Optoma HD803 Home Theater Projector: Physical Tour

February 20, 2008

Optoma HD803 Home Theater Projector: Physical Tour

The HD803 projector looks just like all the other current Optoma 1080p projectors (and I've borrowed images). It is reasonably small, with the lens placed on the far left (looking at the projector from the front). It offers a 1.2:1 zoom ratio, allowing some (but limited) placement flexibility. There is also a front infra-red sensor for the remote control just below the lens and closer to the center. With a 100" diagonal 16:9 screen, the front of the projector can be placed as close as 13.4 feet, and as far back as 16.1 feet. If your screen will be larger or smaller, you can figure out the distances from these numbers.

The Optoma HD803 has its control panel laid out in a straight line, on the top, along the back edge. This means that the menu keys are not laid out in the traditional diamond shape, which is unfortunate. That said of course, you would normally be using the remote control regardless, so it's not a big deal. The buttons have very bright blue LEDs that can partially light your room up, but they turn themselves off automatically when the projector is showing content. When you power down, they flash while the Optoma HD803 projector is cooling down, and it's almost an impressive light show.

The Optoma HD803's control panel runs along the back of the top of the projector. On the far left is the power switch (once for on, twice for off). Moving to the right, next is the Menu button, followed by the up and down arrows, then the left and right, and finally, the Enter key. The left arrow doubles as the Source select button when the menus aren't in use, and the right arrow, doubles as the re-sync button, primarily for locking on to a PC analog source.

Moving to the back, the input panel like its sibings, has three digital inputs; two HDMI inputs and a DVI. All three support HDCP. The DVI input can be used either for a digital input, or as either a second component video, or as the analog input for a computer. The dedicated component video input has the usual three RCA jacks. Of course, there's the traditional composite, and S-video inputs, plus an RS-232 for "command and control" by a room control system or computer. Lastly, the HD803 projector has a 12 volt "trigger" for controlling a properly equipped motorized screen.

There are no filters to change, and the projector has a sealed light path, so dust is not an issue.

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