Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
- Sleek casing, easy-to-use
- Lacks a DVI connection, low native resolution
NEC's HT510 is easy to set up and use and offers adequate performance for a home theatre environment. However it is let down by a relatively low native resolution.
Price$ 2,999.00 (AUD)
Home theatre projectors are big business and most consumer electronics manufacturers are capitalising on the research done for the business space by pushing DLP devices into the home entertainment market. The DLP-based projectors have a number of benefits over conventional LCD models including increased colour accuracy and less noticeable space between pixels.
NEC's HT510 features a sleek, gloss white case, and the rounded corners help make the unit appear smaller than its 19 x 36 x 13 cm dimensions. Power, source, image adjustment and navigation buttons are found on the top panel, while the left-hand face houses VGA, component, composite, S-video and both 3.5mm Walkman-style and RCA audio jacks along with a PC control connection. A manual focus ring surrounds the lens, and a lens shift dial sits on the right Three feet on the base allow for basic angle and height adjustment, and there are three screw holes for ceiling mounting.
The bundled white plastic remote control is backlit and includes quick access to volume and keystone adjustments, source selection, and handy features like aspect ratio and noise reduction. Strangely, it features separate on and off buttons, but this doesn't detract from its operation.
The HT510 ships with a full complement of cables, so you shouldn't have to buy anything to connect to your existing DVD player, computer or console. Installation is straightforward, and the quick setup guide includes diagrams illustrating how to wire up the device, turn it on, and adjust picture size and positioning.
On paper, the HT510 is ideal for home theatre. The machine offers a 1200:1 contrast ratio and 1000 ANSI lumen brightness rating. What's more, the 16:9 widescreen device is able to downscale a 1080i HDTV signal. However the relatively low native resolution of 1024 x 526 pixels is down on many competing models, and the NEC's output- while offering acceptable colour and contrast - doesn't look as clear as higher resolution models.
All up, NEC has produced a capable, easy-to-use projector that offers reasonable colour accuracy and adequate brightness and contrast for home theatre playback. Unfortunately, a relatively low native resolution detracts from the overall package.
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