Product Review (March 2009) - Optoma
HD806 High Definition 1080p DLP™ Projector

By Kevin Nakano

Optoma HD806Optoma 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.

Optoma HD806 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.

Optoma HD806We mounted the HD806 from an elevated platform in line with the top of the screen that inverts the projector. Three mounting holes at the base of the unit allowed us to attach our Peerless Industries' PRG Precision Gear Projector Mount for a quick installation. The HD806 has a longer throw than most other projectors requiring a distance 13.4-feet to 16.1-feet for a 100-inch 16:9 diagonal. There are no lens shift capabilities on the projector, so it must be optimally mounted for proper picture geometry. Built-in keystone correction helps adjust the image when it is not perfect, but is not the most desirable way to correct the image.

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.

Optoma HD806Interfaces
The rear panel of the HD806 has a nice selection of both analog and digital video interfaces and includes both DVI with HDCP and a pair of HDMI v1.3 connections. There is also a component video (via three RCA connectors), s-video and composite input. We did not test any of the analog inputs since our A/V receiver handles this conversion for us for HDMI. In addition, running long analog cables never helps performance. An RS232 port and a 12-volt trigger is available for custom installations. The manual has an RS232 Protocol Function List with a full list of supported commands.

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.

Optoma HD806 Remote The HD806 includes a nicely arranged 28 button IR remote with full backlighting. This design is a big improvement from our Optoma H77 remote from years ago. Pressing any button will activate the backlighting and it will slowly decay over several seconds. The top buttons
provide commonly used controls such as Brightness, Contrast, Image AI, Gamma, IRIS, Brite Mode, and Image Shift. A set of standard navigation keys are located in the middle of the remote. The Menu and Mode buttons are located just below these along with the Over Scan and Edge Mask buttons. There are four aspect ratio buttons (4:3, 16:9, Letter Box, and Native). The remaining six input buttons on the bottom of the remote select from the six available inputs (HDMI1, HDMI2, DVI, YPbPr, S-video, and Video).

There are four main menus on the HD806 (Image, Display, System and Setup). The Image menu has controls for Mode (Cinema, Bright, TV, sRGB, and User), Contrast, Brightness, Color, Tint, and Sharpness. There is also a an Advanced Image menu mode that allows the advanced user to adjust Noise Reduction, Gamma, De-gamma, True Vivid, Edge Enhance, B/W Extension, and Color Temp. The Color Temp can also be user defined with individual settings for red, green, and blue bias and gain. This is what we used to adjust the color temperature tracking during calibration. The Display menu has controls for Format, Overscan, Edge Mask, H Image Shift, V Image Shift, V Keystone, and Superwide. The System menu has controls for Menu Location, Lamp Setting, Projection, Image AI, IRIS, Test Pattern, Background, and 12V Trigger. Finally, the Setup menu controls settings for Language, Input Source, Source Lock, High Altitude, Auto Power Off, Signal, Color Space, and Reset.

Optoma HD806Color Tracking
We calibrated the HDMI 1 input using a full Sencore calibration system consisting of the OTC1000 ColorPro Optical Color Analyzer and the VP403C HDTV video signal generator. The software controls both instruments making it easy to run through a set of measurements. We set the black level using the PLUGE pattern and checked the stair step levels to ensure that we had properly adjusted the display. The HiLoTrk pattern on the VP403 is a great way to verify that white levels are not crushed. Our review unit was new with zero hours on the bulb, so we let the projector run for a few hours before we did any calibration. Normally we would wait longer, but we needed to get this review going. The pre-calibrated color temperature was actually pretty good and tracked just above the ideal 6500°K.

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.

Display Primaries
Optoma HD806
The primary colors produced by the Optoma HD806 were measured using the same Sencore OTC1000 ColorPro Optical Color Analyzer and the VP403C HDTV video signal generator with the reading measured from our 100" Stewart FireHawk filmscreen. The CIE chart shows where the ideal primaries are located with the smaller three points joined by the darker lines. The measured primary colors are indicated by the red, green and blue markers connected together with the white triangle. Only colors inside the triangle can be produced by the projector. We didn't see any capability on the HD806 to adjust the CIE color space. Even with the slight shift in the primary colors, the picture looked great with vivid colors and good saturation. Flesh tones looked natural on this projector once the picture was calibrated.

The HD806 has a great motion adaptive image processor that performs de-interlacing, advanced 3D comb filtering, noise reduction and sharpening on 480i, 576i and 1080i material. We ran our favorite torture test disc (HQV) and the HD806 handled difficult scenes well.

Optoma HD806Much 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.


The Optoma HD806 has the ability to produce an amazingly good picture in rooms with some ambient light. This is largely due to the high light output of this model. The adjustable IRIS offers users with more flexibility that some other projectors and allows the picture to obtain reasonably good black levels under various conditions. Picture quality was impressive for a sub-$3000 DLP with good video processing and excellent connectivity. Fan, iris and color wheel noise may be a concern for some where the projector is mounted near the viewers. This should be factored into the installation when setting up the home theater system. However, if light output is particularly needed for a full 1080p application, this projector delivers an amazingly bright picture with solid video performance.

- Kevin Nakano

OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray Player

Review System

Screen: Stewart Filmscreen 100" FireHawk Screen on a Luxus Deluxe ScreenWall
A/V Receiver: Denon AVR-5308CI THX-Ultra 7.1 Channel Receiver
Amplification: Parasound HCA-2205AT THX-Ultra Five Channel Amplifier

Front Speakers: Miller & Kreisel S-150THX (L+R) and S-150AC (Center) Speakers
Rear Speakers: Miller & Kreisel SS-250 Tripole® Surround Speakers
Subwoofer: Two Miller & Kreisel MX-350THX MkII THX-Ultra Push-pull Subwoofers
Room Treatments: Echo Buster panels and Bass Buster towers
Set-top Box: Dish Network ViP722 HDTV Satellite and Terrestrial Receiver with HDMI
Blu-ray DVD Player: Sony PlayStation3 with HDMI 1.3
HD-DVD Player: Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD Player with HDMI
DVD/CD/SACD Player: Sony DVP-NS900V DVD/CD/SACD Player
DVD Audio/Video Player: Kenwood Sovereign DV-5900M 400-Disc DVD Changer
DVD Player: OPPO Digital OPDV971H DVD Player with DVI Output
D-VHS VCR: JVC HM-DH30000U D-VHS High-Definition D-Theater VCR
Media Server: Kenwood Sovereign MRH1 Entre
Remote Control: Remote Technologies Inc. T4 Controller
HDMI Video Switcher: Octava 4 Port HDMI/Toslink Audio Switcher
DVI Cable: AudioQuest DV-1 20m DVI-D Cable
HDMI Cables: Accell 45-meter UltraRun HDMI Cable
A/V Cables: Ultralink Platinum and Advanced Performance Series Cables

Review - At a Glance

Optoma HD806 Ultra Bright 1080p DLP® Projector


- 1080p DMD DLP technology by Texas Instruments
- Native 1080p (1920 x 1080) resolution
- 2000 lumens and a 8,000:1 contrast ratio with ImageAI-II™
- Two HDMI v1.3 and DVI with HDCP
- HD806’s advanced three-stage video processing system offers powerful and personalized adjustment options at each stage: decoding, image enhancement, color reproduction enhancement


Display Technology Single 0.95” 1080p DMD DLP Technology by Texas Instruments
Brightness 2000 ANSI Lumens
Resolution Native 1080p (1920 x 1080)
Contrast Ratio 8,000:1 (Max)
Image Processing Motion Adaptive 480i, 576i and 1080i De-Interlacing, Advanced 3D Comb Filter, Advanced Noise Reduction and Sharpening
Advanced Scalar Function 10-Step Gamma, User Definable Mode for Different Input and Resolution
Iris Control 17 Step Iris System
Lamp Life and Type Estimated at 3000 Hours, 300W UHP
Throw Ratio (Distance/Width) 1.85-2.22:1 w/o Anamorphic Lens
1.38-1.66:1 w/Anamorphic Lens
Image Size 30” to 300” (0.8 to 7.6 m)
Projection Distance 4.92’ to 32.8’ (1.5 to 10 m)
Displayable Colors 1.07 Billion
Aspect Ratio Native 16:9, Fully Automatic 2.35:1 w/Anamorphic Lens
Offset 136%
Keystone Correction ±5° Vertical
Uniformity 80%
Computer Compatibility UXGA, SXGA+, WXGA, SXGA, XGA, SVGA, VGA, VESA, PC and Macintosh Compatible
Video Compatibility Full NTSC, PAL, SECAM, True HDTV (720p, 1080i/p), 480i/p, 576i/p
Projection Lens F=2.6-2.82; f="39.12-46.94mm," 1.2x Manual Zoom and Focus
I/O Connection Ports Two HDMI v1.3, DVI w/HDCP, S-Video, Composite Video, Component Video, RS-232, +12V Trigger, IR Receiver
Security One Kensington® Lock Port
Weight 10 lbs (4.5kg)
Dimensions (W x H x D) 16” x 4.6” x 12.2” (406 x 117 x 310 mm)
Noise Level 32dB
Storage Temperature -7 - 140°F (-20 - 60°C), 80% Humidity
Operating Temperature 41 - 95°F (5 - 35°C), 80% Humidity
Power Supply AC Input 100-240V, 50-60 Hz
Power Consumption 435W Full Power, 375W ECO,
< 14W Standby Mode
Standard Accessories AC Power Cord, Component Video Cable, RS-232 Cable, Remote Control, Batteries for Remote, Lens Cap, User’s Manual, Warranty Card and Quick Start Guide
Optional Accessories Anamorphic Lens/Sled Kit, Ceiling Mount, External IR Module, Panoview Series Screens and Gold Service Warranty
Warranty 1 Year Limited Parts and Labor, 90 Days on Lamp


User's Manual User's Manual
Datasheet Datasheet
Brochure Brochure
Quick Start Guide Quick Start Guide

Source: Manufacture supplied
Model Number: HD806
MSRP: $2,599
Weight: 10 lbs (4.5kg)
Dimensions (W x H x D): 16” x 4.6” x 12.2” (406 x 117 x 310 mm)
Warranty: 1 Year Limited Parts and Labor, 90 Days on Lamp

Company Information
Optoma Technology Inc.
550 Sycamore Drive
Milpitas, CA 95035
Tel: 408-383-3700
Fax: 408-383-3701
Toll Free: 888-289-6786

HT Website:
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