Optoma HD142X Review

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Steve Scott

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The latest innovations in the video technology field have yielded high-quality projectors that can compete with many top TVs available today.

Granted, they don’t offer that many added features or you typically get in a high performing TV, but you do get a large screen with some high res image and incredible color depth and clarity.

The Optoma HD142X is one of those projectors you can get for relatively cheap, and get much in return. It is just one of the high-quality projectors that Optoma has released over the last couple of years. 

So, if you owned one of Optoma’s projectors before, you’ll know what to expect.

As you’ll see further down the line, this model doesn’t revolutionize the world of projectors. Then again, that can be said for most new models, since innovations and changes in this field are relatively rare nowadays.

But, when we look at the big picture, this model has a lot to offer, especially if you don’t plan to make a massive dent in your wallet. 

By the end of this guide, you’ll know a lot more about Optoma HD142X’s main features and issues, and if it is the kind of projector you need for your setup.

See related: Optoma HD27 Review

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Overview

Specifications

  • Size: 9 x 11.7 x 3.7 inches
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs
  • Output wattage: 10 watts

Key Features

  • Native resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • 3,000 Lumens brightness
  • Manual zoom: 1.1x
  • Lens shift: No
  • 3D-compatible
  • 5,000 hours Normal mode lamp life
  • 8,000 hours lamp life in Eco mode
  • 2 HDMI inputs
  • Built-in speaker
  • 10W Speaker
  • MHL Compatible
  • Maximum Contrast: 23,000:1
  • Fan Noise: 24db (Eco mode)

PROS

  • It runs quietly
  • Contrast details
  • Truly long lamp life
  • Audio Output
  • Accurate colors
  • Lamp brightness

CONS

  • The built-in speaker could perform better
  • Design is rather dull
  • It could use an additional HDMI input
  • Occasional rainbow effect


Design

At first sight, the Optoma HD142X looks quite dull and unexciting. There’s simply not much to hook you from the get-go.

But then again, most mid-range projectors don’t shine in the design and looks department.

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One thing that goes in favor of this model is that the Optoma HD142X is a somewhat small model. Or at least in terms of dimensions.

It measures 3.7 x 11.7 x. 9 inches in size. And in terms of weight, it’s not the heaviest (5,5 lbs), but it also definitely isn’t a lightweight category.

As far as the remote control design goes, it’s not even worth the mention. It looks relatively cheap, and with lousy button placement and small size, it is definitely one of the major flaws of this model.

Optoma-HD142X-remote-control

Hardware

With the HD142X, the guys at Optoma decided to cut back on available ports. For some it might look a little empty.

Reduced Number of Ports Available

Many of the more experienced projector aficionados were not happy with that decision, while others found the new simplicity refreshing.

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In all honesty, whether you like that or not, those input and output options will be more than enough for most regular users. Sometimes, though, it feels like it could use an additional HDMI port, especially for gamers. Learn more about how HDMI works.

There are two HDMI ports available (1.4 MHL), a USB port, 3.5mm audio out and a 3D sync slot. With these connectivity options, Optoma HD142X has to be one of the most modest and uncluttered projector models out there.

Picture Quality and Brightness

Optoma is a household name and a trusted brand in the projector universe. They are well-known for their ultra-bright, yet affordable projectors.

Extraordinary Brightness

And with 3,000 ANSI lumens of brightness, this model ultimately falls into that category. With such brightness levels you’ll be able to use HD142X even in a bright room or under any ambient light.

It’s safe to say that Optoma usually outperforms some of the competition’s projectors, that come at twice the price. Take a look at some the best cheap projectors out there.

The most significant improvement this model presents compared to its predecessors is the resolution. The picture quality really shines and makes the most out of 1080 pixels on-screen. Learn more about FullHD resolution.

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Such resolution ensures sharp images with smooth edges and all in all rich details.

But, as mentioned above, the HD142X boasts astonishing brightness levels (3000 lumens), for such a small price. How many lumens do you need for your projector? Find out in our guide.

It’s a convenient feature to be able to use the projector no matter what the time of the day is, or how lit the projection room is.

Top-notch color accuracy

The best thing about it is that this projector can output such brightness without ever being too loud. In most cases, the fan noise is at 24db in Eco mode, making it easy to sit near the projector without straining your ears.

Optoma-HD142X-5

The overall color accuracy is really at the top of the game, with just enough saturation and depth. Even the darker areas provide enough detail and sharpness all across the screen.

You can, however, notice a rainbow effect sometimes. That is if your eyes are able to catch such details. In most cases, you won’t even be able to notice it.

Sound

If you think about it for a second, having a built-in speaker should make your life a lot easier. You wouldn’t have to spend money on external speakers and waste time setting them up.

Well, in this case you’d be wrong. The guys at Optoma dropped the ball with this one.

That being said, the speaker is loud. However, everything else just sounds pretty bad.

Unsatisfying Sound Quality

In almost all situations, the sound is quite muffled, without any clarity and preciseness. On the low end (bass), it also provides unsatisfactory results.

Seeing that audio is a major concern for most users, chances are you won’t be using this one with a built-in speaker. If you don’t plan on using it as a portable option, you’d be safe to hook it up to a home theater system or a set of quality speakers. Check out some of the best home theater systems in our in-depth guide.

You have a 3.5mm audio out jack available for that, which you can use to connect the projector to the A/V receiver.

So, generally speaking, that built-in speaker is a hit and miss. However, it can do you good in certain situations when you don’t have any other option available.

Noise and Heat

We’ve mentioned that the amount of noise is at a highly satisfactory level. You could say that it excels over the competition by a long shot.

You can barely hear the fan working, even when it’s strained by doing the harder tasks like showing 3D content.

The heat levels are about the same. Even if you place the projector right next to you, you won’t feel it emitting heat, even after a long working period.

Lamp Life

Prolonged lamp life is one of the main advantages this model has to offer. This is mainly because HD142X has three different modes available.

Depending on which power mode you use, they ensure a specific lifespan of the lamp. So, these three modes are:

  • Bright – which allows up to 5,000 hours of lamp life

  • Dynamic – around 6,500 hours and

  • Eco Mode – going up to 8,000 hours.

Naturally, all of this depends on how much you use the projector and how you use it. These numbers were calculated based on a 2 hour a day use.

And since the light bulb is an original Optoma product, you won’t hinder the projector performance or damage it in any way, ensuring more consistent results and a longer lifespan.

3D Output

Another valuable HD142X feature is that it can display 3D, from multiple devices like consoles, Blu-Ray players and others.

Although some people don’t find this option too attractive or don’t see it as a priority when looking for a projector, it is still nice to have that option available.

And seeing that it works pretty well and is relatively easy to launch, there’s no reason not to take advantage of it.

Refresh Rate

Unlike many other projectors, Optoma HD142X has a refresh rate of a whopping 144Hz. In reality, it is closer to 120Hz.

Nevertheless, it is still a higher refresh rate than many quality monitors provide. The refresh rate is the number of times your device updated with new images within a second.

So, a 144Hz device does this 144 times. The higher the number, the smoother the picture quality.

Setup

When it comes to the setup of this model, it is safe to say that not many things have changed over the years. 

Even though the interface is crucial for modern devices, it’s as though those things don’t apply when it comes to projectors in general. Read this guide to find out how to set up your projector and get the most out of it.

Optoma HD142X is geared with a pretty basic and obsolete system which, even though it is easy to use, should be modernized a bit. You can control things like contrast, brightness levels and other settings from a single menu.

Many Different Presets Available

There are different picture presets available, like Gaming, Cinema, sRGB, Vivid and others. Each of those presets changes the options for you, depending on what you wish to watch on this projector.

And for those who want to make the most out of lamp lifespan, you can choose from three different modes: Bright, Dynamic, and Eco.

As far as the positioning goes, if you have 120 inches and 16:9 screen size, the front of the projector should be at approximately 13 and 14 feet away. For the best viewing position, that would put you right in front of the projector, at about 11 feet away. Learn how to calculate projector distance.

The design of the optics usually demands or requires for the projector to be mounted on a ceiling. That’s the ideal spot.

Otherwise, you will have to deal with keystone correction. If the projector is placed somewhere on a shelf or a stand behind the viewers, you will have to tilt it down.

As a result, you will have to make some corrections to straighten the image, which you should try to avoid, if possible.

Connectivity

In terms of connectivity, Optoma HD142X doesn't have to offer that much, but it is sufficient for an everyday user.

It doesn't feature analog AV inputs, in contrast to many other models. It provides 2 HDMI ports with 1.4a 3D support.

Optoma-HD142X-ports

With those, it provides connectivity for such systems as gaming consoles, video players, computers and AV receivers.

No Wireless Connection

HD142X doesn't offer wireless connectivity. Now, you can look at this from two different angles.

It would be nice to have a portable option, without all the clutter that cables bring to the game. On the other hand, you certainly won't be losing any quality that is otherwise lost in some other low-end wireless connections.

You can also connect your phone via MHL supported connection. This means that most modern mobile devices will be compatible with it.

By using that option, you will be able to stream videos or other media from different platforms like Netflix or YouTube, or play video games, by simply plugging and playing your mobile device.

In Conclusion

All things considered, the Optoma HD142X doesn’t bring that many new things to the table. If we put aside that remarkable 8,000-hour lamp life, it doesn’t push the boundaries with anything else.

So, why should you consider this model in particular? Well, simply because it is an improved version of its predecessor, even the most subtle ways, like that lamp life.

All in all, it represents outstanding value for money, especially in that price range. And since 4K resolution won’t be this cheap any time soon, this is the top picture quality you can get without breaking the bank.

My name is Steve Scott. Father of 2 and owner of Outdoor Movie HQ. I’ve been involved in the A/V industry for most of my life and built this blog to help people better understand projector technology. Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

5/5 (1 Review)