Optoma HD81 Home Theater Projector – Overview
BNC inputs: 2 sets of 5 BNC connectors each, which can be used for analog computer inputs, or for additional Component video sources. Add all of that up, and you have a whopping 8 high resolution (computer, component and digital – HDMI) inputs, plus the four lower resolution ones (the composite and S-video).
Other input/outputs: There are two RS-232 connectors – One is mandatory, and connects to the projector (Optoma provides a short cable, and an extension, but in most mounting situations, you will need longer cables). The second one can be connected to external control devices, such as a room controller (ie. Crestron, AMX…), computer, etc, for remotely controlling the projector functions.
Click to enlarge. SO close
There is also an HDMI output to an AV receiver. This I found interesting. If you have an AV receiver with a sufficient number of HDMI inputs, normally you would let the Receiver handle the source switching between the various HDMI inputs, and then feed that to the projector’s processor. If, however, your receiver has only one HDMI input, or simply not enough of them to let it do your switching, you can run the HDMI sources to the Gennum processor, and have a single HDMI output to the AV receiver, which will pass along the audio information. (A big difference between HDMI and DVI, is that HDMI cables carry the audio as well as the picture. By connecting the output to the AV receiver, you are passing the sound portion of the data from your DVD player, Cable/Satellite box, etc., to the receiver, while the image portion is processed and sent to the projector. That pretty much covers the outboard processor for the HD81.
Lastly, the processor box has 12 volt triggers for motorized screen control. A look at the manual indicates that the trigger can be programmed. This is ideal for those with masking screens (that basically bring down cloth or other method to change the visible surface area. You might use a masking screen in conjunction with (or without) an anamorphic lens. Once set up, the processor box would control the screen to use the right masking for the aspect ratio of the content you are watching. Cool!
One note, the HD81 itself has no power switch. The Gennum processor turns on the projector when you hit the power switch on the processor, or use the remote control to power up.
This review will take a good look at the th HD81 projector’s remote control, and menus, in the General Performance section, but now it’s time to check out the HD81’s overall image quality.
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