Optoma H57 owners. Come out of the closet! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 988 Old 06-26-2005, 06:23 AM - Thread Starter
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The H57 has sold out and won't be available until at least late July. Recently a big box chain held a successful promotion of it and cleaned out Optoma of it's stock.

So, given that this projector has sold like hotcakes, why isn't there an official thread about it? Why haven't more H57 owners been talking this baby up?

I started out with the H31 but upgraded to the H57 and I'd never go back. So come on all you H57 owners out there. Pipe up!

Wayne
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post #2 of 988 Old 06-26-2005, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mystery View Post

So, given that this projector has sold like hotcakes, why isn't there an official thread about it? Why haven't more H57 owners been talking this baby up?

Wayne

You'll need to venture over to the $3500 and up forum. Just remember it gets lonely at the top and all your friends are down here...for now.
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post #3 of 988 Old 06-26-2005, 10:13 AM
 
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The H57 is the odd man out in the Optoma lineup. It really seems aimed at PAL countries, as here in the states its native resolution doesnt match DVDs or HDTV. Why would anyone want to pay almost double the H31 price for an H57, when the H31 works so well? And, if you wanted to upgrade, why not spend a little more for a 720P like the BenQ or Toshiba? I'm really curious, since while I'm happy with my H31 I couldn't see upgrading to anything less than 720P. See the article at www.projectorcentral.com concerning resolution, they agree that H57 class PJs are the red-headed stepchild of the PJ world.
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post #4 of 988 Old 06-26-2005, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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CMRA,

I understand that Optoma has lowered the MSRP to $2000.00 U.S. which should make this projector a more talked about entity in this forum.

floridapoolboy,

While the H57 is essentially a matterhorn, it renders both DVDs and HDTV beautifully without scaling artifacts. I have seen 720p projectors and neither DVDs nor HDTV look better to my eyes than on the H57. When you're that close to HD resolution, it's my opinion that a negative comparison is only really nit-picking.

The price of D3 chip DLP projectors isn't even close to what the H57 is selling for now. It hits a sweet spot between the 480p pjs and the 720ps. If what you want is an LCD projector @ 720p then yes, it doesn't make sense to buy the H57 but if DLP is what you're looking for then the H57 is a good fit.

I went through two H31s before giving up. I can't afford a 720p DLP, especially the way they're priced here in Canada but the H57 is now being aggressively priced.

Here's why I upgraded to the H57:

1. Better reds. The H31 has orangey reds whether it's through an HTPC or a DVD player. You can only tweak them so far before your image begins to suffer in other ways.

2. The H57 has no trouble syncing with an HTPC unlike the H31 which can be hit or miss. Both my H31s would not work with a computer over DVI.

3. Better resolution. The pixels are smaller and there are more of them on the H57. You can sit closer to the screen without being affected by SDE.

4. The H57 is brighter. This may or not be a good thing but I like it.

5. Color saturation is better on the H57. The H31 is very good in this regard but I see the H57 as being noticeably better.

6. No tearing on the H57, unlike the H31 when used with an HTPC.

7. Separate VGA input on the H57 rather than a shared DVI/VGA input on the H31.

Check out this review posted by a fellow AVS Forum member who runs the website on which the review is posted:

http://www.projectorreviews.com/review.asp?reid=35

Wayne
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post #5 of 988 Old 06-26-2005, 11:19 AM
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At roughly twice the street price it should. But, fear not, in this leap frog world of digital PJ technology don't be surprised (down the road) when some of us replace our H31s with H79s (dare I say, for less than H57s currently go for?) And, remember, the best is yet to come. Enjoy.

Remember, it's lonely at the top...for now.
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post #6 of 988 Old 06-26-2005, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Reminds me of that episode in the old Twilight Zone series where people had been deemed obsolete in view of the fact that certain functions once performed by them were no longer needed.

Oh well...
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post #7 of 988 Old 06-26-2005, 02:43 PM
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Well, I have to agree with Mystery. I love my H57, the color is wonderful, it is bright enough for lights on and its so easy to connect. The menu is more than I could ever have asked for. I was displaying it in my room at about 92 inches in diagnol and sittin about 6 fee6 away and it still looked absolutely stunning.
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post #8 of 988 Old 06-26-2005, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Nautica,

Thanks for the reply. I knew I wasn't the only one who owns this projector.

Now there are at least two happy H57 purchasers. I don't feel so lonely anymore.

Wayne
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post #9 of 988 Old 06-28-2005, 05:13 PM
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It's about time I hear more about this projector.
I am also an H57 owner here in canada.

Adam
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post #10 of 988 Old 06-28-2005, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Adam,

Good for you and thanks for responding! And a fellow Canuck to boot.

Our little family is growing now.

Wayne
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post #11 of 988 Old 06-30-2005, 02:17 PM
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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder someone said. I have a H57 with 350 flawless hours of operation. Could I have spent another 1k to say I have a 720 projector? Absolutely. So why didn't I?

I had a friend bring his H77 to my house one weekend for a neighborhood movie night. My H57 against his H77. We had 7 couples watch two movies. The first half of the movies we watched the H57 and the second half we watched the H77. Both projectors calibrated with AIVIA. Both projectors using a Harmon Cardan DVD 21. The other couples were not told which projector was in use. We then watched some HD broadcast on various stations using both.

The movies were: Gladiator and Lord of the Rings Return of the King.

Results:
Gladiator - H57 - 8 votes and H77 6 votes
LOR - H57 - 6 votes and H77 8 votes

HD Broadcast - H57 7 votes and H77 7 votes

When all asked if they had to choose one over the other, they all said, which one is cheaper? What does this all mean? We all see things differently. I think some people get so wrapped up in all the technology that they become afflicted to the point of never being satisfied. Of course the manufactures love it. The best is not always better. The middle of the pack is sometimes the better choice. The newest technology comes with an unproven cost performance measure. The oldest is always stable but getting behind the times. The middle takes in some new technology while perfecting what was learned from the older technology.

In the end. Both me and my neighbor are still very satisfied with our purchase. My money went for buying more movies and a better DVD player while his money gives him the bragging rights of having a newer technology that cost more.

The H57 was trapped in a bad time with too high of a retail price. The price dropped and in my opinion is the (Best) middle of the road you can buy and knocks on the door of the super projectors.
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post #12 of 988 Old 06-30-2005, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for that superb testimony 'Brother avolfan'.

Wow, what a story you have to tell! That is truly remarkable. So the two projectors were virtually neck and neck when the dust settled.

This thread is staying alive through folks like yourself and the others who've contributed. The H57 is underappreciated on this forum in my opinion. It's sort of Optoma's best kept secret.

I think you're right in that it got off on the wrong foot with pricing that was too high, especially on a projector with a resolution that's neither HD nor SWVGA.

But now with the price drop it ought to be very appealing to anyone wishing to own a projector that delivers as you've proven, almost HD resolution quality.

Indeed, the proof is in the putting and anecdotes such as yours that allow people to compare units comparable to what you had, speak volumes.

I'm sure that the H77/79 are fine projectors but it would appear based on your little experiment that those of us who've opted for the H57 aren't missing out on too much.

There must be other owners of the H57 who've read this thread but haven't posted. Let's hear from you! That big box store that cleaned Optoma out of the H57 recently with it's massive promotion, well, there must be people who took advantage of that who belong to AVS.

Good stuff avolfan!

Wayne
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post #13 of 988 Old 07-02-2005, 07:46 AM
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OK, I've narrowed it down to either the H31 or H57. I'd like to set up a 110" diag (16X9) screen due to my large room (18'X18'). How would the H31 do at this size given my two seating tier distances will be 17' and 11'? Given the screen size I want is the H57 the only way to go (or perhpas I'm too new at this and not asking the right questions)?

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Mike!

PS - Hope you don't mind a potential future H57 owner posting here
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post #14 of 988 Old 07-02-2005, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi Mike,

Welcome to the H57 appreciation thread!

The H31 will do well at 17' but at 11' may cause some people to notice SDE. You probably should opt for more pixels viewing that closely.

I'm using my H57 at about 10' and I can see SDE on occasion and that's a 1024 x 576 resolution projector! And my screen is only 92" across diagonally so you'll be spreading your pixels out quite a bit more.

If most of your viewing will be at 17' then you'll be fine with the H31 in my opinion. You could always stick the non-picky people up front.

Let us know what you finally decide on and treat us to a review.

Wayne
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post #15 of 988 Old 07-02-2005, 05:30 PM
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Using Erik's nice little calculator we get these numbers for the H31 @ 110":

17 ft - 31.72 pixels per degree. You are at 26.45 degrees horizontal field of view. This is the same as the worst seat in a THX certified theater. 30 degrees is SMPTE recommended.

11 ft - 20.52 PPD - the folks here likely will see SDE. They have a 40 degree HVA.

The rule of thumb is that at 30 PPD you shouldn't see SDE anymore.

For the H57 at 11 ft you're at 24.61 PPD. Still not good. At 17 ft you're at 38.03 PPD.

You know...given that its 2005 I think that we should move on from considering WSVGA to be the cat's ass...even for the budget forum.

Nigel

Link to calculator: http://home1.gte.net/res18h39/calculator.htm
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post #16 of 988 Old 07-02-2005, 06:45 PM
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Neat little gizmo.

So based on my 84" 2.35:1 screen to get 30 PPD:

H31=13.09 feet
H57= 10.84 feet
H77,78,79= 8.67 feet

So...13.09 feet approx $1000
subtract 2.25 feet...approx $2000
subtract 4.42 feet...yikes...

That's $74.00 an inch.
Or, 5 DVDs per inch. Now there's a difference I can see.
And, to think, Optoma is coming out with a Wally World special H27.
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post #17 of 988 Old 07-02-2005, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CMRA View Post

Neat little gizmo.

So based on my 84" 2.35:1 screen to get 30 PPD:

H31=13.09 feet
H57= 10.84 feet
H77,78,79= 8.67 feet

So...13.09 feet approx $1000
subtract 2.25 feet...approx $2000
subtract 4.42 feet...yikes...

That's $74.00 an inch.
Or, 5 DVDs per inch. Now there's a difference I can see.
And, to think, Optoma is coming out with a Wally World special H27.

Well, 26 degrees is the worst acceptable seat in a THX theater. The H57 allows you to sit at the NHK and SMPTE preferred 30 degrees. If you prefer (or need) to sit at 13 feet it gives you better pixel density. 30 PPD is the minimum acceptable. 60 PPD is the target.

The point really isn't that the matterhorn is worth $2000 but that the minimum for HT should be at least the matterhorn if not 720 and not 480 in this day and age. Neither the H31 or 4805 are all that worthy of the praise they get around here. The bottom end DLP should be a 4805 class $1200 machine with the matterhorn and not SVGA. IMHO the matterhorn is pretty danged borderline for 2005.

I've been running an XGA projector since 2000. Ya think in 5 years SVGA would have gone the path of the dodo. At least we now have the SX50 at a reasonable price for presentation. Perhaps a HT model might appear next year and SVGA finally dead and XGA the new bottom end.

Anyone here still use their computer at 800x600? No? Didn't think so.

Nigel

PS Yes it is a neat little tool.
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post #18 of 988 Old 07-02-2005, 11:01 PM
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Nigel, you wrote:
"The bottom end DLP should be a 4805 class $1200 machine with the matterhorn and not SVGA. IMHO the matterhorn is pretty danged borderline for 2005. "

You make a fine argument. WXGA (1280x720p) LCD projectors have been out well over a year (Z2) and street for about that price.
Anyway, for what it's worth, and for whatever the reason, I find the H31 very watchable at 11.2 to 12.6 feet with only slight peek-a-boo SDE. By calculation, this works out to be 25.7 to 28.8 PPD. Perhaps it's my setup, or Optoma's engineering, or maybe I just have a higher tolerance for SDE (or a combination).
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post #19 of 988 Old 07-03-2005, 01:07 AM
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So why are the H77's the same price now on Ebay (3k avg.) as the H57's? I understand that they had a BIG price drop but why haven't the H57's too? The cheapest on Ebay is 3k as well. WTF?!?!? Even 2K would be pushing the cost at this stage...
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post #20 of 988 Old 07-03-2005, 05:39 AM - Thread Starter
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The H57 can now be had for roughly twice the price of an H31 (just do a little internet digging and you'll see) so it's still much less than an H77. I don't know about Ebay but I've re-searched the prices online and the prices are all over the board. However you can get a phenomenal deal if you let your fingers do the walking...

Nigel,

Would you please explain in layman's terms exactly how this PPD thing works? I've tried to think it through but I don't understand it.

Thanks!

Wayne
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post #21 of 988 Old 07-03-2005, 12:52 PM
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True, I've now seen the h57 through an AVS sponsor for $1999. Is it even worth that at this point? Should I wait? Most people who've checked out the 31 and 57 seem to prefer the 31... d
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post #22 of 988 Old 07-03-2005, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mystery View Post

Nigel,

Would you please explain in layman's terms exactly how this PPD thing works? I've tried to think it through but I don't understand it.

Thanks!

Wayne

The rule of thumb is that average human vision can see things down to a little under 1 arc-minute in your field of view. There are 60 minutes in a degree so at 1 pixel per minute this yeilds 60 pixels per degree as a decent target of performance where pixel structure should be undetectable for most folks.

30 PPD is where SDE should become less visible to most folks. That's probably like saying a 6x wheel makes rainbows less visible to most folks. Mostly true with a few exceptions. I know that at 30 PPD I can still see screen door at times (mostly skies). Many folks, when looking for it, can spot RBE even with the best of the single chippers. But for the most part, shouldn't be a big deal for most folks.

There are caveats of course. Folks can actually detect smaller objects than one minute. A powerline in the sky at 0.5 seconds is detectable. Stars are another example. So some things are a little bit more visible than you might otherwise think given the rule of thumb.

Nigel
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post #23 of 988 Old 07-03-2005, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Mack View Post

True, I've now seen the h57 through an AVS sponsor for $1999. Is it even worth that at this point? Should I wait? Most people who've checked out the 31 and 57 seem to prefer the 31... d

Someone has told Jason that their HD2+ projector will list at $2500 around the end of the year...

If you have a projector I might wait. If you don't have a projector...that's tougher. There's always something new coming along and you can wait forever. If buying now, I suggest getting the cheapest you think you can live with. I'm just whining that the cheapest should be better than it is today.

Regardless of what you get, there's generally a few months honeymoon where just having a big image for the first time makes any projector shortcomings less noticable. After a while you start noticing bad things about your projector anyway and start getting that upgrade itch.

Nigel
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post #24 of 988 Old 07-03-2005, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Mack View Post

True, I've now seen the h57 through an AVS sponsor for $1999. Is it even worth that at this point? Should I wait? Most people who've checked out the 31 and 57 seem to prefer the 31... d

I see the same pattern with digital PJs as PCs and cell phones. Early adopters pave the road through high prices. Over time, prices trickle down and quality, performance, and features improve. Everyone prefers the H31 only because you get so MUCH projector for your money. The 57 is the better of the two, just not twice the price better. BTW, Optoma is following Infocus's lead and making a name for themself in the consumer market. Neither can be ignored, nor should they be. Optoma, in particular, is cutting new ground in the price/performance arena.
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post #25 of 988 Old 07-03-2005, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Nigel,

Thanks for the explanation. It's all greek to me still but I get the idea basically I think.

Dave,

In my mind there are enough benefits to make the H57 worth the extra cost over the H31. I've had both in my home and I wouldn't go back to the H31. I liked it a lot but when I tried the H57 I liked it a whole lot better!

CMRA,

I think you're right in that Optoma is going to give Infocus a run for it's money. Yes, the H57 is better than the H31 and of course, it ought to be given the price. The H31 is without a doubt though probably the best bang for your greenback at the present time. Whether it's worth double the cost to opt for the H57 is a subjective call but I feel that the difference is worth it.

Wayne
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post #26 of 988 Old 07-04-2005, 01:17 AM
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I'm sorry. I meant for DVDs the 31 was preferred over the 57. No scaling etc...
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post #27 of 988 Old 07-04-2005, 05:05 AM - Thread Starter
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I know what you mean Dave. I guess some people notice artifacts or maybe a softening of the image when upscaling. It hasn't been an issue for me. I really liked 848 x 480 on the H31 though. But I couldn't get rid of the tearing at that resolution so I had to upscale to 1280 x 720 at 48 Hz which reduced/eliminated the tearing at the expense of image quality ever so slightly. With the H57 I don't find any degradation with it's scaling to 1024 x 576. Hopefully no one will see it and point it out to me.

Wayne
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post #28 of 988 Old 07-04-2005, 04:44 PM
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Hi again,

I'm starting to lean towards the H57, I just wish there were some deals like for the 31. The cheapest I can find the 57 is the new MSRP of $1999. But the 31 can be found for about 25% off its MSRP. Should I wait? And yes, I am TV-less at moment. Sold my good old tweaked 55" Mits. Diamond recently.
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post #29 of 988 Old 07-04-2005, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
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If you had a TV I'd be tempted to suggest that you wait to see what the new projectors are going to be like. But since you're desperate and TV less maybe you should do something about it.

You know the H31 is so relatively cheap right now that you can't really lose, even if you only keep it for a year. You could probably recoup half of what you paid and plunk that down on something better.

On the other hand, you might want to dig down a little deeper and get the H57 since it's apparently hard to tell the difference between the H57 and the H77. This means that spending a little more now may save you the aggravation of selling in a year. You might want to keep a pj with more resolution for several years until 1080p comes in and low enough to make it worthwhile.

Wayne
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post #30 of 988 Old 07-04-2005, 06:35 PM
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I see that the 57 comes with a free replacement bulb and free shipping now. The bulb goes for about $399 so it's getting more tempting. Maybe I could sell the spare bulb???

d
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