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Optoma HD8600 - Review Summary

Posted on December 6, 2009 by Art Feierman

Optoma HD8600 Projector - The Bottom Line

Optoma offers up a serious "premium" performance projector in the under $10,000 range, in the form of the HD8600. Like every other projector we've reviewed, it has some strengths, and some shortcomings. This is one of those projectors, though that is mostly strengths.

I have always been enamoured with the "look and feel" of DLP projectors, when done well. I've owned a few, and always been pleased, despite being one of the relatively few who are rainbow sensitive.

he HD8600 projector has that look and feel. Also it's one of only a very few, over $4000 single chip DLP projectors we've seen, with particularly impressive black level performance. We don't get to review that many of the more expensive DLP's, since we rarely get to play with those "exclusive" higher priced brands like Marantz, SIM2, Runco, etc. (I think those guys avoid us, because we actually "dare to compare" projectors.) In the last year or so, we've worked with previous Optoma's, the BenQ W20000, Planar PD8150, the InFocus IN83 (and soon, the SP8602), etc

With that in mind, this Optoma is most impressive among the DLP's in this large price range.

Color handling and skin tones are excellent! Post calibration, the HD8600 has some o the best skin tones I've seen

The image is sharp, very sharp, as we expect from good DLP projectors. No question about it, the HD8600 will but a sharper looking image up on the screen, than, say, any of the LCoS (JVC, Sony, Canon), or LCD projectors (Epson, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Sanyo, etc.).

OK, so far, we have a sharp projector with excellent color. Now add to that especially good brightness, and, thanks to interchangeable lenses, really good placement flexibility, especially for a DLP projector!!!



The HD8600 is well endowed with lumens, as discussed in the Performance section. More to the point, it's brighter in "best" mode than most of the competition. With a meassured brightness of 696 lumens, only one or two other projectors in the price range can beat it, and not by much. When it comes to "brightest" mode, the Optoma, again, is brighter than most. We measured 1166 lumens, which is 150-200 lumens brighter than average. Thanks to all those lumens, the HD8600 is very comfortable on larger screens. It had no trouble lighting up my 128" Firehawk G3 for movie watching and it allowed a moderate amount of ambient light before washing out for sports

The image above, is a very good image for viewing black level performance. There are sufficient bright areas, that most projectors with dynamic irises won't close them down too far. As a result, it's a good indicator of how the Optoma performs on "mixed scenes - mostly dark but with moderate amounts of brighter areas.


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