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Optoma HD803: 1080p Home Theater Projector Review - Image Quality

Posted on February 20, 2008 by Art Feierman

Optoma HD803 Home Theater Projector: Skin Tones

Out of the box color accuracy is definitely off, as is true with most projectors. The Optoma needs some calibration to get the most out of it, and to get natural looking skin tones. The settings to accomplish that (at least on my review projector), are listed in the General Performance page.

Before we get started, I must point out (as usual) the limitations of the photography I do. As I like to say, the images support the commentary, but really can't be used stand-alone, to draw many conclusions. Here's a document I created to explain more about the limitations.

All the images shown (unless otherwise indicated), are after a basic grayscale calibration has been performed. Once that has been accomplished, the Optoma HD803 projector produces excellent skin tones.

The first three images are from standard DVD movies. The rest (unless noted) are all from hi-def DVD, using a PS3 and Blu-ray discs.

Bottom line: The Optoma HD803 can produce excellent skin tones, however, it will require some work to achieve them. As always, there's nothing like having a projector professionally calibrated, however, using a good calibration disk like AVIA or DVE really can make a huge difference. Alternately, you can use the settings I list in the calibration section, which many find work really well. Just remember there are a few limitations.

First, I do my adjustments on basically brand new units, and there is some color shift as the lamp burns in, which is why some calibrators recommend waiting until there is a couple hundred plus hours on the lamp, before shelling out for a professional. Secondly, there is variation from unit to unit due to the lamps. Still overall, you'll find the numbers I provide should give you significantly better results than the default Cinema setting. (I don't spend much time on the other settings, so they are not as well tuned.)

For our last series, consider these images from Casino Royale. As I like to point out, skin tones will look different under different lighting - sunlight, indoor incandescent lighting, florescent lighting, filtered outdoor lighting, etc. Here are three photos of James Bond, under different lighting conditions.

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