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Optoma H30 review & screenshots

post #1 of 8029
Thread Starter 
Good points,
Picture quality- colors
Brightness - very bright
Scaler deinterlacer - excellent - passed the Galaxy Quest intro and Insurrection rooftops. Interlaced looked as good a progressive through the Denon 1600. This is the first time I had a PJ pass the GQ-intro.

Blacks and shadow detail are very good.
Screen Door is light, 1.85 viewing distance is ok.
Fan is very quiet.

EDIT: 04/30/04
For all original first series buyers in the USA of the H30, Optoma is making the lens mask available for free and you just have to cover the shipping. Call into the parts area and let them you you're a early USA buyer that wants the Lens Mask.

Also if you would like to add the Backlit Remote, they will also be available at a discount price of $59 plus shipping. Your current remote is fine but if you want to add a Backlit one go right ahead.
Place your order quickly.

Many pictures ahead, enjoy.





Some familiar stuff ---




If you saw Andrea's shootout thread re Opto H56 vs HT1000 you'll see the picture quality behaves very much like the bigger brother H56.




Last a horror shot in 4.3

So what do you think other than screenshots ain't worth diddly? hehe

Second set of screen shots:





Latest group ---

4.3 Screenshots, first two showing difference of 4.3 at 800X600 vs 4.3 in 16.9mode.




That's it, all your favorite movies and how good the can look.

Here's some shots after doing a 6500k colorfacts calibration. You'll see a subtle difference, shows how good my OTB cal was.


Now some very tuff shots to render detail in the darks, but the H30 handles it with ease.

Nov 4th 2005, pj gets better with age.

Unbelieveably nice for low $'s, whether used as 16.9 or a 4.3 setup.


Some tuning tips for all displays that have advance RGB-adjustments for grayscale.

After making changes take a look at the Avia Needle Pulse pattern to see that there's no color tints in the Gray to White steps in the upper part of the pattern. The Pluge pattern also in Avia called Black Bars+ Log Steps. It's found under Video Test Patterns/Gray Scale & Levels/Black & White levels -

If it's not dead on grays to white make final changes with the user advanced adjustments.

Example - you see red/pink tint in the light gray/white.
R-contrast -2
G-contrast +2
B-contrast +2

If you see green in the dark grays/black
R-brightness +2
G-brightness -2
B-brightness +2

You see how it works, color in the light grays you use the RGB-contrasts

Color in the dark grays you use the RGB-brightness to fix.
enjoy and get good at it.

Late edit: H30 service menu, no thanks necessary

On the projector enter ---

Up + Enter (at the same time) hit it twice

Left + Enter, hit it twice

A screen should pop up.


Up + Left + Down at the same time once.
post #2 of 8029
What is the msrp of this pj? Also, does this pj have a short throw or long throw lense? Can you also tell me the distance of the pj and the size of the projected image? Btw, nice pics!
post #3 of 8029
I'm curious- what does it mean to "pass the GQ- intro"? Have the DT-200 and your HT1000 failed because you saw some sort of distortion or breakup when you played that segment on those machines?
post #4 of 8029
Thread Starter 
$1399, the lens is 13' back and at full zoom 92"wide 106"diagonal matt white screen. Id say a little longer than the average short throws that have been coming out.
post #5 of 8029
Ooooh, nice numbers! Thanks for the info guitarman! Perhaps my x-1 needs a brother
post #6 of 8029
Curse you Tom! Incredible pics. With screenshots, colours, and blacks like that.. it really makes me wonder how much better picture these guys spending 5x the price are getting..

Definitely makes me think twice about my 6100 sick-love affair but I'm sticking to my guns. As everyone who owns it seems to be just as pleased. Not to mention I dont have the xtra $$$ for the H30 anyways.

Either way.. looks like you got yourself a winner.. congrats!
post #7 of 8029
Thread Starter 
GQ test is for the deinterlacer, so far the farouja chip could only handle it. But this projectors deinterlacer plays it smoothly with no jerking motion. So the on board 2.3 pulldown works very well.

Yes it's a nice little projector. I will miss my full sized 4.3 when using this PJ.
post #8 of 8029
guitarman so i guess you are keeping this pj
post #9 of 8029
How does the H30 compare to the DT200, other than it being 16x9 instead of 4x3. I have seen the DT200, but don't think anyone in my area will be carrying the H30 for demo purposes. I'd have to prepay for them to get one in. I'm not a fan of buying sight unseen, but may have too.
post #10 of 8029
Its 16x9, not 4x3?
post #11 of 8029
Thread Starter 
Both projectors have there good points. Bet you knew I was going to say that but yes they do. The main differences are the screendoor being lighter on the optoma, but you can and should slight focus out the pixel crosshairs with the DT200 then you're picture will look high res and smooth.

The optoma is the brightest projector I've had so far with still very good contrast. It's brighter than the HT1000 and thats in the econo mode. The opto's drawback it the setup, man it was a pain.

you got mail!
post #12 of 8029
Tom, great review-thanks for picking this up and checking it out.

I downloaded the manual-this is the worst manual for a highly technical product I've ever read-no where do they tell you the offset (no table, no diagram, etc.). My Dad is about to be in the market for a PJ (he really liked my X1!) and the H30 would be perfect-good scaler/deinterlacer, better colors than the X1 I'd expect-and its 4:3. He's in an area with no HD cable and watches a lot of SD Baseball in the summer-so he needs a native 4:3 PJ with a good deinterlacer.

Can you provide any approximates with the offset?-if your screen is 92" wide let me know (approximately):

Distance from the ceiling to the center of the lens
Distance from the top of the projected picture in 4:3

There exists no where on the internet this tiny piece of information-usually you get it in the manual, but see above for what I found. Offset is a HUGE issue-reading all these posts from people with A10Xs and Dell 3200MPs tell the story of oddball offsets.

Explain the 16:9 masking now that you have seen it. Is it like the "window shift" of the NEC PJs where you can move the 16:9 image around in the 4:3 window? Is it stuck top or bottom? Is the light spill any worse/better than your HT1000 or an X1 when in 16:9?

Can you explain the problem with HDTV a bit better? Seems like it would be in the same spot as a 16:9 movie. Very weird. Is the whole image bigger or does only one edge move up/down.

Finally, I've read countless of your posts over in the +3.5K forum and have noticed that you are a big fan of the 4:3 PJ + Anamorphic lens. From the specs as given, it would seem that this would be a great candidate for a panamorph. For $2200 or so you'have 600 lines of horizontal res (yes I know you're losing something vertically) which is more than a matterhorn-total cost would be just above an LT240K (RGBW wheel@2X) after its rebate-plus, a panamorph seems to hold its value better than any PJ if you went native 16:9 2-3 years down the road. Sound like I'm trying to talk myself into a panamorph for my X1-and I am. But this looks like the best of both worlds (real HT wheel, brighter than any X1).

Let us know how you like it after comparing it to your other PJs.
post #13 of 8029
Thread Starter 
"-and its 4:3."

Nope it's stuck with the 16.9 window at one end of the chip. This is why you have a strong light spill from the unused part of the chip. If you table mount the spill will be above, if you reverse and ceiling mount the spill will be below and there's no moving the image.

It's deffinetly a struggle to setup. The lens is exactly 13' back from a 92" wide screen. The mount is a cheif mount and the PJ 's lens is just 6" down from the ceiling. I had to tilt up and use keystone. My 16.9 screens top end is 12" down from the ceiling. I got it to work but it wasn't easy like the HT1000 and DT200.

I don't know whats up with the HDTV problem the pictures a couple of inches taller and projects a little onto the screen casing. Wierd!

If I set to fill with HDTV then a 1.85 DVD will come up short by about one inch. Very annoying. I suppose I could tick up my pulldown screen a click for 1.85 dvds.
post #14 of 8029
wait im confused its a 4:3 projector that is forced to 16:9 ? so your just wasting the res? or am i misunderstanding the situation.
post #15 of 8029
Thread Starter 
Right, you can only get the widescreen aspect of the chip. No giant 4.3 view, which works out the same for anyone using a 4.3 projector on a 16.9 screen. The little advantge you get is that it's a good amount brighter. I assume since part of the outer area of the 4.3 chip is blocked. But you do have the spill at the other end of the chip. The spill isn't noticable with it ceiling mounted becuase things are dark below the screen with my setup.

When I had it table mounted the white wall above the screen showed the spill very clearly.
post #16 of 8029
how fast is the color wheel? Do you have an HDTV screenshots?
post #17 of 8029
post #18 of 8029
Will be interesting to see a comparison to the new 4805
post #19 of 8029
OK, so the top of the image on 4:3 is the same as the top of the image in 16:9. All the lightspill is on the bottom-might make masking for it easier?

It sound like the offset is similar to the X1-I measured the X1 at 15.5 inches of offset from the middle of the lens to the the top of the projected image (16:9 aspect mode, 84 wide screen). I think in 4:3 it was something like 9 inches?Sounds like this might even be more.

Keep us informed about what tech support says about the HDTV thing. Betcha they blame the receiver!
post #20 of 8029
WAIT!!! Thsi thing has an 800 X 600 chip and there is no way to turn on all the pixels? so 4:3 mode is black bars on the sides? Plus the giant black bar at the bottom?

This makes no sense based on the specs that are all over the internet-its listed as 800X600 native-but I noted in the manual that its got two 4:3 modes (4:3, 4:3 native) and two 16:9 modes (16:9, 16:9 native) Can you cycle thru these modes using a 4:3 source and tell us what the differences are?

If this is true, the 4805 will eat its lunch if they are priced comparably. The 4805 has slightly more resolution and DVI/HDCP input.
post #21 of 8029
well that seems like a shame. Why would they post the native res as 800x600? I would have taken the bait and gone for this projector if it wasnt for that one thing =( i mean you cant even use a panamorph! Do you feel its worth the sacrafice?
post #22 of 8029
So is the image area really 800x480? Is it actually 1.78:1, or the 1.67:1 implied by the resolution? Are they cropping the sides of the screen or compressing it horizontally? I'm pretty bummed out by this projector. I can't see any reason to buy it over the 4805, other than the small size. No DVI, no DCDi, possible wierd aspect ratio, and the same price. If it was 4:3, at least it would have had some merit for occasional computer and video game use. The pseudo-widescreen thing is not cool.
post #23 of 8029
i could give you one reason.
One is out and one is not.

I dont know for a little bit of extra money you could go the benq 6200 route and get a nice upgrade in res or for less go the benq 6100 route. It doenst have a 4x speed wheel but it is 3x.
post #24 of 8029
Thread Starter 
When you view 4.3 you'll just have bars on the sides with you 16.9 screen. The 4805 is about the same idea. Who knows what light spill it will have?

Between the two it will come down to image quality. For a newcomer Optoma sure has a super quality to the pictures it makes. You can get an idea from the screenshots, but it does look even better in person.
post #25 of 8029
The Benqs may or may not have a 3x wheel, but they are still RGBW. I'm sure they are a reasonable option.

The 4805 is really 16:9 and not cropping the picture. That's really the bummer. If the H30 was a 4:3 projector, it would have something to distinguish itself. The 4805 didn't appear to have any light spill at CES.

Oh well, I think I'm just going to save up and get an HD2 anyway. Hopefully someone selling their Benq 8700 to get the HD2+...
post #26 of 8029
Does it even approach your ht1000 for 16:9 material?

post #27 of 8029
Thread Starter 
Yes, I like the picture allot. I can keep it sharp and not be bothered with the lower resolution SD. The brightness and natural colors are a big plus for this machine. Not to mention the deinterlacer.

I just got off the phone with Opto Tech. He says the throw ratio is 1.75min 2.12max and also said I should first align the DirectTV HDTV image, then the other aspects 1.85 & 2.35 of DVD will get placed correctly. I told him about the screen light spill and he said other users bought a lens adapter at camera shops made for 35mm camera's. It will block out the light spill and he said it won't hurt the projector. I'll look into it even though I can't see the spill with the PJ ceiling mounted.
post #28 of 8029
I'm confused. Is this thing a 4x3 like the X1? Thanks.
post #29 of 8029
Its a 4:3 chip that is masked for 16:9 so that it doesn't use the whole 800x600 for 4:3...kinda weird. The pics looked good though.

I was seeing light spill above the screen on the Underworld pic 1, Lord of the Rings pic 2, and Gladiator pic 1, is this because you had projector table mounted then Tom? I didn't see any light below screen on other pics and I have my screen blacked out above and below so it looks like the light spill won't bother me.

Contrast is rated at 2000:1 on the H30 and is rated at 3000:1 on the NEC Ht1000, did contrast seem 1/3 better on the HT100 over the H30? Also I am most concerned with seeing pixellation and you say at 1.85 times back you won't see it, is that with picture sharply focussed or is that counting using a slight defocus?

How does HD look compared to a XGA projector as far as resolution?

Looks like a great little projector but with a few quirks.

post #30 of 8029
I know screenshots don't tell the whole story , but after seeing the underworld shots and comparing them to my l300u the contrast looks much higher. Is there really that much difference in contrast between lcd and dlp? If so I may have to check out a few dlp's because those screenshots look way better than my projector.
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