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 GoodBlack 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 BadNoise
: 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.htmhttp://www.projectorreviews.com/Manu...7100/index.asphttp://www.projectorcentral.com/optoma_hd7100.htm