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Optoma HD73 Projector Review - General Performance

Posted on March 20, 2007 by Art Feierman
Menus For the HD73, Optoma sticks with the same basic menu system as the HD72.

There are five modes, Cinema, for best viewing, Bright, when you have ambient light to fight off, TV, which enlarges the image slightly, and apparently affects the overscan, for regular non-HD TV viewing (and VCR's if you still have one). There is also sRGB for color matching (that few ever use), and lastly a User setting for saving your favorite combination of adjustments.

When I reviewed the HD72, I used Component Video as the source. With the HD73, I used HDMI. On the HD72 with component, the Color (saturation) and Tint controls where not accessable (definitely accessable on S-video and composite). On the HD73, they are both accessable on HDMI (and I'll assume DVI). I did not check Component Video to see if they have been added there.

As you can see the main image menu also offers Contrast, Brightness, and Sharpness, and lastly the Advanced Menu.

On the Advanced Menu you will normally want "Degamma" set to Film for movie watching. Video provides a lower gamma (brighter in the mid-ranges).

Brilliant Color adds zip to the image. I found 3 and 4 to work best, and preferred 4 for most of what I watched. By the time you get up to 8,9 and 10, the image does get really "Brilliant" but unnatural. In Bright mode, Brilliant Color defaults to 10, but, of course can be turned down.

Optoma HD73 menu image

Optoma HD73 menu image mode

Optoma HD73 menu image advanced

Optoma HD73 menu image adv RGB

Optoma HD73 menu display

Optoma HD73 menu options

Optoma HD73 menu options lamp

I didn't spend time with True Vivid. When I tried it with the HD72, cranking it up briefly, I didn't like the results, again not very natural I left it at 0 for all my viewing although 1 was ok.

Color Temp should be a 0 for DVDs and movies. 1 works great on HDTV, TV and, in general, sports. The 2 setting is for maximum brightness and is the default for the Bright mode.

Image AI is discussed in the Image Quality section. I almost always ran this on. Since I didn't notice the AI's function of brightening and dimming the lamp to optimize each frame, as visible or annoying under normal watching, and since this produces the best results in terms of apparent contrast, I could find no reason to turn it off.

If, however you have a smaller screen, you could shut it down and put the projector into Low power mode, to make this projector less bright. The sub- menu for calibrating the projector is the RGB/Gain/Bias menu shown here.

There is also a menu for selecting your source (yes using the remote is easier)!

That takes us to the Display menu (shown below), but everything on it is rarely used, and can be controlled directly from buttons on the remote.

The Setup menu (no image) handles projection (ceiling, floor, rear screen..) menu language, and display type (16:9 or 16:10).

Lastly the Options menu, with lots of goodies, including where you want the menu to be on the screen, whether you want the projector to seek sources automatically or let you do it manually, a High Altitude option for running the fan at full speed at higher altitudes to keep the projector running cool, and Lamp settings.

The Lamp Settings sub-menu which tells you how many hours, and lets you toggle between Bright lamp mode or Low (if AI is turned off), plus a lamp reset. If ImageAI is engaged, the Lamp brightness choice is grayed out, as it will automatically be in Bright mode, with ImageAI engaged.

Overall the menu layout is pretty good, and easy to navigate. Text is large enough to easily read even if you are sitting pretty far back.

Optoma HD73 User Memory ettings

Optoma projectors all seem to inherently save settings based on the source. This saves Optoma from having to have 3 or 5 or more, User settings. Essentially, if you have three or four devices feeding the projector, the projector knows which is which and will recall the settings you have selected.

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