Optoma HD33 Home Theater Projector Review

The Very Bottom Line on the HD33 projector:

The Optoma HD33 is a great way to jump into projector based home entertainment or home theater. You get 2D, 3D, good picture quality for the price, and an overall enjoyable experience.

I keep saying that the HD33 isn’t a projector for hard core enthusiasts or purists. I still hold to that as a general rule, but consider that it’s a win-win. If you are not, you’ll really enjoy the HD33. If you become an enthusiast, you’ll still appreciate your HD33, but will soon be craving even better performance. In that case you are hooked, and welcome to my world.

One final bitch: The remote control – while the layout is nice, the ridiculously bright blue LED backlight is devastating. It’s so bright you can’t even make out the text around it, and worse, if you are watching something fairly dark, hit that remote and your eyes will go bonkers. It will take a bit to get your vision back, let alone be able make critical adjustments from the remote. The good news, is that you will memorize the buttons and learn to use the remote upside down so as not to be blinded. Talk about a silly flaw. This isn’t the first Optoma remote we’ve criticized for this.

A last reminder – it’s about the content – the movies, sports, HDTV, etc., not about the projector. So while you are climatizing yourself to the HD33, keep that in mind. You’ll find the HD33 will help you, by being a forgiving projector, in terms of picture.

The HD33 may be a pretty low end projector – the “lowest” 1080p 3D projector so far, but it’s enjoyment factor is bigger than its price. The only question over the upcoming months, that affects the HD33 projector’s value, will be what other new 3D capable projectors hit the market, that are designed to compete.

One more time, with enthusiasm:

The HD33 offers a lot of value, a good picture, and therefore, easily deserves the Hot Product Award we’ve bestowed on it.

This outdoors – night shot, of Daniel Craig, in Casino Royle, does a nice job of capturing a good skin tone.

Optoma HD33 Projector: Pros

  • Brightest 3D projector we’ve reviewed to date, and the first that has reasonable brightness on an average sized and surfaced screen
  • With about 1000 lumens in best mode, easily handles large screens for 2D
  • Good overall color
  • Skin tones are pretty good, skin tones in darker scenes do have a bit too much red
  • Respectable shadow detail
  • Edge Masking and Vertical digital image shift
  • HDMI 1.4a inputs (2) allows for support for Blu-ray 3D content
  • Optional 3D glasses use RF emitter for better reliability no line of sight requirement
  • Dynamic features including PURE Detail, PURE Motion (CFI) and PURE Color (think Brilliant Color)
  • Lamp Life is better than average, long term cost of ownership is very good
  • Physically attractive, sculpted lines
  • Very good menu layout

Optoma HD33 Projector: Cons

  • Black level performance is definitely entry level
  • Limited placement flexibility (typical of low cost DLP projectors)
  • Adequate, but not plentiful lumens for 3D
  • Minor 3D artifacts including crosstalk
  • Could be quieter (but not bad)
  • Remote control’s backlight is way, way, way, too bright.
  • No control panel (power off/on, only) on the projector – don’t lose that HD33 remote control
  • Offers Image AI – lamp dimming to enhance black level performance (instead of a dynamic iris), but it’s too visible – I recommend leaving it turned off.
  • Only a one year warranty, which while typical is shorter than a lot of the competition

Optoma HD33 Projector: Typical Capabilities

Final notes: overall, documentation quality (lacks some details) , lamp life, and general feature set a pretty typical for a DLP projector in its price range.

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