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Acer H9500BD 3D Projector Review

Acer H9500BD 3D Projector

Acer H9500BD 3D Projector


  • Product Name: H9500BD 3D Projector
  • Manufacturer: Acer
  • Review Date: February 09, 2012 05:10
  • MSRP: $1500
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Projection Method: Rear, Front, Ceiling
  • Platform Supported: PC, Mac
  • Minimum Lens Aperture: F/2.45
  • Maximum Lens Aperture: F/2.9
  • Manual Zoom Factor: 1.5x
  • Digital Zoom Factor: 8x
  • Lamp Type: 280 W UHP
  • Normal Mode Lamp Life: 2000 Hour
  • Economy Mode Lamp Life: 2500 Hour
  • Standard Mode Brightness: 2000 lm
  • Low Mode Brightness: 1600 lm
  • Native Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Minimum Projection Distance: 39.37"
  • Maximum Projection Distance: 32.81 ft
  • Native Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Contrast Ratio: 50,000:1
  • Uniformity: 90%
  • Vertical Keystone Correction: -15°/+15°
  • Maximum Vertical Sync: 85 Hz
  • Maximum Horizontal Sync: 100 kHz
  • Weight (Approximate): 15.87 lb
  • Package Contents: H9500BD DLP Projector, AC Power Cord, VGA Cable, Composite Video Cable, HDMI Cable, Remote Control, 2 x
  • Battery for Remote Control, 2 x Duster Filter, Lens Cap, Carrying Case, User's Guide (CD-ROM), Quick Start Guide, Security Card
  • Warranty: 1-year limited projector, 90-days bulb.



Hi, I'm Andrew Gash and this is 3D projector. Audioholics has reviewed 3D projectors in the past, but this one is from Acer, a company well-known for their notebooks, netbooks and PCs... but they also have a line of excellent projectors. Well, excellent if you're really into black levels and have a budget of around $1500. But let's back up. We took on this review because Acer is a company we've had a lot of contact with in the past. Let's face it, they make some really excellent products in the PC world and they have a reputation for value. What we didn't know was how well the H9500BD would hold up to the rather wide playing field of competitive products - I mean, there are a lot of projectors in that price range.

So to start off, we took a look at what the projector brought to the table physically. It's clearly big - it weighs like 16 pounds - and a large portion of that is due to the presence of both vertical and horizontal lens shift - which is very unusual (but WELCOME) in a DLP projector at this price. It only allows you a maximum of 25% vertical and 15% horizontal shift but that's more than a lot of projectors offer. The end result is that you can typically match the unit up with your screen without any keystoning effects where you get a sort of trapezoid shape instead of a perfect rectangle.

lens shift

Acer remoteIt has all of the usual inputs and some we haven't seen in a while like DVI - which is probably habit for a company used to selling lots of computers. There are also 2 HDMI inputs, component, composite, and S-video, 2 VGA inputs and even a VGA output for pass-through. For pro installers, the H9500BD can also be controlled via RS232 and there is a USB connection for theoretical firmware upgrades. The remote control is partially backlit with a neat indiglo blue color, but the labels are very difficult to read and most of the buttons aren't used, which we found... odd. When we did use the remote, the first thing we checked out - of course - was the menu system, to see what options we had and how we might calibrate the projector and bend it to our will... and that's when we discovered some cool features and some that are... well, not so good.

Acer 3D glassesLet's star with the positive. Right off the bat we loved that the Acer includes AccuMotion with this model. This is a frame interpolation mode that operates at 120Hz to deliver a more responsive image for sports and other fast-moving on-screen action. It's not something we enjoy for movies, however, but it is a feature that doesn't typically make an appearance on projectors at this price. The H9500BD also supports 3D and even has a 2D to 3D mode that can use presets like "Movie" or "Jump-out" depending upon how quickly you want to get a headache. There are also custom settings to further tweak the desired level of effect. Acer includes one pair of non-rechargeable active 3D glasses, which were lightweight and pretty comfortable, though they tinted everything green. Now, the glasses use DLP sync, which works pretty well and eliminates the need for an external IR emitter. We like RF technology better but we also appreciated how Acer gave the glasses about a 5 second delay before losing sync, even if you completely look away or cover up the IR receiver on the bridge.

Acer beauty shot

Some of the features of this projector that concern us included the rather short bulb life - just 2000 hours on Standard and 2500 hours on economy. Many newer projectors are hitting 4-5000 hours in economy mode and that's going to almost double the life of your projector over the long haul. The H9500BD could also get a bit loud, even in the lowest lamp mode, where it puts out up to 1500 of its maximum 2000 lumens. We seemed to always hear the fan, even from 8 feet away. And when we engaged 3D mode, the projector briefly sounded like it was revving up for a race before it settled back down to its normal levels. It also has the narrowest mounting points for a ceiling mount that we've ever seen on a home theater model.

mounting points

Now, for our viewing tests we used the HDMI input and hooked the Acer into our reference system, projecting it onto a Carada Masquerade Screen system and viewing a mix of VUDU movie content, Xbox games and Blu-ray discs. The first thing we noted was that this projector had really deep black levels. Blacker than a comparably priced model that is far more popular right now. We also loved the color, though it was a bit accentuated, particularly in the skin tone area. 3D movies looked excellent, and we were able to see films like Avatar and Resident Evil: Afterlife which looked fantastic (and coincidentally, both used James Cameron's 3D crews and equipment). Gaming looked excellent as well and we enjoyed playing the new Call of Duty: Black Ops, even taking some time to check it out in 3D mode, which was fun.

Overall, the Acer H9500BD is a fine projector, but while it's well-rounded, it's just not the best at everything. Its black levels and vibrant color do make for an unforgettable and enjoyable picture. And you'll love watching movies and playing games on it. There's just a ton of competition, but with a street price that's a couple hundred under the $1700 retail it's certainly worth taking a look at.

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Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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