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Optoma HD73 Darkchip 3DLP Home Theater Projector: Overview-2

Posted on March 20, 2007 by Art Feierman

The overall performance of the Optoma HD73 is very good, however if I had to pick one aspect that best describes this projector, it would be "film-like" qualities that come with excellent "black levels" without having to resort to using a dynamic iris.

The Optoma HD73 picks up our Hot Product Award, with a minor reservation. That reservation comes from failed expectations in terms of brightness. Optoma claims 1100 lumens but even in brightest mode can only muster up about half of that amount. In other words, it's a very good projector, but I almost feel Optoma should be chastised for misleading potential owners about brightness. Those familiar with the HD72, one of the brightest affordable projectors out there, would expect the HD73 to be only slightly less bright (the HD72 is rated 1300 lumens), whereas, it's not even close.

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Physical Layout

Starting from the front, the HD73 lens is mounted off center, (toward the left if you are facing the projector). The lens itself is recessed, but has a large outer (silver) guard, which is also the focus ring. (The inside of this trim ring is black, to absorb reflected light. On the right of the front is the IR sensor for the remote control. Below the front are the pair drop down feet - left and right, with the releases located at the bottom front of the left and right side of the projector.

On the top of the projector, just behind the lens, is the zoom lens control for the 1.2:1 raitio lens. 1.2:1 is a small amount of zoom, allowing very limited placement flexibility. This amount howeer is fairly typical of DLP based projectors, which due to their technology are more limited than LCD projectors which often have 1.5:1 or even 2:1 zoom ratios, for far moret deal of placement range. It's not that DLP projectors with more zoom aren't built, they just don't get down into this price range. Also, more expensive DLP projectors usually have variable lens shift, which the HD73 lacks.

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Across the back top of the HD73 home theater projector are seven bar like buttons, and two indicator lamps. Facing the rear of the projector, from right to left: The lamp indicator, and a temperature indicator. Next is the Power/standby bar. Then after a space are the Menu and Select (enter) bars. another break and the down and up arrow keys, and finally two more bars, each with two functions. when the menus are in use, they are the right and left arrow keys. When you are not using the menus, one is the source (input) select. The other bar, labeled re-sync, triggers an auto adjust to provide the best possible image.

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