Review (March 2009) - Optoma
By Kevin Nakano
Optoma has been in the projector market for quite some time now. In fact, our first DLP projector was the Optoma H77 DLP and we were very pleased with the picture quality and features it offered at that time. Times change and so has the performance of the latest generation of projectors. Full 1080p is now the standard for those looking to experience the best that home theater has to offer. Optoma continues to answer to the needs of consumers with the release of their HD806 1080p DLP projector. The HD806 produces a whopping 2000 lumens with an advertised contrast ratio of 8,000:1 when using their ImageAI-II™ system. This model uses a single 0.95” 1080p DMD DLP with a 2x color wheel. The sleek design of the HD806 makes it more attractive than many of the other utilitarian looking models we have seen. Our projector included the IR remote with batteries, power cord, component video cable, and an RS232 cable.
The projector comes with an F=2.6-2.82, f=39.12-46.94mm lens with a 1.2x Manual Zoom and Focus. Fan noise on the HD806 is definitely audible and is rated at 32dB, which is high for most home theater applications. For rooms with higher ambient noise this may not be an issue, but for many home theater installations this can be a problem. We have the projector mounted over our heads and when this unit runs we know where it is. In addition, the color wheel can be heard, which can be distracting at times, but seems to be considerably quieter when operating with 24p source material. We observed a definite change in sound when switching from 1080p/60 to 1080p/24 content. Keeping the powerful 300-watt UHP lamp cool is one of the challenges when designing a 2000 lumens projector. The factory lamp is rated for 3000 hours of operation. The filter wheel becomes slower and less audible when switching to the lower frame rate.
With the projector inverted, the user has access to buttons located towards the rear of the unit. Only seven buttons are provided for Power, Menu, Navigation (Up, Down, Left, & Right) and Enter. There are also indicators for Power, Lamp and Temperature. In the event the lamp fails, the lamp indicator will turn red. If it flashes, this indicates a fan failure. If the Temp indicator flashes, this indicates the projector is overheating and the unit will shutdown.
These video interfaces give the HD806 true HDTV (720p, 1080i/p), SDTV(480i/p, 576i/p), NTSC, PAL, and SECAM compatibility. Computers are also supported with UXGA, SXGA+, WXGA, SXGA, XGA, SVGA, VGA, VESA, for PC and Macintosh systems. This can come in handy when using a HTPC (Home Theater PC) connected to the system.
Using the Advanced Adjustment menu controls mentioned above, we adjusted the RGB Bias and Gain levels for each primary color (RGB) to fine tune the color tracking. The result was a color temperature that deviated about 500°K from the ideal 6500°K and a bit more at the 100 IRE level.
Much of our viewing comes from our Dish Network HD ViP722 DVR. High definition content is our obvious favorite and this DVR has proven to deliver excellent picture quality. This DVR also allows us to watch over the air material from our local broadcasters and it looked lifelike on this projector. Again, skin tones and scenery took on realism I rarely see. The picture was sharp, punchy and vivid looking whether it came from satellite or over the air. Blu-ray discs played on our Sony PS3 proved to be the best source material as always and subtle differences in transfers could be seen from disc to disc with this projector.
If there is one thing the Optoma HD806 is capable of it is a bright picture. Out of the box we were getting close to the advertised 2000 lumens and even after calibration were able to put out almost 1500 lumens. This makes this projector ideal for rooms with some ambient light that is not necessarily well controlled. Most of the lower output projectors have a tough time keeping the image looking good when low level light enters the room. On the flip side, if ambient light can be well controlled, this might not be the best projector unless the iris is used to choke off much of the light output. The reason for this is black levels usually suffer when the light output is high due to a projector's finite contrast ratio. Even in the low power lamp mode the projector produced significantly high light output. Users also need to be aware that the iris on the HD806 makes a fair amount of noise when operating in the auto mode. This can be bothersome when watching movies in a quiet environment. My recommendation is not to use it in auto mode unless this is not a problem for you. This projector does exhibit the common rainbow effect for those who are sensitive to the color wheel on single DLP designs. Interestingly enough, some people see it more than others.
- Kevin Nakano
Screen: Stewart Filmscreen 100" FireHawk Screen on a Luxus
|Review - At a Glance|
Any comments or questions regarding the LAAF Web Site should be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 1985-2009 L.A. Audio File.