By Don Lindich
Week 29, 2021
Q. I am interested in the Optoma HD28HDR, Nebula Solar Portable and Nebula Cosmos projectors you reviewed recently. The Optoma needs an external sound system for home entertainment use, as well as a signal source such as a streaming box or Blu-ray player. The Nebula projectors have built-in streaming and fairly loud speakers. How much better of a picture can I expect if I go with the Optoma, given I will also need a signal source and sound system?
-J.M., Upper St. Clair, PA
A. All three projectors have 1080p resolution with HDR (high dynamic range) from 4K Blu-ray Discs and streaming sources. Compared to the $599 Nebula Solar Portable and $799 Nebula Cosmos, the $649 Optoma HD28HDR will have a brighter, smoother picture and can project up to 300 inches diagonally. The Solar Portable and Cosmos have a 120-inch maximum recommended image size. All three seemed equally sharp but I preferred the Nebula colors, which looked purer and cleaner. Perhaps this is a virtue of their LED light sources, which never need replacing and last approximately 30,000 hours. As you noted the Nebula projectors have built-in Android TV for streaming, and quality speakers built-in. Effective, accurate autofocus makes setting up the Nebulas quick and easy, too.
If you are designing a permanent home theater, projecting to very large sizes or need maximum brightness, then the Optoma is probably your best choice. The Nebula projectors are a better fit for most of the public because they do it all, which is why I am such a fan. Projection is fun, and Nebula Smart Projectors make it easy to and accessible to anyone.
I know instinctively that simplicity is what most people want, but the point was driven home by my sister when she asked me about home projection. I told her about the Nebula Smart Projector series and then started detailing a more elaborate system with speakers and a streaming stick. She quickly cut me off, saying, “Nope, all that is too complicated. I won’t use it if it is too complicated.” She got a Nebula and now uses it almost every day, either in the gameroom or outside by the pool at night.
There is a Nebula Smart Projector that provides spectacular, no compromise image quality with the convenience of an all-in-one projection entertainment system. I am currently testing the Nebula Cosmos Max, the 4K version of the Cosmos, and have been wowed every time I use it. It projects up to 150 inches in 4K resolution. I recently had some friends over for dinner and we finished the evening watching “Shazam” from a 4K Blu-ray Disc played by my Panasonic DP-UB820, projected outdoors at 120 inches. My guest Ashlee was especially impressed, exclaiming, “That picture is fantastic!” The sharp, deep, detailed and colorful image effortlessly went from the dark, shadowy caverns to scenes highlighting the colorful costumes and dramatic action. You would have almost thought you were in a cinema with the latest digital projection equipment.
The 4K Nebula Cosmos Max is $1,699 and worth every penny, but until August 7th the price is significantly less. Visit https://seenebula.co/summermovie21 and you will see a checkbox coupon that saves $200. You can then use the discount code summermovie21 to save an additional $100, bringing the price all the way down to $1,399. The $799 1080p Nebula Cosmos has a nice offer as well. Visit https://seenebula.co/summersound and use a checkbox coupon to save $100, then the code summersound to save an additional $100, for a $599 final price.