Optoma HD80, HD8000 with Optional Anamorphic Lens
Optoma offers an optional Anamorphic Lens, with motorized sled option for $3999 additional, for those planning on a 2.35:1 (Cinemascope) shaped screen. It works with both the HD80 and HD8000 projectors.
When using the Anamorphic lens and matching screen, the placement difference and screen size, of course, are different than using a 16:9 screen without the optional lens.
When using the Anamorphic Lens, one selects the Letter-Box aspect ratio option from the remote control, or menus.
The actual result, is a wider image, and the projector stretches the vertical, so every pixel is used, and there is no letter box at the top and bottom. This also means a brighter overall image, since all pixels are in use.
I didn't work with the anamorphic lens with the HD8000, but it is the same lens system that I wrote about in the Optoma HD81-LV review. If you are interested: Optoma HD81-LV.
The real question is: Does one buy a $3000 projector and a $4000 lens system, or does it make more sense, since you are spending the bigger bucks for the lens system, to buy the step up products - either the HD81, or HD81-LV?
Myself, I would think it makes more sense to buy the higher end projector as well, but I can also understand the idea, that if you want the cinemascope setup, you aren't hyper-critical of the last few percent of performance, and the budget is tight, I can see that scenario as well.
ptoma HD80 Projector: Menus
Overall the HD8000 Menus are fairly logically though out, although there are a lot of levels for some of the advanced features. For example - from the main menu system, switching lamp brightness or controlling Iris settings are two levels down, three if you count the top Main menu.
Let's take a look. Note: The menus of the HD8000 are very similar to the HD81 and HD81-LV projectors we've reviewed already. There should be a couple of differences between the HD8000 and the HD80, however if you want to find those differences, you'll probably have to look up the user manual on the Optoma site.
Pressing the Menu button on the remote or the one the Optoma projector's control panel, you will see the menu to the right; the Image Menu. On the left side, you can see the three other primary menus as well: Display, System, and Setup.
The Mode gives you the choice of 3 User presets. All are slightly different. I used User 1 as the basis for most of my work. In addition the Mode lets you select from ISF Day, and ISF Night, if you have had your projector professionally calibrated, giving you a total of five sets of settings. I suspect that the HD80 will not show the ISF Day and Night settings, as it is not ISF certified.
After that, there are the usual basic image controls, like brightness and contrast. Unfortunately if you scroll down, to, say, Brightness, you then have to Enter or right arrow key which will then bring up your ability to adjust Brightness. It would be nicer if once on Brightness, the left and right arrow keys simply let you change the value, instead of essentially opening another window, and adding several extra keystrokes.