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HD65 Projector Brightness

Posted on May 22, 2008 by Art Feierman

HD65 Projector Brightness

Most impressive. Despite the pretty high claim of 1600 lumens, I had preferred to review the HD71 first - as it was the "bright one" claiming 2400 lumens. I really expected the HD65 to be rather average in its brightness performance.

While it never lived up to its rated 1600 lumens, even in its brightest mode, it was impressively bright in its best mode - Cinema.

In Cinema mode, before any adjustment of the HD65 projector, measured 665 lumens in full power mode (bright lamp). In low power, that drops to a still bright 615 lumens. Note, that the projector runs officially in high power if AI is engaged.

Switching to Bright mode, the HD65 puts out an impressive 1140 lumens, but still more than 25% below claim. Nonetheless, the HD65 is brighter than average, even though it can't match the brightest ones, like the Panasonic PT-AX200U, their own HD71, or the Epson Home Cinema 720.

Once calibrated, best mode, drops only slightly to 625 lumens. Considering many of the competition are in the 300 to 500 range, that makes the HD65 a cut above typical projectors in best mode.

This was Mike's first measurements and calibration for us, and he got a little carried away doing a quick calibration of Bright mode. He got the picture quality very close to the calibrated best mode, at 765 lumens, whereas I was hoping his quick tune up would still sacrifice a little more perfection to maintain lumens.

I actually find the defaults for Bright to be good enough. After all, this is the mode for some ambient light. Thus, despite his 765 lumens, let's just say you can still maintain very good (but not as good) color and image performance while still maintaining close to that 1140 lumens.

Two other measurements were taken, for the default Photo mode - 730 lumens, and TV mode 530 lumens.

Here are the same images shot with different modes, at the same exposure. That way you see the relative brightess difference between the modes, Note, since Bright Mode is not particularly overexposed, the others are dark, and therefore appear a bit contrasty, or oversaturated. You are looking at these four images solely for regular brightness, as they do not reflect color saturation accurately:

Cinema mode
User mode (Calibrated)
TV mode (note image looks closer, since this kicks on overscan)
Bright mode

HD65 Projector - Light Leakage

The Optoma HD65 definitely leaks some light. Some comes out the lens, slightly illuminating the wall below the image. More light comes out the exhaust vent on the front right. This light is more likely to hit your side wall, in front of the projector. Neither leak is dramatic, but those who are critical will definitely dislike this aspect of the HD65.

HD65 Audible Noise Levels

Claiming 29 db (it didn't specify low or high lamp mode, so we'll assume low), the HD65 is a definitely a bit noisy. Fortunately switching to high power doesn't increase the noise as much as with most other projectors.

I do have trouble with the 29 db claim. We don't measure noise here, but the audible output of this projector seems more typical of projectors claiming 31 to 33 db. The noise adverse won't like this projector in high power, and maybe not in low power. Certainly there are dramatically quieter projectors, most of them of the 3LCD variety.

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