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Optoma HD131Xe, HD (1080p), 2500 ANSI Lumens, 3D-Home Theater Projector - Sub $800 New Budget King? - Page 9

post #241 of 2580
Thread Starter 
Thought I would include what I posted in another thread here for everyone regarding the differences between the HD25e and the HD131Xe:
Quote:
Originally Posted by niggenz View Post

If you guys read the initial review on Amazon, which really is just enthusiast information rather than an actual review, he sort of is hinting that he believes that the difference in projector brightness is achieved with VIDI technology or flexible lamp drive schemes. This guy is really knowledgeable but many actual owners called him out what he posted (I think us owners squared that away with him though). If you can look past the fact that is not an actual user review and digest the info, there is a lot of knowledge to be gained. And if he is right, then this explains how Optoma is able achieve increased performance with the same components. It explains how the following projectors which have the same listed components,

HD25 & HD25-LV, or HD25e & HD131Xe,

have different performance. This is really smart by Optoma. Rather than re-engineering a different SKU, they are taking the flexibility that is offered to them from already using the TI chips to fully occupy all pricing niches in the sub-$1000 class projector.

Bottom-line, its very plausible IMO that the difference in performance of these projectors is a result of different firmware.

Here is the info he posted on Amazon.
Here is the link to the VIDI technology explanation.
post #242 of 2580
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by butie120 View Post

Here's hoping I'm one of em

Hey man, you really don't want to buy a DLP without knowing if you are susceptible to rainbows. Demo one first at an HT store. You can also use a business class DLP to demo one. Someone in your network should have access to a DLP at work and can do you that favor.
post #243 of 2580
People don't necessarily need to avoid DLP after testing a business projector or testing any random projector just because they see the rainbow effect. Every DLP projector has a different amount of RBE effect, and a projector needs to be at the proper brightness because if it is too bright it will increase RBE as well.

I am blinded by rainbows on a projector like the Mitsubishi hc4000 (even though it has a 4x color wheel), but rarely see them on a Benq w1070 or w7000 or Viewsonic Pro8200. These all have 4x color wheels and they all show different amounts of RBE (though technically the w1070 might be 6x, I'm really starting to think it's 4x). The w7000 does have a 6x color wheel mode, but I don't use it.

Business projectors tend to show the worst amount of RBE than most HT projectors, so this would be a really bad test.
People aren't either RBE-sensitive or not, there are different levels of sensitivity.

As far as Benq vs.Optoma, I think the first thing anyone has to decide is the throw range. The Optoma has a longer throw than the Benq w1070, although now the Benq w1500 (which is like an improved version of the w1070 but with a longer throw) is also out. The w1500 is more expensive than the w1070 by quite a bit.

As far as shadow detail, this isn't that hard to adjust by altering the gamma. I think the w1070 has the better calibration controls over the hd131xe. The big advantage of the Optomas however is the RF ability for 3D, this means you don't have to deal with the contrast hit in 3D like on the Benq, which only supports DLP link.

I'm waiting to hear Tangled Cables comparison on the w1070 vs the hd131xe...
Edited by coderguy - 9/19/13 at 6:44am
post #244 of 2580
Quote:
Originally Posted by coderguy View Post

People don't necessarily need to avoid DLP after testing a business projector or testing any random projector just because they see the rainbow effect. Every DLP projector has a different amount of RBE effect, and a projector needs to be at the proper brightness because if it is too bright it will increase RBE as well.

I am blinded by rainbows on a projector like the Mitsubishi hc4000 (even though it has a 4x color wheel), but rarely see them on a Benq w1070 or w7000 or Viewsonic Pro8200. These all have 4x color wheels and they all show different amounts of RBE (though technically the w1070 might be 6x, I'm really starting to think it's 4x). The w7000 does have a 6x color wheel mode, but I don't use it.

Business projectors tend to show the worst amount of RBE than most HT projectors, so this would be a really bad test.
People aren't either RBE-sensitive or not, there are different levels of sensitivity.

As far as Benq vs.Optoma, I think the first thing anyone has to decide is the throw range. The Optoma has a longer throw than the Benq w1070, although now the Benq w1500 (which is like an improved version of the w1070 but with a longer throw) is also out. The w1500 is more expensive than the w1070 by quite a bit.

As far as shadow detail, this isn't that hard to adjust by altering the gamma. I think the w1070 has the better calibration controls over the hd131xe. The big advantage of the Optomas however is the RF ability for 3D, this means you don't have to deal with the contrast hit in 3D like on the Benq, which only supports DLP link.

I'm waiting to hear Tangled Cables comparison on the w1070 vs the hd131xe...

I'm waiting to hear his comparison as well. I've tried seeing a demo of a DLP at Best Buy, but they don't carry any DLP's in their store. Mostly Epson's.

I need something that runs quiet because it will be directly over the sitting area. I think for me it's between the Benq 1070/1080st, Optoma HD 131xe, and Epson 2030. It's fun researching, but it's getting a little exhausting at the same time. My main worry is the Rainbow effect with DLP, not neccesarily when I watch, but if friends or family watch. I want it to be a good experience for everyone.
post #245 of 2580
Thread Starter 
Me too. I am hoping Tangled Guy ends up with a projector that he is happy with. Admittedly, I may have a bit of vested interest here. Perhaps as he is comparing the two, coderguy can lend him his expertise with adjusting the gamma.
post #246 of 2580
The Optima should be here today and I should have a little shoot-out posted by Sunday. Hope I haven't raised expectations too high--this is going to be a highly subjective comparison as I lack the calibration tools to do otherwise. Mostly just eyeballing the two to see if the 131 has better blacks than the 1070, which is my hope, as I like the BenQ a lot apart from that. I will set black and white levels to a reference standard either from the Disney WOW disc or maybe burn the patterns offered here to a disc and use that. Just stopped by a Radio Shack to see if they had an HDMI splitter but no luck. Strange thing happened there--the girl behind the counter was dealing with a guy before me who was being kind of a d!ck ... kept saying how much cheaper everything was at Best Buy bla bla bla while she was trying to help him. Anyway I bought an HDMI cable and said something about the guy before me being kind of rude and she started to cry right in the middle of the transaction. I said I hoped it wasn't because of the rude guy and she said no, it was something outside of work ... I felt bad for her.

Anyway, I'll fire the 131 up when it gets here and maybe post some first impressions a little later. But again, this is not going to be the be-all-end-all comparison ... just my subjective impressions.
post #247 of 2580
Thread Starter 
That sucks man. At least you showed her compassion.
post #248 of 2580
Got mine and fire it up. LIGHT CANON. Granted that I am moving from Infocus 4805 but this thing is BRIGHT. I am projecting onto a DIY Designer White Laminate 120" 16:9 screen. With all lights off (and beige walls) the image is like a 120" LED TV. Have not changed any settings yet.

Unfortunately the HDMI 1 port doesnt seem to work...and HDMI2 seems to be finicky with sync and is kinda loose. Getting a replacement...
post #249 of 2580
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsenthil View Post

Got mine and fire it up. LIGHT CANON. Granted that I am moving from Infocus 4805 but this thing is BRIGHT. I am projecting onto a DIY Designer White Laminate 120" 16:9 screen. With all lights off (and beige walls) the image is like a 120" LED TV. Have not changed any settings yet.

Unfortunately the HDMI 1 port doesnt seem to work...and HDMI2 seems to be finicky with sync and is kinda loose. Getting a replacement...

Sweet! Mine should be arriving today...
post #250 of 2580
Got mine yesterday...

Super happy; this is by far the best purchase I've ever done.

Anyone know how to access the service menu so I can check the firmware version?
I've tried a few combinations which I could find for other Optoma projectors, but no luck..


/Ranger
post #251 of 2580
I've spent several hours now with both the 1070 and the 131. My preliminary take: 1070 has more accurate colors straight out of the box, at least to my eye. This is especially apparent with fleshtones. It also seemed strangely brighter than the Optima, though I thought it should be the other way around. And it seems a little sharper too. And I didn't measure the DBL but the optima sure SOUNDED louder to me than the BenQ with both running in econ mode. And this might be somewhat minor, but I absolutely HATE the optima's UI. Hate it hate hate it. First time I saw that oversized low res spinning hourglass, I thought: Oh fvck this. I can't live with seeing this thing every time I pop in a disc. Can't do it.

But when I went back to the 1070, I found myself missing the 131's image. My subjective impression after going back and forth between the two is that, as niggenz said, the Optima has more "pop," more depth in the picture. Not sure if this has to do with black level or gamma or what exactly, but that's the consistent impression I get. And I think it might outweigh the negatives I've outlined above.

If I can get a splitter or even better a switch box to really A/B them I'll post a more in-depth take. The hardest thing is to have them both ready to project at the same time, since one is a short throw and the other is a long throw, and neither have horizontal lens shift, the short throw one gets in the image path of the long throw if you have them both centered correctly. I might try projecting them side by side, on either end of the screen if I can get a splitter tomorrow.

Took a few pictures mostly of competing black levels but haven't had a chance to really look at them to see if they reflect what I saw. I'll post them if they do along with any follow up thoughts.

To sum up: The BenQ seems both brighter and sharper than the Optima, but also flatter, if that makes any sense, with the Optima having more of a three dimensional picture. Have not checked out actual 3D yet as the glasses I have don't work with either projector (that's what I get for listening to Best Buy on such matters.)
Edited by Tangled Cable - 9/20/13 at 12:20am
post #252 of 2580
Thread Starter 
Yeah, it is a little maddening at this price level. Good luck Bud, hope you end up with one you are happy with.
post #253 of 2580
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangled Cable View Post

To sum up: The BenQ seems both brighter and sharper than the Optima, but also flatter, if that makes any sense, with the Optima having more of a three dimensional picture...

Maybe you could do a list of pros and cons -- specifically about things OTHER THAN image quality -- for the folks who are waiting on your verdict? It sounds like both are quality PJs, so it may come down to details like the spinning hourglass that sway folks one way or the other.

For example, I've been with Dish instead of DirecTV for years even though DTV supposedly has slightly better image quality. The reason: I prefer the menu navigation and usability on Dish. To me, usability was THE deciding factor because so many other things were a wash, and I spend so much time every day scrolling through the menus.

In my system, I will see the hourglass pop up 3 or 4 times before the blu-ray finally starts playing. So if something like this really bothers you (you know who you are), little things like this could ultimately determine your choice, since image-wise, both PJs appear to be strong performers.

I believe someone posted a comprehensive list of pros/cons a few pages ago, plus there's a review on Amazon that gives a lot of feedback on minor quirks that could help buyers make a final decision.
post #254 of 2580
Running to Lowe's in search of some M3 screws and a steel drill bit. Fortunately, I had some plastic spacers laying around, and will be able to use my old ceiling mount by drilling a couple holes! I know that I'll have to move my mount, due to the shorter throw (in addition to the lens being to the left rather then centered), but hopefully should have this bad boy hooked up in a few hours...
post #255 of 2580
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveyhatton View Post

Running to Lowe's in search of some M3 screws and a steel drill bit. Fortunately, I had some plastic spacers laying around, and will be able to use my old ceiling mount by drilling a couple holes! I know that I'll have to move my mount, due to the shorter throw (in addition to the lens being to the left rather then centered), but hopefully should have this bad boy hooked up in a few hours...

Any chance you could take a few pics and post your initial impressions of the unit today? I'm so anxious to hear what people have to say about this unit. I feel it is almost forgotten about.
post #256 of 2580
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by silvereyes View Post

Have anyone here done a firmware upgrade to the projector:
http://www.optoma.co/firmwareupgrades.aspx?model=hd131xe

Responding to an older post here:

I wanted to see if the firmware update improved UI design (fingers crossed) and was willing to take another leap. I asked for release notes if there were any. Turns out there is no updated firmware in the US. The update available is for the European model. I also asked if this was a user performed upgrade and the analyst said it would have to be sent in to be done by Optoma.

Darn.
post #257 of 2580
Quote:
Originally Posted by Birddoggin View Post

Maybe you could do a list of pros and cons -- specifically about things OTHER THAN image quality -- for the folks who are waiting on your verdict? It sounds like both are quality PJs, so it may come down to details like the spinning hourglass that sway folks one way or the other.

For example, I've been with Dish instead of DirecTV for years even though DTV supposedly has slightly better image quality. The reason: I prefer the menu navigation and usability on Dish. To me, usability was THE deciding factor because so many other things were a wash, and I spend so much time every day scrolling through the menus.

In my system, I will see the hourglass pop up 3 or 4 times before the blu-ray finally starts playing. So if something like this really bothers you (you know who you are), little things like this could ultimately determine your choice, since image-wise, both PJs appear to be strong performers.

I believe someone posted a comprehensive list of pros/cons a few pages ago, plus there's a review on Amazon that gives a lot of feedback on minor quirks that could help buyers make a final decision.

Image quality is paramount for me and that really is what I hope to use as the determining factor. The problem is, without both a splitter and switcher, it is almost impossible to compare. Even with those two components, both projectors would probably lose the hdmi signal when you switched, so it isn't like you would instantly go from one image to the other. You have to depend on memory and its very very unreliable. I've just been unplugging my hdmi cable from one to the other and just the few seconds in-between the images feels like too much for me to compare the two.

Also one projector will look better than the other with movie A, while the situation will be reversed with movie B, say. Or this scene will look better on that projector, but not this other scene, etc. I knew this would be a subjective exorcise but I didn't know it would be that subjective ...

The spinning hourglass DOES bother me. It is so stupid, bordering on insulting. They really think someone is going to buy a 1080p 3D projector for power point presentations? WTF? This demonstrates to me a complete lack of knowledge or perhaps concern over who the end user is going to be ... Nothing takes me out of that "movie theater" feel more than an over sized low resolution PC icon from the 1980s flashing in the middle of the screen. To say nothing of the giant picture of an HDMI jack that pops up along with it.

But the BenQ also has a lot of issues retaining the signal. Mercifiully it just shows a black screen, but on firmware 1.05 that black screen seems to stay longer than the hourglass does. I'll select a file to watch and it will start playing while I'm staring at the black screen ... sound, but no picture.

When did projectors develop such issues and how did people decide they were acceptable? My two old Sanyo projectors NEVER did this.
post #258 of 2580
Quote:
Originally Posted by niggenz View Post

Responding to an older post here:

I wanted to see if the firmware update improved UI design (fingers crossed) and was willing to take another leap. I asked for release notes if there were any. Turns out there is no updated firmware in the US. The update available is for the European model. I also asked if this was a user performed upgrade and the analyst said it would have to be sent in to be done by Optoma.

Darn.

Doesn't speak well for them as a company, does it?

Do you have any idea what is in that firmware--what we might be missing out on?
post #259 of 2580
Thread Starter 
Sanyo always produced consumer products and knew better. Optoma and BenQ both come from the business arena and 10 years into their foray into consumer products clearly have lots to learn about polishing a consumer product. We can only hope a firmware update will fix the UI. I almost feel I owe you an apology regarding the hourglass. Seems I pulled off Inception on your by seeding in your mind the annoyance I found with the hourglass in my review of the projector. Really, it is just plain f*cken laziness from Optoma and your're right, insulting. What's worse is they continue to do it because new entrants coming from 50" TV's overly-enthused from being a first time projector owner don't know better.

I am glad that at least you and I are screaming loud enough about it because come time to upgrade once 4K projectors start to sniff this price range, I won't put up with it then either.
post #260 of 2580
Thread Starter 
I am thinking if it just regionally available, it's just a localization update. Of course the analyst wouldn't spill the beans on the update either.
post #261 of 2580
I also just placed my order for the HD131Xe. This will be my first projector and even though I was originally looking to spend around $1,500, I was unable to find enough evidence that projectors in that range (BenQ W1500, Epson 3020, etc ...) have a picture quality so much better to warrant twice the cost. I am hopeful I won't regret this decision, but there is/was only one way to find out.

Also thanks to jclub for the buydig price info. Was able to also get this projector for $778 shipped. I will be ceiling mounting this using the Optoma BM-5001U mount and projecting on a 110" DIY Spandex screen. Looks like I'll have 45 days to return the unit with buydig should I be unsatisfied.

Thanks to everyone who's contributed, really anxious now to get the screen mounted and the projector installed.
post #262 of 2580
Thread Starter 
Good choice ben. Here's to hoping no one in your viewing audience will see rainbows!
post #263 of 2580
So whem exactly does this hour glass spin? Im still on the fence about whether the Epson 2030 would be a good contender against the benq and optoma. I think more user reviews are needed.
post #264 of 2580
Thread Starter 
The hourglass was explained here. Also, you may be less annoyed than others by it.
post #265 of 2580
So I should apologize for getting this wrong. I was looking at both projectors again this afternoon and the hourglass on the Optima does NOT spin ... It just flashes, and sand sifts down inside it. Still annoying, but not as annoying as the "enhanced" version I created in my head.

My core conclusion remains: BenQ is brighter and sharper, while Optima has more depth to the image. If I had to chose between them based solely on those qualities, I think I would go with the Optima. Can the BenQ be calibrated to display that same sense of depth?

Wish I knew.
post #266 of 2580
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangled Cable View Post

So I should apologize for getting this wrong. I was looking at both projectors again this afternoon and the hourglass on the Optima does NOT spin ... It just flashes, and sand sifts down inside it. Still annoying, but not as annoying as the "enhanced" version I created in my head.

My core conclusion remains: BenQ is brighter and sharper, while Optima has more depth to the image. If I had to chose between them based solely on those qualities, I think I would go with the Optima. Can the BenQ be calibrated to display that same sense of depth?

Wish I knew.

Tangled Cable. How are skin tones on the hd131xe after calibration? Do you get a sunburned reddish glow?
post #267 of 2580
Funny you should ask. I was just comparing skin tones between the 131 and the benq. But I should make this very clear: I have not calibrated grayscale on either one. I have two color meters but I don't trust their accuracy.

Out of the box benq looked much better than 131 for skintones. But once I tweaked the settings a bit, I've come to prefer the optima for skin tones overall.

One thing optima has that benq doesn't is the option to tweak color and hue when using hdmi. My understanding was that these settings were automatic through hdmi and could not be adjusted (that is how they were on my old sanyos.) But with the optima you can set them. And turning down color a few notches really made skin tones on the optima look a lot more natural.

I've tried taking photos but the benq always turns out greenish and the optima purplish ... it's like the camera is isolating an individual chip from the color wheel or something. Strange.

Something else that should not go unmentioned:

The benq has full ISF grayscale controls--two sets, one for dark images, one for lighter. That means you can set the complete range from 100IRE down to 20 or whatever. Optima ONLY has one set of adjustments--dark and light mixed together. So if you ever get your projector calibrated with a color meter, you should be able to get your benq dialed in lot closer to perfection than the optima.
Edited by Tangled Cable - 9/20/13 at 1:54pm
post #268 of 2580
Jeez, how in the world is someone supposed to pick a projector at the end of the day? There's so many tradeoffs with all of em. My room could tolerate both projectors. I'm waiting on some more Epson 2030 reviews and have it compared to these two. Still a waiting game...
post #269 of 2580
Bad news for me...

Had the projector for a day now, and it suddenly developed some vertical lines on the screen.... Seems to be a somewhat common problem with the DLP projectors?
post #270 of 2580
It's not unheard of, but I wouldn't say it's common by any stretch.
Quote:
Originally Posted by butie120 View Post

Jeez, how in the world is someone supposed to pick a projector at the end of the day? There's so many tradeoffs with all of em. My room could tolerate both projectors. I'm waiting on some more Epson 2030 reviews and have it compared to these two. Still a waiting game...

As far as Benq vs. Optoma, I think only people that use heavy HTPC reading from their projector (like reading forums a lot) or people that need the sharpest image, or people that need a shorter throw should take the Benq. Otherwise, sounds like the Optoma has a better image for movies, and we already know it has better 3D.

I assume with a calibration you can get the w1070 shadow detail issue fixed, but I don't know as I never calibrated the w1070 (I calibrated a w7000). I saw the w1070 but didn't have time to really calibrate it.
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