Official Optoma HD7100, HD7300 + HD3000 Scaler thread. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 2851 Old 06-04-2006, 07:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Note: the last thread on this topic got personal and nasty and was ultimately deleted. Please keep it mature or this thread will go the same way. Please do not even comment or refer to the non PJ specific issues from the old thread.


I thought I'd post my experiences with the Optoma HD7100. For reference, I have owned an 8" Electrohome CRT, NEC LT150, PLV60, and for the last 4 or so years, a Sharp 9000. For about a week, I also recently owned a Sony Ruby. I have a 100% light controlled theater with dark fabric walls. I'm currently using an original Stewart Grayhawk, but also have a piece of Ultramatte 200 microperf. Sources are Panasonic RP56 at 480p and Tivo HR10-250 HD Sat PVR. MSRP of the 7100 is currently $3999. I ordered the HD7100 from Jason at AVS for an amazing price that included a second bulb. I can't say enough about the positive experience I have had ordering through AVS. For some reason I always expected them to be more expensive than low cost options on the internet, but in addition to the great service, I got the best price I could find anywhere. The 7100 is easily the least expensive HD3 DLP PJ available. I set color temp to 6500, Gamma to 2.2, and did a relatively quick calibration with Avia. Bottom line is that the HD7100 produces an outstanding image for the money, and should be on anyone's short list for consideration of a PJ in the 3k range. Of course, it was not without issue.

The Good
Black Levels and Contrast Ratio: Short of my old CRT, the 7100 had the best black levels I ever remember seeing, including the Ruby. The contrast ratio was also outstanding and probably better than any DLP not using an iris.

Detail: The 7100 produces an exceptionally sharp and well focused image. Some have claimed this is a result of outstanding optics.

Color: Out of the box, the color was as close to purpose as I could tell without a color analyzer.

Size: The 7100 is a very small unit, and will consume less space than most good HT PJs.

The "Not Good" and Bad
Noise: Noise is rated at 32db on Optima's site. Some have indicated that this is for High Brightness mode. The PJ is definitely not as loud when it is not in High Brightness mode. I found the 7100 to be comparable in noise level to my Sharp 9000. The noise was tolerable, but as long as you have decent hearing, and the PJ is < 10 feet from your sitting position (which it will be), you WILL hear it. Still, it is not overly loud, and most will tune it out during the quiet scenes when it is audible. I would not have been as disappointed in this aspect of the PJ had I not just experienced the nearly silent Ruby.

Placement Flexibility:
Biggest issue for me is the short throw lens at 1.25-1. This put the PJ immediately above my first row of seating. My Sharp is mounted in the rear of the theater where it is less visibly obtrusive in the room, and also less audible. It is also my understand that the offset capabilities are relatively limited, but this was not an issue for me. While throw was a big issue for me, the PJ does have Horizontal and Vertical lens shift, which can be omitted in value projectors.

Shadow detail:
While this may be a gamma calibration issue, it has been noted by other as well. The shadow detail is not BAD, but it is where I'd expect it to be for this PJ. I tried to correct with different gamma, Contrast, an Brightness settings, but never got it looking very good. Again, it was not bad...

Screen Door Effect:
For some reason, this PJ seems to produce more SDE than other DLPs. It is significantly worse than my 1st gen Sharp. It was an issue at about 1.25 x screen width for me. I also noted it was WAY worse on the higher gain Ultramatte fabric, and nearly a non issue on the Grayhawk.

Rainbow Effect:
The 7100 uses a 4x/6 segment color wheel which is not as fast as most HT projectors these days. I did see rainbows on the 7100 if I tried, but did not find them any worse than many other HT projectors. The rainbows were significantly worse though than the BenQ 8720 which uses a 5x wheel.

My Situation:
Between the SDE, shadow detail, and mounting issues, I decided this PJ was not the best choice for me. The AVS "platinum guarantee" is amazing, and allows for full refunds (less shipping) if you are not satisfied. The nail in the 7100 coffin for me was the fact that the last time I powered it on, I hear a loud buzz, clicking, and the a load POP. It will not even power up now. I have decided to spend the extra $ and get the BenQ 8720. I don't think this is wise decision. I have a decent PJ and should wait for the 1080p DLPs to be released as they should cause the price on higher end 720p DLPs to fall fast.

Conclusion
The HD7100 is by far the cheapest DC3 DLP PJ available. It produces an exceptional image with outstanding black levels and detail. It does have some relatively minor issues; any of which could become a deal breaker depending on what is important to you.

Other HD7100 reviews:
http://www.avscience.com/reviews/pro...oma_hd7100.htm
http://www.projectorreviews.com/Manu...7100/index.asp
http://www.projectorcentral.com/optoma_hd7100.htm
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post #2 of 2851 Old 06-05-2006, 01:09 PM
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Thanks for the review Greenhut. I think you are right when you say to wait for the 1080p projectors to come out. I just noticed that Optoma is offering a $300 rebate on the 7100 now.
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post #3 of 2851 Old 06-05-2006, 02:16 PM
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I couldn't get the Toshiba HDA1 to work to well with the HD7100, just got one yesterday. It worked a couple of times but mainly loses the HDMI hand shake. The player will be recognized at first but the projector goes into re-sync when the player goes into play and 1080i is sent. The hand shake is lost and you get HDMI error. For the three times I got it to work I got 25 times when it didn't. So back goes the Tosh, I'll wait for the next series. Plus the Tosh has a low level signal you'll need a very short cable or digital amplifier. Only my 15' cable would work, no 25' or 35'.

greenhut, sounds like your bulb blew up. If the glass didn't shatter inside you should hv tried your other bulb. I have a couple of new tips. Trying Color Temp/Native it's brighter, also set the Y/C coordinates to X 16 and Y -9.

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post #4 of 2851 Old 06-05-2006, 04:15 PM
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Tom, did your HDA1 have the new firmware update? The new update is supposed to take care of the HDMI error problem. I have an H77 connected with a 30' DVI cabel, and I have no problems with the hand shake.
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post #5 of 2851 Old 06-05-2006, 06:03 PM
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I'll check for it but Fry's just got this in yesterday. I was ready to slam it, remindes me of Vinc Bravo times, reboot reboot.

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post #6 of 2851 Old 06-05-2006, 07:30 PM
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greenhut,

Thanks for having the fortitue to start an "Official" 7100 thread. Sounds like there are some initial issues with the PJ. I hear you on the picture, but I don't want to feel like I have to cross my fingers every time I "flip the switch". I unlike you can't pop the extra $ for the 8720 (although I'd like to) I have been looking hard at the Epson 550 and then this little critter came along and is also on my short list too. I've got to stay under 3g's for my price point so I thought that this little PJ may just be the answer.

Still for me the jury's out, still doing a lot of searching and reading.

Again thanks for going out on a limb.

Any other owners want to chime in?

Regards,

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post #7 of 2851 Old 06-05-2006, 08:39 PM
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I mentioned on the deleted thread that I received one with a defect. In switching sources it would shut down and the "lamp overheat" light would come on. I just got the replacement from Jason installed this evening and haven't had the time to mess with it much yet. As is my usual situation, I had to rework my homebrew ceiling mount about three times before I was confident in it's capablities to hold the thing. So far (tonight) so good.
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post #8 of 2851 Old 06-05-2006, 08:44 PM
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rking,

I would like to hear about your "second first impression" with this PJ. Just remember that duct tape fixes anything!

Regards,

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post #9 of 2851 Old 06-05-2006, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarman View Post

Plus the Tosh has a low level signal you'll need a very short cable or digital amplifier. Only my 15' cable would work, no 25' or 35'.

The weak HDMI transmitter may be specific to your individual unit. My HDA1 works without problem over a 33' copper DVI cable, Lindys SLAC DVI cable. I do have problems with rented disks not playing because of very minor disk damage, which seems to be a common experience with this player.

Glenn
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post #10 of 2851 Old 06-06-2006, 12:36 AM
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I think the problem may be the projectors ability to pull the signal. Plus the HD7100 goes into find the signal once the Toshiba start sending 1080i. I tried the HDa1 with my HT1000 tonight and go no handshake problems, just sparlies from the 35' DVI cable. The NEC is also noted for low pull levels. More testing needed.

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post #11 of 2851 Old 06-06-2006, 06:24 AM
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I see in the manual (downloaded from optomausa.com) that there is a "White Peaking" (p. 31) or "White Enhance" (p. 45) setting. So does the HD7100's color wheel have a white segment?

-- Peter
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post #12 of 2851 Old 06-06-2006, 06:38 AM
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Greenhut-
Great write-up. Thanks for the insights.
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post #13 of 2851 Old 06-06-2006, 07:46 AM
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No white segment it's RGB/RGB 4x. WP makes the whites more pure and increased contrast. This one doesn't crush out white like others I've tested. You could use it for Football games.

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post #14 of 2851 Old 06-06-2006, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phisch View Post

Tom, did your HDA1 have the new firmware update? The new update is supposed to take care of the HDMI error problem. I have an H77 connected with a 30' DVI cabel, and I have no problems with the hand shake.

It has 1.2/1.09/2.0p which I think is the latest and greatest. The Tosh worked well last night with the HT1000 though the image looked super soft compared to the HD7100. I'll test it more with the HD7100 today and if I get the same problems I'll hv to take it back. The HDA1 is really a waste to use it with the HT1000.

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post #15 of 2851 Old 06-06-2006, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTROSE View Post

rking,

I would like to hear about your "second first impression" with this PJ. Just remember that duct tape fixes anything!

Regards,

RTROSE

Well, second first impression is not good. I have had two events in two days where the unit has gone dead at turn on and I have had to climb up and unplug the power to get the bulb to fire. I guess I will be taking to Jason about another return. I haven't tried the computer input yet, and as of now see no reason to try it. I think I will have to look at something else. I am NOT pleased at all. This thing is not ready for prime time. If it were reliable I could fall in love with it, but I'd rather not have a unit that I will have to worry about how long it will last while watching it. I am open to suggestions for another unit in the same price rane. What do you guys say? It has to be able to project a 4' high image from about 11' throw distance so that I don't have to put more holes in the ceiling.
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post #16 of 2851 Old 06-06-2006, 04:15 PM
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Tom,

I went through the same thing with my H57 and the HD-A1. Always 'HDMI Error 1' or 'HDMI Error 2' and never once was able to connect.

I sent the pj into Optoma Canada and bless their hearts they went out and purchased the Toshiba HD-A1 player specifically so that they could test it's performance over HDMI with my H57.

Wonder of wonders, it wouldn't work for them either so they replaced the main board on the projector and after that...VOILA!! The got the HD-A1 player to sync with the H57 so this may be an issue with the HD7100 as well.

Wayne
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post #17 of 2851 Old 06-06-2006, 06:24 PM
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Thanks, it's the projector because the HDA1 will work with my JVC/DLIA rptv. I know what's happening. The minute the player reads DVD-HD and play numbers start to move the projector try to re-sync to 1080i and the handshake is lost. I did get to watch Underworld 2 this afternoon on the Tosh and HD7100. I used S&V tuning DVD to set black/whites and 5.1 sound. The presentation was marvelous, love them blacks. Optoma does have the HDA1 so when Wing gets back I'll tell him about the slow starts and problems with the Toshiba.

Rking401, things to try, don't have any signals going to the projector until after the bulb fires. If it doesn't start super fast wait it out. I've noticed when I wait the blue LED flash will flash once and after that the projector will fire up. No need to unplug and retry, just wait a little longer. I think when the PJ sense signals when trying to fire up it gets confused. In the manual it does say not to have signals on when starting.

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post #18 of 2851 Old 06-06-2006, 06:26 PM
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rking,

I have had the Epson 550 on my short list for some time now. Your first and second impressions are not making me feel any better. I have considered this projector from the first that I have read about it, but actual user in the field results are not sounding very promising and I'm thinking 550 again. I like you do not want to cross my fingers every time I flip the switch. I really can't go over $3,000 that is why I was so hopeful with this PJ because the street was much less than the MSRP. I was really hoping for a great bang for the buck kind of thing, but alas I thinks I'll still wait and see what others have to say and see if it gets any better.

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post #19 of 2851 Old 06-06-2006, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarman View Post


Rking401, things to try, don't have any signals going to the projector until after the bulb fires. If it doesn't start super fast wait it out. I've noticed when I wait the blue LED flash will flash once and after that the projector will fire up. No need to unplug and retry, just wait a little longer. I think when the PJ sense signals when trying to fire up it gets confused. In the manual it does say not to have signals on when starting.

Thanks for the advice. I will give it one more chance (after alerting Jason of the problem) and see if firing it up first makes a difference (it shouldn't with a proper design). It is a slow starter, but this wasn't a case of slow starting (either time). When I hit the power button the blue light went off as normal, but the bulb never fired and the projector wouldn't respond to any remote control input. It was unresponsive until I unplugged and replugged.
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post #20 of 2851 Old 06-07-2006, 05:37 AM - Thread Starter
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I was having the EXACT same problem with my 7100. Almost like clockwork, every other startup, the blue light would go out, but no fans/bulb, and input selection did nothing. Unplug/re-plug would always solve. Until the last time when it went BOOM.
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post #21 of 2851 Old 06-07-2006, 11:29 AM
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If anyone is using a HD7100 with a HTPC, can you tell me if it syncs over DVI and / or VGA using a resolution of 1366x768 (or 1360x768 or 1368x768 if your video card doesn't support 1366).

Thanks!
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post #22 of 2851 Old 06-07-2006, 01:10 PM
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No it doesn't do 1360x768 over DVI, 720p is ok.

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post #23 of 2851 Old 06-09-2006, 08:20 PM
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I just got my HD-A1 as well and it is a no go with the HDMI and the HD-7100. I can't even get a picture. But the component output works great at full 1080i. I also tried the HD-A1 out on my Samsung HDTV and the HDMI worked fine and I have upgraded the firmware but still no go with the 7100.
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post #25 of 2851 Old 06-12-2006, 04:20 AM
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WOW! This thread has been VERY QUIET compared to the other Optoma threads. Come on owners speak up and speak out!

Any other first impressions or concerns/problems. Those not having problems tells us. I want to hear all about this projector.

Regards,

RTROSE

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post #26 of 2851 Old 06-12-2006, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thpletcher View Post

I just got my HD-A1 as well and it is a no go with the HDMI and the HD-7100. I can't even get a picture. But the component output works great at full 1080i. I also tried the HD-A1 out on my Samsung HDTV and the HDMI worked fine and I have upgraded the firmware but still no go with the 7100.

I talked to a tech on Friday and he said they have a few HDA1's that they test with their projectors and found the HDA1's to be quirky

Quirky alright, they asked how short of a cable? 15'/try shorter. Ok I tried a 6' HDMI/DVI cable and get the player to work every other time. I really can't live with using a 6' cable and still occasional HDMI errors. I'll talk to the Engineering Mgr. today since he's just back from Infocomm. I'll see what he says about using their HDA1's with the HD7100.
Hold off right now on picking up an HDA1 to use with this projector.

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post #27 of 2851 Old 06-12-2006, 09:38 AM
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Guitarman, do you know if there are problems with any other HDMI sources (not too sure what else is available with HDMI, is the HD-A1 the only HDMI source out right now?)

I saw this on projectorcentral:

"Many have asked about the review of the Optoma HD7100. The first unit we received was a preproduction unit that produced a terrific picture, but had some trouble recognizing and synching on certain DVI source signals. This week we received a second production sample, and we do not see the problems on it that we were having with the original unit. So we will get that review posted next week."

Even though this says DVI I'm pretty sure he mentioned HDCP on a previous post.

I'm wondering whether currently shipping units have an issue or not. Would Optoma know?
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post #28 of 2851 Old 06-12-2006, 12:44 PM
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I would also like to know if any of the new production units now shipping have the same issue with not wanting to come on every time unless you fiddle with it.

I think that guitarman said that fire up the projector and then send a signal not vice a versa.

Why would this be the case? Sorry if this is a stupid question, but in reality should it make a hill of beans difference? You should flip the switch and it should come on with out crossing your fingers.

guitarman, have you had any more problems with this issue? Anybody else?

I would really like to get this projector it meets my budget (barely) and I think if some of the initial glitches are worked out, could be a very good bang for the buck projector.

Regards,

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post #29 of 2851 Old 06-12-2006, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTROSE View Post

I would also like to know if any of the new production units now shipping have the same issue with not wanting to come on every time unless you fiddle with it.

I think that guitarman said that fire up the projector and then send a signal not vice a versa.

THAT is not a viable option for a product such as this. The unit should fire up no matter the external situation. If I am switching from listening to cd's (projector off) to watching satellite (projector on) I should NOT have to shut everything down first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTROSE View Post

Why would this be the case? Sorry if this is a stupid question, but in reality should it make a hill of beans difference? You should flip the switch and it should come on with out crossing your fingers.

guitarman, have you had any more problems with this issue? Anybody else?

I would really like to get this projector it meets my budget (barely) and I think if some of the initial glitches are worked out, could be a very good bang for the buck projector.

Regards,

RTROSE

I HAVE had the problem with my second unit. It is going back as soon as I figure out what to replace it with. I haven't found the replacement yet. Who knows, maybe I will give Optoma a third strike before giving up. At this point I don't trust them.

I agree on the bang for the buck which is why I haven't found an option.
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post #30 of 2851 Old 06-12-2006, 05:32 PM
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rking,

I still have the Epson 550 and the 7100 on my short list, but issues that you are having as well as others scare me in regards to this projector. The Epson (Z4 or 900 for that matter) fit my projection needs best, but I was going to make it work due to the high marks that this projector scores in the picture department.

I don't know if I could give it three strikes. I think that if you plunk down $ XXXX.XX dollars you should get a product that works no matter what.

I know that in the world of FP that there are compromises. however I don't think that one of the compromises one should make is whether or not the projector comes on at all fiddling or no fiddling.

Regards,

RTROSE

My (slower than molasses) HT build here.
Now a Certified Carpet Counselor and Plumbing Counselor (Self given titles - pay no attention).
Enjoying my "almost done" theater.
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