Projector Reviews

Optoma HD131Xe Projector – Performance

OPTOMA HD131XE PERFORMANCE:  BRIGHTNESS, COLOR TEMPERATURE PRE-POST CALIBRATION

Optoma HD131Xe Brightness Measurements

Brightness (and Color Temp) by Mode, Pre-Calibration
  Mode Lumens Color Temp
Cinema 1123 6734
Reference 852 6734
Photo 1247 8067
Bright 1653 6787
User Same as starting mode Same as…

Overall, Brilliant Color is the dominating control in terms of brightness.  Of the default modes, those that are brighter, have Brilliant Color set to 10 (a little “over the top”), while some others like Cinema, are set lower (5).   But, none of the Optoma’s modes are set with really low numbers such as Brilliant Color off, or at 1 or 2.

I’ve started off with our usual table showing the measured brightness of each mode, and the color temp of white (100 IRE) in that mode.

Note that white (100 IRE) is mostly in the 6700K range, just a tad higher than the ideal 6500K target for movies and HDTV.  The one exception is Photo, which is much cooler – stronger blues.

It’s not, therefore the color temp itself, that relates to the less than stellar color, but the balance of the Red, Green, and Blue, and also to the inaccuracies of some of the individual colors.

Un-calibrated:  User Mode, based on Bright, Brilliant Color at 10
Mode Lumens
User – Full Power 1653
User – Eco Mode 1331

Interesting that Eco mode is only 20% less bright than full power, especially since Optoma claims that the lamp life increases to 6000 hours (in Eco) from 3500 at Full power.  To see that type of jump in life, typically eco-modes are at least 30% lower than full power.  So it may be that there may be some  smart factors added  in eco mode, to help stretch lamp life.

For perspective, even 1331 lumens is handily enough brightness for a typical 150″ diagonal screen, should filling a large screen or open wall be your thing!  Remember, to fill a 100″ typical screen in a fully darkened room about 400 lumens is all you need, so all this horsepower, is good for bigger screens or more ambient light.

 

Brightness of HD131Xe - Calibrated

Just one number here:

Calibrated Brightness:  User Mode:  1591 Lumens

As noted previously Mike calibrated the projector starting with Bright mode, which he claims is as well balanced as any other.  To achieve this measurement, Brilliant Color was set to maximum (10), and lamp set to Full power.

With few exceptions 1500 to 2200 measured lumens is about as bright as any of the current home entertainment projectors measure.  (Again, we don’t measure searching for maximum lumens, but maximum watchable lumens.)

Now I have written a lot about the picture quality, and the color inaccuracies of this Optoma projector, and as I’ve said, I’ve viewed mostly as Mike recommended, with Brilliant Color set to 10, but last evening, I put on the movie Red, and spent time playing with Brilliant Color settings:

Brilliant Color - Affect on Brightness and Picture

Brilliant Color – Affect On Brightness (Bright mode)
Brilliant Color Setting Brightness
10 (maximum) 1653 lumens
5 1154 lumens
1 (minimum setting) but still on 759 lumens

As you can see from the numbers above, Brilliant Color has a huge affect on the brightness of this projector.  Most likely, if Brilliant Color is turned off, the brightness is even a bit lower than the 1 setting.

The thing is, Brilliant Color isn’t just about brightness, it affects picture quality.  In some ways it reminds me of those fancy “dynamic detail enhancement” solutions found on much more expensive projectors, but it’s apparently not as smart.  BC does take a serious toll on the naturalness of the image especially when at or near the maximum setting.  That said, I’m talking purist/enthusiast perspective.  To the less critical, a high Brilliant Color setting translates more to “more pop, more wow factor”, rather than noticing that a skin tone isn’t as natural.  If you decide, after your first projector to really get into the quest for a great picture, you’ll be looking for that much more accurate color, and more naturalness.  For most first projector owners, though, this is fine, and you’ll probably prefer Brilliant Color cranked up.

That said, back to Red – the movie.  I watched a chunk of it with Brilliant Color set to 10, and then another 20 minutes or so, set to the default Brilliant Color setting for Cinema (6).  Boy I preferred that lower setting.  I noticed the drop off of brightness, but I didn’t’ need it.

I can definitely recommend that if you want a more natural image, especially faces, dial down the Brilliant Color, assuming you can afford the drop in brightness.

Brilliant Color provides all that extra brightness and pop, to help you cut through ambient light.  In a more controlled situation, you don’t need that extra pop, nor, the brightness, so why not enjoy a better picture.  Check it out.

What I appreciated though was the faces were less contrasty, less likely to get blown out a bit on an very bright scene, such as a face in sunlight.

Remember, if you buy a HD131Xe, it’s your projector.  Watch it the way you enjoy it, rather than how you “are supposed to.”

Post Calibration Color Temperature

Calibrated Color Temperature Across The IRE Range
IRE (100 = White) Color Temp
100 6515K
90 6445K
80 6475K
70 6503K
60 6483K
50 6429K
40 6492K
30 6549K
20 6429K

Gamma, Calibrated, with Brilliant Color on 10 is a virtually dead on the money:  2.19  (2.20 is the target for movie viewing)

Now a quick look at this table shows that the color temperature, post calibration very nicely stays very close to the targeted 6500K.  That indicates that the color issues we discuss are coming from elsewhere, specifically, the accuracy of individual colors.  Mike however, reported that when in the color management system to adjust those color attributes, that there wasn’t enough range in the controls to be able to get the ideal settings.  More on this on the calibration page.