Optoma HD70 Home Theater Projector Review

HD70 User Memory Settings

Unlike many projectors which allow you to store a number of different user settings, the Optoma HD70 (like other Optomas) has a single user savable setting. It is, however source sensitive. So, it will remember the settings you want from your DVD player, and when you switch to your cable box, it will call up the settings you want for those. Although it doesn’t offer as much flexibility as some (Epson projectors have 10 separate user memory settings, and other projectors typically have 3 to 6.).

HD70 Backlit Remote Control

Click to Enlarge.So close

As usual, Optoma has a really well laid out remote control, and as usual, it could use a little more range. If you are sitting in front of the projector, you normally would bounce the signal off your screen. I find that it works pretty well with total distances of up to about 25 feet or so, and then runs out of steam. Is this a real problem. No, afterall, how often do you need the remote. When I’m viewing in my theater, the projector is behind me, and due to a large screen (128″ diagonal) the round trip is pretty long. So, I often simply pointed the remote over my shoulder. If, on the other hand, if you are sitting behind the remote, it’s lack of a standard IR sensor in the rear requires a little more attention on your part. Remember, the HD70′s front IR actually is front-top. As long as I remembered to point it right towards the projector it worked fine without a rear sensor.

Let’s look at the remote itself. First, it’s backlighting is very bright, although not all the buttons are evenly lit. Bright, though is what’s important. Optoma puts text descriptions above each button, and graphical icons on the backlit buttons themselves.

Top left: Power (one on, two off)
Top right: preset Mode selection (Cinema, Video, etc.)

Next come four aspect ratio buttons, true 16:9, 4:3, Letterbox and Real (no resizing at all, so with a DVD (480 res) you would get a small image in the center of the screen. The next group of keys, give you direct access to Brightness, contrast, vertical, and horizontal keystone correction (a waste of buttons since no one wants to use keystone correction – it degrades the image quality slightly). There is also Overscan, for slightly enlarging the image to avoid potentially annoying noise and lines at the edges. And also the all important MENU button.

 

Click Image to Enlarge

Then comes the 4 arrow keys and center Enter key. The left and right arrow keys double for Source selection and Re-sync, like their counterparts on the HD70′s control panel.

That leaves the six buttons toward the bottom which let you choose your source from the projector’s six inputs.

Overall a great remote that could use a touch more range! The layout works well, it’s logical and easy to remember, and most people can hold it in one hand and use it without the other hand, or having to slide your hand around to get to some buttons.

Hitting any button brings up the backlighting, which slowly fades out.

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