Optoma HD81 Home Theater Projector – Overview

Optoma HD81 1080p DLP Home Theater Projector - Basic Specs:

For more complete specs click: HD81

MSRP: $9995, MAP $9995
Technology: Single Chip DLP (Darkchip3)
Native Resolution: 1080p (1920×1080)
Brightness: 1400 lumens
Contrast: 10,000:1
Zoom Lens ratio: 1.2:1
Lens shift: None
Lamp life: 2000 hours full power, 3000 lumens eco-mode
Weight: 10.0 lbs.
Warranty: 3 years Parts and Labor

Let’s get started!

Click to enlarge. SO close

Optoma HD81 DLP projector: Physical Tour

As noted above, the HD81 comes in two pieces, the projector itself, and its outboard Gennum processor.

First, the Projector:

Facing the front of the projector, there is a large lens, mounted toward the left side. If you are ceiling mounting, you’ll need to do your measurements to compensate for the lens being off center, as you would with any other home theater projector without a center mounted lens.

The outer ring of the lens handles the manual focus. Behind that, is a recessed area (at the top), on the lens barrel, for adjusting the manual 1.2:1 zoom lens. Also foundin the front, low and almost centered (next to the DLP insignia), is the front Infra-Red sensor for the remote control.

Click Image to Enlarge

There are two adjustable front feet, mounted on the left and right sides. There is a press to release button for each one, to allow users to adjust the leg height.

Venting is out the sides. This technically makes rear shelf mounting the projector possible, although other aspects of the projector make it unlikely that anyone will actually shelf mount it.

Moving to the top of the projector, not much to see, only three indicator lights on a bar across the back top. One indicator for Power, one each for Temperature, and Lamp.

That takes us to an almost empty input panel, found on the back of the HD81 projector. It’s pretty sparce since everything basically plugs into the outboard processor. The processor then connects to the HD81 itself by way of two cables. The first is an HDMI cable input, and the second, and RS-232 for control. There is also a service port, for upgrades (I assume), etc. There is also the usual power recepticle. That’s it! Everything else is on the Gennum VXP scaler/processor.

I must also note that the HD81 DLP projector has two rear feet, which are screw thread adjustable.

That brings us to taking a close look at the Gennum XVP processor itself.

The box itself is wide, suitable for rack mounting with an adapter. It is about 2 inches tall, and is finished in black.

From the front: Only the large power button toward the far right (and the IR sensor) is visible, with the front hinged door closed. Open it up, and you will find a basic control panel, near the center. It offers (from the right) the usual, Source button, which doubles as the Enter button when menus are in use. Next to the left is the Menu button. Further left are four silver buttons in the usual diamond layout, for left/right/up/down functionality when navigating the menus.

HD81 projectorrearinput

HD81 processorFrontControls

HD81 processorFront

HD81 processorInputsrear

Far left on the HD81′s processor (not shown), are three inputs, allowing for easy, fast hookup of temporary devices such as a camcorder or computer. The inputs are: Composite video (RCA jack), S-Video (DIN plug), and Analog Computer (VGA) – (HD15 connector).

That takes us to the rear of the Gennum processor, which is jam packed with inputs. This allows the HD81 to hook up to far more sources than any other 1080p projector in its price range. The only less expensive projector I can think of, with outboard processing like the HD81, is one of the two versions of Epson’s new Pro Cinema 810. The Epson too is loaded with inputs, but it is a lower resolution, 720p projector, so not a close competitor.

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The HD81′s processor supports the following:

HDMI inputs – 3 standard HDMI inputs (all HDCP compliant), plus an HDMI input if you bring in a signal from an AV receiver equipped to output HDMI.

Component Video inputs: Two sets, each with separate R,G,B (RCA jack) connectors.

S-Video inputs: 2 (standard DIN connectors)

Composite inputs: 2 (standard RCA jack)

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