Optoma H78DC3 Projector – Overview

Optoma H78DC3 Video Projector - Performance - Other attributes

Optoma says 2000 hours. That is in Bright mode. They do not publish the economy (normal) mode spec, however in speaking with them, they say the lamp life will increase by about 1/3 – which would translate to about 2700 hours.

Projector Contrast:

4000:1 This projector does have great contrast, excellent “blacks” and great shadow detail, noticeably better than any of the less expensive LCD projectors like the Panasonic PT-AE700u, or DLP projectors using the older (but current and popular) and less expensive HD2+ DLP chip.

Unfortunately in my preliminary report I conjectured that the 4000:1 would be in the projector’s best mode – Normal, and that Bright mode would have a lower contrast ratio. Optoma informed me that the contrast ratio remains the same in both modes. This is great news, because for those with larger screens, small amounts of ambient light, etc, the Bright mode is the way to go. Being able to get best picture contrast in Bright mode is just what you want! In other words Bright and Normal modes produce basically identical performance, except that Bright mode is – well – brighter!

Saving settings:

While many home theater projectors have user savable settings, Optoma takes a different approach. If you put in custom settings (changes to brightness, contrast, gamma, etc.) for one input (say component), it will hold those, even if you have different settings for another input – say DVI-HDMI.

Better still, if you have two or more different sources on, say, component input, if they are different resolution (say 480i vs. 480p vs 1080i, it will hold different settings for each. This pretty much negates the need for saveable settings. The exception is, if you wanted to have two settings for, say your cable/satellite input – one for watching movies in a really dark room, and another for watching sports – with some lights on. Since the device (cable/satellite box) is at the same resolution for both, and it is coming in through the same port all the time (either DVI/HDMI or component – depending on how you wired your system, then when you change settings to brighten the projector for sports, it would not hold the other settings. On the other hand, you would probably only change one or two items (like brightness and contrast) so you wouldn’t have much to change back.

Of course if you have a sophisticated remote room system, like a Crestron, or even some of the best programmable remotes, you could program those different settings in, so a touch of the button would get you back and forth between “Movies” and “Sports”, resetting the adjustments for you.

Projector Noise:

In normal (non-Bright) mode, this is the quietest projector I have ever worked with. Optoma claims the H78DC3 projector, does 25 db (in 2000 hour lamp life Bright mode). That it runs even quieter in Normal mode, is basically not an issue, since it is near silent just a couple feet away, in Bright mode.

Projector Styling:

This is a big white box. No awards here (although the remote is cute!).

Adjustable feet:

While few will table mount the projector, there are four large screw adjustable feet two front, two back. Every projector should have front and rear! Also since most will use the lens shift, the feet are mostly uneccessary, but you never know.

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