Optoma HD81-LV Discussion/Reviews - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 493 Old 08-15-2007, 07:46 AM - Thread Starter
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This is the place to discuss the new Optoma HD81-LV DLP projector. The HD81-LV is
the "Large Venue" version of the two-piece HD81 1080p DLP projector.

First internet reviews:

http://www.projectorreviews.com/opto...1-lv/index.php

http://reviews.cnet.com/4505-7858_7-32469806.html

My observations:

I upgraded to this projector after having 3 HD81's since October of 2006. The HD81-LV has the same outboard Gennum processor and projector chassis, same 300W bulb, same lens and 1.2X zoom ratio.
It features a RGBCYM 6 segment color wheel. The HD81 is capable of very good images, but suffers from inflexible installation, auto iris that is useless, on/off CR of no more than 2000:1 and poor full field blacks. Lumens on the HD81 after setting for D65 are in the 600 range in brightest modes. Very good resolution, connectivity, and colorimetry sum up the HD81, as well as being a good choice for anamorphic setups with features such as Auto235. The biggest concern is the amount of owners who have had reliability issues, needing to replace their projectors sometimes multiple times in less than a
year of use.

The HD81-LV appears to have several enhancements over the HD81:

Rated at 2500 lumens, great projector for large screen setups, especially at the price.(Real lumens in brightest mode likely to be around 1000 after D65 calibration.)

UPDATE: My ISF tech measured a D65 calibrated 28 footlamberts on my Stewart 130 1.3 gain 100" wide screen with the projector at low lamp and iris closed down to 14--this is very different than the 9 footlamberts that CNET measured in their review.

Improved contrast and full field blacks--still not at the JVC RS-1 or Sharp 20K level.

Brilliant Color by TI which adds brightness to chroma and luminance, but also skews colorimetry. Big impact on brightness and CR.

Auto Gamma.

A little quieter in low lamp mode.

Warranty improved to 3 year hot swap on projector, 1 year on bulb.


Continued Flaws from HD81:

Auto Iris still unuseable due to being slow and obvious mid-scene iris changes.

Film Mode 48Hz still not enabled when in LBX or Auto235 modes(anamorphic).

Most HDMI Video sources have to be set at DVI-PC vs. DVI-Video.

Source changing is slow.

Circular light halo around the outside of the image.

Out of box set up not as accurate as HD81's, image is plus green uncalibrated.
After D65 calibration, lumens are lower, more like an uncalibrated HD81 and brighter
than a JVC RS-1 or Sharp 20K.

New Issue--Colorimetry is skewed to the plus red/magenta side in Brilliant Color mode.
Reds look maroon and crushed. With Hue set properly for color bars, flesh looks too
red, I need to change Hue to +7.(Brilliant Color mode, non-calibrated projector)
After D65 calibration of projector with Brilliant Color off, turning it on makes it plus green.

Still no sign of downloadable firmware, promised a year ago on HD81, which
went through at least 4 firmware versions in as many months after release.
The lower cost HD80 is supported by net downloads of firmware from Optoma.

Reliability still suspect, another HD81-LV owner already had a failure at 30 hours.
Reports of heat related shutdowns in low lamp mode, same as HD81.

Update-New Issues: Momentary black screens when using component sources
at 1080i. This happens to my LV when using PS2 at 1080i.

Vertical lines reported by a few owners out of the box, sometimes
at left, sometimes at right, sometimes center. Gets progressively
worse.

Projector shutdown on me when pausing PS3 Gran Turismo 4 game.

Please feel free to post reviews, opinions and questions about the HD81-LV on
this thread.

Jeff Regan


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post #2 of 493 Old 08-15-2007, 09:42 AM
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Jeff

I cant decide if I regret not reading this forum before I purchased this projector or not.

Thanks for your recent help.

Im sure I will have some more questions for the forum shortly.

Also thanks for starting this thread.

Ira
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post #3 of 493 Old 08-15-2007, 12:17 PM
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Well, this morning I placed an order for the HD81-LV. I have a question about the RS232 cable from the processor to the projector. Is this required regardless of whether one intends to control from a PC via RS232? In other words, if I intend to exercise all controls via a IR/RF remote control to the processor, do I still need the RS232 DB9 cable to get commands from the processor to the projector? My projector is about 45 cable feet from where the processor will be located so I will need to order a cable if it is required for all installations. If it is needed, is the cable M/M, M/F, or F/F; I can't figure it out from the pics but it looks like F/F.

Thank you!

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post #4 of 493 Old 08-15-2007, 12:39 PM
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If this is similar to the HD81, which I assume it is then yes, you absolutely need the serial cable.

What many of us did was purchase a serial straight through extension cable with M/F. We then plugged thsi into the serial cable that came with the projector so that the pins and orientation were correct.

Joe

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post #5 of 493 Old 08-15-2007, 01:09 PM
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Joe,

Thanks for the response. It appears to me that the HD81 and HD81-LV are the same except for some lumen magic.

OK, so the included cable really is F/F and the jacks on both units really are male. So, that would make your M/F cable work just fine as an extension. Great idea; I was having trouble finding a 50' F/F cable.

I'm off to order it now. I'm sure not looking forward to pulling that cable thru the attic in this August heat.

Thanks!

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post #6 of 493 Old 08-15-2007, 01:49 PM
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Couldnt you also use a cat 55 or 6 cable with RJ45 to DB9 converter on the ends if you wanted to?
Most of the time cat 5 cables are easier to run to the projector
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post #7 of 493 Old 08-15-2007, 01:53 PM
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I have just ordered mine and it should be here in a couple of days or so. Thank you Art Neill and Jeff Regan for your advice on the 81 thread. I will be removing my ceiling light/fan to accommodate the 36% vertical shift.

Look forward to enjoying the lumens -
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post #8 of 493 Old 08-15-2007, 04:24 PM
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I did this and it worked great! There is a pinout on the HD81 thread that you can use on the adapter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pudljmpr View Post

Couldnt you also use a cat 55 or 6 cable with RJ45 to DB9 converter on the ends if you wanted to?
Most of the time cat 5 cables are easier to run to the projector

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post #9 of 493 Old 08-20-2007, 10:02 AM
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I'm still not convinced that in our small venue environments, "brilliant color" offers any benefit. When I use it, it ruins skin tones and on the bright portions of the screen it washes out detail. Perhaps outside in a sunlit environment, it might improve the picture but in our small theaters, the results are quite negative. Some discussion of settings is appropriate I believe.

I keep my IRIS at 16 unless it is bright outside and light filters in through my drapes and windows in other rooms. This light provides conditions in which you would want to turn on auxiliary lighting if you were going to read magazine print but yet is bright enough that for finding a remote on a table, you would not need a light. Under these conditions I select 8 for my IRIS. On the first setup screen I find leaving everything at 0 except for sharpness works well and produces natural colors. The Advanced settings require Auto Gamma to be on, Edge Enhancement to be at 1, and Color Vividness at 1,2 or 3 depending on the source material. I can not use any Pedestal Setting other than 0 IRE/PC Video or it looses detail in the black area. Sometimes blacks are too bright at these settings in which cases I reduce brightness 5 units to -5. These values do not meet the test requirements of AVIA or Video Essentials. Why....I don't know.

I do know that at these settings, my wife and I can watch for hours with no fatigue or eye strain.. PBS material looks superb as do BluRay movies.

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post #10 of 493 Old 08-20-2007, 02:47 PM
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My unit should be arriving fedex tomorrow (according to their web site anyway). Looking forward to hooking up and seeing how it performs.

Anything special during set up that I should watch out for? All my sources will be HDMI hookups, including the receiver....

Also, I do plan on having a professional calibration done. What has your experience been with the regular 81 of break in time prior to ISF? Thanks.
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post #11 of 493 Old 08-20-2007, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteintheireye View Post


Anything special during set up that I should watch out for? All my sources will be HDMI hookups, including the receiver....

Also, I do plan on having a professional calibration done. What has your experience been with the regular 81 of break in time prior to ISF? Thanks.

You will need to loop thru the receiver and back to the processor. For D65
calibration, you should wait until you have at least 80-100 hours on the projector.

Jeff Regan


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post #12 of 493 Old 08-20-2007, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrHifi View Post

I'm still not convinced that in our small venue environments, "brilliant color" offers any benefit. When I use it, it ruins skin tones and on the bright portions of the screen it washes out detail. Perhaps outside in a sunlit environment, it might improve the picture but in our small theaters, the results are quite negative. Some discussion of settings is appropriate I believe.

I can not use any Pedestal Setting other than 0 IRE/PC Video or it looses detail in the black area. Sometimes blacks are too bright at these settings in which cases I reduce brightness 5 units to -5. These values do not meet the test requirements of AVIA or Video Essentials. Why....I don't know.

Art,

Brilliant Color opens up a can of worms, but I'm still finding it a bit seductive
for now. I'm just enjoying the extra CR and punch. I think that once my ISF
guy comes out he will talk me out of using it.

The other day I changed my Dish VIP 622 HD DVR to DVI-Video from DVI-PC,
which all of my HDMI sources are set to. I don't know what changed, although Dish did send new software to the receiver recently. But to properly see a pluge pattern, I need to go to +5 on brightness instead of the usual
0, so it sounds like we are getting to the same place via different roads.

Jeff Regan


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post #13 of 493 Old 08-20-2007, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Regan View Post

You will need to loop thru the receiver and back to the processor. For D65
calibration, you should wait until you have at least 80-100 hours on the projector.

Thanks Jeff.

I note "Most HDMI Video sources have to be set at DVI-PC vs. DVI-Video". Can someone elaborate what this references?

As mentioned before, I will have ax2, cable box, receiver all feeding via hdmi so I assume this applies to me, but not sure what it is referencing? Are we talking about setting the output at the source or on the input side. Thanks again
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post #14 of 493 Old 08-20-2007, 07:35 PM
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From what I gather from specs and reviews, the InFocus N82 may be brighter than the Optoma once the projector is calibrated. Out of the box, InFocus projectors are bright and well balanced. The Optoma rating of 2,500 lumens seems like a hoax to me. Both of them need a shorter throw lens option.

IB
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post #15 of 493 Old 08-20-2007, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteintheireye View Post

Thanks Jeff.

I note "Most HDMI Video sources have to be set at DVI-PC vs. DVI-Video". Can someone elaborate what this references?

As mentioned before, I will have ax2, cable box, receiver all feeding via hdmi so I assume this applies to me, but not sure what it is referencing? Are we talking about setting the output at the source or on the input side. Thanks again

This would be digital input level at the Optoma processor.

Jeff Regan


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post #16 of 493 Old 08-20-2007, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inky blacks View Post

From what I gather from specs and reviews, the InFocus N82 may be brighter than the Optoma once the projector is calibrated. Out of the box, InFocus projectors are bright and well balanced. The Optoma rating of 2,500 lumens seems like a hoax to me. Both of them need a shorter throw lens option.

IB

I would expect a D65 calibrated HD81-LV to be at the 1000 + lumens range. We
should know soon as Projector Reviews has an LV currently for review. I will
also have numbers when my LV get ISF'ed soon. What is clear to me is that
an LV will light up a screen that is 150"-170" wide without needing a high power
screen. It will be interesting to see the real lumens and CR for this projector.

Optoma does offer a .8X wide angle adaptor for short throw applications for
the EP910, which looks to be the same projector chassis and lens as the HD8X
series. This would make a 1.8X throw a 1.4X instead. I saw it on the Optoma
Canada site. Might be worth looking into.

Jeff Regan


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post #17 of 493 Old 08-22-2007, 01:34 PM
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Hopefully my LV will be here this week!!

I'm assuming they didnt add Rack Mount ears in the kit for the processor did they?

I've already purchased the Middle Atlantic kit but would be nice if they had and ear option, i would guess that a good number of people that spend this kind of money on a projector are using a rackmount system for their components.
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post #18 of 493 Old 08-22-2007, 02:18 PM
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dseliger,

This kind of money is pretty low when you compare it to the cost of a cheap CRT system 10 years ago. I paid over $17K twice to bu DWIN stuff that was considered bottom of the barrel.

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post #19 of 493 Old 08-22-2007, 02:29 PM
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heh i didnt mean it to come out like that, i just meant $5k+ is a lot for a projector (for me anyways) and with a projector like this comes several other $1k+ components that are all rack mountable (in my case anyways)...just would be nice to have the option in the box.

Didnt mean it to come out like it must have, i've already bought the MA kit and it works great.
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post #20 of 493 Old 08-23-2007, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dseliger View Post

heh i didnt mean it to come out like that, i just meant $5k+ is a lot for a projector (for me anyways) and with a projector like this comes several other $1k+ components that are all rack mountable (in my case anyways)...just would be nice to have the option in the box.

Didnt mean it to come out like it must have, i've already bought the MA kit and it works great.

I wanted rack mount ears as well because my whole system is in a 6' tall 19"
rack, but now that I know how hot the VXP gets, I'm happy I didn't mount it
with anything directly above or below. With rack mount ears, you'd still want
to put vertical spacing between it and other components--same with my HD
DVR's, they get very hot.

Jeff Regan


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post #21 of 493 Old 08-23-2007, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Regan View Post

I wanted rack mount ears as well because my whole system is in a 6' tall 19"
rack, but now that I know how hot the VXP gets, I'm happy I didn't mount it
with anything directly above or below. With rack mount ears, you'd still want
to put vertical spacing between it and other components--same with my HD
DVR's, they get very hot.

I agree. I put the VXD on a shelf and then put a 2U spacer above it. I also had to do the same with the Motorola HD PVR that I got from comcast. It was overheating and failing.

Joe

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post #22 of 493 Old 08-23-2007, 09:45 AM
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Good point, i actually do have like 2U above it up to my Anthem D2 (but i dont think it gets really hot) my Dish 622 is about 2U below it and i know it gets toasty.

But yes, good point...i'll stop complaining now



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Regan View Post

I wanted rack mount ears as well because my whole system is in a 6' tall 19"
rack, but now that I know how hot the VXP gets, I'm happy I didn't mount it
with anything directly above or below. With rack mount ears, you'd still want
to put vertical spacing between it and other components--same with my HD
DVR's, they get very hot.

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post #23 of 493 Old 08-23-2007, 10:50 AM
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So guys, tell me about these racks you use for equipment. I use a walnut horizontal 6' piece and stack everything. Getting to the mile or more of wire behind that cabinet requires my small wife. I have been looking for a rack on rollerss that I could spin around to wire. I have 24 pieces of gear to place so I might need two 6' racks. I would place the amps near the top so I could access the necessary equipment from a seated position.

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post #24 of 493 Old 08-23-2007, 11:16 AM
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http://www.middleatlantic.com/enclosure/roll/axsm.htm

Thats the one im using, its super nice and i can manage all the cable slack inside behind the rack and just have enough there so the rack can slide out.

The rack is on rollers and you buy tracks that you screw on the front when you need to roll it out and spin it to work on stuff. Its pretty slick and loots great!

It tucks in the hole really nice and neat, i'll take some shots of mine so you can get a better idea.

You do need ventalation inside the hole though it gets toasty in there, when i built my theater room i landed a return air duct inside there and it does a great job of keeping the hot out. (just turn on the AC fan when im watching movies). We did a Starwars marathon (all of the movies straight through) and nothing overheated. They do have a fan kit that mounts right on the top if you need it though.

Here is a link to their custom shelves for your components that dont come rack-mountable.

http://repnet.middleatlantic.com/RSH/mainRSH.asp
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post #25 of 493 Old 08-23-2007, 11:19 AM
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Quote:


So guys, tell me about these racks you use for equipment.

I've been using the Studiotech Ultra U 48 racks - they are excellent .

http://www.studiotech.com/products/c...ets/index.html

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I'm available 8:30am - 4:30pm PST, Monday - Friday Email me at
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post #26 of 493 Old 08-23-2007, 11:31 AM
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Thnks dseliger and Graig. I am looking at them now.

Also, I ran my LV last night for 3 hours on normal fan and low brightness. No BLUE SCREEN. Yay.

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post #27 of 493 Old 08-23-2007, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrHifi View Post

So guys, tell me about these racks you use for equipment. I use a walnut horizontal 6' piece and stack everything. Getting to the mile or more of wire behind that cabinet requires my small wife. I have been looking for a rack on rollerss that I could spin around to wire. I have 24 pieces of gear to place so I might need two 6' racks. I would place the amps near the top so I could access the necessary equipment from a seated position.

Art,

I took a wall that was adjascent to a closet and built the rack into it. All I purchased was the two rails and the shelving and spacers that I wanted.

So I built the frame in the wall with 2x4s and then lined the inside with nice 1x6 cherry boards. I then screwed the rails to these cherry boards. I then put cherry cabinet doors on the front of it all so it looks more like nice cabinetry rather than a rack of equipment.

The nice thing about the closet it that it is 4x8 and provides more than enough space for cooling purposes.

Take a look at my theater build. I am pretty shure that I have pictures of it there.

Joe

Starting Research for new Theater. New Theater will be 24x36x12.

The link to my previous theater build :)
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post #28 of 493 Old 08-29-2007, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteintheireye View Post

My unit should be arriving fedex tomorrow (according to their web site anyway). Looking forward to hooking up and seeing how it performs.

Anything special during set up that I should watch out for? All my sources will be HDMI hookups, including the receiver....

Also, I do plan on having a professional calibration done. What has your experience been with the regular 81 of break in time prior to ISF? Thanks.

You got the PJ on the 21st, don't desert us now, how does it look?

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Are you twisted also?

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post #29 of 493 Old 08-29-2007, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Projector Reviews is supposed to have their HD81-LV review up before September 1st. I will be having my LV ISF'd on September 4th by an
ISF tech who was trained by Joe Kane. I wanted to wait until the
projector had 80 hours on it, which it now has.

I am still being seduced by Brilliant Color, but am pretty sure that it is
partly the cause of the wine colored reds. We'll see what my new ISF
tech has to say about it.

Jeff Regan


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post #30 of 493 Old 08-29-2007, 04:16 PM
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It does push it into blue/red area Jeff.. I do not find it improves my picture at all. I do not use it. I believe it would help in a large outside environment.

Art Neill
a.k.a.
Mr. HiFi
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Reply Digital Hi-End Projectors - $3,000+ USD MSRP

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