Originally Posted by rafparedis
I guess there's another issue at hand with the machines that do not work with the firmware ? The firmware is most probably global. If you take the specification of the HD86 and HD87 side by side the field of improvements (a bit more ansi, dynamic contrast, lumens, pure motion version) are numbers that can easily be played with. I still think the HD86 and HD87 are the same hardware and that the HD87 is just a relabeled HD86 with firmware 1.11 loaded.
I just had a great conversation with the head of Optoma Home Cinema UK - really nice guy and very generous with his time considering I'm just a pleb. I called because I am still interested in the HD87 and am fixing up a shoot out at a dealer between my JVC HD750 (RS20) and their demo HD87. I commented on my problems with the dynamic iris of the HD82 (which are documented in the HD82 thread). He told me that the HD86/87 iris is completely changed from that one - that it is now a claw style, fast iris in comparison to the HD82 which was slower and more like a camera shutter. When I asked whether the HD87 was just an HD86 with updated firmware he said that no, there were hardware changes as well including an updated lightpath and that it was this that had primarily boosted the HD87 contrast over the HD86.
One concern I have now that I have become accustomed to great black levels without need for a dynamic iris is whether the HD87 can get anywhere near my HD750 with dynamic black switched off. I re-read Art's review of the HD86 at Projector Reviews - one in which he praised the HD86 for its black level performance - and I noted something I hadn't picked up before. Art stated that all his viewing of the HD86 had been with the manual iris set at 9 or at most 7 - which is practically wide open. I presume that had he shut it down further he would have gotten even better black levels. This gives me hope. What do other folks have their manual iris set at? Of course, even the Optoma guy acknowledged that the HD87's black levels aren't quite as good as the JVC's but he did say that they were now close enough to make other factors such as lumens and sharpness the deciding factor in a purchase. For me, a potential switch to the HD87 from my HD750 would mean reducing my screen size from 110" to 105" but I hope that this won't be too noticeable. Really looking forward to my shoot out now! It's going to be an interesting battle.
Would love to hear objective reflections from HD87 owners on their purchase. I'm anticipating that the following will be true:
+ better black levels
+ lower fan noise
+ more placement flexibility
+ motorised zoom/focus
+ more lumens
+ better images in brighter scenes
According to Art's review colour reproduction will be a tie as will be shadow detail. Both machines are equipped with full CMS.