized, but we like the effect. Black levels are surprisingly good, too. Acer’s projector is considerably brighter than Optoma’s, but it’s about 10 percent less bright than Epson’s offering. That difference really comes to the fore when you switch to 3D mode.
This projector looks fantastic in both 2D and 3D; but in 3D mode, the tinted lenses block some of the light reflected from the screen even when their shutters are completely open. Each lens then alternates blocking all light 60 times each second. But if you can darken your room and limit your picture size to 100 inches or less, you should be very happy with this projector.
Great picture in both 2D and 3D; lens-shift feature; lots of inputs; nylon tote bag included.
Not as bright as the Epson 3010, especially in 3D mode; only one pair of glasses included.