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Optoma HD72 Projector Review - General Performance -4

Posted on February 21, 2006 by Art Feierman

Light leakage

The HD72 home theater projector seems to be very well designed to prevent light leakage. There is no issue from the vents on the bottom or sides. There is some reflection coming out of the lens that points toward the bottom of the projector, however it is by no means bright. If you are ceiling mounting very close to the ceiling, and your ceiling is white or near white you will be able to look up and see it. It certainly won't be bright enough or evident enough to draw your attention from the screen!

Ceiling Mounting

If you are using a 3rd party universal ceiling mount (as most do), this may be helpful: The Optoma uses M3 type metric screws. The maximum length for the screws is 10mm, the minimum is 7.5mm.

Digital Image shift

This is a nice touch that has been on many Optoma home theater projectors and some others (the old NEC HT1000 and 1100 come to mind). It allows you, if you are projecting less than the full 1280x768 image, to move the live portion of your image up and down.

The best example would be this. You are watching a DVD. You have the usual letter box at the top, and the bottom. With digital lens shift you could move the whole movie image down to the bottom, eliminating the letter box at the bottom (and doubling it at the top). This does not affect the quality of the image!

You can also use this in part, to deal with the 16:10 aspect of the projector, and the large lens offset. You could raise or lower your DVD or HD image (100" diagonal screen) by that 1.6 inches, thus removing 1.6 inches of offset, getting your projector a bit closer to the top or bottom of the screen. That's not much, but might help.

Regarding Projector Brightness

I will try to add to this section later, however, I initially measured the projector's brightness in Cinema mode, with AI turned on. That means I'm measuring a 100% white area (100 IRE), and the lamp should be at full power. (I will re measure with AI off, and Bright mode, and also Low lamp mode and also post those numbers.) Most users watching movies will use Cinema and AI, so this is a good indication. I got a whopping 518 lumens by far the brightest I have measured on any under $4000 (selling price) home theater projector in its best mode.

The first image here is a side by side with the Panasonic PT-AE900u. The Optoma HD72 is on the right. The Panasonic is in its best (and least bright) mode - Cinema2 in low power, with AI turned on. The HD72 is also in its best mode - Cinema, with AI on. The brightness difference is huge.

This second image is of the BenQ PE7700 (left) against the HD72. Again, both in their best and least bright modes. The BenQ is much closer to the Optoma, but still not quite as bright.

In this last image below, I used Photoshop to reduce the brightness of the Optoma (right side) so that brightness would be similar to the BenQ PE7700 on the left. This effort isn't perfect, but does show some differences in the star field and also that the two projectors are a bit different in color balance.

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