Optoma HD81 Home Theater Projector – Overview

Of course as soon as you get your HD81, you’ll be trading in all those acceptable, but low resolution DVD’s for shiney new Hi-Def ones on HD-DVD or Blu-ray. You will find the difference between the older format, and the newer ones to be simply breathtaking on the HD81 – which is exactly how your movies should be!

Congratulations to Optoma – Despite limitations normally associated with DLP projectors in terms of ergonomics, they have created a superb platform for watching great content. We are pleased to grant the HD81 our Hot Product Award, for providing a projector with great image quality, and massive input flexibility, that will appeal to a significant number of home theater projector buyers, seeking a great image, maximum control of the image, and who can work around the Optoma’s placement issues, and iffy fan noise level in high power mode. (Note that the Optoma is still brighter in low power than most of the competition in full power).

I really do like this one. It won’t work in my own theater due to placement, (and the fact that I have all my wires pulled and walls sealed, and didn’t anticipate needing an RS-232 along with the HDMI). I really had expected the BenQ to have an advantage in sharpness, and was leaning BenQ’s way until I started working with the HD81, and found it to be at least as sharp, and having a few more lumens in best mode. ! My own conclusion, is that these two projectors are so similar in overall image quality, that for most of us, it will come down to other issues, like placement, and specific features. From a standpoint though of someone who not only wants a great image, but also likes to play with their projector, the HD81 is going to “knock your socks off”. Much fun!

PS. Unlike previous 1080p reviews, I did not put separate comparison paragraphs between the HD81 and the various competitors. With a major article directly comparing the 1080p’s coming out in late January, I figured just pointing out the specific differences would suffice for now.

I’ve stashed away a number of comparison images not found in these reviews, and will have lots of comments in that forthcoming 1080p comparison. -art

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