Posted on December 6, 2009 By Art Feierman
I really like this projector. First, most of the projectors I’ve gotten to review this fall are primarily upgrades of last year’s models. A little better, a little less expensive, and a new feature, here and there. The HD8600, by comparison, is a brand new projector.
It’s not easy being a brand new model in the Optoma’s price range. As an $7500 (or more, depending on lens) projector, it faces some very stiff competition.
As it turns out, though, Optoma is up to the challenge. It is certainly a serious contender. It’s bright, has extremely good color, and a a vibrant look and feel.
The projector itself is a 1080p resolution, single chip DLP. It claims 1600 lumens (it didn’t measure that high, but is brighter than most of the competition).
The HD8600 projector is being sold through the CEDIA channel, primarily through local installing dealers. The HD8600 is not supposed to be available online, and a quick search didn’t turn up any dealers when I looked.
Whereas some projectors have very long range zoom lenses for great placement flexiblity, Optoma has taken a different tack. They offer a choice of three lenses. The standard lens is a 1.25:1 zoom, but there are two others, one is a longer throw zoom, and the other an extremely short thow fixed lens (no zoom). The advantage of Optoma’s design is that shorter zoom lenses are brighter, and easier to make with less distortion. Some of that shows up in the brightness of this projector, no doubt
The HD8600 is loaded with a number of dynamic features. The native projector performance is really impressive. Some of the dynamic features, however, could be improved, which will be discussed below or elsewhere in this review.
Despite any complaints about some of these features, the HD8600 has a really good combination of strengths.
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