Optoma HD81-LV Discussion/Reviews - Page 13 - AVS Forum
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post #361 of 493 Old 06-24-2008, 08:32 PM
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Jeff,

My problem with the color wheel whine noise is that Warren verified with the technicians that this level of noise, 44dB at 1 meter (C weighted), is "normal". That tells me that QC is non existent at Optoma. I've been through 5 of these now and several bulbs. When I think back to the year and a half I have spent chasing Blue Screen issues, burned out bulbs and several broken and noisy color wheels, there is no way I can praise Optoma. The fact that you can not use the projector at 24fps unless you buy a PS3 is ridiculous. I went through an XA2, a BD300, an A35 and a BD30 without getting into 24 fps. Too much money and grief for such poor performance and reliability.

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post #362 of 493 Old 06-28-2008, 03:09 AM
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Well after reading the reviews you guys are giving the Optoma HD81-LV, I guess I won't be pursuing getting one.

I was pretty much convinced after reading the review in Projectorreviews.com that this was the best front projector for me.

Does anyone have a recommendation for a similar projector with the same brightness levels? Has anyone seen/heard about the new Planar PD8150?

I'm glad I read this thread before getting onboard with Optoma.
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post #363 of 493 Old 06-28-2008, 09:32 AM
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Quote:


Has anyone seen/heard about the new Planar PD8150?

Do a search for the Planar thread - sounds like a good machine.

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post #364 of 493 Old 06-28-2008, 12:38 PM
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My HD81-LV froze today with a picture of the Nanny on the screen. I was watching a recorded the SD program off the Comcast HD DVR at 720P in low brightness mode. Tried changing inputs and eventually unplugging and replugging both parts of the LV. Nanny's picture persisted no matter what I did. There is also some garbage (2 horizontal lines of garbage) running through the frozen picture. I wonder where it would store the picture specially after I unplugged and replugged both LV pieces and I switched sources.

Anyone else have this happen to them? After 5 units, this is a new failure mode for me. Sentt an email to Warren.

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post #365 of 493 Old 06-28-2008, 12:48 PM
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Good God man - that's horrible! At least it could have froze on a picture Uma Thurman or Marisa Tomei !!

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post #366 of 493 Old 06-28-2008, 08:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrHifi View Post

My HD81-LV froze today with a picture of the Nanny on the screen. I was watching a recorded the SD program off the Comcast HD DVR at 720P in low brightness mode. Tried changing inputs and eventually unplugging and replugging both parts of the LV. Nanny's picture persisted no matte what I did. There is also some garbage (2 horizontal lines of garbage) running through the frozen picture. I wonder where it would store the picture specially after I unplugged and replugged both LV pieces and I switched sources.

Anyone else have this happen to them? After 5 units, this is a new failure mode for me. Sentt an email to Warren.

Can you get into a service menu for a full factory reset?

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post #367 of 493 Old 06-29-2008, 11:09 AM
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This morning I woke up and it is working perfectly. Beats me....

Thanks Tom for your recommendation. Is there a factory reset in our normal menu? I do not know how to do a factory reset other than the resets in level 1 & 2 of the menu. I would appreciate any factory reset recommendations. BTW, I could move about in the menus perfectly. I just could not get it to change the incoming video.

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post #368 of 493 Old 06-29-2008, 12:47 PM
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Maybe I can find out the code.

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post #369 of 493 Old 08-29-2008, 11:02 AM
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Has anyone had any experience using the composite video inputs with the projector. It seems that anything I hookup with composite video will only display for a few seconds then the projector will loose the signal. What it actually does display is generally poor quality, horizontal lines, flickering, etc.

Yesterday was quite awful as I told that the projector must be setup to display cable television, which it was never intended to be used for. Anyway I piped the cable tv through a vcr, as that was the only device I had lying around with a coax input, and ran composite video output from the vcr into the composite video input on the receiver. The only way I was able to get the image to display for longer than 30 seconds was to set the projector to display in "native" mode. That did not go over well as everyone complained about the image being so small.

I realize that the input source was not the greatest, but shouldn't the projector be able to handle displaying/upscaling the image. Granted the audience would have then complained about it being stretched.
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post #370 of 493 Old 08-30-2008, 06:34 AM
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We watch cable TV all of the time. In fact, we really don't use any of the other TVs in our house at all even though they are all 1080p.

I used to use composite with no issues but that didn't last long. We wanted higher quality image.

I would suggest using some other type of box to convert the coax to a higher quality signal. I sued to use the boxes from Comcast. Now I use the Tivo HD boxes. They ahve been working great for over a year without a single issue.

I would guess the issue is more with the tuner in your old VCR rather than the projector.

Joe

Quote:
Originally Posted by UAF View Post

Has anyone had any experience using the composite video inputs with the projector. It seems that anything I hookup with composite video will only display for a few seconds then the projector will loose the signal. What it actually does display is generally poor quality, horizontal lines, flickering, etc.

Yesterday was quite awful as I told that the projector must be setup to display cable television, which it was never intended to be used for. Anyway I piped the cable tv through a vcr, as that was the only device I had lying around with a coax input, and ran composite video output from the vcr into the composite video input on the receiver. The only way I was able to get the image to display for longer than 30 seconds was to set the projector to display in "native" mode. That did not go over well as everyone complained about the image being so small.

I realize that the input source was not the greatest, but shouldn't the projector be able to handle displaying/upscaling the image. Granted the audience would have then complained about it being stretched.


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post #371 of 493 Old 08-31-2008, 01:10 AM
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What's the latest verdict on this projector? When it first came out, it got rave reviews from reviewers, then online here at AVS users/buyers didn't like this projector at all and there seemed to be all sorts of problems with it. What's the verdict now?

On paper and from the first reviews, this was the ultimate front projector for me, but after reading owner comments, it wasn't very good at all. Have the issues with this projector been solved or ?
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post #372 of 493 Old 08-31-2008, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyDaves View Post

What's the latest verdict on this projector?

My question as well. I'm a first time projector buyer. I have a fairly bright living room I want to install a projector in, so I am sure I need a very bright projector and probably a very good/bright screen.

I am currently leaning towards this projector. I am not sure if people are happy with their projector after reading this thread however. Also, when do the new models typically come out? If there is a new one coming out in a couple of months, I might just wait.

My primary question is this: Would you buy this projector again, knowing what you know now?

If not, are there any other projectors out there as bright? Thanks in advance!
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post #373 of 493 Old 08-31-2008, 09:40 PM
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I seriously wanted this projector after reading the rave reviews on it, especially the fact that it had such a high light output which would be awesome to have watching TV during the day like a football game or the US Open or something, but also being able to harness all that light and use it when watching movies at night. To me, having more light to spare was great for daytime use, but also night time use. Much better than a projector that looks good at night, but is totally washed out when watching it during the day. I've already been there/done that and I'm majorly disappointed that owners' opinions are so radically different from the reviews I read on this projector. It seemed perfect for me.
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post #374 of 493 Old 09-01-2008, 12:13 AM
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I am also quite curious as to this issue. I apologize in advance for this post and next. I want to post a url.
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post #375 of 493 Old 09-01-2008, 12:14 AM
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I am also quite curious as to this issue. I apologize in advance for this post and next. I want to post a url.

Sorry again.. following is my original post.
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post #376 of 493 Old 09-01-2008, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyDaves View Post

I seriously wanted this projector after reading the rave reviews on it, especially the fact that it had such a high light output which would be awesome to have watching TV during the day like a football game or the US Open or something, but also being able to harness all that light and use it when watching movies at night. To me, having more light to spare was great for daytime use, but also night time use. Much better than a projector that looks good at night, but is totally washed out when watching it during the day. I've already been there/done that and I'm majorly disappointed that owners' opinions are so radically different from the reviews I read on this projector. It seemed perfect for me.

I am right there with you. I can't understand why the radically different reviews. CNet says use it on 92" screen or less or don't buy it (majorly paraphrasing - http://reviews.cnet.com/home-theater...-32469806.html). Another reviewer chose it as the runner-up projector and the brightest and only one he could use in his setup with the window blinds and door open (http://www.projectorreviews.com/Best...ardwinners.php).

Other reviews of other projectors (having read dozens as I am trying to find the projector I want to buy) seem fairly consistent. This one is all over. It is the brightest, but don't use it on large screens? Read one review saying it was the first that could fully resolve the 1080p test image. I've never been more confused researching a product.

Can someone that owns one chime in here with their thoughts?
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post #377 of 493 Old 09-01-2008, 01:02 AM
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jfergie:

My research has yielded the same findings as yours. I've never been more confused about buying an item. I read the same reviews that come out with totally different conclusions and even on this thread, you have some posts that say how bad this projector is and others that will say that it's good.

I can't imagine a projector that is twice as bright as it's nearest competitor but then you have a reviewer who says not to use it on a really big screen. What's the point? This is the most totally confusing reviewed item.
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post #378 of 493 Old 09-04-2008, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
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The HD81-LV IS a bright projector. I don't know what was going on with the
C-Net review unit. The LV is bright, has better conrast range than the HD-81,
shares the same excellent processor/scaler, the lens has very little CA, and resolves every pixel. Overall, the LV throws a gorgeous image.

Unfortunately, the LV is an Optoma product, which means uneven quality control and unreliability. I'm on my second LV, the first lasted almost a year,
which was about eight months longer and a few hundred hours more than any
of the four HD-81's I went through in rapid succession.

Optoma service has treated me very well and I'm very happy there is a three year warranty and hot swap on the LV as well as a one year bulb warranty.

However, I would prefer a reliable product over a long warranty.
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post #379 of 493 Old 09-04-2008, 08:19 AM
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Hi guys,

I use mine quite often with daylight flooding the room. This projector provides a gorgeous picture. No one can deny that. It is certainly as good a picture as units costing a lot more.

On the negative side is its lack of HDCP compatibility with just about anything you connect to it. Forget about 24 fps unless you own a PS3. The BD30 and A35 will not talk to the VXD in a way it can reply to. No 24p is the rule. PS3 is the exception. The noise out of my repaired LV is deafening. I play my movies at high volume levels now but you can still hear the damn thing. I hate this. Like Jeff, I went through many 81's and 2 LV's and a repair to the second one. These things are hard on bulbs too. I've been through 3 bulbs with none lasting more than 400 hours. Bright sharp pictures are very nice but ike everything, you have to eventually pay for it. Bulb life is not one of its high points.

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post #380 of 493 Old 09-04-2008, 09:42 PM
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Jeff:

I really love the pictures of your home theater setup. That's exactly the type of 2:35 screen and picture I'd love to have. There's just something so incredible looking when you see a 2:35 picture with no black bars and the picture filling up the screen so nicely. Can you PM me your setup/components/screen etc. when you have a free minute? thanks!

With your post and Art's post, it is really disappointing to find out that this projector has major quality issues. As soon as I read the first review on this projector, I was definitely going to buy one, but as owners of this product started commenting on this unit, it really was a surprise at first, but apparently, the issues are widespread and not just isolated incidents. It's sad even if you don't use all the light output that this projector is capable of, at least you know it's there and you have more room for adjusting the light output when you need it.

Should I just give up on this projector or maybe wait and see if Optoma makes some corrections/adjustments to whatever all the issues are that is making this a nightmare to own or maybe go with another projector? I've read alot of good press on the Planar 8150 but it's expensive, and possibly the Epson Powerlight 1080 UB which has a great price and great picture and then Panasonic is just about to release it new projector, the 3000, but that's all I know about that one.

Thanks!
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post #381 of 493 Old 09-04-2008, 10:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Jimmy,

Thanks--the pictures are circa 2006, the LV looks much better than the HD81
because it's black, everything in the rack is black. The best decision I made
was going to 2:35:1 screen and anamorphic lens. The HD-81 and LV work great with anamorphic setups because of the automatic vertical scaling and triggering of the lens to slide in when 2:35:1 aspect ratio material is sensed.

The two-piece configuration also appealed to me with the HD-81 and LV, great connectivity. The HD-81 seemed to be everything I was looking for except for the terrible reliability. The LV offers lots of improvements, but the reliability is still suspect.

As Art mentioned, HDMI compatibility is problematic, my second LV is even more picky about HDMI handshakes.

So, no, I can't recommend an Optoma product and don't expect any updates
for the LV--the long promised HD-81 web download firmware updates never
happened for it or the LV. I'm not sure Optoma is going to continue in the
higher end projector space. The installation inflexibility is problematic for
many, the fan and color wheel noise is objectionable in brite mode or high altitude.

There are many great new projector models from many manufacturers, I'm sure you've been reading up on CEDIA news.
Best of luck and 2:35 rocks!
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post #382 of 493 Old 09-04-2008, 10:54 PM
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Jeff:

Thanks for your detailed response. Where does someone find out all that's needed to set up a total 2:35 screen and projector. I'm sure there's much more to it than I'm aware of. I have had front projectors before, but always 16:9 screens with the black bars on most of the movies.

I've been keeping track of all of Cedia's take on new front projectors and there's some really promising ones coming down the pike. New models from Panasonic and Planar as well as others are incorporating the 2:35 screen trend.

I have to admit it's just awesome to look at a 2:35 screen setup like what you have. It's just awesome to have that type of setup on your living room and to watch all those widescreen movies without the black bars and being able to use all of the resolution available at the same time.

Where's does someone learn what they need to get a setup similar to what you have? Thanks!
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post #383 of 493 Old 09-04-2008, 11:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Jimmy,

The CIH Anamorphic forum here is a good resource. Jason and Allen at AVS are
very helpful. It's really not that much more complicated than a normal 16:9
setup. The extra tweaking is well worth it, assuming the lens dollars are not an
issue. Just make sure whatever projector has vertical expansion.
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post #384 of 493 Old 10-31-2008, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
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My second HD81-LV is having intermittent long blue screen issues, sometimes leading to shut down. I swapped it at Optoma yesterday, the refurb. unit I was given was serial number 9, each refurb. has been an earlier serial number than my original projector.

This latest refurb. unit has a horrendous drone/humming sound. It leads me to believe that this was Art's(Mr. HiFi's) previous unit that he noted an audible issue with. This unit should not have passed QC. I just wish I hadn't fully installed it before doing a power up check, because the sound was instantly objectionable.

Now I'm being told to wait for my second LV to be repaired. I'm told it would only be 3-5 days, but that's if parts are available and intermittent issues are the hardest to find. I only got less than three months service from this 2nd LV, much like the first three HD-81's I had. I just don't see how Optoma can have such dismal reliability in such an ultra-competitive environment.

Update: Optoma just called, they will try to find another unit to swap today or Monday.
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post #385 of 493 Old 10-31-2008, 12:09 PM
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Jeff my friend, I feel your pain. The current unit I have I sent back because the color wheel noise was awful. I asked them to repair it and not send a refurb because it at least did not have blue screen issues. When it came back, the grinding sound was gone but a terrible whine replaced it. I normally run it on high blower to mask the noise of the whine. My children refuse to watch TV at our house because of the noise. I have 800 hours on the bulb and I have a spare. When they die, I will run over this projector with my car. I hate it, I hate Optoma and I resent the fools who got us involved with Optoma by publishing happy words about Optoma.

Having said all that, I must admit that I have the sharpest picture on the block. The picture the LV provides is second to none.

It may be that all projectors that include a color wheel (DLP) have a whine. This whine is so objectionable in the 81's that regardless of the PQ, use is not recommended.

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post #386 of 493 Old 11-12-2008, 11:52 PM
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I use Optoma HD81-LV less a year. One day the whole right side of the projected image becomes full of white vertical lines. I requested Optoma service about repair or replacement but they said that only repair is possible and it takes about 2 month. It's terrible....
Now I looking for replacement....
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post #387 of 493 Old 11-13-2008, 07:43 AM - Thread Starter
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I assume you're not in the US. The US warranty provides for a hot swap for three years. A new unit for the first year, a loaner for the following two years. In reality, I was given a refurb. unit the first year, but never have much down time--I'm on my 4th LV.

No matter where you are in the world, there is no excuse for a two month repair duration, especially for a company's flagship projector. I would go above service and send an email or letter to management at the Optoma region you are in.

Optoma USA has a service manager who tries very hard to provide good customer service. A couple of weeks ago I exchanged my 2nd LV and got a refurb. that had a loud droning sound. First I was told that they would repair my previous LV in 3-5 days, but I was concerned about parts availablilty, so they found me a new LV that is working perfectly so far.

It's one thing to have poor product reliability, but to punish a customer for buying the flagship product by quoting a two month repair turnaround--well that's a company who must not want future customers, but I would blame the Optoma regional service center.
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post #388 of 493 Old 11-15-2008, 07:43 AM
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I had to send my 3rd LV in last week for the white lines on the right side.

Good news is that they fixed and shipped the unit back in 48 hours. Same serial numbers, so I know they did not swap with another unit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravik View Post

I use Optoma HD81-LV less a year. One day the whole right side of the projected image becomes full of white vertical lines. I requested Optoma service about repair or replacement but they said that only repair is possible and it takes about 2 month. It's terrible....
Now I looking for replacement....

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post #389 of 493 Old 11-15-2008, 12:47 PM
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The Whine from my color wheel is so loud that I can hear it 75 ft away through 3 walls. At 1 meter the whine produces an SPL of 62 dB. Optoma should offer a repair/replacement to all owners. Every return creates more problems. At least I have no blue screen issues. I do run on high intensity all the time because on my 96" wide 1.3 gain screen, the brighter image provides a better looking and much more pleasing result. Also, the higher blower speed masks the color wheel whine a bit.

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post #390 of 493 Old 12-30-2008, 11:32 AM
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New email advise from Optima...
Problem as sumbitted:
Purchased Date:8/2007
Problem:Today our projector displays solid Vertical White lines that are equally spaced from the left side to the middle. This appears to be the same white line problem that is found in many forums on the HD81.

Message back from Optima, just this AM:
The problem that you are seeing sounds like a grounding issue.We have found that getting a 2 prong adapter to connect onto the 3 prong
power cord
will resolve your issue.If you need additional info please feel free to email
me back.

I'll try this solution in a few hours and attempt to post the results.
-K


Quote:
Originally Posted by ravik View Post

I use Optoma HD81-LV less a year. One day the whole right side of the projected image becomes full of white vertical lines. I requested Optoma service about repair or replacement but they said that only repair is possible and it takes about 2 month. It's terrible....

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