The Art of Home Theater Projectors

Optoma HD33 Home Theater Projector – A First Look

UPDATE: The Optoma HD33 projector review is now posted!

Greetings sports fans,

I’m typing while sitting 10 feet from a 100″ diagonal image of a pre-season NFL game.  I’m watching in the User mode, which Mike set up as best mode,  calibrated to 6500K.  For the 100″ screen in my dark surfaced room, even with all the back lights on (it’s night), the picture looks plenty bright.   Colors are pretty wow, and that’s with their dynamic color feature Pure Color set to 1 out of 5.  For those familiar, think like adjustable Brilliant Color.  The more you crank it up, the more it becomes a bit over the top.  Basically, it’s your “dial up the pop and wow factor” control.

Optoma HD33 3D Capable Home Theater Projector

Optoma HD33 3D Projector

So far, I’ve mostly been using the calibrated mode.  Photo’s pretty interesting and brighter.  Reference is a good alternative to Cinema.  Bright is over the top, (almost day-glo football fields, needs some serious dialing down, to be really watchable.   Overall it appears to be a great value, as a $1499 entry level caliber projector with 3D abilities.

I have yet to un-box the 3D glasses, and see how the HD33 handles 3D.  You will just have to wait for the review.

Brightness, per Mike, is not all we hoped for.  Although they claim 1800 lumens, Mike couldn’t find even 1200 lumens.  That said, I haven’t checked back with him to see if he tried changing the Pure Color (which may up the lumens, as Brilliant Color does).  I’ve got my meter handy, so I will see if there are a few hundred more lumens under the hood.

The HD33′s calibrated, the numbers are much better than Mike found when he started.  That said, there’s still a bit of shift from warm in the low IREs to over 7000K at white.  If you want to call this a home entertainment projector or an entry level 1080p 3D capable projector, then this is definitely respectable color.  If you want to be a purist, look elsewhere.

So far, it’s fun.  I haven’t watched anything critical in the way of movies, but didn’t have any issues with Borne Supremacy, last evening.

One pleasant surprise is that the HD33 has creative frame interpolation – Pure Motion – a rare treat for a projector in this price range.  If you figure lowest cost 3D capable (1080p) projector, and CFI for under $1500, that’s real nice.

It’s also great.  I figure a lot of folks buying projectors in this price range are putting them in family rooms, bonus rooms, are more likely to be used for a lot more than movies – sports, general TV / HDTV, games.

As such, having CFI is a real nice extra.  BTW even the low setting, as with almost all, is too much for movies, yielding too much of that soap opera – “live digital video” look.  Works very nicely, though, for sports.

OK, gotta run.  I’m taking the pics starting tonight.  Will get up the full HD33 projector review as soon as I can.  This Optoma HD33 projector may even be an extra toy for some of you richer folks with, say, $5K and up projectors, that also want to play with 3D, but don’t see the current crop of higher end projectors to be bright enough to please their 3D viewing.  Having a low cost 3D projector in addition to what they currently have, might hold them a couple/few more years until they see the ideal replacement for their current projector.  Hey, why not?

Not bad, not bad at all! -art

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