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Optoma H31 review & screenshots

post #1 of 4539
Thread Starter 
Optoma has a new 30 version the H31 w/480p Dark chip 2, native widescreen. Same case and remote as the H30 with added DVI, Component, in place of the VGA connection. First off Mike is right the Dark chip2 does produce a very dark black. Lucky for the H31 it does because this thing is a light cannon and in econo. So you get a large swing from blacks to whites. Contrast is high/brightness is high. Colors are intense with the classic Optoma citrus juicy look.

Optoma added some excellent aspect features to the H31. It has a 1080i 1 & 2, these come in handy because when viewing OTA 480p you can expand the image, making for thin bars on the sides and keeping the image natural. We all like a bigger picture.

Theres an feature called Edge Mask, this is good if a TV signal shows garbage around the rim. Hit the Edge Mask on and it disappears. Nice feature

There's several aspects for 4.3, Normal, 1.66, 1.85, 2.35. Normal is standard size, the other expand the image. These are also useful for non-anamorphic dvds although there's a discrete button on the remote for Letterbox which will handle NA-dvds also.

Then there's this great feature for electric screen users or maybe manual pull types. It's called image shift. Like last night I viewed Bourne Supremacy which is 2.35. You use the image shift to raise the image up to delete the top black bar and in turn raise up the electric screen to delete the bottom black bar. You end up with a panoramic 2.35 setup. Very nice

Also this procedure can go in reverse. A user with a Theater view Dalite type screen that pulls up from the floor can set the image shift down and in turn lower the top of his screen down. Deleting the 2.35 black bars. Each function has a memory setup to simplify with a hit of a button.

On to the screenshots.
I used a Phillips Q50 in progressive for these shots.

Also took a look at DVI with the Bravo and it's very clean. Seems 480p looked the sharpest. Avia showed Zero overscan.




How to eyeball a better grayscale.
"Some tuning tips for all displays that have advance RGB-adjustments for grayscale.

After making initial Avia 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, can really make a huge difference "

Also I would start by first deleting the color you need until it's out of the grays. Lets say it took 8 clicks minus on the red to get there. Instead of leaving this make it just 4 clicks and inturn add four clicks more to the Blue & Green for better balance."

For you guys using DVI here's the numbers for D65k

First in the service area setting up Image/Film gamma 1
Picture -
Gain Red 167
Gain Gr 158
Gain Bl 155

Bias Red 123
Bias Gr 125
Bias Bl 125

DLP's are all at 32

Next PC gamma 1
Service picture area remains the same, just use the User Advanced RGB

Red Contrast minus 2
Gr Contrast 0
Bl Contrast 0

Red Brightness 1
Gr Brightness 0
BL Brightness 1

Don't change any other things in the service menu, just Picture. Don't mess around in there. Oh plus write down your original service Picture RGB numbers.

After changing use avia for black and whites my user blacks&whites were the following, at least for PC gamma1 which I'll be using.

Contrast minus 17
Brightness zero

"Here's some colorfacts numbers for analog 480i/480p

480i Film gamma 2, yes that's right Film needs to be used for analog, PC wouldn't work it would crush out the whites, PC works for DVI though.

Service Picture RGB's
Gain red 165
Gain Gr 159
Gain Bl 155

Bias Red 128
Bias Gr 125
Bias Bl 129

480p component/analog, Film, gamma 2
Service menu

First ADC
Red Gain 170
Gr Gain 167
Bl Gain 169

Red offset 72
Gr offset 59
Bl offset 62

Picture service area,
Gain Red 122
Gain Gr 124
Gain Bl 125

Bias Red 124
Bias Gr 126
Bias Bl 124

If you try any of these pls write down your original numbers.

480i/480p numbers done with Denon 1600/RP82/Xp50, same deal. Any decent analog player that has normal blacks may work for these numbers, and maybe not. So save your old numbers incase you want to go back.

Bravo D2/H31 optoma DVI, I got a read back of 854X480 - 60hz - Mode84 with these settings. Pixel crop zero, Overscan zero.

Hor Freq 47900, Vertical Freq 5994
Vid width 0854, Video height 0480
Hsync 1312 PreHsync 0016
Hsactive 0096 PostHsync 0176
Vstotal 0800 Prevsyn 0001
Vs active 0003 Postvsync 0028
Hspolarity0001 Vsynpolarity 0001
post #2 of 4539
I am far from a expert here, but seems like the contrast could be turned down just a bit, the LOTR shots seem like the whites are a little to hot, or losing a bit of detail. Look at gandalf(sp) hat, looks to me that it is losing detail at the top part of the hat.
post #3 of 4539
Thanks for the review!
post #4 of 4539
Thread Starter 
Camera exposure varies sometimes. Some look good/ some look great!
Live is always better.

"hat, looks to me that it is losing detail at the top part of the hat."

Ah ha, Dalite cosmo screen has an octagonal case, flat angled part which reflects light. I have to get around to painting it black some day.
post #5 of 4539
Good work as usual Tom.

How is the setup right out of the box? That's been the bane of the H30.
post #6 of 4539
Thread Starter 
Wing said they're pain stakingly tuning these for an excellent OTB picture. I didn't make any adjustments just used Avia, thinks look very good. Except at first I needed blinders on.
post #7 of 4539
I was wondering if you'd done any adjustments. The colors look a lot richer than they do on the H30, and there isn't the slightest hint of a green push. Very nice!

Also, does it do component through the DVI port, or does it have a separate input?
post #8 of 4539
any idea of MSRP and availablility?
post #9 of 4539
Thread Starter 
Fabbas, yes it will handle analog component thru DVI, there's a menu switch for DVI-D to DVI-analog. Also it comes with a DVI to HDMI converter in addition to the VGA to DVI converter. Colors look strong I figure due to the Dark chip or dimple fix, it gives another level of black and makes colors strong.

Last I heard MSRP is $1499
post #10 of 4539
Tom ,
-- I doubt that MSRP will stick at $1499 seeing how the 4805 MSRP just dropped to $1299 .

--- So how would you say the H31 over-all image compares to the H30 [ brightness aside ] ?

--- Is it as smooth as the H30 or did the optics improve on the H31 ?

-------- Jason
post #11 of 4539
Thread Starter 
It's smooth but you know what I think? The dark chip 2 creates a darker rim around the pixels. Doesn't create noise but the SD would be more viewable. Over all the image has a dark aura but luckily it's brightness is so powerful it pushes open black details. Colors are the classic Optoma look, which is similar in the whole line. Wish I had a Minolta Light meter I'd love to see what kind of CR we're getting.
post #12 of 4539
Hate to even ask, but any buzzing??
post #13 of 4539
Tom - I don't suppose you could take a picture up close to get a sense of the strength of the SDE?
post #14 of 4539
Thread Starter 
Very quiet, I had to put my ear on the machine to hear something. It just sounds smooth.
post #15 of 4539
Thread Starter 

Originally posted by Fabbas
Tom - I don't suppose you could take a picture up close to get a sense of the strength of the SDE?

It's just like the H30 SD, thin. But the lines are darker in color. Most all the VGA screen doors are similar and really not a bother when viewing at a correct distance.

Except for the Z90, I don't know what was going on with that one.
post #16 of 4539
Hi Tom,

What is the brightness spec for this unit. Is it higher than the H30? Is the SDE less than the H30?
post #17 of 4539
Thread Starter 
Not certain on the Lumens maybe the same 800 but having the light shoot thru the 16.9 frame boosts brightness incredibly. Result is, it's much brighter than the H30. Dithering is lower also. Screen door seems about the same.
post #18 of 4539

Most all the VGA screen doors are similar and really not a bother when viewing at a correct distance.

I have to ask, what is a correct distance per resolution in terms of screen widths?

Thanks, Brian
post #19 of 4539
Thread Starter 
About two times the screen width, give or take a foot according to how great your eyesite is. I often wonder if people that need to wear glasses have a disadvantage in this area. Probably yes

Hey Brian, If I remember right you had or have a DT200 or Z90, that was a ruff one for SD. I use to defocus it a little.
post #20 of 4539
i am about to purchase the infocus 4805 but since this h31 has dvi, 16X9 native, and juicy colors i might consider, is this thing out yet, if not how soon can we see it? ps nice pics...
post #21 of 4539
How would you compare the H31 to the Infocus 4805, if you know?
post #22 of 4539
ditto on 4805 vs h31 question, can you place pics for comparison?
post #23 of 4539
Great as always, Tom.

Improvements are cool, but I don't think H30 owners should fret at this point. Like Tom said before, this time next year there will be something bigger and better for the same price. Don't get upgrade-itus yet!

(Unless there is a CONSIDERABLE trade in from optoma...! Maybe Tom could look into it with his swanky connections...)
post #24 of 4539
Tom: I know this is not HD resolution as such, but when you view HD from Directv or over the air network stations, do you get a 16 x 9 image on a 16 x 9 screen. I have a EDTV plasma now, and at 12 feet, there is zero difference between by HD Sony direct view and this Panny EDTV on HD programming 1080I (720P)and wide screen. So, I imagine this same general principle holds for front projectors. For $1500 this seems to be one of 2-3 I should be looking at, it seems. And I like quiet; some are not that quiet. I would sit back around 20 feet from screen by the way. I believe DVDs (480) look somewhat better on 480 screen cpmpared with 720 screen.
post #25 of 4539
i have no answers in this thread only questions
i m looking for something quiet dlp thing too. I ve a 7x5 feet screen, is the resolution of the h31 good enough for bigger pictures ?
I think it will be the H31 or the h57
post #26 of 4539
On those screen shots, I realize you used the factory setting pretty much. I trust the reds can be tamed? No problem to adjust colors?
post #27 of 4539
Thread Starter 
"Tom: I know this is not HD resolution as such, but when you view HD from Directv or over the air network stations, do you get a 16 x 9 image on a 16 x 9 screen"
For sure you get a full 16.9 image with HDTV thats sent in widescreen. OTA 480p most of the time is 4.3 and what I like about this one is you can expand it wide and natural with very small black bars on the sides. Most projector lock in the OTA 4.3 and you have to watch it small.

The machine is super quiet and resolution is perfect for DVD and scaling of HDTV is also excellent.

It can blast out a large image if you want because of the brightness. Use the two times rules for seating area and you'll be ok.

There's more adjustments in the Optoma than any other projector I've seen. Plenty of room there for tweaking.
post #28 of 4539
Tom: Thank you, my friend. This begins to look like a best buy. My remaining consideration, should I go for HD definition. As I have said, at a distance, HD programming looks very good on and ED (480) display. I would imagine this will carry thru to HD DVDs in a year or 2.
post #29 of 4539
Thread Starter 
Always go for HD if your budget allows. When we get into screens this size the difference is very noticable. HD looks good on a VGA machine but there's no comparison vs a 720p machine no matter how far you're back.
post #30 of 4539
And your recommendation on a HD machine..under $2,000
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