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Tech Review: Optoma HD36 Projector

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I don’t see the point of loving films and the cinema like I do and watching on a 40″ screen. 46″? Nope. Even 50″? Maybe in a tight room. 60″? Used to do it for me.

Now? I’ll look in disdain if I ever have to watch United play abysmally on anything less than a 150″ screen.

And rightly so. How many are going to feel Interstellar doesn’t hold up on home viewing? Not me.

I IMAX’d the hell out of that last year, and this is the next best thing.

I’m super sizing it. Nightcrawler too. I want to feel like I’m *in* LA, not just watching it (and Jake’s cruelly Oscar snubbed turn).

I’ve gamed on it now too. And I thought COD was a bit knifey on a 60″ – this was insane. In fact I’ve brought GTAV on the PS4 as the thought of playing it on 50″ won’t do it anymore.

It feels like a game changer.

I’m going to watch Gravity tonight and try and claw back some of that cinema experience. I remember watching it in 3D at Home and loving it. This will be different though.

So the HD36 from Optoma (full specs HERE) gives you scale.

And perfectly for me, with minimal effort. I’ve not even calibrated it for gaming yet. I trust it so much that what it’s put out already is so good, any tweaks are just a bonus.

It’s been incredible from day one out of the box.

The colour through Sky has been exceptional. I originally played some Blu Rays from a portable Blu Ray player – and you notice the difference. HD is HD you might say. I’d argue that.

My learns so far have been about connectivity.

To stress this isn’t the projectors fault, but it’s taken a phone call from Matt in Holland (!) to try and get the Sonos to play through it. £30 in cables later we think we’re there – I’ll let you know.

I can’t criticise the built in speaker on the HD36 – I’ve just been spoilt by my surround sound for a long time.

If I can’t get it going I won’t complain. It won’t be a deal breaker.

The other learn is the Apple connector will likely work, but not necessarily play Sky Go. I may get one to try that for myself, but if you’re OCD and want a lack of cables – be warned!

The thing to stress here is that all of this is being done on a normal wall. No screen. No paint to the wall. Just as it is.

And from the (far better than mine) reviews, that’s exactly what the HD36 seems to do. Bright, bright images straight onto the wall.

This is Gravity at 3:44pm with the blinds slightly ajar. The projector is higher on the wall as its on a stand beside the sofa. I’m not too lazy to ceiling/wall mount it – but again… It’s the cables. I want a quick and easy life and this way the projector can come out whenever we need it with minimal fuss, and no cables on show.

That will infuriate some purists, but I’ve always stressed this wasn’t instead of the TV. It’s to supplement it. And I get the stick I may get for that. That it seems superfluous and a bit extravagant.

I’d argue the flip side of that. The HD36 is currently on Amazon for less than £750.

There’s not a TV in the world where you’d experience Gravity like this for that money.

And isn’t that what it’s about? Experiencing a film? It certainly is for me. I’ve always strived to recapture the cinema experience – even when I lived at Home and 32″ CRTs were cutting edge.

I remember watching Dances With Wolves (the Directors Cut!) on VHS. It’s hardly going to rekindle the feeling I felt being whisked to Basingstoke cinema post-school in 1990, is it?

But with the HD36 I can re-visit the Buffalo scene. Cry man tears as Hawkeye says “I will find you” under that there waterfall. I’m getting déjà Vu to Uni when I went to the film screenings at my Uni’s cinema just to experience films of missed first time at the cinema.

Terminator 2? Check. Godfather? Check.

And there’s something in that – because they ain’t re-releasing Blade Runner at the cinema for the hell of it.

There’s a generation that have never “experienced” it like that. Me included.

It’s just low I won’t necessarily need to sit with other popcorn munching idiots.

I haven’t even touched the 3D yet. And you just know that will look audacious.

Is it worth waiting and seeing what happens with 4K? Maybe. But in my experience of walking around the Audio and TV Departments they’re playing a demo disc of 4K content that’s not accessible direct from your Sky Box.

And you don’t want to be projecting something that big unless you’re sure the picture will look crisp.

And yes, James. The blacks look black.

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