Optoma H30 review & screenshots - Page 268 - AVS Forum
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Digital Projectors - Under $3,000 USD MSRP > Optoma H30 review & screenshots
allkingz's Avatar allkingz 09:13 PM 02-19-2007
Add me to the list of H30 users with premature bulb failure. My bulb went out today at about 270 hours.

Aroc's Avatar Aroc 06:23 AM 02-20-2007
Mine's still kicking strong going on 3 years. Sorry to hear of your misfortune RE: Lamp failure.

My H30 still continues to garner the wow effect from vistors, much akin to the strengths Guitarman first noted (decent black levels, punchy vivid color rendition, good deinterlacing/scaling of Standard Definition sources). But for many of these people this is their first time seeing Front Projection in a Home Theater environment, which skews the results somewhat in the H30s favor.

gottahavapj's Avatar gottahavapj 08:45 AM 02-20-2007
Originally Posted by allkingz View Post

Add me to the list of H30 users with premature bulb failure. My bulb went out today at about 270 hours.

I hear ya... I cannot say that I have been impressed with the replacement lamps for the H30 that Optoma is shipping out right now either. That said- their customer service has been very good albeit a little slow.

My H30 is almost 3 years old now. Lamp#1 exploded at 941 hours/7 months. Lamp#2 I bought from Page Computers and it is still going strong after more than 2 years and over 3,000 hours. I thought I would give that one a break and put it on the shelf as a spare in September. I ordered lamp#3 from Optoma (best price) on Sept. 5th. On Dec. 5th- lamp#3 exploded ON DAY 90 with ~350 hours on the lamp. I emailed every department I could find an address for at Optoma to make them aware of the day 90 failure. They replaced it under warranty but I didn't receive lamp#4 for about 3 weeks due to me being slow shipping the exploded one back and them being closed for a week for the holidays. I installed lamp#4 about New Years, it ran for about 4 weeks and ~50 hours and then would no long strike, even after reseating the lamp. Lamp#2 goes back in the projector and strikes the first (and every) time. Optoma issued me an RMA for lamp#4 and now lamp#5 is on the way.

The last conversation I had with them- they wanted me to send the projector in for service. He indicated something in the projector must be blowing lamps. Well- I guess I could understand that were it not for good old lamp#2 which has been back in the projector 4 times now and is still going strong. I'm sure if I sent the projector in for service it would be a replacement of some board or something that would exceed the value of the projector.

I'll say that Optoma has done an admirable job on customer service through all this, but unmounting the projector from my $18 mount (no easy task) and shipping off lamp after lamp is getting old. I'll probably see how lamp#5 goes and make a decision on upgrading from there. I know they don't make the lamps but my uneducated opinion is that they are sitting on a bad batch.
jeffspam's Avatar jeffspam 07:15 AM 03-20-2007
My H30's original bulb now has 7444 hours on it. Yikes - that averages 9 hours a day! We use it every day as the main (and only) TV for the house. The only thing I've done differently than most other owners is that I've opened up the unit about four times now, each time giving the inside a real good blast of compressed air, and adding some lube to the color wheel. But given gottahavapj's experience, it has to be luck of the draw.
gottahavapj's Avatar gottahavapj 03:43 PM 03-20-2007
7444???? Wow- that is impressive. Does the picture still have any brightness to it? I know I keep reading about people having dramatic results when replacing a lamp with ~2,000+ hours on it. As I mentioned above- lamp #2 for me has been in and out of the projector a lot lately and has over 3,000 hours on it. I don't notice much difference in image brightness at all when I pop in a new lamp.

I still don't have a replacement lamp from the RMA I detailed a month ago. I called Optoma last week and they indicated they are still waiting for a new shipment to arrive. I don't mind waiting for a new batch as I still have a functioning spare and I haven't had good luck with their latest batch. I hope the new lamps that come in will work for at least a few months so I can consider offloading this unit with a relatively new lamp and a good spare. That should net me all of about $300. Then I will dive into an Epson 400 or Sharp DT-500 and try to get 3+ years out of that until 1080P is the cheap kid on the block.

jeffspam's Avatar jeffspam 10:23 PM 03-20-2007
I don't remember ever being floored by the brightness of the H30, even was the bulb was brand new. We recently moved, and in the old place, the room the pj was in only had a single, small, dirty skylight and no windows, so that wasn't too bad. But now we've got sunlight galore, and on a sunny day, it's almost pointless to watch anything but the most bright, colorful shows. However, at night, even when I have on some incandescents in the back of the room, it's great. Now if I could only find a permanent fix to the color wheel noise.

Maybe I have a bulb that's got a slightly lower output, hence the long life. I do have an unopened spare around here somewhere, but I'm thinking along your lines -- I'd like to get rid of this at some point, and I can probably still get nearly as much for the bulb as I can for the pj!
fallenturtle's Avatar fallenturtle 12:04 AM 04-22-2007
Well, I got a popping sound from my H30 and I thought the bulb had gone, but it hadn't... instead the color wheel appears to have shattered! I've had the projector for like 4 or so years, so its out of warranty, but I wondered if anyone knows where you can get a new color wheel that I can then replace myself since I'm sure it would be an arm and a leg to have Optoma do it. Or at this point, should I consider this projector dead?

I'm on my second bulb, the 1st having exploded. Perhaps a shard could have hit a color wheel and damaged it enough not to break then, but later down the road?
spdfrek's Avatar spdfrek 09:48 AM 04-22-2007
Consider it dead. I broke a color wheel as well. They only replace it with the "color engine" which is the entire dlp unit. Cost is just under $500 for the whole set of parts. Maybe you can find someone with a bad bulb willing to sell their unit cheap, and get a good color wheel.
drhutch's Avatar drhutch 03:48 PM 06-11-2007
My second color wheel sounds like a dentist drill and after calling Optoma to get an idea of what it may cost to replace it a second time, this time out of warranty, I now have been sent a new "Color Wheel Module" for the H30 for a price of $109.

I hope I didn't bite off more than I can chew. Could I get some assistance on pitfalls of replacing the color wheel myself.

Jeffspam - I noticed in a previous post that you lubed the color wheel. Since it seems to be less than a year into them that they get LOUD. I'd like to know what you use to lube the color wheel and how you apply it.

I don't seem to have the lamp problems that some have with the H30, but color wheel problems I do have. Overall, I've been very pleased with the unit, when it's quiet.

Thanks for the help.
jeffspam's Avatar jeffspam 05:54 PM 06-11-2007
Originally Posted by drhutch View Post

Jeffspam - I noticed in a previous post that you lubed the color wheel. Since it seems to be less than a year into them that they get LOUD. I'd like to know what you use to lube the color wheel and how you apply it.

I think the first time around I just used WD-40. The second and third times I used some Radio Shack Cleaner/Degreaser (which does have some sort of lubricant in it, IIRC). I'm quite sure the products I used were not appropriate, but I was more interested in getting it done quickly than doing it right. With all the fans running, that thing got quite dusty inside. I wonder if it'd help to somehow retro-fit the fans with filters. though on second thought you might be cutting down on airflow, which would probably be bad for the unit.

The disassembly wasn't difficult. Take out the bulb first. Then, after removing the screws, gently pull apart the two halves of the case. There's a sticker in the rear which comes right apart. You'll have to unplug a half dozen or so connectors to fully separate the halves, so take notes. Removing the color wheel is just a couple of screws and a ribbon cable, but be gentle -- after I had done it a few times, I read the wheels are very delicate. The biggest problem was trying to spray lube in the wheel's motor without getting it on the color segments. I know there have to be better ways of doing it than the way I did, which involved trying to get short squirts of WD-40/RS stuff in the center of the wheel. I manually spun the wheel to try to get the majority of the excess lube out, but it ended up splashing on me, inside of the projector, etc. Once you screw the wheel back in, give it a gentle spin to make sure it doesn't rub against anything. Even after the sloppy job I did, the wheel did sound a lot better. You might want to try fixing the old wheel before putting in the new one, if nothing else than just for practice for when the new wheel starts acting up. After the first year or so, I ended up opening it up every six months.

A thought: You might want to call a company who makes color wheels (e.g. Oerlikon) to see what they recommend for lube.

Good luck with the patient!
drhutch's Avatar drhutch 06:55 AM 06-12-2007
Thanks for the info on the color wheel. I already put in the new color wheel, it wasn't too tough to get to. This one is so quiet right now my htpc is now the loudest thing in the room. I don't think the H30 was ever this quiet, not even right out of the box. I'll try to work on the old color wheel just in case this one gets loud. With the noise the old one was making I was thinking of a Husqvarna chainsaw lubricant might be more appropriate. This new one seems to have a blue seal that the old one doesn't or didn't have. Thanks again.
BAM279's Avatar BAM279 03:14 PM 05-04-2008
Hi all, I thought I would post my findings on getting this little projector to playback HD material smoothly from the PC - it does it! I got native 48Hz refresh to work using the custom display timings section within the Nvidia Control Panel (Forceware driver release 169.21). I hope this info is useful, as those of us familiar with the almighty powerstrip will no doubt have discovered that it doesnt work with the latest generation of nvidia cards, apparently due to nv witholding vital specs/info on how their new cards work Anyways, at least they have still given us the ability to configure custom timings, albeit with much more trial and error...

I know the H30 is an antique these days, but I still love mine and will keep it as long as possible as im still very happy with the output and the scaler is still a beauty imho...

As well as the 48Hz mode, ive also posted the timings for 50Hz mode just for the sake of it, for those of us who want perfect PAL DVD playback. Here you go! :



One final note of advice - the Nvidia custom display timing section can be picky. I have found that when you first create the new custom timing using the info in the above images, that you need to click OK, then choose the newly saved/created display mode from the list, click "Edit..." then go down to the bottom and change the scaling type to "Display (None)" then hit test, and then OK to save.

You will notice that the 48Hz mode uses the H30s internal scaling/resolution mode of 720x576/48Hz, I got timings for 800x600/48Hz but the pj still uses the 720x576 mode, and the scaling doesnt look as good. I couldnt get native 1:1 800x600 48Hz mode even after much trial and error, maybe someone else can figure that one out

Anyhow, go enjoy some silky smooth HD playback on your H30 now! Enjoy!


BAM279's Avatar BAM279 07:21 PM 05-04-2008
Ok, been at it again, and now I think I have the definitive 48Hz / HD playback mode for the H30.

Ive got a display timing for 1280x720/48 working perfectly (timing accuracy verified by running it in JudderTest, and of course, HD-DVDs!) and whats more, it gives a better image than the previous timings.

This is because the PC is in 1280x720 resolution mode, which means it is sending much more video data to the projector, the theory being that the H30s scaler has much more data to work with now, and can better interpolate the video - and it works in practice, as the jaggies from my previous 720x576/48 are now completely gone and the outputted image is nice and smooth with no scaling artifacts to be seen! It does however now look just a tad softer, but that is to be expected with a native resolution of 800x600...

Still, I dont think I will get it any better, and it still looks mighty superb anyways, especially for such an old PJ. There is simply no doubt you are watching HD, it still blows DVD out of the water.

Well, enough talking, here is the timing for you to try (and dont forget, you need to accept the timing, go back out to the custom timings list, click on the new timing, select "edit..." then change the output scaling to "Display (none)" and test & OK it to save. You will now have the correct custom timing stored and can now use it successfully:

1280x720 48Hz


guitarman's Avatar guitarman 10:28 AM 05-05-2008
That's a good trick the H30 doing 48hz. The timing links are not working.
darkthanatos's Avatar darkthanatos 07:20 AM 08-15-2008
Hi, I love my H30 that being said.... it overheats
a little history, i bought it from Paige computers on 10/25/04
and RMAed to Optoma on 6/22/05, for overheating that seemed to solve the problem until a few months ago, i contacted Optoma re: this second overheating issue and they replied:
"Out of warranty pre-payment fee is $130.00 (includes $85.00 for estimate fee which will go towards labor fee if you decide to get the unit fixed & $45.00 for overnight return S&H). Our turn around time for repair estimate is between 24 - 48 hours. If you decide not to get the unit fixed, you will only be billed for $130.00 per unit."
This is too much!! I tend to be fairly handy with fixing things so if anyone has diagrams, parts lists, schematics, and suggestions I would sincerely appreciate it, I plan to do the work myself and would rather not dive in there blind. p.s. I have plenty of circulation and even use a- VANTEC LapCool2 Notebook Cooler (which works great)
guitarman's Avatar guitarman 01:08 PM 08-15-2008
Maybe it's as simple as installing a new stronger fan, vacuam it out also. When you say overheats, is it shutting off? What warning light codes.
darkthanatos's Avatar darkthanatos 09:18 AM 08-16-2008
OVER TEMP message w/ the orange light, i don't mind upgrading the fan any recommended brands? i will vac and clean as well, other than the overheating issue my pj still stuns during movie nite
PJresearcher's Avatar PJresearcher 08:57 AM 02-19-2009
After 5 years regular enjoyment, my bulb gave out last month at around 2000 hours. Yesterday, the color wheel wouldn't spin up, and then it gave a lamp failure light and shut off. Oh well, time to go shopping. http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/image...ies/tongue.gif
Rafael Taveras's Avatar Rafael Taveras 10:12 AM 02-19-2009
I recently replaced the bulb in my 3 year old H30 and it would not turn on. Several attemps gave me the bulb failure light. Check the cover on the projector. If it's not put on right and making contact with a switch in the corner it will not turn back on.

By the way I was also thinking of upgrading but after puting in the new bulb it looks spectacular. After about 100 hours of use and recalibration I think I can wait a couple of more yeras to upgrade

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