AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Indian River, Ontario, Canada
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I saw the HD80 last week at Infocomm. Optoma had it in their fully blacked out theatre projecting onto a 150" diagonal 2:35 screen with the optional anamorphic lens. They were running Pirates of the Caribbean Black Pearl.
I took a quick look at it on Wed, but our booth was very busy so could only spend a few minutes there. Fortunately things slowed down Thursday afternoon, and I went back and spent about half an hour watching it. By Thursday afternoon a lot of the engineering staff had left, so no one was really sure about the screen material, or the specifics about the source. Since it has the anamorphic lens as an option, I would imagine that the scaling was done by the HD80 itself, and it was simply the BluRay disk directly to the unit, however I couldn't confirm this.
I was quite impressed. It was VERY bright and VERY sharp. I didn't notice anything wrong with the colour. It was well saturated, and primaries and secondaries seemed to be in the right place. There were quite a few scenes with near primary yellow, and it looked fine to me. The ANSI contrast was great, probably because of the brightness, and I was quite impressed with the On/Off CR as well during the many dungeon, below deck scenes in the movie. I don't have the BluRay version of this movie, so I can't really comment on the shadow detail, but it looked fine to me. No evidence of flattening or BC. I also didn't see any evidence of dithering, but I didn't walk right up to the screen either.
Before I got my HD1000 ( which I love ) I never saw rainbows when I watched a DLP. Over the past 6 months I've began to see them quite frequently. Fortunately for me, it doesn't bother me. Now, I've never owned a DLP before, so it might have been something my brain had to get used to before seeing them ( the opposite effect of most ). While watching the HD80 I was on the lookout for them, but, I couldn't see them at all. Perhaps my rainbow perception has something to do with the white segment on the HD1000, and perhaps if I watched the HD80 long enough my brain would figure it out on that colour wheel too, but, during the half hour session I used every trick I could to see them during bright scenes, and couldn't.
Physically, it looks exactly like the HD81, except it has a white case. The Optoma reps said it was going to 'street' for $3k. There was no mention of the actual MSRP. They also said that they were shipping to dealers right after the show.
Only a few steps from the Optoma booth was the JVC booth demoing the RS1. They were projecting a variety of trailers. Unfortunately the room wasn't totally light controlled, and the trailers weren't the best for judging colour accuracy. The screen was significantly smaller than than the HD80 demo.
My VERY cursory comparison is that the RS1 was dimmer on the smaller screen. It also had a much more CRT like image. I say this because my primary theatre is CRT, and it's what I prefer for film. What this translates to is the HD80 appears to be sharper and brighter. So, for those who prefer that would like the HD80 image . For those who like a CRT like image, the RS1 is the closest I've seen so far, even in the less than ideal room I saw it in.
Hopefully Tom will be able to give a much better review than my quick one here very shortly.