Projector Reviews Images

Optoma HD806 Projector - Image Quality

Posted on December 15, 2008 by Art Feierman

Optoma HD806 images below are from either Blu-ray or HDTV, with the exception of Lord of the Rings (standard DVD). These images are never very accurate compared to the image the HD806 projector projects on the screen. There are minor color shifts, saturation differences, etc.

The images are provided to support the commentary, so don't read too much into them, such as expecting an exact reproduction of skin tones. In reality, the projectors always look better than the images in our reviews.

HD806 Out of the Box Picture Quality

Click to enlarge. SO close

The Optoma HD806, out of the box, provides a pretty good image, though not a truly great one. This is a projector for which you should perform a basic calibration with a consumer calibration disc, or, at least, try our settings listed in the Calibration section. Overall, color temperature is close, right out of the box. On the other hand, pick the right settings, and put on some good HDTV content, and you should be even further impressed. Overall colors don't seem to be quite as dynamic and saturated as some other projectors, likely due to the color wheel Optoma chose for this projector. The seven segment wheels used in many other Optoma projectors do better in this regard, than the six segment wheel in the HD806.

Click Image to Enlarge

Flesh Tones

The HD806 serves up very good skin tones after calibration. This is a projector that grows on you. My initial impressions when watching it were that it is "so-so" on movies, but really skin tone handling is better than that. For watching HDTV and sports, on the other hand, it's very impressive immediately. Since there is little variation between preset modes when it comes to brightness, I found that the same User mode settings we saved, based on our calibration, produced better, more accurate bright images, than most other projectors in their brightest (typically "Dynamic") modes, as most others sacrifice color accuracy for more punch. The InFocus and BenQ DLP projectors are similar in this regard. 3LCD projectors tend to have a much larger jump in brightness from best to brightest modes, and more variation in color accuracy, which, of course impacts skin tones.

Here, first are a pair of images from my favorite movie not available yet on Blu-ray: Lord of the Rings, played from standard DVD. Both look very good.

Below are the usual three images of Daniel Craig, as Bond, in Casino Royale, under different lighting conditions. As I always point out, skin tones should look different under different lighting conditions. You can expect significantly different looking skin tones when switching from bright sunlight, to nighttime, fluorescent lighting, incandescent lighting, or even lighting in the shade, or a cloudy day. Consider these three images: the first, in direct sunlight, the second is a scene with fluorescent lighting, and the third, a sunny day, but Bond is sitting in the shade - indirect lighting.

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