Projector Reviews

Optoma HD37 Projector Review – Hardware Tour 2

HD37 PROJECTOR – HARDWARE TOUR 2:  Remote Control, Menus, Lens Throw, Lens Shift

HD37 Remote Control

The Optoma HD37 remote control is similar to many other Optoma remotes that have come with their home projectors.  As is usual, this Optoma remote is backlit with blue LED light.  My only complaint about this remote control is that the blue LED light is blindingly bright in a dark room.   When I play with settings, such as color (saturation), I have to hold the remote upside down so as to be able to see subtle changes (ok, even moderate changes).  Too bright!  The more minor issue is on the bottom of the remote:  Four small bumps that serve as feet.  I find them annoying in my hand.

Time to look at the HD37’s remote layout – from the top.

Top left is power on, top right is power off.  Next comes three User buttons, then a host of image control and picture buttons including:  Brightness, Contrast, Picture mode, Keystone and Aspect Ratio, Keystone Correction, 3D, then Mute, Dynamic Black (off/on), and a Sleep timer.

That brings us to the navigation area:  Four arrow keys in a sort of round configuration (strangely shaped buttons), with the Enter button in the center.  Menu can be found just below on the left.
When not in the menus, the up and down arrows become Keystone correction, and the left and right are respectively:  Source and Re-sync.
We’re almost done.  Next comes sources, with separate buttons for HDMI 1 and 2, Component, VGA (analog computer) and Video (composite).
The bottom rows are the source buttons.
Again, good layout.  The buttons are well organized, nicely spaced, grouped, and have different shapes, making touch and feel control pretty easy.
Unfortunately, as indicated, the back light brightness is a problem if you are trying to adjust the picture by eye.  It should be noted there isn’t a “backlight” button.  Press any button and the room lights up, so there’s no work around other than holding it upside down.  Perhaps in the future Optoma will consider a separate “On” button for the back light.  That would at least let people use the remote without the light on.
Click Image to Enlarge

HD37 Menus

Captions with details coming shortly

HD37 Menus

HD37 Lens Throw Range

HD161X Lens Throw for 100″ Diagonal 16:9 Screen
Closest 10.1 feet
Furthest 15.8 feet

That’s pretty typical throw distances for a 1.5:1 zoom lens.  Most projectors, whether they have 1.2:1, 1.5:1 or 2:1 zoom ratios typically place about 10 feet away with a 100″ screen at the closest.

 

HD37 Lens Shift Range

For that same 100″ screen, the center of the Optoma’s lens will be 0.61 feet or about 7.25 inches, below the bottom of the screen surface.  If ceiling mounting (thus inverted) then the lens center would be 0.61 feet above the top of the screen surface.

That is with the vertical lens shift control at its center point.  But, this Optoma has variable lens shift.  With that you get more flexibility.  At the maximum the bottom of the screen would be at a 9% upward angle, and at the minimum only 5%.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 6.31.09 PM
HD161X Projector: Lens shift illustration

This is similar to some competing DLP projectors such as the BenQ W1070 and HT1075.  By comparison, many 3LCD projectors, have massive amounts of shift.  Often able with a range of 1/2 to a full screen height.  (With 1 full screen height, the entire image could be above, the lens, or all of it below, or anywhere in between.

With this type of lens shift amount, you cannot place the projector high on a rear shelf (you would need to invert as you would with a ceiling mount).