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Optoma HD65 Home Theater Projector Review

Posted on May 22, 2008 by Art Feierman

Specs Preview

Optoma HD65 Specs
Price 999
Technology DLP
Native Resolution 1280x720
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 1600
Contrast 4,000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 1.10:1
Lens Shift No
Lamp Life 2000
Weight 4.4
Warranty 2 Years

Optoma HD65 Projector Highlights

  • Really good out of the box color
  • Only a 4X color filter wheel, so those sensitive to the rainbows will see more rainbows, as most DLP projectors have 5X wheels
  • Extremely small - Very reasonable to take with you.
  • Very limited placement flexibility - zoom lens only 1.1:1, making this a table top or ceiling mount projector.
  • Very good remote control
  • Good, although not exceptional black levels
  • Only $999 makes it one of the least expensive
  • Excellent price performance

Optoma's on a roll, this is the second new Optoma 720p DLP projector I've reviewed in the last month. The last Optoma review, their extremely bright (for a home theater projector) HD71, picked up our Hot Product Award, and I'm pleased to announce that the HD65 also receives the award.

The HD65 is a Darkchip 2 DLP projector with a 4x color wheel, claiming 1600 lumens. The projector's AI (artificial intelligence) takes claimed contrast from 3000:1, to 4000:1, when engaged.

The Optoma HD65 has a lot of things going for it, but, the things that impressed me the most, and that led to the award, are its especially good out of the box color accuracy, combined with a very rich and well saturated image. In addition, it just happens to be pretty bright. Not as bright as the HD71, but it still has more lumens than most.

The HD65 may not be for everyone, as it is especially small, and has some limitations as well. Notably its fan is on the noisy side, plus it does leak some light. and, no surprise, like most DLP projectors, it is rather limited in terms of placement flexibility. Still, most impressive for an under $1000 home theater projector!

And, it sure is fun to watch. A few hours ago, my wife commandeered the theater for tonight's final sing off on American Idol in Hi-Def. At this point, the HD65 has been calibrated in its Cinema mode, and also in Bright. I set it up for her in Bright mode, and grabbed my laptop to get some work done while watching.

I have to tell you, the HD65 really looked great, and we even had some low lighting on, and the projector was filling about 120" of my 128" screen. I even switched back to the Cinema mode, and it looked even better, though a little dimmer.

Being sufficiently impressed with both Optomas I have decided to do a comparison piece between the two. Look for that within a week of this review's publish date.

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