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Optoma HD71 Home Theater Projector Review

Posted on April 19, 2008 by Art Feierman

Specs Preview

Optoma HD71 Specs
Price 1299
Technology DLP
Native Resolution WXGA (1280x720)
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 2400
Contrast 4,000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 1.1:1
Lens Shift No
Lamp Life 3000 hours at low power, 2000 hours at full lamp power
Weight 6.3
Warranty One Year Parts and Labor standard

Optoma HD71 Projector Highlights:

  • One of the brightest 720p home theater projectors
  • 6X color wheel
  • Color accuracy not great, out of the box, easily correctable
  • Image noise a little more than most projectors, but not out of line for typical competing DLP projectors
  • Very limited placement flexibility - zoom lens only 1.1:1, making this a table top or ceiling mount projector.
  • Very good remote control
  • Unusual for a home theater projector, the HD71 contains a small speaker for sound, a plus for some home applications and for doubling the HD71 for biz
  • Overall, a well thought out projector with tremendous consumer appeal
  • Excellent price performance

Optoma HD71 Home Theater Projector Review: Overview

Just what I've been looking for - another really bright low cost home theater projector!. There certainly aren't too many out there, most notably, the Panasonic PT-AX200U (still the brightest in class), and the Epson Home Cinema 720, which is also very bright.

While both of these 3LCD projectors are at least as bright as the HD71, when in they are all in their brightest modes (Dynamic, etc.), the Optoma is the brightest of the 720p home theater projectors when comparing their best movie modes. Even the Panasonic, when using Vivid Cinema mode, (which sacrifices some "best" performance for extra lumens), offers just about the same as the Optoma HD71 projector. The HD71 is over 50% brighter, in best mode vs. best mode. The Epson doesn't even come remotely close in brightness, in best mode.

Brightness, for many, is a key performance feature, especially those needing to deal with some ambient light, especially for those without the classic dedicated theater room. Brightness isn't the only strength of the HD71. I found the HD71 to perform well in most areas, with weaknesses mostly limited to physical placement, since it is a typical DLP projector, with no lens shift, and a very limited zoom lens.

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