Posted on May 3, 2006
I have been really looking forward to reviewing Optoma’s new, low cost Darkchip3 DLP home theater projector, the HD7100. Those of you who have previously read my review of Optoma’s H78DC3, realize that it was one of my favorite all time home theater projectors and the first low cost, Darkchip3 DLP. The HD7100 starts its life selling for less than $3500, putting it a good $1000 below the next least expensive Darkchip3 projector and thousands below most of them.
In the first few hours of working with the HD7100 front projector, I primarily watched DVD content without first calibrating or measuring the projector’s performance. I have always considered “out of the box” performance to be extremely important, as I realize how few buyers of under $5000 home theater projectors will actually calibrate their projector themselves or hire someone to do so.
So, I should start by saying that for an Optoma home theater projector, the HD7100 is somewhat unusual, in that it has very impressive “out of the box” color acuracy and performance. Just about every previous Optoma I tested (and especially the H78DC3), I found the colors to be significantly off, out of the box, but mostly correctable with a basic calibration disk. In almost all cases the Optoma projector’s would lean toward a visible green cast, which in turn, resulted in some less than appealing flesh tones.
Not so the HD7100, by far the best yet from Optoma – out of the box. I’m not saying that you don’t have to go through the menus and change a few things (which I will talk about later), as that takes only a minute. But messing with the separate R,G,B gains and offsets, isn’t necessary for a truly impressive image.
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