Projector Reviews

HD65 Menus

HD65 Menus

Optoma offers a very straight forward menu system, built around four main menus, and any number of submenus. I like that the submenus when called upon, bring up all the choices and let you select, as opposed to some projectors that make you toggle through choices without seeing what they are.

Let’s start with the Image menu, which controls most of everything that affects the picture quality.

First choice is the Display mode, which brings up a horizontal bar, with the different mode choices: Cinema, Bright, Photo, TV, and User. Also on the main Image menu: Contrast, Brightness, and Sharpness, plus the Advanced menu, which holds lots of choices.

The Advanced menu starts off with degamma choices, basically Film or Video.

Next come Brilliant Color and TrueVivid controls which are discussed elsewhere in this review.

Image AI, can be turned on or off. Note, if On, the Lamp and fan switch to High mode, and the Lamp Hi/Lo option disappears from the Options menus.

Color Temp lets you choose between three settings: Warm, Middle, and Cold. We found Cold works best for everything! The Color Space control, you’ll normally leave on Auto, it chooses between RGB and YUV.

That leaves only RGB Gain/Bias, which is where we do all our individual color adjustments when calibrating. That menu looks like this.

HD65 Menus - Image Menu Slideshow

The next major menu is the Display menu, shown here.

You get manual control of overscan, or alternatively you might use EdgeMask, which should give you a slightly smaller image but maintain 1 to 1 pixel mapping, compared to Overscan, which simply enlarges the image slightly so that the outermost edges are not displayed. This is done to hide noise artifacts that often show up at the top, bottom or sides of a standard TV image, especially when on a Hi-Def channel.

Optoma has always offered Vertical image shift (horiztonal too on many, including this HD65). The vertical, in particular can be an interesting feature. Let’s say you have a 16:9 screen and put in a movie. Typically you’ll get the letter boxing (black bars) at top and bottom. With Vertical Image shift, you could slide the whole movie image down, so the bottom of the actual movie is now even with the bottom of the screen. The letterbox at the top, just doubled in size, of course, so that the lower one can be eliminated. Quite honestly, I wish my JVC has this option. Superwide is a feature you are not likely to use, and I should note, not well described in the manual, but seems to offer a stretch option.

That leaves two more main menus. Setup, is straightforward, with language, orientation (ceiling/table, etc.) and the ability to reposition the menus.

Lastly, the Options menu, shown here. Most of the items are self explanatory. Source lock lets you powerup to the same source that was running when shut down, or lets it scan all hooked up sources, until it finds the first good one.

High altitude – kicks up fan speed if you are living at a ski resort, Denver, etc. Optoma, however does not say how far above sea level to use it. Most projectors specify between 4500 and 6500 feet. In high altitude mode, the HD65 starts sounding more like a vaccuum cleaner, and I’d guess it would probably measure around 40 db – very noisy!

Advanced lets you set Auto Power Off, and Sleep Timers.

HD65 Menus - Slideshow

Lamp settings, let you reset lamp hours when you replace a lamp, and also, if AI is NOTE engaged, lets you toggle between high power, and low power lamp modes. (It essentially defaults to what would be High, if AI is engaged, and the fan runs at the High power speed).

Overall, a very good job, although it would be nice if the Lamp mode still had the Hi/Low option with AI engaged, but a note, that if you select Low, then AI is turned off. That would save much confusion (compared to “where’s the darn lamp brightness control?”)

HD65 User Memory Settings

Optoma doesn’t seem to like nice, neat, savable User settings. Instead, you have one User mode to work with. Likely, the User mode will recognize different input devices, as other Optomas do, however, I did not confirm that, as all the work done so far has been with DVD or Blu-ray, just using a Sony PS3.

It really would be nice if Optoma provided 3, or better 4 or 5 savable user settings, it would make everyone happy I think. The downside to not having them, is not a loss in the ability to have your settings, but rather, if you are watching a movie, using your nicely calibrated User mode, but that movie has its own issues, and you feel the need for, say more contrast, or less red, etc., once you make those changes, you no longer have your previous calibrated settings.

So, the important rule with this HD65, or any other Optoma projector, is to WRITE DOWN the normal settings you are using, so you can get back to them, after playing around to fix content which is atypical.