Optoma HD71 Home Theater Projector Review – General Performance

HD71 Menus

Sorry folks! These will have to wait until I get back from Japan. Look for them the week of 4/28.

 

HD71 User Memory Settings

Same as above

 

 

HD71 Projector - Remote Control

Click enlarge. So close. I like this Optoma remote. Unlike some other of their remotes, it seems to have plenty of range. One interesting thing – and I never thought I would ever say this, is that the HD71 remote control’s backlighting, may actually be a little too bright. I love the blue LED lighting, but when I’m just playing with the settings of the projector, through the menus, the remote is so bright, that if I’m holding it in front of me, it’s much brighter than the image on the screen, and I can have trouble seeing the subtle changes I’m making with individual color, brightness, and contrast controls.

It’s not that big a deal, I have gotten used to hitting a button on the remote (any button lights it up), and then turning the remote over to use, unless I need to read the buttons. Also the remotes buttons stay lit up, for only about five seconds. Still, considering I’m usually complaining that backlit remotes aren’t bright enough…

Ok, to the functionality of the remote:

At the top left is the power button – once for on, twice for off. Opposite it, is the Mode button to toggle between modes like Cinema, Bright and so on.

The next two rows give have four buttons for the different aspect ratios. the next six buttons in two curved rows, give you control of brightness, vertical keystone correction, contrast, edge masking, overscan, and finally (lower right) the Menu button.

Below those, are the four arrow keys in the typical diamond formation, with the Enter button in the center.

That only leaves the six direct source buttons on the bottom, one each for HDMI, DVI, VGA, Component, S-Video and Video.

All considered a very good remote.

Click Image to Enlarge

HD71 Lens Throw and Lens Shift

Well, the HD71 has no adjustable lens shift, which means you will either be ceiling mounting the projector or placing it on a table. Wall mounting isn’t a viable option. The zoom lens itself has very limited range, being a 1.1:1 ratio. This means, for a 100″ diagonal 16:9 screen, the front of the projector can be as close as 11 feet 3 inches, or as far back as about 12 feet 5 inches. That’s just less than a fourteen inch placement range.

In other words, you pretty much put the projector where it needs to be, and have just enough zoom to make it fit the screen perfectly.

HD71 SDE and Rainbow Effect, Pixel Visibility

For those sensitive to the rainbow effect, the HD71 has good and bad news. The bad news is that it is a very bright projector, and many claim that the brighter the image the more susceptable to the Rainbow Effect. The good news is that the HD71 uses Optoma’s 6X wheel, whereas most projectors have only 5X wheels. I have definitely found that Optoma’s 6X wheel is better. I am susceptable to RBE, and Definitely have not noticed it as much on other Optoma’s such as the HD8000, etc, as on my old BenQ DLP that I owned (5X).

With the HD71, I would agree, I find RBE more visible than with the less bright, 1080p Optoma projectors, but, I’m probably still noticing it no more, and probably a little less than with other DLP projectors with 5X wheels.

Pixel visibility is typical for a 720p DLP projector. That is, sit too close and you will start seeing some pixel structure. Too close, however, is just about 10 feet from a 100″ diagonal screen about 1.4 times screen width. I watched the HD71 extensively, filling about 125″ diagonal of my 128″ Firehawk, and sitting about 12.5 feet back. For the most part, pixel structure was invisible to me – until the usual white text credits on black background, and some digital “signage”.

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