While 'convergence' has become a buzzword for the worlds of mobile phones and games consoles, home cinema has always preferred separate components over the integrated approach. Optoma's MovieTime DV10 projector is sure to rustle a few feathers, because it's one of the first home-cinema projectors to include a DVD player in the main chassis.
While purists would rather watch their movies on a black-and-white portable TV than consider such a preposterous idea, this 'home cinema in a box' solution will suit home-cinema users who travel, as they can carry a complete cinema in one bag. It will also suit people who don't have the space to set up a dedicated home-cinema room, but still like being able to pull out a projector once a week to improve their movie experience. On these terms, the MovieTime is a wholly successful experiment, and its cause is certainly helped by being an all-round high quality product that sells for a very low price.
Whether by choice or necessity, the DV10 is a weird-looking projector. From the top, it's 'X'-like shape and rounded corners make it look distinctly UFO-like, and when the lid pops open, you half-expect little aliens to jump out and invade your living room. The white plastic casing is practical and it's clearly stealing a little of Apple's style, but the disc tray on the top feels as though it could snap off at any moment.
You may have everything you need for home cinema in one box, but the DV10 is a shade too large and heavy for our liking. The included case means that it isn't cumbersome to carry, but it's heavier than an average laptop. It's hardly a scientific test, but on the 20-minute walk home, we had to swap shoulders twice, and we were pretty tired when we got in.
Connectivity on the rear is good for both outputs and inputs. Most projectors don't need many outputs, but thanks to the integrated DVD player, there's an output for digital and analogue audio -- essential if you use home-cinema speakers. The fact that the DVD player is integrated into the main body means that you probably won't need to connect other equipment very often, but the VGA, S-video and composite connection will come in handy, plus there's an RGB Scart to VGA converter to use for a Freeview box or games console.
The remote control is too big, but it houses well laid-out buttons large enough that you can learn their location and use it in the dark of your home cinema. Having said that, it's a shame the buttons weren't given a lick of glow-in-the-dark paint, which is expected even on sub-£1,000 projectors. If you don't want to carry the remote around with you, everything you need can be found circling the DVD tray on the main unit itself.
If it's advanced connectivity you're after, be advised that there are no component inputs -- although it's only DVD players that would use them anyway. If you're living in a super-cool networked home, you'll be able to use the RS-232 input. This allows you to wire the projector into a home automation system so that you can hit 'Go Cinema' on a keypad somewhere and everything will snap into gear. The irony is that one keypad from Crestron or AMX is likely to cost you substantially more than this projector, but it's always an option in case you win the lottery. There's also a USB input on the back. It isn't covered in the instructions, but we presume it's for a service upgrade.