Optoma HD806 Projector Review
A detailed review of the Optoma HD806 1080p home theater projector.
12/15/2008 - Art Feierman
Optoma HD806 Projector Overview
This Optoma projector has a brighter lamp, and a different color wheel than the other models, with both changes focused on getting out the most lumens, rather than the absolute best picture (in areas like black levels).
As such, it's not for everyone, or every room. Hard core home theater enthusiasts looking for the best general choice for movie viewing, are going to skip this projector, unless their primary concern is having a really large screen, say 130" diagonal or larger.
The HD806 makes a great, bright projector for a family room environment. If you can fully darken it at night, great, but it has the horsepower, to handle modest ambient light for movie viewing and more moderate lighting for HDTV/TV, and of course SPORTS.
Optoma, recognizing the brightness strengths, also recommend this projector for commercial applications, especially places like sports bars. It may also be a good choice, as a widescreen business presentation projector, although, for the same price or less, you can buy brighter business projectors, but not necessarily ones that can match the picture quality of this Optoma.
The HD806 is a typical 1080p DLP projector in that it has limited placement flexibility thanks to the usual 1.2:1 zoom lens and no adjustable lens shift.
It can put over 1500 lumens on your screen, even in its "best" quality mode for overall picture quality, while the typical home theater projector, in its "best" mode only produces 400 to 550 lumens! Even the brighter home theater projectors rarely break 1000 lumens in "best" mode.
A 2x color wheel, and a 300 watt lamp combined to help the HD806 crank out all those lumens. The 2x wheel, however, means more people will occasionally see the rainbow effect. That said, keep in mind, that rainbows are typically only seen (by those sensitive), when viewing fast moving bright objects on a dark background.
Because the HD806 is not aimed at the classic home theater buyer, but can be an excellent choice for those with specific needs calling for maximum brightness, we have given the HD806 our Special Interest award.
HD806 Projector Highlights
- Brightest of all affordable 1080p projectors when in "best" mode
- Combines brightness with very good overall picture quality
- Sharp image
- Limited placement flexibility (typical of DLP projectors)
- Compact, good looking design
- On the noisy side, in terms of audible fan noise
- 2x color wheel increases chances that some will see the rainbow effect
- Commercial and business, as well as home theater applications
- Very good price performance
Specs for Optoma HD806
MSRP: $5199, MAP (minimum advertised price): $2599, but lower prices easily found
Technology: DLP Darkchip2
Native Resolution: 1080p (1920x1080)
Zoom Lens ratio: 1.2:1
Lens shift: None
Lamp life: 3000 hours in eco-mode, 2000 hours at full power
Weight: 10 lbs. (4.5 Kg)
Warranty: 1 Year Parts and Labor
Just about every home theater projector has a special feature or two. The HD806 projector has full HDMI 1.3 support, although you will find that on most new projectors.
Color Wheel and Lamp
Optoma, in order to deliver an extremely bright home theater projector, uses a six segment, 2x speed, color wheel, and a 300 watt lamp. The color wheel, and 2x speed, is the first trick in getting more lumens out. The 300 watt lamp is brighter than most DLP projectors. The vast majority of them use either a 200 watt or 250 watt lamp. The 300 watt lamp will suck more energy, so you'll run a slightly higher energy bill than with most other projectors, but that shouldn't be a big thing, in the grand scheme. The other Optomas, with the seven segment wheels, add a dark green segment to help produce slightly better color accuracy.
The other trade off is that the 2x wheel will have more folks seeing the rainbow effect than they would with the typical 4x and 5x wheels used on most 1080p DLP projectors. Keep in mind, though, that Optoma sees this as a bright projector, great for family rooms and also commercial installations such as sports bars, or even conference rooms where a wide screen projector is needed. On content that lacks really dark scenes (such as sports), even those of us who are rainbow sensitive, don't see them. Rainbows are most detectable on dark scenes with fast moving bright white (or near white) objects. Those bright moving objects on dark scenes are where you tend to see the rainbow flashes. I doubt anyone would ever see one on a football game.