One of the few projectors specifically designed for game playing, the Optoma GT760 is both more and less than the Optoma GT750e it’s replacing (with the GT750e still available at this writing). The only obvious addition in the new model is a small increase in rated brightness, to 3,400 lumens. Notably missing is the carrying case, second HDMI port, and impressively good sound system that the Optoma GT750e offered. Also missing is increased native resolution that would let it take full advantage of the most recent generation of game consoles. The result is a capable, but not particularly impressive, game-playing projector.
Optoma’s website shows the GT760′s resolution as 720p, which translates to 1,280 by 720. In truth, it’s 1,280 by 800, which is a more common variation on WXGA. If you connect it to a computer, the higher resolution is also the better choice.
If you set the computer to 1,280 by 720, however, or use a game console at 720p, the projector uses just 1,280 by 720 pixels of its DLP chip. That keeps the aspect ratio at 16:9, and it also avoids scaling the image, which can introduce artifacts. If you set the source to 1080p, the projector also uses just 1,280 by 720 pixels on the chip. That requires scaling the image, but keeps the 16:9 aspect ratio intact.
Like the GT750E, the GT760 is designed to give you an immersive gaming experience, in part by being bright enough to throw a large image even with the lights on. It also helps that it comes with a short-throw lens, so you can sit close enough to the screen to fill most of your visual field, and not worry about casting shadows. For my tests, I used a 90-inch diagonal image with the projector just 42 inches from the screen.
Potentially adding to an immersive experience as well is that the projector supports 3D. Its HDMI 1.4a port lets you connect directly to a 3D-capable game console, cable box, or Blu-ray player for 3D games or movies. According to Optoma, it will also work at up to 1,280 by 800 (as well as at 720p) over a VGA connection with a 3D computer that uses a Quadbuffered, Open GL 3D-compatible graphics card.
Unlike the Optoma GT750E, the GT760 doesn’t work with RF 3D glasses. I confirmed in my tests that it works for games with both earlier-generation 120Hz DLP-Link glasses as well as current 144Hz models. If you want to watch Blu-ray 3D movies, however, you’ll need 144Hz glasses. Optoma says it also works with IR glasses, although Optoma doesn’t sell any.
One other feature that’s particularly important for games is a sound system. Unfortunately, the GT760 doesn’t do as well on this score as the model it’s replacing. Instead of the GT750E’s two 5-watt speakers, it offers only a single 2-watt speaker, for a loss in both volume and audio quality. The audio is useable, and the volume is enough to fill a small family room, but for a truly immersive experience, you’ll want to plug an external sound system into the audio output.
Setup and Image Quality
Despite coming without a carrying case, the GT760 is small and light enough to carry easily, at just 5.9 pounds. Setup is standard for a light-weight, short-throw projector, which means you have to move the projector itself to adjust image size and position.
In addition to the HDMI 1.4a port, connections for image sources include two VGA ports that can double for component video, and both S-video and composite video ports. Oddly, there’s also a VGA-passthrough port for a monitor, a feature that’s more useful for data projectors than for home-entertainment models.
Evaluating image quality for game playing can be a little tricky. Data and video images are different enough so that any given projector can handle either type of image well without necessarily doing well on the other. Games, however, share some aspects of each, which means that to show games well, a projector has to do a good job with both data and video. The GT760 manages that trick reasonably well.
On our standard suite of DisplayMate tests, the projector delivered good color balance in all predefined modes, with neutral grays at all shades from black to white, and good color quality in most modes. The one exception was the brightest mode, with most colors a little dark in terms of a hue-saturation-brightness color model. However that’s typical for a DLP projector’s brightest mode.
For 2D video, the GT760′s image quality isn’t a match for, say, the 720p Editors’ Choice Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 750HD, but it did a good job maintaining shadow detail (details based on shading in dark areas) and resisting posterization (shading changing suddenly where it should change gradually), even in clips that tend to cause problems. It also did an acceptable job with skin tones.
Some scenes in DVDs upscaled to 1080p showed moderate noise, particularly in solid dark areas, but in most clips the noise was minimal enough so it shouldn’t be a problem. More important is that the noise was much less for both Blu-ray discs and games.
Rainbows and Other Issues
Rainbow artifacts, with light areas breaking up into flashes of red, green, and blue, are always a potential concern for single-chip DLP-based projectors. With the GT760, I didn’t see many in data screens, but I saw enough in both video and games—particularly in dark scenes in Batman: Arkham Asylum—that they would likely be annoying for anyone who sees these artifacts easily.
Unfortunately, the GT760 is more of a step back from the Optoma GT750E than a step forward. The minor increase in brightness is hardly enough to notice, while the sound system is a significant step down in both volume and audio quality. What’s more, even though Optoma says that the decision to drop the second HDMI port was in response to feedback from Optoma GT750E users, it’s still limiting if you want to connect to more than one video source in a permanent installation.
It’s also disappointing that this new-generation projector can’t take full advantage of the improved resolution in the newest generation of game systems. Significantly, Optoma says it’s planning to introduce a native 1080p variation on the GT series at some point. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a projector specifically for playing games, the Optoma GT760 is a perfectly reasonable choice, but not a compelling one.
|Native Resolution||1280 x 800|
|Video Inputs||Component, Composite, HDMI, S-Video|
|Computer Interfaces||Analog VGA, HDMI|
|Rated Contrast Ratio||20000|
|Rated Brightness||3400 ANSI lumens|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc