Posted on December 15, 2008 By Art Feierman
A detailed review of the Optoma HD806 1080p home theater projector.
The HD806 home theater projector is the brightest of Optoma’s HD80xx series, which also includes the HD80, the HD803, and HD8000.
This Optoma projector has a brighter lamp, and a different color wheel than the other models, with both changes focused on getting out the most lumens, rather than the absolute best picture (in areas like black levels).
As such, it’s not for everyone, or every room. Hard core home theater enthusiasts looking for the best general choice for movie viewing, are going to skip this projector, unless their primary concern is having a really large screen, say 130″ diagonal or larger.
The HD806 makes a great, bright projector for a family room environment. If you can fully darken it at night, great, but it has the horsepower, to handle modest ambient light for movie viewing and more moderate lighting for HDTV/TV, and of course SPORTS.
Optoma, recognizing the brightness strengths, also recommend this projector for commercial applications, especially places like sports bars. It may also be a good choice, as a widescreen business presentation projector, although, for the same price or less, you can buy brighter business projectors, but not necessarily ones that can match the picture quality of this Optoma.
The HD806 is a typical 1080p DLP projector in that it has limited placement flexibility thanks to the usual 1.2:1 zoom lens and no adjustable lens shift.
It can put over 1500 lumens on your screen, even in its “best” quality mode for overall picture quality, while the typical home theater projector, in its “best” mode only produces 400 to 550 lumens! Even the brighter home theater projectors rarely break 1000 lumens in “best” mode.
A 2x color wheel, and a 300 watt lamp combined to help the HD806 crank out all those lumens. The 2x wheel, however, means more people will occasionally see the rainbow effect. That said, keep in mind, that rainbows are typically only seen (by those sensitive), when viewing fast moving bright objects on a dark background.
Because the HD806 is not aimed at the classic home theater buyer, but can be an excellent choice for those with specific needs calling for maximum brightness, we have given the HD806 our Special Interest award.
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