Can you really have your own cinema at home? Check out the Optoma DS211 projector review to find out.

The Optoma DS211 as a home theatre…

What made us do a review on the Optoma DS211 projector as a home theatre solution?

Well… we are well into the teenies (2010-2020, comes after the noughties, look it up) and TV’s are getting thinner, smarter, more useful, more 3d and more expensive.
But they don’t seem to be getting any bigger. There is an obvious reason for this, people can’t fit bigger TV’s into their homes. Once you get to about 42″ screens you start needing to live in a mansion to fit it all in.
If you want to get that cinema-like experience in your home theatre, you’re going to need a digital projector.
This is not new technology, projectors have been around for a long time. But why haven’t people traded in their vertically challenged TV’s and got projectors instead?
Well, that would be down to the quality of the picture.
People like crystal clear, super high resolution pictures so realistic that they think they are part of the action, and projector simply cannot match that quality.
Some are better than others sure, and as time has passed the quality of the better projectors has increased.

With this in mind, we have decided to review the Optoma DS211 digital projector as a home theatre system.

Let’s Begin…

Perhaps the most important feature of a home theatre system and where we are going to begin is how big you can actually get the picture. Optoma claims that the DS211 can reach a maximum size of 300 inches corner to corner. Which for you who prefer the metric system is approximately 762cm (7.62 meters.)

Firstly, that is a ridiculous size for a home theatre, some quick mathematics on our part leads us to believe that, that is given or take the size of your local cinema screen!
Unfortunately, we don’t have anywhere near enough room to test this claim so you will I’m afraid for now have to take Optoma’s word for it. However, we see no reason why the DS211 wouldn’t be capable of projecting at 300 inches with a reasonable degree of picture quality.

That will surely put your home theatre on the map… literally.

This brings up neatly on to our next point which is the resolution the DS2111 is capable of. Its native resolution is 800 x 600, however, it’s maximum resolution is UXGA 1600×1200, which brings it well up into the realms of HD (high-definition). The quality of the picture is quite important if you are viewing the projector on a big scale such as for home theatre use, because essentially the larger you go the more stretched the pixels will be, and the last thing you want is a 300 inch home theatre with pixels the size of your head flickering around.

UXGA is not the only compatibility mode the projector can accommodate there is also SXGA, XGA, SVGA, VGA and Mac. So no matter what you intend to use it for (home theatre or otherwise) the Optoma DS211 ready to go without any issues.

Moving forward…

We addressed our next concern which can be a make or breaker with projectors especially with the main focus of watching films in your home theatre, the contrast ratio and displayable colours.
The specs for the DS211 are 3500:1 and 1.07 Billion respectively.
For those of you who don’t know what this means here is a brief explanation:


The Contrast ratio refers to the difference in Luminosity between the darkest black and the brightest white the projector is capable of producing. If the contrast ratio was 1000:1 this means that the brightest white is 1000 times brighter than the darkest dark. Therefore a contrast ratio of 3500:1 means the white is 3500 times brighter than the black. Generally, the higher the contrast ratio the better because you are going to get the greatest range of black to white.
The Displayable colours are essentially the individual colour variation that the projector is capable of reproducing, in theory, the more colours it can display the more accurate and vivid your picture will be, however in practice it is estimated that the human eye can only see between 7-10 million colour variations. Therefore past a certain point, this should become immeasurable to the naked eye.

Now that you know what they mean your going to need to know if they’re any good, in our opinion the contrast ratio is good enough for the average user to watch a very dark film such as “the dark knight” or “sin city” and not notice any of the blacks appearing grey or dull whites on a fairly large scale size in the home theatre. In some conditions such as strong ambient light or strange coloured backdrops you may find some undesired results but on the whole, it is very good.
The displayable colours are pretty high as they go and you certainly won’t find noticeably better results with more expensive projectors in terms of colours.
So far the DS211 is ticking all of the boxes for home theatre usage.

Other nice features…

A nice feature we thought was worth a mention is the preset/programmable settings built in. The DS211 home theatre comes with 5 presets which are set up as follows
PC: For computer or notebook (Brightest image)
Movie: Maximum contrast and Colour accuracy
Game: Bright vivid colour
sRGB: For Standard PC Colour (Best Colour Reproduction)
User: Memorises user’s settings

This just helps make switching between different inputs quicker and easier, without having to trawl through menus to adjust the settings individually. When you have guests round to marvel at your home theatre your going to want the whole process to go smoothly and to look like you know what your doing (even if you don’t) and this is just one of those nice little features which will save you from looking like a fool.

The last thing that can be a worry when buying a projector is the quality of the lamp, in some cheap projectors the lamps can be appalling and will pack up fairly quickly meaning you will need to buy a new one, which is an unexpected extra cost.
All lamps have an expected lifespan just like the light bulbs in your house do, but you do want to check that the lamp your getting is decent enough to last a while.

Fortunately, in the Optoma DS211 we find a 180W lamp with a lifespan of 6000/5000 hours (ECO/BRIGHT mode)
Unless you’re giving the projector some pretty hardcore use it’s going to last you quite a long time indeed.

Last but not least…
The price, well it’s pretty cheap for what it is, it can vary from shop to shop but you should be looking at around £280-£300 although Amazon currently has a deal on which is offering 25% of the Optoma DS211 which leaves it at £216.17, BARGAIN.
You can see the deal by clicking here. In our opinion if you are looking for a top of the range home theatre system without breaking the bank, then you could do a lot worse than to add the Optoma DS211 into the mix.

To wrap up…

The Optoma is a pretty high-level multi-use projector for home, office, our exhibition/event and home theatre use that through its DarkChip3 technology produce a stunning 3500:1 contrast ratio for pin sharp, crystal clear images and stunningly bright images with perfectly balanced life-like colours.
The preset display modes allow you to achieve a perfect image every time and the long-lasting lamp will stop you worrying about maintaining the unit.
The price is very reasonable and you will be hard pushed to find some of equal of better quality for a price anywhere near the same league.
As an extra bonus, Optoma guarantees the projector for a whole 5 years – giving you piece of mind that the technology inside the Optoma DS211 projector won’t fade or degrade.

You could do a lot worse and not a whole lot better setting up your home theatre with the DS211,  and that’s before you see the price of the unit.

Technical Spec:

  • Display Technology Single 0.55” SVGA DC3 DMD chip DLP®
  • Technology by Texas Instruments
  • Native Resolution SVGA 800 x 600
  • Brightness – BRIGHT mode1 2500 ANSI Lumens
  • Contrast 3500:1
  • Noise Level 28/30dB (ECO/BRIGHT mode)
  • Weight 2.3 kg
  • I/O Connectors
  • Inputs: PC/Video: 15 Pin D-sub (RGB/YPbPr/SCART), S-Video, Composite
  • Control: RS232
  • Preset Mode
  • PC: For computer or notebook (Brightest image)
  • Movie: Maximum contrast and Colour accuracy
  • Game: Bright vivid colour
  • sRGB: For Standard PC Colour (Best Colour Reproduction)
  • User: Memorises user’s settings
  • Maximum Resolution UXGA 1600 x 1200
  • Computer Compatibility UXGA, SXGA, XGA, SVGA, VGA, Mac
  • Video Compatibility PAL (B, D, G, H, I, M, N, 576i/p), NTSC (M, 4.43/3.58 MHz, 480i/p), SECAM (B, D, G, K, K1, L) HD (1080i, 720p)
  • Displayable Colours 1.07 Billion
  • Projection Lens F/2.41~2.55; f=21.8~24mm, 1.1x Manual Zoom
  • Throw Ratio 1.95 – 2.15:1
  • Projection Screen Size 0.70 – 7.70m (27.49” – 303.12”) Diagonal 4:3
  • Projection Distance 1.2 – 12 metres
  • Horizontal Scan Rate 15.3 – 91.1kHz
  • Vertical Scan Rate 24 – 85Hz
  • Lamp Type/Lamp Life2 180W, 6000/5000 hours (ECO/BRIGHT mode)
  • Keystone Correction ± 40° Vertical
  • Dimensions (W x D x H) 286 x 192 x 84mm
  • Remote Control Full function remote with direct source selecting
  • Power Supply 100-240V, 50-60Hz
  • Power Consumption 233W BRIGHT mode < 1W Standby mode, 207W STD mode < 1W Standby mode
  • Operating Conditions 5°C – 40°C, Max. Humidity 85%, Max. Altitude 3000m
  • Uniformity 80%
  • Security Kensington Lock, Password Protection
  • Standard Accessories Continental 2-pin AC Power Cord, UK 3-pin AC Power Cord, VGA Cable, Infra Red Remote Control with Batteries, Quick Start Card, CD User Manual, Warranty Card
  • Optoma SVGA 2500 ANSI DLP Projector 958LG01GC1E Projectors
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Optoma DS211
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