Projector Reviews

Optoma HD161X Home Theater Projector Review – Hardware Tour

HD161X PROJECTOR – HARDWARE:  Overview, Lens and Lens Controls, Control Panel, Inputs and Connectors

Hardware Overview

Let’s start in the front of the Optoma HD161x.  The lens is mounted off center – to the right if you are facing the projector.  The large exhaust vent is on the left side.  Note please that this Optoma has not done a great job of preventing light from leaking out that exhaust vent.  If you have white walls, you will likely see some of that light hitting the wall forward and to the right of the projector.  It’s not a huge amount, but it is enough to wish for better. In between the lens and the exhaust is a round shiny and dark IR (infra-red) sensor for the remote control.  That pretty much covers the front of the Optoma.  Let’s look below for a second.  Just below the center of the front is a single foot.  It is screw thread adjustable in height.  Matching that foot are two rear feet, also screw thread adjustable.  Having just 3 feet is a plus, as that assures a stable three point stance, no wobbling.  Of course, if you are going to ceiling mount, you won’t be using the feet anyway. The top of the Optoma has the two of the lens controls right behind the lens on the front.  Also found on the top is the control panel, and indicator lights.  There’s a lamp door on the top as well, for replacing the lamp every few thousand hours.  To open the door, the screw holding it on is located on that side. The rest of the goodies – inputs and other connectors are all located on the back of this Optoma PJ.

Lens and Lens Controls

To adjust the focus of the lens, simply rotate the ring around the lens itself.  The rest of the lens controls are on the top. The zoom control for the 1.5:1 manual zoom lens, is recessed right behind the lens itself, (but on the top).  Rotate to zoom.  If you look closely at this image of that area, note there is about half of a small horizontal wheel  coming out of the back of that area.  That, folks, is the lens shift control.  Rotating that dial (depending on the direction you rotate it) will either raise or lower the projected image compared to the projector.  That covers the lens, except for the lens throw and offset, covered on the next page.

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Control Panel

The control panel is pretty standard.  Nine buttons and three indicator lights.  The indicator lights are for Temp, Lamp, and Power. The control panel has its menu button in the top left.  Top right has the Source select button.  The lower left is the Power Button, and the lower right button, which is labeled re-sync, is for exactly that – re-syncing on an analog computer source, if there’s too much noise or other artifacts. That leaves the four arrow keys in a diamond configuration.  The Enter button sits right in the center of them.

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Inputs and Connectors

The back of the HD161x has all the connectors and inputs.  We’ll start at the top left, with the 3D sync port (DIN connector) for the optional external 3D RF emitter.  The pair of HDMI 1.4a inputs comes next.

HD161x_projector_rear-input-panel
Inputs and other connectors are found on the back of the HD161x.

A computer input (DB15) labeled VGA can alternately be used for a component video source. Further two the right are three color coded RCA jacks that make up the primary component video input.  Rounding out things on the far right is a USB connector providing a 5 Volt 1.5 amp output to whatever needs it.  (You could charge 3D glasses with that power, as one example). On the next row, is a cluster consisting of a small USB service port, and a 12 volt trigger. To their right is an RS232 serial port using the traditional DB9 connector. Composite video is further to the right.  That’s it except for hard right where there’s a Kennsington lock slot, and a security bar.  The power receptacle is below on the left rear.