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Optoma HD81 Projector Review - General Performance-4

Posted on October 16, 2013 by Art Feierman

So the bottom line. Consider your ambient light situation. If you have side ambient light to deal with, a HC gray, like my Firehawk, or Elite's HC Gray, Da-lite's HC Da-Mat, etc. should serve well, because they can reject some of that side light. For a full court press - looking for maximum lumens, though, a StudioTek 130 has got to be a great choice. And for those needing a fixed wall screen, but running shy of cash, Carada's BW will work great for less than half the bucks.Optoma HD81 Calibration

A very strange projector. Color temperatures measured, first had me baffled. None of the modes I worked with produced a color temperature below 7000K when 6500K is the standard for movie watching. In fact most modes were very similar - with 100IRE (white measurements) around 7500K (closer to HDTV temperature viewing).

More perplexing, however, was the characteristic of the color temperature over the brightness spectrum. Some projectors tend to be cooler (higher temp) at full bright (white, 100 IRE), and their temperature drops as you go to darker and darker grays. Others are the other way around. Not so the HD81. It measured out like this in User 1 Warm Temp, Film setting:

100IRE 7675K
80IRE 7193K
50IRE 7640K
30IRE 7130K

The drop and rise and drop in color temp made adjusting it a particular challenge. Ultimately, I settled for

100IRE 6719K
80IRE 6348K
50IRE 6694K
30IRE 6367K

Basically I got the average right down around the ideal 6500K, but still had some (smaller than before) peaks and valleys. Instead of a 545K range, I was able to reduce that to 371K. More to the point, the image colors looked definitely better for movie watching.

The settings for those numbers ended up like this:
Contrast: R=11 G=0 B=-10
Brightness R=-3 G=-4 B=0

Another thing to watch out for. As is typical of projectors, the color temperature varies with the brightness of the lamp setting. The HD81 was no exception, when dropping to low power mode, the color temp at 100IRE (white) was typically about 250K cooler (bluer).

Optoma HD81 Image Noise

Overall image noise is very acceptable, and typical for a DLP. The Optoma performed well on the HQV test disk. I did, however notice a slight jaggie problem. It was visible when I was pausing to do my photo shoots, but that in itself is not surprising since I was using a 1080i source at the time, and the Optoma is freezing essentially "half" of the interlaced signal. (Some projectors will freeze the combined two fields and provide a smoother image, but who really cares about some really minor jaggies that show up only when in Pause mode.

I lied. They are also visible when watching the content normally. The good news is that the level of visibility is much, much smaller than the freezed frame. And, more to the point, it really wasn't visible at normal seating distances! So much for that!

Ok, time for a quick look at the Warranty, then the Summary section!

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