Optoma H27 – Overview

The Optoma H27 projector offers a number of “Display modes”, with separate settings for Movie, TV, “normal” Game and also two user programmable settings. In addition there are controls for contrast, brightness sharpness, “degamma” (adjusts the gamma curve which affects the “brightness of the overall image without any real effect on the very darkest or brightest parts), color, tint, and a reset. Depending on whether you are feeding it a computer source or a video source will affect the options, as you will not have access to the color or tint control with a computer source.

Changing from one display mode (movie…) to another will affect the numbers you see for brightness, contrast etc. As a result, if you are calibrating, start with a choice (movie, tv…) that looks very good, and take it from there. Ultimately regardless of where you start, you will end up with the same final settings.

If you will be calibrating – or just setting up the projector in general, I suggest saving two final sets of settings – one for dark room, and one if you watch with some lights on.

The next menu is Image II, and that’s where you will find the more advanced features including color temperature, aspect ratio and “advanced adjustment” which gives you independent control of reds, greens, and blues. You will definitely need this if you are calibrating, and probably if you are just fine tuning the color to your taste.

The remaining two menus have some gems you’ll want to find. On management is the Brite mode, which maximizes brightness (for really large screens or fighting some ambient light). Note, the brighter mode does not damage the projector’s contrast ratio, or otherwise affect the overall image quality in any detectable way. The other interesting item is image shift. This allows you (lets say you are viewing a typical DVD and have the black areas at the top and bottom) to move the image up or down. Now where this gets interesting, is if you have a motorized screen (or a pull down) and if you can control how far down they open. You could move the image up, and not have the screen drop all the way down. Effectively you can end up with showing less screen, so that the image fills the entire screen – flush with the screen casing at the top, and down to the bottom of the screen. Of course this only works if you can control the screen drop!

The last (System) menu lets you control more mundane features – such as Hi altitude mode (fan is faster and louder), moving the location of the menus on the screen, auto power options, and more.

Click to enlarge. SO close

Rainbow Effect – DLP projector color wheel speed

Unlike some low cost DLP “powered” home theater projectors, the Optoma has a fast color filter wheel; 4x speed, and six segments. Now, the much more expensive DLP home theater projectors typically have a 5x wheel, but that is a minor difference compared to the 2x color filter wheels found on most low cost DLP projectors.

As a result, the rainbow effect should not be visible to the vast majority of viewers. There is no good published info out there as to what percentage of the population is bothered by the rainbow effect when viewing video on 2x, 3x, 4x or 5x color wheels, but lets say this, with a 4x or 5x wheel if you have yourself and 20 friends over for a movie, most likely none would see it, but maybe one person would be able to detect the rainbow effect, and that person, probably might see it only occasionally when moving their head, etc. In other words – don’t worry about it. If you instead went with a DLP projector with a 2x wheel, a best guess is that one person in five to one in 10 people would see it. If it turns out that the H27 has a visible rainbow effect that bothers you, you’ve got a problem with DLP projectors, because it basically means that it is likely that you will not be able to enjoy any current model DLP projector, and will need to look to LCD projectors instead. Of course, the likelyhood of that happening is very remote. (Still its a good reason to buy from an authorized dealer that has some form of upgrade path that won’t kill you with restocking fees.)

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