Optoma HD81 1080p DLP official discussion - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Dear AVS,

First of all, let me say, "Thank you!" to all the folks that stopped by Optoma booth, I had a great three days so far meeting up with David Bott, Greg Rogers, Darin, and many others. It was fun and a pleasure talking to you all.

I've seen many CES comments, and many more questions or confusions over HD81, so I think since it's officially announced at CES, there is press release that people can find, why don't we create an official discussion link and make it sticky?

Let me simply write down the "facts" hopefully to clear out some confusions.

1. It is a true 1920x1080 DMD, 0.95", same as Sharp/SIM 2/Projection Design were using and showing at the show.
2. The image was on 135" Studiotek HD130 screen.
3. I was preparing to show D-VHS/DVD running through HD3000 video processor box then to HD81, but the Optoma show manager decided that it is easier to show a loop of trailers so that no maintenance is needed.
4. The four trailers are: Fastest Indian, Cars, Over the Hedge and Narnia. All 1080p and can be found on apple web page. I think Darin was saying that he is going back to download those, and compare on his Ruby. Let's wait for his comments.
5. It does not have lens shift, we decided to hit the market early and at the right price point, and have more people to enjoy it, hence we use the platform of our other SX+ DLP platform, the same 0.95" optical system, EP910.
6. The throw ratio is about 1.8 to 2.2:1 (about), the offset is 27% (of vertical height), sorry that this may not fit everyone's installation.
7. HD81 is a 2-piece architecture, MSRP $9999 comes with an external scalar box, powered by Gennum and a dedicated video enhancement chip. This dedicated video chip will allow users to enhance even more after Gennum does the 1080p conversion.
8. The scalar box comes with 3x HDMI, 2x BNC, 2x YPbPr, 3x Composite/S-video and one VGA. The box will send HDMI out to HD81 projector body, and a RS232 to command projector.
9. The scalar box is similar to the one being used on the three BigVizion 80"/90"/100" RPTV that were shown at the show, we fed 1080i YPbPr and the box upscale to 1080p and show on BigVizion. Those who are questioning about the scalar box can use the images on the BigVizion as a reference.
10. I've shown the special features designed in the scalar box to a few people, Darin included, the new and unique features should please many hard-core video fanatic.
11. Many people commented the image was very bright and strong intensity on the 135" screen, I measured the light output, for the demo unit, after calibration, shows a 900+ ANSI lumen. We will add IRIS to HD81 to allow people to vary the light output and increase the contrast ratio.
12. the demo room had some ambient light coming from the trade show floor onto the screen, unfortunately, washing out a bit on the dark scenes.
13. I've met many people who returned for the 2nd or 3rd times just to see the demo again, and compared to TI booth's demo (who also used a different Over the Hedge trailer). It's good to see everyone's smile after the demo!

That's about it, welcome to write your comments here and discuss HD81 here.

I'll dig out the press release later, and add it to this link.

Can we make it sticky? Again, thanks for everyone who stopped by, it was a great show!
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post #2 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 09:21 AM
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I'm in, this projector really looks exciting.

I love a two piece solution, a top notch video processor, 1080P DLP, 6 color coor wheel, 3 HDMI inputs, small, quite, terrific pricing, VERY BRIGHT .. What is not to like ??

-- Cain
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post #3 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 09:26 AM
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Can you explain "no lens shift" but it does have a "27% offset" ?? Those two statements seem mutually exclusive.

Can the projector be mounted above the screen, without tilting it down, and no keystoning ??

Thx!!

-- Cain
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post #4 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cain View Post

Can you explain "no lens shift" but it does have a "27% offset" ?? Those two statements seem mutually exclusive.

Can the projector be mounted above the screen, without tilting it down, and no keystoning ??

Thx!!

-- Cain

I always thought lens shift meant adjustable offset. Whereas most projectors have a fixed offset, so they can be mounted above the screen. Is this correct?
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post #5 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 10:12 AM
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Lens shift = adjustable offset. This projector has a fixed offset of 27% of image height, if I am understanding TzungLin correctly. For example, if you have a 60" tall screen with this projector then the center of the lens will be (0.27*60")=16.2" above the top edge of the picture with the projector mounted level (no tilt).

You have to hand it to Venus de Milo..., otherwise she would starve.

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post #6 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 10:13 AM
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Thanks for these informations.

I have the following questions :

- where can we find the official press releases about these new products (HD72, HD7300, HD3000, HD81, ?) ?

- is the HD3000 the external scaler box of the HD81 ? If not, what's the difference between them ?

- will the HD3000 be sold alone ? is it the same as the VX3000 referred on the gennum site ?

- what's the benefits of the RGBCYM wheel since it seem's that only Optoma uses such wheel ?

- does the HD7300 has the same RGBCYM wheel ?

- is the scaler box of the HD81 is the same as the scaler box of the 7300 ?

- is there a version of the HD81 sold without his external scaler box ?

- is there a version of the HD7300 sold without his external scaler box ?

- is there a difference between the projector of the HD7300 "bundle" and the HD72 (one seems to be HD2+DC3 since the other has the new 1280x768 TI chip) ?

- is there any difference between H81, HD81 and H72, HD72 ?

The same post is needed for the other upcoming Optoma products !!!

Thx,

Richard.
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post #7 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 10:14 AM
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Someone who saw the demo said earlier that they were able to comfortably walk under the mounted projector, so it had some amount of offset, and now we know how much!

You have to hand it to Venus de Milo..., otherwise she would starve.

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post #8 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 10:26 AM
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$9999 MSRP.

so street pricing should/will be less?
are Optoma's pj's consistently street priced a certain % below MSRP by many dealers?
or do they usually hew closer to MSRP?
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post #9 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 10:38 AM
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Does Optoma (or 1080p DLP in general) finally get rid of the motion artifacts (loss of sharpness, blurring, loss of color depth) current DLP's are know for?
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post #10 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 10:49 AM
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TzungTLin,
Thanks for all the great info - keep it coming!
TM

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post #11 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiGuy1 View Post

Lens shift = adjustable offset. This projector has a fixed offset of 27% of image height, if I am understanding TzungLin correctly. For example, if you have a 60" tall screen with this projector then the center of the lens will be (0.27*60")=16.2" above the top edge of the picture with the projector mounted level (no tilt).

This makes good sense, thanks HiFi. That would work fine for me.

So what does 'lens shift' do then ?? This all sounds like a lens shift to me ...

-- Cain
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post #12 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 11:14 AM
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TzungILin -

Thank you for starting this thread. I really believe that having a "manufacturer's rep", especially someone of your caliber and passion, available on a forum such as this adds value to a product line.

The lack of lens shift is very unfortunate in what otherwise sounds like a very exciting product. That is not the sort of compromise I expect to have to make, especially at this price point. But thank you for sharing the reasoning behind this decision.

Some specific questions:

- Was the CES demo at iris full open ?

- Will the HD81 be capable of user firmware upgrades ?

Thanks,
Brent
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post #13 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 11:15 AM
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Lens shift = adjustable offset.

An important distinction between lens shift and preset offset is that units with lens shift usually mount within the borders of the screen (below the top or above the bottom), while fixed offset projectors usually mount outside of the screen borders. If this projector is using this kind of offset, this would mean that on a ceiling mount installation, the center of the projector lens would need to be 27% above the top of the screen (like hifiguy1 mentioned), or 127% above the bottom of the screen, and the projector could not be mounted (without tilting) anywhere within the vertical borders of the screen.

I am stressing this point because this is in opposition to the way that the current Optoma H 77/78/79 series mounts, and for some people, this could be a problem (me...as I have a low ceiling ). I am somewhat surprised by this move, as Optoma may be alienating a lot of their current customers, as many people won't have the option of using either type of mount. That is, people who bought the H77/78/79 and required lens shift to make it work will not be able to buy this projector, and people who require fixed offset probably never bought the current Optoma products because of the lens offset. The two groups are for the most part mutually exclusive.

Now if I have misunderstood Tzung's 27% offset figure, and that in this case the projector mounts 27% above the bottom or below the top of the image, keeping the mounting within the confines of the screen, then this would make the HD81 somewhat more accessible to their current customers. I fear that this is not the case however...

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post #14 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 11:26 AM
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Bob, I read this the same way you do, that the projector would have to be placed 27% higher than the top of the screen. This means that you would need either a very high ceiling or a small screen. We are just about to begin basement room construction, but the available ceiling height won't accomodate this projector's offset.

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post #15 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 11:37 AM
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We are just about to begin basement room construction, but the available ceiling height won't accomodate this projector's offset.

Same here. Though I understand Optoma's reasoning in getting a unit out fast and priced as low as possible, the omission of lens shift may turn out to be a critical mistake. As I've followed all of the issues with the Ruby, I had been hoping that Optoma would release a product that would compete head to head with it, but with one unit sporting lens shift and the other fixed offset, they won't compete all that much. Also, 27% is a pretty huge offset, further limiting the number of possible installations. Something in the area of 10% to 15% would accommodate a lot more people. Remember, you can always drop a projector down lower in a high ceiling, but you can't raise the projector any higher in a low ceiling...

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post #16 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 11:38 AM
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Wow, no lens shift (and a 27% offset) certainly rules this one out for me. Ive been an optoma customer but it looks like ill have to try something else for 1080p. Seems a lot of people on the forum are concerned with the lack of a lens shift and will be unable to buy the PJ without it. I have 3 questions:

1. If you try to appeal to more people by lowering the price arent you balancing that benefit out by removing a key feature. Seems it alienates the same # of users it adds to their market by lowering the price.

2. If price is so important why add a ~$2k scaler?

3. If youre trying to lower the price to a more mainstream user, arent you going to need lens shift more for them than the high-end custom user? My feeling is that the mainstream user isnt caculating offsets and whatnot. LCDs in the lower price range have both horizontal and vertical lens shift.
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post #17 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 11:47 AM
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Expletive, good points! Since the scaler is a totally separate unit connected vis standard HDMI, why not add the lens shift back and make the scaler an option? I know that this is self serving, but I'll bet that a LOT of people would prefer this route, if the HD81's release configuration is not already written in stone. Just food for thought...

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post #18 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 12:04 PM
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Bob,

"why not add the lens shift back and make the scaler an option? I know that this is self serving, but I'll bet that a LOT of people would prefer this route"

Definitly. I can handle the scaling with my Lumagen (though the Gennum would be interesting to see in action) but the 27% offset makes the projector a non starter. In my room I need to projector aigned with the top edge of the screen.

The 27% offset sounds like something that will effect quite a few ceiling mounted customers. I'm sure it is just the thing for a table mounted projector in a meeting room but maybe not as useful in a home theater.

Shawn
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post #19 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 12:06 PM
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It must have a smaller offset or lens shift. I agree with Bob. 27% is way too high. My current HD2 dlp has a 13% and I made it work in a basement setup with 7'4" ceilings. Optoma please rethink this or make a second gen model soon

Dan
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post #20 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 12:13 PM
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If Optoma were to sell the HD81 without a scaler, then the end user would have to supply their own. Optoma could of course could take the circuitry from the external scaler and build it into the projector, however, this is unlikely to save much money given that Optoma and not a third party is the supplier of the external scaler. This would also eliminate the benefits of a two box setup.

I had a lot of interest in the HD81, however, the fixed offset is too much for my HT. I suppose the projector AND the screen could be tilted so that there is no keystoning, however, I would really rather not take this approach.
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post #21 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott B View Post

I had a lot of interest in the HD81, however, the fixed offset is too much for my HT. I suppose the projector AND the screen could be tilted so that there is no keystoning, however, I would really rather not take this approach.

That will be a lot of tilt. I am in the same boat. I have some tilt with a pj with a 13% offset.

Other than that it sounds great

Dan
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post #22 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 12:15 PM
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TzungLin,
Could you clarify the point that the offset puts the projector outside of the image height, or inside as Bob suggested as a possibility?

Example 1: 100" screen height, vertical offset 27" above (or below) the image

Example 2: 100" screen height, vertical offset 27" below top or above bottom of image

Which is accurate?

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post #23 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiGuy1 View Post

TzungLin,
Could you clarify the point that the offset puts the projector outside of the image height, or inside as Bob suggested as a possibility?

Example 1: 100" screen height, vertical offset 27" above (or below) the image

Example 2: 100" screen height, vertical offset 27" below top or above bottom of image

Which is accurate?

take you screen height and multiply by 27%

I have a 52x92 (106 diag) screen

52*27% = 14.04" so the center of the lens must be 14" above or below the screen

By the way a 100" screen is HUGE

Dan
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post #24 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 12:21 PM
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D_B,
I understand how to calculate offset, thanks, but as Bob pointed out, it could be positive or negative. Hence my examples. Hopefully TzungLin will shed some light on this for us. Actually, 27% of 52" is 14.04", but you are SO close!!

The 100" height is just to make the math obvious to anyone who sees the post.

You have to hand it to Venus de Milo..., otherwise she would starve.

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post #25 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 12:22 PM
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Are the Optoma HD81 1080p, Sharp, SIM 2, and Projection Design 1080P DLP all a 1 chip or 3 chips DLP projector?

Were there any 3 chips 1080P DLP?
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post #26 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Expletive View Post

Wow, no lens shift (and a 27% offset) certainly rules this one out for me. Ive been an optoma customer but it looks like ill have to try something else for 1080p. Seems a lot of people on the forum are concerned with the lack of a lens shift and will be unable to buy the PJ without it. I have 3 questions:

1. If you try to appeal to more people by lowering the price arent you balancing that benefit out by removing a key feature. Seems it alienates the same # of users it adds to their market by lowering the price.

2. If price is so important why add a ~$2k scaler?

3. If youre trying to lower the price to a more mainstream user, arent you going to need lens shift more for them than the high-end custom user? My feeling is that the mainstream user isnt caculating offsets and whatnot. LCDs in the lower price range have both horizontal and vertical lens shift.

I think if you re-read the comments on lens shift you see it is a time to market equasion as well. Not just cost. I am sure that lens shift would only add a small additional cost but because this PJ is using an existing light engine without lens shift. adding that feature to this engine would push the release date to an unacceptably late timeframe. So you can either have the PJ sooner without lens shift in 2006 or get it in 2007 with lens shift.

I think that Optima wanted to release their 1080 projector sooner rather than later to get on the front of the early adopor wave. and to establish a presence in the 1080 market space. That way they don't lose out on early 1080 sales completly.
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post #27 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 12:23 PM
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They all appear to be 1 chip.

You have to hand it to Venus de Milo..., otherwise she would starve.

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post #28 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 12:33 PM
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The presence of lens shift was important in my decision to upgrade from my old fixed offset BenQ to the H79. Installed just above and behind the viewing position I've been able to use a High Power and utilize near maximum gain; this wouldn't be possible with the HD81 and my low ceiling would in fact probably prevent me from using it at all.

Dan
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post #29 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 12:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krawdad View Post

I think if you re-read the comments on lens shift you see it is a time to market equasion as well. Not just cost. I am sure that lens shift would only add a small additional cost but because this PJ is using an existing light engine without lens shift. adding that feature to this engine would push the release date to an unacceptably late timeframe. So you can either have the PJ sooner without lens shift in 2006 or get it in 2007 with lens shift.

I think that Optima wanted to release their 1080 projector sooner rather than later to get on the front of the early adopor wave. and to establish a presence in the 1080 market space. That way they don't lose out on early 1080 sales completly.

Understood about the time to market but given the dearth of 1080p content is it really worthwhile to spend anytime engineering a solution without lens shift on a product with a 10k MSRP? IMO, the time they spent engineering this unit (even if thye have re-used a data-based design) was somewhat of a waste since theyll probably do a LS-capable design at some point anyway. IIRC they are one of TIs largest DLP manufacturers, how much presence do they need? Optoma should still be able to leverage their relationship with TI and their general 'size' to beat competitors to market.
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post #30 of 4812 Old 01-08-2006, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krawdad View Post

I think if you re-read the comments on lens shift you see it is a time to market equasion as well. Not just cost. I am sure that lens shift would only add a small additional cost but because this PJ is using an existing light engine without lens shift. adding that feature to this engine would push the release date to an unacceptably late timeframe. So you can either have the PJ sooner without lens shift in 2006 or get it in 2007 with lens shift.

I think that Optima wanted to release their 1080 projector sooner rather than later to get on the front of the early adopor wave. and to establish a presence in the 1080 market space. That way they don't lose out on early 1080 sales completly.

Yes, this is the most probable background of the HD81. I guess that they came to a decision, to do something against the danger of Ruby dominating the early 1080 market, only some time after the Ruby introduction.

Then they had no chance to design a specific HT projector. They took a business PJ already in a progressed design phase, i.e. the EP910, which had a comparably large DMD, and threw in the 1080 stuff.

From this business PJ we got the strange offset. As you said, it was not cost but time-to-market. The same is true for the external processor. It's quite inefficient with regard to cost, but the fastest option for getting something out.

IMHO this all means that the HD81 in its presently announced form will be very shortlived. Apart from its PQ it is not a good HT PJ, and its manufacturing cost are not optimized. Completely unaccaptable for a company like Optoma.

So they will replace it quite soon, I guess before the end of the year.

But an early adaptor like me still may have enough reason to buy one, simply due to the lack af alternatives. So I will do so in early summer, if then there is still no bright and cheap alternative. Cheap it must be, because everything out of this crop of 1st gen 1080 PJs will be shortlived, because they all are a done on a hasty defensive against the Ruby.

Falk Kuebler
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Reply Digital Hi-End Projectors - $3,000+ USD MSRP

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