The HD25-LV is mostly the same as the HD25. The two projectors use the same body design, and it can be difficult to tell them apart at a glance. Once the projector starts up, though, the difference becomes obvious. The HD25-LV is much, much brighter.
The HD25 Bright mode maxes out at 1185 lumens. That’s plenty of light for a home theater projector, but not enough for living room use during the day. Bright mode on the HD25-LV measured 2420 lumens, more than double the measured maximum of the HD25. This doubling of output continues across all of the projector’s image modes, including Cinema which measured over 2300 lumens. With that much light output, an 80″ diagonal image in the living room looks brilliant, well-saturated, and high in contrast despite the presence of ambient light. As with any projector, black level suffers whenever there is ambient light in the room, but high light output preserves dynamic range and keeps the projected image from looking flat or dull.
Like the HD25, the HD25-LV has a manual 1.2:1 zoom lens with no lens shift and a fixed upward throw offset of 15%. As such, the simplest placement option is on a table. This is a good choice if you plan to make use of the HD25-LV’s portability, since it is much more difficult to mount and dismount a projector from the ceiling. Both are native 1920×1080 with excellent sharpness and clarity, and full support of HD 3D is present in each. Both projectors have low 17ms input lag, making them ideal for video games. The projectors also have identical menu systems and take the same replacement lamp, which has an estimated life of 3,500 hours at full power and 6,000 hours in Eco-mode. Replacement lamps cost $399. And despite the large brightness difference between them, the two projectors have the same level of fan noise.
The HD25 and HD25-LV are both excellent projectors, but they are built for very different applications. Luckily, the two applications are clearly distinct from one another, so it is not hard to decide which projector is right for you.