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Optoma HD73 Projector Review - General Performance-2

Posted on March 20, 2007 by Art Feierman

Optoma HD73 Remote Control

The HD73's remote is identical to the HD72's. it's a nice little remote, very well laid out, but has one major flaw, and one item that might bother you.

Click to enlarge. SO close

The flaw is the remote's range. Sitting in my prime theater seat, with 11 feet to the screen, and trying to bounce the remote's signal off the screen (or wall) to the projector that is about 15 feet back, I just couldn't get the projector to notice the remote. I had to point the remote behind me at the projector. Of course, if you are going to buy a 3rd party remote to control all your devices, as many do, this becomes a moot point.

Even if I stand just a couple of feett from my screen, I can't get a bounce off of it to the projector. Pointing straight at the projector though, I was able to use the remote out as far as 18 feet (as far away as I could get in my room).

The other point, is that there is no LIGHT button. All the buttons on the remote are backlit, and glow brightly and are well labeled. Pressing any button will turn on the back light, but, hitting some of them will change things. The Enter key is safe however and easy to feel.So the lack of a separate back light button is a non-issue.

Let's look at the buttons:

As you can see, the power is on the top right. Once to power up, twice to power down.

On the next row, brightness and contrast. Once you select one of these, the left and right arrow keys allow you to adjust.

Next is the Digital Image Shift (up and down) buttons. This feature is described below. Right below them are the Horizontal and Vertical Keystone correction buttons (best to avoid, as they degrade the image slightly).

Then comes a nice large set of four arrow keys with the Enter key in the middle.

Immediately below - on the left, a very small menu button, and opposite it, the mode button (Cinema, TV, Bright). Small, but both are easy to feel in the dark, being near those huge arrow key buttons.

There is an overscan control (not covered) to remove edge noise often found on standard TV signals, and a digital zoom button, below the other keys. Then, four aspect ratio buttons, and finally separate buttons for each source (DVI, HDMI, Component, S-video, and Video.) Note there are two buttons for DVI, one for a digital signal, the other for an analog signal (such as your computer.

That about wraps it up. Nice, If only it had more range!

Click Image to Enlarge

HD73 Aspect Ratio

The HD73 is one of the now many DLP home theater projectors that use DLP chips that have 16:10 ratios, not the 16:9 which is the HDTV standard That gives you 1280x768 instead of the usual 1280x720 resolution. This has a number of implications:

It does mean that you can hook up a computer to your projector and output true XGA resolution, without any image degrading compression technology. (WXGA - "wide XGA" most often means1280x720, and therefore really can't do true XGA (1024x768) without compression. There are a small handful of WXGA projectors that use 1366x768 which can do XGA without compression. The later has only been available on LCD powered projectors. Texas Instruments (TI) has apparently decided that a good compromise is to stick to the 1280 width (same as the HDTV format) but add about 6% more height to the projected area giving them the 1280x768 WXGA). Yes that means there are now three different resolutions that are all called WXGA! (So much for standards).

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