Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Pacific Northwest
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On the giant screen with the Optoma HD72, I felt like I was transported back 11 years to the premier of "Apollo 13". What a stunning transfer to HD-DVD-- the movie has never ever looked this good. Universal should be proud.
The fidelity of the HD color pallet is enormous. Mrs. Lovell's red hair glistens with Auburn and red highlights. The period clothing (lots of yellows, red, green and blue) sparkles with a sort of digital technicolor. And every expression of fear, anxiety and hope is expressed with crystal clear clarity through the eyes of each performer. Indeed, the quality is so good that it actually enhances the story and takes on an altogether different discovery. In fact, during close-ups of the color console television broadcasts, you could even see the shadow mask through the glass! Believe me when I say this takes on a 70mm kind of appeal I have yet to see in any high definition broadcast. Don't forget that HD is not JUST about resolution, it also contains a much larger color space that makes standard DVD look pale in comparison.
And after the closing credits were completed, this HD-DVD disc automatically cues up the first available special content on the disc. How is that for first class authoring?
Oh, and the sound. Absolutely explosive soundtrack in Dolby Digital Plus puts you in the center of all the action. Yet, in the middle of a field we hear the soft breeze of wind against the tall grass and the chirping sounds of birds in the distance. You could hear a pin drop. (This also speaks well to the very low noise of the Optoma HD72 projector). Having dual 15" powered subwoofers can't hurt either! To do this, of course, I used the built in decoder in the player and sent all 5.1 tracks out manually to my Denon. Using a radio shack SPL meter, I used the channel balance set up in the player menu and it worked just fine.
And the player worked without a hitch. The entire movie was void of any lock-ups, HDMI errors or any other issues. I turned off the panel display and simply enjoyed the movie.
A few notes are in order: Be sure you eject the disc and turn the player off BEFORE you turn the projector off (using HDMI). Once the projector is OFF, it no longer handshakes with the player and warns you with an HDMI error that something is wrong in the signal path. Also, with this movie, I found that shifting the gamma to PC actually opened up the mid tones just a bit and naturalized the skin tones.
The remote control is really easy to operate and in a darkened theater, the backlight feature is very welcome. If the rest of the HD movies are as superb as Apollo 13, I have many hours of enjoyment to look forward too.
This is truly state of the art viewing.