The Optoma HD143X is an impressively capable home-entertainment projectors for the price, particularly if you want it for 1080p. It has all the features you’d want in an entry level projector including 3D support and MHL compatibility.
- Impressive image quality
- Full 1080p in 2D and 3D
- Two HDMI connectors, one with Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL)
- Shows some posterization in its brightest mode
If you want to enjoy your movies and videos at an image size that eludes a truly immersive experience, which you can only get from a projector, the Optoma HD143X is a prime candidate. Like its predecessor, the Optoma HD141X, the newer model is designed with home entertainment in mind, focusing on features like a full HD 1080p resolution, support for 3D video sources like Blu-ray players and cable, alongside an audio system comparable to what you get on a typical TV.
A pair of HDMI ports ensures that you can easily connect this projector to, say, a cable box and Blu-ray and easily switch between them easily in a permanent installation. It can, simply said, serve nicely as a home entertainment hub, and can even replace, the TV in your family room.
Design & Setup
Like most home entertainment projectors, the HD143X is fairly smaller and weighs less than typical home theater projectors, measuring 4.2 by 12.5 by 9.7 inches (HWD) and weighs 5.5 pounds. If you don’t have lots of storage space in your family room, this size makes it easy to stash away in a safe when not using it.
Setup is pretty simple. The included Optoma HD143X manual makes everything easy based on the projector’s manual focus and manual 1.1x zoom. Connectors for image input are located on the back, including two HDMI ports (one with MHL support), a USB port, a 3D Sync connector, a 12 out jack and an audio-out jack. The MHL-enabled port makes it easy to connect a compatible phone or tablet or a Roku Stick for streaming TV.
The I/O port options here are robust, considering both HDMI ports offer full support for 3D signals from video sources like Blu-ray players, cable or FiOS box. This is the same port options available on the Optoma GT1080Darbee gaming projector that we reviewed earlier. As with most midrange projectors, the 3D function here will work with either DLP-Link or Vesa RF glasses, but it will not work with both simultaneously. Optoma doesn’t include any of either with this projector.
Home Entertainment Brightness & Sound
The Optoma HD143X shares most of its features with the BenQ HT2050A, both are DLP-based, for example, and both offer a pair of HDMI ports one of which is Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) enabled. Both of these projectors are designed for home entertainment, meaning they are meant to be bright enough so you can use them with a typical living or family room’s ambient lighting.
One main difference between the two is that the Optoma HD143X offers an even higher brightness rating than the BenQ model, at 3000 lumens versus 2200 lumens. At 3000 lumens, the HD143X delivers 1080p picture that is bright enough at a 16:9 aspect ratio at a screen size of roughly 215 to 290 inches, measured diagonally. Even with moderate ambient lighting, you still get images that are bright enough at roughly 140- to 160-inch, which is still enormous for home entertainment use.
In case you have a smaller screen or viewing in dim lighting, you have the option of switching to Eco mode or a lower-brightness predefined mode, which you might want to do in order to get the best color quality. Most DLP projectors have lower color brightness than white brightness and the Optoma we’re reviewing is no exceptional, but it’s still reliably suited for a 92-inch image in a family room.
In addition to the HD143X’s capabilities as a home entertainment projector, its sound system is a feature to reckon with. The 10-watt mono speaker delivers good sound quality and enough volume to fill any reasonably family room. If you want stereo, however, you’ll do with an external sound system that you can plug into the projector’s mini jack stereo output.
The Optoma HD143X is an excellent home entertainment projector. Its image quality is near-perfect in most ways, with one noticeable exception. If you connect a FiOS box in the Bright predefined mode, both live and recorded digital video show a high degree of posterization (shading when scenes move suddenly), especially skin tones in close-ups of faces. Surprisingly, the same doesn’t show up when viewing content that was originally recorded on film.
It completely disappears even with live and recorded digital video when you switch to Cinema modes. As such, the posterization only becomes a minor problem. However, it means that when watching live or recorded digital video you may be limited to the lower brightness modes, which may in turn limit the actual size of the image you can use with any given level of lighting.
The projector’s image quality for 3D is basically the same as 2D for those aspects of quality that both modes share. You won’t. see any crosstalk, although you won’t miss a hint of 3D-related motion artifacts. The projector’s 32 milliseconds input lag in Game mode and 33.6 milliseconds in modes works out to a two-frame lag at 60 frames per second, which is better than most competing projectors can manage.
The Optoma HD143X is an impressively capable home-entertainment projectors for the price, particularly if you want it for 1080p. It has all the features you’d want in an entry level projector including 3D support and MHL compatibility, that gets even more exciting by a long lamp life, at 12,000 hours in Dynamic mode, 10,000 hours in Eco mode and 3,500 in Bright mode. That helps minimize the running cost, which also helps make the projector a top pick among movie projectors.
Is there a better alternative?
With the right money, you can always get something better. As it stands, the Optoma HD143X offers great value for the price, so does the BenQ MH535FHD. This 1080p home theater projector offers perfect blacks and high contrast ration alongside 3600 lumens for the best living room entertainment for around the same price.
If you need the absolute best and the latest technology and not afraid of spending more to get features like HDR10 and HLG technology, the Optoma UHD52ALV is what you should have at the top of your short list. This True 4K smart projector is super bright thanks to 3500 lumens, works with Alexa and Google assistant and will integrate with your smart home devices seamlessly. As expected, the added technologies come at a premium but everything in this projector is worth the buck.
Should you buy it?
Yes. The Optoma HD143X offers a suitably bright, acceptably high-quality image at an attractive price that will see you enjoy your movies comfortably in your living room without spending too much.