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Optoma HD7100 Projector - General Performance - 2

Posted on May 3, 2006 by Art Feierman

The HD7100 remote control

There's definitely a good and a bad regarding the remote. On one hand, its nicely laid out, you can get to most menu items that you are likely to fool with, directly from dedicated buttons on the remote for Brightness, Contrast, Picture Setting, White Balance, Gamma, and Color Temperature.

That's great for anyone who likes to make minor adjustments, especially to make of for poorer quality content they are trying to watch.

And the backlight is nice and bright, the keys are well labeled.

The down side is the range. I had the same complaint with the similar remote that the Optoma HD72 uses. In my Viewing room, I sit 11 feet from the screen. I try to bounce the remote's signal off my light gray screen to the projector which is straight back, almost 17 feet. Not a chance. I consulted the manual, and they say the remote is good for up to 23 feet. That's going to have a lot of people who sit between the projector and the screen, to have to point the remote over their shoulder for the projector to recognize it. if their 23 feet is accurate, then depending on how the zoom is set, and the screen surface, people with a screen larger than 100" diagonal may not be able to get a good bounce off the screen. That's the downside, and if that ends up being one of the biggest problems with the HD7100, then Optoma is doing great! (Still, why an underpowered remote?)

And as long as I'm being picky, the HD7100 has lens shift, so why waste four remote buttons on keystone adjustments that everyone recommends against using to begin with?

The image above to the right gives you a very good look at the buttons and layout, so I won't bother to just run through them all for you. Suffice to say, that there are discreet buttons for each aspect ratio, and also for each source. The Menu and Exit buttons could have been larger, and best if further from the Picture setting and White Balance buttons, but that is minor. Only the limited range of the remote is an issue at all.


Lens Throw, and Lens Shift

It's great having adjustable lens shift - a feature not found on less expensive DLP projectors (but on most $2000 LCD models). Lens shift certainly simplfies the height placement of the projector, whether table, shelf or ceiling mounting. (Optoma reports that about 70% of the older H78/H79's were ceiling mounted).

The lens shift let's you position the projector from slightly below the bottom of the screen surface (about 4.5 inches for a 110" screen) to an equal amount above the top. There is plenty of left to right lens shift as well, so that for positioning purposes there is plenty of flexibility, and its also easy to correct for the non center mounted lens. Installers will breath easy!

The zoom ratio is a so-so 1.25:1 providing some, but not great, placement flexibility front to back. And the lens is relatively short throw, so as mentioned elsewhere shelf mounting in the rear of the room may not work for many rooms. (Those LCD projectors mostly have 1.5:1 or 2:1 zooms so can be placed further back.) Still, it depends on your room. To repeat the numbers from the first page of the review, for a 100" diagonal screen, if you want to shelf mount, your rear wall can only be about 12 to 15 feet back from the screen. Obviously, with a larger screen, you can move the projector further back. Probablyy 50%+ of buyers' rooms will work for shelf mounting.

Why shelf mount - well, it tends to lower installation costs, but at the same time, it most often puts the projector closer to the viewer than a higher ceiling mount, which means the projector's fan noise may be more noticeable. Generally you need a projector with lens shift to shelf mount.

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