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Optoma HD73 Darkchip 3DLP Home Theater Projector: Overview

Posted on March 20, 2007 by Art Feierman
Optoma HD73 Specs
Price 3199
Technology DLP Projector
Native Resolution 1280x720
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 1300
Contrast 4500:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 1.2:1
Lens Shift No
Lamp Life 3000 hours (eco-mode) 2000 hours (full power)
Weight 7 lbs
Warranty 2 Years

Optoma HD73 home theater projector complements the existing, extremely successful HD72 home theater projector which hit the market over a year ago. When the HD72 reached the market, it was in one way, a breakthrough product, being the brightest of the affordable home theater projectors. While a couple of others could match it's lumen output in "brightest mode", the HD72 was especially bright in "best modes", making it suitable for larger screen use for movie watching, and also for still producing an excellent image in rooms with very modest ambient light. In other words bright enough not to essentially require a fully darkened room.

Click to enlarge. SO close

The Optoma HD73 has a different focus and strength. The HD73 is definitely not as bright as the physically identical looking HD72, but, on the other hand, it raises the bar in terms of black levels, thanks to being the first home theater projector to break below the $2000 price point, to sport the Darkchip3 DLP chip.

So, what we have here, is a new Optoma projector that will appeal more to those looking for a great image. I'm talking about, in the under $2000 price catagory.

Optoma has initially set the MAP (minimum advertised price) of the HD73 at $1999, interestingly, the same price point as the HD72 sported when it shipped. Both now have the $1999 MAP, both typically sell for a bit less.

Click Image to Enlarge

Word has it, that there is even a free lamp rebate with the HD73. Of course various rebates come and go, that should make the HD73 an even better deal while it lasts.

This image below, demonstrates the HD73's deep black levels and rich, saturated colors. Click on the image for a larger version

As of this writing the HD72 remains in the Optoma lineup, so we have two similar (physically looking) and featured projectors to choose from. Again, the HD73, is more for move purists, with average brightness, but very good black levels and shadow detail. The other, the HD72, one of the brightest projectors available, but not a match for the HD73 in those black levels...

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