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Optoma HD20 Review and Screenshots

post #1 of 118
Thread Starter 
High points of the HD20 are brightness 500 lumens for Cinema or 900 lumens for Bright choice, that's in econo mode add 100 lumens more for bright mode, color saturation great, Ansi contrast near 500.1, very clean pictures low digital noise, fan in econo is extremely quiet.

Not so high points, on/off CR is about 1500.1 though it could be higher due to the scatter light off the front of the projector which makes CR tests inaccurate. Just figure CR is about 2000.1 which is where HD2 dark chips generally are. 2k is plenty really.

Wing did say CR could be increased by making a lens cover. Might be a fun project you shape a small 16.9 box in a black material and align it on the lens, which will delete the light scatter coming off the lens. This could also help the black level.

Black level is higher than high end projectors it measures 0.028, a high end projector can be 0.007 and less.

Lets talk about the best point the ANSI contrast 500.1 is a very high number, my H79 DC3 only gets 395.1 and that was considered very good. What you'll notice is images are very 3D and seem to pop off the screen.

Even though black level could be better I found watching dark content was enjoyable. I'm viewing Defiance right now which has allot of dark content and it looks great. Again the ansi contrast difference really hits you, you can't miss it.

I tuned up 1080p HDMI Cinema to D65k it has a better gamma curve than reference which I also liked.

Cinema / Film/ warm
R gain -8
G gain 0
B gain -7
R bias -3
G bias -1
B bias -3

OTB the grayscale looks very good also here's some pictures of it OTB.

http://www.videodementia.com/sales/hd20fifth1.jpg
http://www.videodementia.com/sales/hd20fifth2.jpg
http://www.videodementia.com/sales/hd20fifth3.jpg
http://www.videodementia.com/sales/hd20fifth4.jpg
http://www.videodementia.com/sales/hd20fifth5.jpg
http://www.videodementia.com/sales/hd20fifth6.jpg

http://www.videodementia.com/sales/hd20dark1.jpg
http://www.videodementia.com/sales/hd20dark2.jpg
you see not so bad with dark content.

http://www.videodementia.com/sales/hd20otb.jpg
http://www.videodementia.com/sales/hd20tuned.jpg

The tuned D65k picture is of the Reference gamma choice which shows the middle dropping out a bit. This doesn't happen with Cinema and Cinema showed a gamma of 2.55 which is a good CRT type gamma which personally I like.

That's about it, you're welcome to try the tuning numbers they might just work for you, good luck.

Update: I found a useful item that's hidden a bit, it's adds control to the gamma. Under advanced when you see choice say Film. Highlight the Film word and hit the enter button again and then once again. You'll see these options (Advanced gamma) Curve type / Offset. These both adjust the ability to see more detail in the blacks. Try them out.

Here's some more tuning numbers. Plus you want to alter the Film gamma, highlight film and hit enter again till you see the curve/offset. Set curve to -1 which is most likely factory but set offest to 3. This will give the image a 2.2 gamma curve. Re tune your blacks and whites after the change. This gamma curve will be universal, it will show up with each different input or signal you use.

Component 1080i
Contrast 48
Brightness 44
Color 53
Tint 50
Sharpness 7

Advanced Film
Gamma film, curve type -1, Offset 3

RGB
R gain -2
G gain 0
B gain -8
R bias -6
G bias -1
B bias -5

480i component
Contrast 46
Brightness 48
Color 73
Tint 50
Sharpness 7
R gain -3
G gain 0
B gain -8
R bias -2
G bias -1
B bias -2
post #2 of 118
Great writeup, thanks Guitarman!

I can see this projector making a lot of people happy. Back in the day, a few of us here made lens cap masking to block stray light, worked great...
post #3 of 118
Thread Starter 
Optoma use to make them for the H30, I think I have a piece of painted black aluminum around some where. What materials were people using to shape their lens mask?
post #4 of 118
The lens cap that came with the Davis 650...
post #5 of 118
guitarman,

Regarding picture quality, how would you compare the HD20 against the 720p DC3 HD79 ?

Wich do you prefer, considering only picture quality?
post #6 of 118
Thread Starter 
The DC3 gets 0.007 black level so it beats the HD20 there and dark movies will look allot better. But the HD20 does have the resolution advantage and the Ansi is higher. I really like the higher ansi and there is a projector that offers it the Optoma HD8200 which has a 750.1 ansi, it also has a great black level with the DI on and it's 1080p.

My choice would be the HD8200 but it comes at a cost. I could be happy with the HD20, specially for gaming and Sports / TV shows like House, American idol. I could also live with the black level and it's bound to get better as the bulb ages.
post #7 of 118
Guitarman,

I want to get a new screen, and i have been considering a 120" or 106" grey screen instead of white, whats your thoughts on this?
My room has a black ceiling and is light controlled, walls are a lighter brown color.
post #8 of 118
Thread Starter 
I should note the ANSI is very striking on the HD20 you can see it in the pictures I posted. nice
post #9 of 118
Hey G-man, on the thread for the HD20, they posted a cut and paste crazy review form projectorreviews, but I don't think it's legit because the review says this projector does NOT have a LBX mode so that the images stretches to use an anamporhic lens. Can you verify it can be used at 2:35 AO. Thanks! Your review is making it closer for me to get this one if it does!!
post #10 of 118
Thread Starter 
Yes it does Letterbox, it has a Letterbox button right on the remote. I ran the Fifth Element which is 2.35 pressed Letterbox and it expanded it up and down to fill the screen. Here's where the lens comes in to stretch it out to cinema scope. The PJ also has the Superwide feature for 2.01 screens.
post #11 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarman View Post

Yes it does Letterbox, it has a Letterbox button right on the remote. I ran the Fifth Element which is 2.35 pressed Letterbox and it expanded it up and down to fill the screen. Here's where the lens comes in to stretch it out to cinema scope. The PJ also has the Superwide feature for 2.01 screens.

can you tell me what exaclty does super wide used for?
post #12 of 118
Thread Starter 
When set to auto it will expand the image for 2.35 video which make the bars very small. You get a bigger view and it does it digitally so there's no softening. You do lose about 5 or 7% of the outsides but it is considered a safe alteration. You're not really missing much but you are getting a much larger 2.35 image.

Poor mans cinemascope.
post #13 of 118
Can anyone compare it to the optoma hd65 or the infocus X10 for picture quality and fan noise?
post #14 of 118
Thread Starter 
I like it more than the HD65 for picture and fan noise, never saw the X10. The main thing to find out is how high the ANSI contrast checks out for the X10 and how clean the images are.

I can see the very high ansi on the HD20 and the super clean images, high points for the projector.
post #15 of 118
One thing I really liked about the HD65 was its blacks. I ended up taking the HD65 back because of fan noise and shadow detail. I see you say you like the quietness of the fan more and the "picture". Are the blacks on par with the HD65... and what about the shadow detail vs. the HD65?

Thanks.
post #16 of 118
Thread Starter 
The blacks are better than the HD65, the colors are more natural yet vivid and strong. It has allot more to offer with the 1080p and 24fps, more adjustments like gamma control for one which can aid in detail in black, the main differences are the very high ansi contrast (3D) and the super clean image, much like the clean we talked about on the famous NEC HT1000 which I use to own.
post #17 of 118
I wonder how hard it would be to fit a internal iris. If you could get to the lens assembly, it shouldn't be that hard and would improve the contrast/black level no end.
post #18 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberheater View Post

I wonder how hard it would be to fit a internal iris. If you could get to the lens assembly, it shouldn't be that hard and would improve the contrast/black level no end.

Maybe a ND3 filter can do similar black enhancement. This PJ have enough brightness, a little lower brightness with better black levels will enhance movie viewing a lot. Have anyone tried it? Guitarman? It was your idea after all.
post #19 of 118
Guitarman,

On the settings you show in post 1 are you using the defaut settings in cinema for color (58) and tint (50) or did you have to adjust them?

Thanks
post #20 of 118
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberheater View Post

I wonder how hard it would be to fit a internal iris. If you could get to the lens assembly, it shouldn't be that hard and would improve the contrast/black level no end.

You know the addition of a manual iris would have only had a cost of $10. The higher ups wanted to keep the cost down. $10 bucks for such a well liked feature and they didn't add it. Dropped the ball on that one.

On your question Darin has added irises to projector maybe he could enlighten us. EDIT: wow Darin a link just yesterday about Irises.

Here's one quote
"As others have said, an iris can be added. For the lens or just before the lens you could get something that I think is called Blackwrap, which is like aluminum foil with black over it. This is stuff that is used in stage lighting.

Where an iris should go can depend on the design, but if you can get the lens open there may be a place about halfway down the chamber that is good. At least with projectors like the Optoma H79 where there is already some kind of lens iris there at a spot that is reasonable for shutting it down further.

The real magic with DLPs is to combine a lens iris like that with an iris in the projector path after the light pipe and before the DMD. Placement here could be pretty critical as the shape of that iris can determine the shape of the most intense locations of the light going through the lens. With my H79 I closed down this internal iris location, then took the front of the lens off back to the iris and used a white piece of paper on a stick that I could put back into the lens of the plane of the iris with the projector getting something like a full screen 20% video level pattern. I could then see the shape of the most intense light coming through the lens and put an iris there around that so that most of the white got through, but black was blocked very well (since absolute black images create a more random light across the whole lens). If the lens iris was put in the wrong spot it could have hurt the lumens and the on/off CR.

I actually ended up doing a 4 iris kind of thing, but I don't necessarily recommend it. For the internal iris location I had 2 openings where one was clear and one was red. Then in the lens I had 2 opening that matched up with those with the same colors. The extra red helped balance the light from the bulb not being red enough and red is hard for us to see in dark images, so on/off CR for red isn't as important as that for blue and green. I was able to get around 9k:1 on/off CR this way with about 100 lumens and then used it with a 92" wide Da-Lite High Power screen that gave me around 2.4 gain. That was a few years ago and I'm not sure what could be done with other models, like much newer ones, at reasonable lumens.

Also, for the internal iris I used sheet metal that I drilled out and filed down to get the holes the right shape. I didn't make the internal iris dark and I don't think it made much difference. The lens iris has more chance of having reflections come back out, so more reason to make that one dark. At there isn't as much light in the lens, so should be able to get away with less robust material that is dark and so adsorbs light. It can be really hot inside."

I'd try an ND3 if I had one.
post #21 of 118
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryllo View Post

Guitarman,

On the settings you show in post 1 are you using the defaut settings in cinema for color (58) and tint (50) or did you have to adjust them?

Thanks

Owners should use a test dvd to set their blacks and whites to match their devices.

My basic tune up numbers - HDMI from a Panny BD80.
Cinema
Contrast 45
Brightness 34
Color 50
Tint 50
Sharp 7

Note: these numbers matched the same for a Samsung BD5000 and both devices using either a HD-DVD disc or basic upscaled dvds like Avia or DVE.
post #22 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarman View Post

You know the addition of a manual iris would have only had a cost of $10. The higher ups wanted to keep the cost down. $10 bucks for such a well liked feature and they didn't add it. Dropped the ball on that one.

Yep. It's a shame. I've added iris(s) to my projectors in the past. In the thread that Darin linked to, there's a picture of my modded Benq.
From memory, I went from about 1100:1 native contrast to well over 2000.1 and the blacks improved considerably but obviously at the expense of peak lumen output.
post #23 of 118
Thread Starter 
The HD20 has Cinema choice which gets about 500 lumens it also has a Bright choice which near doubles the lumens. With the Iris you could just use the bright choice if you needed a very bright image for sports or in the day.

If I took apart the demo I might end up owning it. I have a H79 out of warranty I could try Darins down tube Iris on. The H79 already has a fixed iris behind the lens.

See how great and high of an interest a $10 item can add. Optoma next time spend the $10.
post #24 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by guitarman View Post

When set to auto it will expand the image for 2.35 video which make the bars very small. You get a bigger view and it does it digitally so there's no softening. You do lose about 5 or 7% of the outsides but it is considered a safe alteration. You're not really missing much but you are getting a much larger 2.35 image.

Poor mans cinemascope.

I just cant decide what to do, buy a 120" 16:9 screen or make a 2.01 screen out of wilson art laminate
post #25 of 118
Thread Starter 
Most people will setup with a 16.9 it's simple. Even though there's a 2.01 screen I heard there's still bars with 2.35 but very small like about 2" maybe less.
post #26 of 118
Thread Starter 
You know the ISF tuned down numbers lowered the brightness by a large margin. OTB tunings though looking great are amazing bright ergo higher blacks. Try the numbers I posted for film watching. I use component for TV watching and I'm happy with the brighter image here. HDMI I use for Blu Ray and that's where the tuned down numbers can help your HD movies.
post #27 of 118
Hmm looking over the net ND3 filters are very pricey. Also they appear to be a gradient, should just the darker part of one be placed over the lens? Wouldn't the gradient create a darker area on top and brighter on the bottom? Or vice versa depending on how you put the lens.
post #28 of 118
Thread Starter 
Somebody on the other thread said he got one for $8. The light out of the lens is a small area anyway I never heard of ND's letting out different light level to different parts of the screen. Mostly people say they work good and when the bulb ages they take it off.
post #29 of 118
Hello. Im not sure if you have any experience using the Mitsubishi HC1500 or not but, I have one with a defective HDMI port and am considering up grading to the HD20. the HC1500 is rated at 2500:1 CR, so this one would be almost the same? Its a HD2 DLP chip based also I think.
post #30 of 118
I would also like to know how the black levels compare to my Mits. HD1000.
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