Projector Reviews

Optoma HD7100 Projector – General Performance – 4

Projector Brightness

Pleasantly, the HD7100 is pretty bright. No, it’s not quite as bright as their less expensive HD72, which I measured at just over 500 lumens in economy mode, but still impressive.

With color temp set (and calibrated to 6500K), I recorded 384 lumens, in low power mode. High power should add about 20% or a bit more to that, (sorry, I didn’t measure), so expect about 460 lumens in full power. Not bad at all.

 

More to the point. I filled my 128″ Firehawk with various movies and found low power acceptable (not a lot of room to spare), and high power provided some head room.

Based on that, I don’t know that (considering fan noise) that many will want a screen as large as mine, as they will probably need to switch to high power after the lamp is dimming significantly – say 500-1000 hours, or get a screen with more gain.

On my 106″ Carada Brilliant White (1.4 gain, similar to the Stewart Studiotek 130), the HD7100 was downright brilliant in low power. I’m sure that the HD7100 projector has plenty of horsepower for any screen even gray surfaces of 110″ diagonal or less, and even large screen the size of mine with the right surface should work.

Lamp Life and Replacment

Pretty typical in terms of lamp life, Optoma rates the HD7100 projector at 2000 hours in Bright mode. They do not publish a low power life, but in talking with engineers at Optoma they put the approximate lamp life for someone only using low power, at about 3000 hours.

To replace the lamp, you unscrew a side panel. It is not required that you unmount the projector to replace the lamp (or clean filters). Of course there is always someone’s third party mount that might get in the way, but the HD7100 is obviously designed so that unmounting to change the lamp is not required.

Projector Screen Recommendations

The HD7100 does a great job in terms of black levels. As a result I see no compelling reason to go to a grey surface. My own Firehawk is light gray, and when combined with it’s size the black thrown on the screen with no source, is barely noticeable with the lights all out. I found the Firehawk to be a good match for the HD7100.

I was stunned, however, with how well the Optoma projector worked with the Carada Brilliant White, so I would say, first choice is a white surface with slight gain, unless you are going under 100″ in which case a light gray HC would probably be my first choice, as the projector is likely too bright to give you the feeling of black, on say a 92″ diagonal screen. I have little doubt that with the Studiotek 130, the Carada BW, or equivilents from Da-lite and others, there would be plenty of brightness for a 123″ screen (a common large size), in low power mode.

Obviously grey high contrast surfaces will help reject side ambient light, but they will also give you a bit of a hot spot effect. These are personal choices based on taste, and your room conditions.