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Optoma H57 owners. Come out of the closet! - Page 2

post #31 of 988
Thread Starter 
You're getting creative now.

That spare bulb could come in handy when you go to sell the H57. Might be something a prospective buyer would like and you could raise your price a little too.

Either way you can't lose. You'll get something now by selling the bulb or you'll reap a little extra when you sell the projector, provided you haven't had to use that spare bulb yourself.

It's a beautiful projector. I noticed right away how it renders colors more accurately than the H31, especially reds. Better saturation too. And of course the resolution is better even on DVD when scaled. It appears sharp to me without artifacts. HDTV is so good that it's very close to 1080i that I view on my 64" Pioneer CRT RPTV.

Bright as the sun too! We can watch with a lamp or two on and we do just that on occasion. Works flawlessly with a PC and has a separate VGA input apart from DVI which I like.

Can you tell I'm biased?

post #32 of 988
tempting, tempting..... Does anyone think that the prices will drop? I mean, if one retailer is giving away a $400 bulb....
post #33 of 988
I am agonizing over the same decision of going with the H76 or H57. The two projectors are priced at exactly the same point. The H57 comes with a free bulb which makes it more economical to run past 3000 hours.

I am currently own a Panasonic AE500u and have enjoyed it except the VB has killed the viewing enjoyment. So my motivation to upgrade is based on a desire not to have VB and increase black levels. My room is white and it is not totally light controlled, but I watch the projector primarily at night. I prefer a dim picture because when the picture is very bright it gives me a headache. I originally thought the headache was caused by dlp projectors but the exact same problem occurred with the Panasonic. I created a gray screen to reduce the brightness of the projector and the headache virtually vanished. I like screens in the 80' to 90' range with viewing distances of 1.7 to 2.0+. I plan on getting a black screen in the future so that I can have fluorescent lighting in the room without degrading the picture. This I believe will help eliminate all traces of headaches.

I am reluctant to give up the native resolution of 720p because I enjoy HD through cable and I feel I will have a HD DVD player in the next 9 months. I also will enjoy gaming in 720p. The H57 has 1000 higher contrast but I am not sure I would achieve it in my white room. My biggest questions are on the black levels and dlp dither. Do they have the same black levels? Will either machine have a greater dither tendency?

Other considerations are that the H76 has greater placement flexibility. I will be able to mount it perfectly in my room with a much higher WAF. I do not believe either machine has an advantage in terms of operational quietness.

Currently I am leaning in favor of the H76 because of convince issues and I believe the picture will look virtually the same in my room.

Everyone's input is appreciated

post #34 of 988
All the 76's I find are factory refurbished.... But I am curious....
Also, what screen would 57 owners reccomend?

post #35 of 988
Yes I was talking about a factory referbished unit. That does not really bother me.
post #36 of 988
Thread Starter 
Well, I'm currently using a 92" diagonal Da-Lite High Power screen with my H57. Let me tell you, HP is NOT the screen to opt for with this projector. Even in econo mode it's very bright and it's hard to calibrate with AVIA because the black bars in the brightness screen are difficult to bring into view. I have my brightness setting at 61.

What I've done is taken Krasmuzik's advice and purchased an ND2 filter which has cut the lumens in half and rendered a much more satisfying image. I am even considering purchasing an ND4 filter because I still think that the image could be possibly too bright. It's cheaper than buying another screen. However, if I were to purchase a screen for the H57 I'd either get a plain Matte White 1.0 gain or try the new Optoma Graywolf screen @ 1.8 gain.

It would seem that any of the gray screens on the market may be a good match for the H57. Still, I don't think that a Matte White would be a problem. You may have to use an ND2 filter even with a Matte White screen. But you have to try these things out in your own home in order to determine what's best for you.

post #37 of 988
Originally Posted by mystery View Post

You're getting creative now.

It's a beautiful projector. I noticed right away how it renders colors more accurately than the H31, especially reds. Better saturation too. And of course the resolution is better even on DVD when scaled. It appears sharp to me without artifacts. HDTV is so good that it's very close to 1080i that I view on my 64" Pioneer CRT RPTV.


I'll admit, I'm a newbie when it comes to front projectors, but how is it possible that a projector at 576p outperform a projector at 480p like the H31 when the latter needs no scaling to project a dvd's true resolution? Given all the factors were the same, such as light control, lumen output, same video sources, etc., for dvd, wouldn't for example, an H31 be more ideal for dvd viewing? Like everyone here, I want to get the deepest blacks and most vibrant, accurate colors as possible so that has led me to the dlp's and the Infocus 4805 and Optoma H31. For dvd viewing, I thought these were the kings. Now the H57 retails for twice as much as said projectors so will it give me twice the performance? For my needs, I think this machine would be overkill when a 4805 or H31 would do just as well as an H57. But hey, I could be wrong and that's why you guys are here to shed some light. Do I need to go into the 2k or 3k price range to get the best dvd picture possible? I think the H57 has not garnered much attention because it has to up or downscale everything it projects and giving everything a softer picture, dvd or hdtv. If I'm wrong, let me know, and as always, any recommendations will be appreciated. Forum members, what are your thoughts? Currently, I'm looking into buying my first projector and my primary viewing will be 65% DVD and 35% HDTV in a completely light controlled room, 16w by 12h, with no ambient light, table mounted, and 15 ft. back for seating.

post #38 of 988
Thread Starter 

Welcome aboard!

Many have offered your argument that watching DVDs is always best at their native resolution with projectors that display such without scaling.

I think that it depends on which projector you're comparing with. There are probably a lot of projectors with higher native resolution than 480p that look not as good as these Dark Chip 2 pjs running at 854 x 480.

On the other hand, resolution is only one part of the equation when evaluating an image. I used to own the Infocus X1 as recently as March of this year. I have noticed that when I purchased the H31, the image was superior whether DVD or HDTV. It was brighter, had more resolution when viewing widescreen material, rendered most colors with better accuracy and saturation etc...

However, I went through two H31s before finally opting to upgrade to the H57. The problem was that the H31s didn't hold a digital signal coming from an HTPC. Another issue was consistent tearing in the image from the computer whether analog or digital feed.

These two issues were resolved by switching to the H57. I also noticed that the H57 rendered reds with tremendous accuracy versus the orangey reds on the H31. The greater amount of pixels on the H57 allow me to sit closer to my screen without seeing SDE. It's also a much brighter projector than the H31 and because of it's design, doesn't 'leak' light out of the case as much as the H31. The H57 has better input capabilities than the H31.

Earlier in this thread it was stated that the H57 performed very well up against the H77.

But to your question, I have determined that watching DVDs at higher resolutions doesn't necessarily render a softer image. I find that the PixelWorks scaler is very good and I don't see an image from DVDs on the H57 that is softer than the native resolution that an H31 would display.

I also use the LG7832/ZenithDB318 upconverting player @ 1080i over component which I find absolutely superb on the H57 and also was the same on the H31. I never noticed a picture without the same amount of detail present as straight 848 x 480 or 854 x 480.

So, it comes down to trying it out for yourself and then deciding. Some people may not like viewing DVDs on a matterhorn or higher projector.

In my estimation, more pixels are better as long as you have a scaler that will work well. If not, then it's probably best to stick with the native 854 or 848 x 480 projectors.

Is the H57 worth double the price of the H31? To me it is. I've outlined a litany of reasons why. For those who're using the H31 only with DVD players then it may not be worth it to upgrade to the H57. With an HTPC, for me it was absolutely necessary to go to the H57 because I couldn't get the H31s to work with DVI from my HTPC and many others have had the same problem.

Now, debating the Infocus SP4805 versus the Optoma H57 would be a different story. The Infocus works well with an HTPC so I wouldn't have that problem to deal with. Still, in that case it's louder than the H57, won't render HDTV as well, and is now a relatively 'old' projector in the grand scheme of things.

I think that if you can afford it, it's always better to opt for more pixels in the long run. If you're main viewing is DVDs then this point MAY be debatable, especially if the projector with more pixels that you might be considering has an average scaler. In that case, the WVGA projector with fewer pixels may be the best choice.

You have to very carefully consider so many things other than just resolution though.

Another thing to think about is that if you're concerned about a higher resolution projector softening a DVD image too much, there are ways to sharpen it up without edge enhancement or ringing artifacts. If you do use an HTPC, there are programs available that could counteract any softening you might notice.

Anyway, this has been my experience and perhaps the H57 isn't the right projector for you price-wise or performance wise. You'll have to explore that personally to determine the answer.

Good luck!

post #39 of 988
My H31 looks spectacular on DVDs with a 480P component input, and very very good with HDTV using DVI. If you plan on sitting very close to the screen or using HTPC then the H57 may be worth the extra cash, otherwise buy the H31! I personally wouldn't upgrade to a Matterhorn, with true 720P PJs dropping in price like they are. Buy the H31 now, upgrade in a year or so to true Hi-def! (thats what I'm gonna do)
post #40 of 988
Hi Wayne, I also have a flashed original firmware zenith dvb318 (Was sending 1080i over comp. to my 55" Mits. Diamond...) I loved the added deatail pq-wise, but I hated the fact that there was no pillarboxing of 4x3 available. (Mits. locked into FULL mode at 1080i) also it seemed my player lost audio sync. at times. Now would the PQ on the H57 look better with the 1080i signal than say a good 480p player? I would assume that the pic. would be scaled twice then, up to 1080i by player then back to 576p by projector. Also would you used DVI or component? I know of the white crush issue with the old firmware but I could always reflash the new.... And what do the H57 and H31 do for 4x3 material
Thanx! D
post #41 of 988
Thread Starter 

I've never been able to get DVI to work from the LG/Zenith player. It just freezes and locks up and then I have to unplug it and start over so I've given up and just upconvert over component.

I can't remember what the H31 did with 4:3 material unfortunately. I can tell you that the H57 displays side bars @ 480p but I usually never use this player at that resolution. When I feed the H57 1080i from the LG/Zenith the projector stretches the picture to 16:9 and doesn't do as good a job of it as my fantastic 64" Pioneer CRT RPTV.

However, interestingly enough, when I'm using my HTPC and TheaterTek player, 4:3 material is properly displayed in the middle of my screen with bars on either side. However, I find that video based material from my HTPC doesn't show as well as it does from the LG/Zenith. Film based material is fine via DVD player or HTPC.

So, although I prefer to view video based 4:3 material from the LG/Zenith player, I have to resort to 480p for the proper aspect ratio unless I want to put up with poor stretching @ 1080i.

As far as whether 480p or 1080i looks best on the H57 I can't really say because as you probably are aware, the LG/Zenith player has been panned for it's 480p mode. I imagine that a very good player @ 480p would be comparable and maybe even better on the H57 because as you say, there are two scaling operations in effect when using an upconverting player.

But I gotta tell ya, I just don't see the problem. The PixelWorks scaler in these Optoma projectors has to be at least on a par with Faroudja. I really like the look of an upconverted signal whether it was my old X1 or the H31 or now the H57. I used the LG/Zenith on all three projectors and never went back to my previous Sony NSP700 which was regarded as a good 480p player with the Genesis chip.

And if you're worried about a softening up an upconverted picture, I find the LG/Zenith to render not only a very film like image but also one with just enough detail to satisfy me. And if I want more detail, all I have to do is put the DVD in the HTPC and use TheaterTek with ffdshow post-processing filter to sharpen things up to my heart's content and I have the best of both worlds!

Oh, and another thing. I use component with the DVD player and DVI-D with the HTPC and the only thing that I like better about the DVI-D cable is that it seems to pass along a brighter image to the projector. Otherwise, colors, blacks, CR, etc... are similar enough that I can't really say whether component or DVI is better. The difference though is that there is far more control over the image when you use an HTPC and I really like that so for that reason I tend to favor the HTPC when viewing DVDs. I'm using expensive cables for both if that makes any difference.

As for your audio sync problems, I think that I've experienced this on occasion as well but it usually corrects itself or I turn the player off and then back on again and the situation is back to normal.

I REALLY like this H57 Dave. I'm glad that I had a chance to compare both the H31 and the H57. They're both excellent but my jaw dropped even further to the floor after seeing the H57 for the first time than it did upon firing up the H31 on it's initial voyage.

post #42 of 988
Thanx for the thorough answer! I appreciate it. I have a 12bit video D/A JVC region-free player and Compared to the zenith (10 bit) on my old mits... the JVC had better color range. The zenith was more detailed at 1080i but 4x3 videos looked awful. Also the JVC player has pic. controls, contrast, brightness, gamma, color, tint and sharpness so I could adjust the pic. in the digital realm. I liked having that flexability so I might just stick with the JVC and sell the zenith.
Now, if we could only get an apt. here in Berkeley/Sf, we could actually GET the 57 and start watching flicks~! d
post #43 of 988
Originally Posted by Dave Mack View Post

... Now would the PQ on the H57 look better with the 1080i signal than say a good 480p player? I would assume that the pic. would be scaled twice then, up to 1080i by player then back to 576p by projector. ...

Yes, H57 throws a better detailed HD image than any 480p projector!

People believed that 576p doesn't bring any benefits to the 480p/720p NTSC world. In fact, that may be a big oversight! Let me explain.

DVD --
Resolution is 720x480, most projectors are scaling to 2-3% bigger than 853x480, so that they have overscan to protect from some unwanted boundary noises. Unless a 480p projector was designed with 1:1 480p vertically-unscaled (horizontally, one still needs to streth from 720 to 853), all projectors scales the 480p, then more pixel resolution will have a smoother, less screen-door image. So, in this case, 576p projector enjoys some benefits over 480p projectors, unless there is no overscan in 480p processing.

720p --
Well, only 720p projector with 1:1 mapping can show an outstanding 720p image, but most 720p projectors scale the 720p input to have overscan as well. 576p enjoys a bigger advantage over 480p for more pixel for scaling process.

1080i --
I know for sure that H57 has a mode that treats 1080i as 540p signal, and just display in 960x540 image area centered. What does this mean? NO SCALING! Imaging the good looking 34" 16x9 1080i CRT Tube TV showing an HDTV image. 576p projector can have a very similar image if it treats 1080i simply as 540p. As far as I know, only Priceton Graphics 30" 16x9 CRT is true 720p progressive. Sony/Panasonic/Toshiba high end CRT TV are all showing in 1080i mode, just like H57 in the 540p mode. So, H57 can beat 480p projector completely in terms of sharpness and no scaling artifacts.

So, there you have it, H57 stands out better than most 480p projectors, no matter the source is 480p, 576p, 1080i or 720p. Heck, it is even better than 720p with overscan for H57 can show 1080i "unscaled" (I wouldn't say "native" ), and in 480p and 720p, both scales.

So, I've always said to my friends that 576p is the way to go for entry home theater. Yes, if you have the bucks, you can be the Buck Roger and have 720p or even 1008p. But for average folks, with a little premium, H57 with 540p mode 576p projector can make you very happy with DVD and with all those 1080i movies from HBO HD, SHOWTIME HD, Discovery HD, .... (except for ABS 720p HD! which is only a small portion of the HD programs, and only US has 720p)

Congratulation of you lucky 576p owners! (I have a "576p" H56 in my den, projecting 75" on a white wall, my kids love it!!)

(Note: H31 was designed with 1:1 mapping with DVD signals, and has a special 1080i mode to treat 1080i as 540p, then only display the center 853x480 .... so, it's not bad for a little fellow, but H57 comes with 250W lamp, more intensity and more light output, also a bigger, stronger ID with air-duct for quieter operations .... )
post #44 of 988
Hmmm... interesting. Might keep the zenith at 1080i after all......
post #45 of 988
Mystery and Floridapoolboy, thank you for the replies.

Mystery, initially, I wanted to go with a 576p resolution projector thinking that the extra resolution would make for a clearer, more vivid picture for dvd viewing. Now dvd's, keep in mind, will be my primary viewing. I came to this conclusion after seeing an Infocus 4805 and 5700 demoed in my theater room and wasn't too thrilled with the 4805. There was a little ambient light coming in from the outside so the room wasn't completely dark but still, both projectors were tested with the same sources and under the same conditions. To me, the 576p 5700 had richer colors and deeper blacks, so my thinking is I have to go with a 576p to get an image that I'm happy with. But after reading all these posts and sifting through all the arguments, the facts become murky, especially if you're so new to front projectors and looking for advice from more knowledgeable people.

On one side, some say you cannot get a better or more detailed image out of a projector outside 480p. In addition, going with a 576p or 720p projector would require scaling and softening of the picture. While the otherside says go with the higher ends because it will allow you to sit closer to the screen without having to suffer from SDE and will better equip you for future technology.

Okay, taking the above points into consideration, my reasoning is:

1. Let's go with a Dark Chip 2 like the Optoma H31 because I wasn't too thrilled with the 4805.
2. I won't be using HTPC so I won't have to deal with those issues.
3. I'll be sitting at least 15 ft. away from the screen so I won't suffer from SDE.
4. Why pay twice or three times as much when according to everybody, 576p or 720p would be just too much for dvd?

Mystery, like all newbies that barely enter the realm of home theater, we want that "jaw dropping" effect that you got out of the H57. So why can't that be had out of a projector like the 4805 or H31 when these projectors are displaying at the dvds native resolution. Please provide some insight and much thanks for the help.

post #46 of 988
Thread Starter 
Hi Joe,

Thanks for your post and your questions. You're obviously sincerely grappling with this decision and it certainly can be a difficult one to make.

Mine was made for me. I had researched the H31 for months. The upgrade itch was upon me and I couldn't 'afford' anything much more than the price of the SP4805 or the H31 so I narrowed my choice down to one of these two. I also considered the NEC410 and the BenQ5120 but discarded those from my consideration, the reasons I don't think really matter to anyone at this point.

It seemed to me that after having an Infocus product (X1) for close to 2 years, it would be kind of uninteresting to buy another projector from them without sampling what one of the other manufacturers could produce. Also, I was REALLY ticked that Infocus would come up with this grand scheme to soak purchasers out of even more money by charging for an M1 adapter just so that one could then use DVI. On principle alone I wouldn't buy the SP4805 because of this one factor.
Also, there had been just way too many reports of a loud fan on that projector. The X1 can be loud and I was keen to buy a projector that had lower decibel levels.

After much research and actually seeing the H31 in person, I was sold! It is a marvellous projector, especially given it's price. Unfortunately (or maybe providentially? I tried two H31s, neither one of which could satisfy me due to the tearing and syncing issues associated with the use of HTPCs.

In most other ways, it was nearly perfect. Great color saturation and black levels. Eye-popping colors, bright and a joy to watch generally. However, if you like fire engine reds you will unfortunately be treated to pumpkiney reds instead. Familiar movies featuring the color that you are used to will be maddeningly off kilter. Try watching Spiderman on the H31 and you'll have a slight orange tinge to his outfit. Very annoying! I went through this once before with an Hitachi CRT RPTV that had the same problem.

I hate reds that aren't right!! If you do as well, then get the H57 or another lower priced unit such as the SP4805.

So Joe, you will get a jaw dropping effect from the H31, especially if you've come from owning a projector like the X1 or your experience is with other non-optimized for Home Theater pjs.

Since SDE and HTPC aren't issues for you then you are indeed a candidate for the H31. But I caution as one who's gone through two of them prior to giving up and getting the H57, color accuracy is WAY better on the H57 and also keep this in mind, one of the first things that I noticed when firing up the H57 for the very first time was that color saturation was far better than on the H31. There was much less of a grainy texture to the image. It took on a depth and richness that the H31 was lacking.

Let's face it everyone. You get what you pay for in life. There's a reason why the H57 costs more than the H31. You can't really lose with either one but I've warned you as one who's owned both, I'd never go back now to the H31 if I had any say about it at all.

Joe, re-read TzungILin's excellent post a few entries back. He says what I've been trying to say much more eloquently than I'll probably ever be able to do and he makes a lot of sense.


Thanks for your post. It was very informative and educational. Tell me, is there anything special one must do in order to bring up the 540p mode? I use both an HTPC and a DVD player. I'm feeding 1280 x 720p from the HTPC and it looks wonderful. The DVD player is upconverting the image to 1080i and is accepted as such on the H57 but I seem to recall that for a brief moment, the display shows 1080i/540p in the upper right hand corner. Is this what you're talking about? If so, then 1080i coming from my DVD player I can assume is possibly being converted to 540p by the H57? Please advise.

post #47 of 988
Originally Posted by mystery View Post

Since SDE and HTPC aren't issues for you then you are indeed a candidate for the H31. But I caution as one who's gone through two of them prior to giving up and getting the H57, color accuracy is WAY better on the H57 and also keep this in mind, one of the first things that I noticed when firing up the H57 for the very first time was that color saturation was far better than on the H31. There was much less of a grainy texture to the image. It took on a depth and richness that the H31 was lacking.

Mystery, So is the better color saturation and the less grainy texture mainly attributed to the higher resolution of the H57 over the H31? From what I've read, I was under the impression that the higher res was useless for dvds because good Dark Chip 2 dlps at 480p were in a sense, a direct, unaltered projection of a dvd's image. Thank you so much for the help and I'll have to read more about the H57. I'm thinking I might as well wait for the H57's to drop in price rather than buy the H31 now and have buyers remorse until I eventually upgrade.

post #48 of 988
Thread Starter 

The H57 just had a massive price drop so I'm not sure when the next one will be. Also there was a run on this projector recently hence Optoma states that the next batch won't be available until at least late July.

The reason for the better color saturation may indeed be the extra pixels. But that doesn't account for the better color accuracy so I'm not really sure if the extra pixels explains the difference without some other factor.

I have found that upscaling DVDs either via a good upscaling DVD player or allowing the display device to do it is not detrimental to image quality versus just using 480p players. There seems to always be a little scaling going on no matter what you use to deliver the image so I think the more important thing to be concerned with is the scaler of the display device or source.

Everyone's different in this regard though and you may find any upscaled images to be unacceptable. I've never failed to like an image better once it's been upscaled though (with one exception noted below).

I still remember the first time I tried an upscaling player which was the LG/Zenith model and I had it hooked up to my X1 which is a native 800 x 600 4:3 AR projector that either scales or crops 16:9 images down to 800 x 450. I put in Jurassic Park and I was absolutely floored at how much better the image was upscaled to 1080i over component cables. I've never looked back and I always upscale DVDs now. I did however audition the Panasonic S97 which disappointed me in that I found I liked it's 480p image far better than it's upscaled image to either 720p or 1080i over DVI. So, I returned it and I'm sticking with the LG for now. The new Oppo player sure is tempting though.

I'll bet that Oppo in combo with the H57 would render a killer picture.

post #49 of 988
I too am curious now about this 1080i mode....
post #50 of 988
Hi all,
I just joined this forum and am a newbie to FP. With the new pricing I am seriously considering getting the H57. I'm still a bit confused on what type of screen to use for this puppy. Are any of you using your PJ in the following config? if so what screens have you used and what are you happy with?

Projector distance to screen is 12 ft, and seating distance to screen is 10-11 ft. It will be ceiling mounted as High as I can get it. We tend to watch movies with some indirect ambient light. Every thing I have read says with some ambient to get a high gain high contrast screen. I've also thought about a sound screen but with my viewing distance and the problems I've read with seeing the perf and Moire I'll probably pass on that one for now.

Any comments on this would be greatly appreciated.

post #51 of 988
Thread Starter 

Welcome to AVS!

I currently am juggling two screens as I can't decide which one to use. I've been using a Da-Lite High Power 92" diagonal but the H57 is SO bright that the High Power is overkill and I've had to purchase an ND2 filter in order to cut the lumens in half. This has made a tremendous difference and improved the blacks and contrast ratio.

However, I also have a Da-Lite 92" High Contrast Matte White (gray) screen that I'm currently testing once again after bringing it out of 'mothballs'. What I'm finding, is that the HCMW screen appears to be a very good match with the H57 and may be better than a High Power. The blacks are possibly even better on the HCMW and shadow detail/contrast ratio seem to be about the same as High Power if not even a slight bit deeper.

I think that the H57 probably needs either a gray screen or some sort of a matte white. It certainly doesn't need any help via a screen with any high gain. A good compromise may be the new Optoma Graywolf screen that is essentially a High Contrast screen with a gray base and even has a 1.8 gain. So it's retro-reflective, has a gain somewhere between matte white and high power, is gray based to help deflect ambient light and improve the perception of black levels and contrast ratio.

Hope this helps!

post #52 of 988
Thanks Wayne,
This really does help!!! There is a lot of information on screens and the h31, sp4805... but they are much lower lumen than the H57 so this is very useful information. I'll check out the Graywolf screen and Da-Lite HCMW.

With the brightness of this projector I'm even thinking of pushing up the screen size from 92" to 100". I know that my sitting distance is getting a bit close for SDE but for most DLP my eye sight isn't that good for it to be a big problem.

Do you have any experience with sound screens with this projector? heard anything about them?

Thanks for the feedback

P.S. Looks like I'll be joining the H57 owners group shortly.
post #53 of 988
Thread Starter 
Great news Randy! We have a small but growing club here.

The more I view material on my HCMW screen the more I'm thinking that a gray screen is the right type for the H57. I wish I had a matte white screen to test because I think that it would also be a good match since it's the same gain @ 1.0. The only difference being that the matte white's blacks may not appear as deep as the those on the HCMW. There may be a bit more 'punch' to the image using matte white though but from what I can tell, the image on the HCMW is very bright.

I'm still intrigued about Optoma's new Graywolf screen with 1.8 gain and a gray base. It seems to be that it could potentially be the perfect screen for the H57 in that it's gray base will lower the blacks and cut the brightness yet the increased gain may give it back some of the pop that you lose when you move away from the High Power.

I haven't heard about sound screens unless you mean perforated ones.

You could easily go to 100" or 106" or possibly larger with this H57. Then you wouldn't need a HCMW screen or even an ND2 filter to cut the lumens because you'd pretty much need those lumens to brighten the larger image. In that case, the High Power might be okay but I'd think that a matte white screen would be very good. Then again, the Graywolf might be the best for a larger screen like that too.

Let me/us know if/when you take the plunge on a projector and/or screen.

post #54 of 988
I recently purchased the H57 to replace my trusty; but, now dated Piano HE3100. My first H57 had a dead pixel and it was replaced by Optoma immediately (outstanding service from Thomas in Milpitas, CA and Ryan in Richmond Hill, ON).

I am very pleased at the improvement in the colours, contrast and depth of focus. I'm now seeing details that were not present with the Piano. With an interlaced component signal (Pioneer DV-09) the improvement over the 848x480 mode Piano chip is quite apparent. The H57 is very quiet and motion artifacts are gone as compared to the Piano.

I have a question that hopefully someone can answer. Since the H57 has a zoom lens and since I will ceiling mount the projector in a fixed position, what is the best point in the zoom range to locate the projector? I know with a camera lens, distortions may be present at either of the extremes of the zoom range. Will the lumens or contrast be different within the zoom range?

post #55 of 988
Thread Starter 

You've made a great purchase. Congratulations!

Hey, your Piano Plus projector was no slouch though in it's day that's for sure. I had a chance to audition one locally and I was absolutely floored at the quality of the image that it produced except that I thought it was too dim.

But you're right. The H57 is head and shoulders above it. I agree with everything that you said in regard to the improvements you found.

I don't know if there's ever been a definitive consensus about your question with regard to the zoom lens. Some people think that you shouldn't use any zoom at all. That's the way I have mine set up. I have the image as small as it will go. Others say to keep it in the middle.

My last projector was the Infocus X1 (well, I did own the H31 for about a month before upgrading to the H57 but that's another story). The X1 I had set so that the zoom was almost all of the way out in order to get just about the largest image that I could. I didn't notice any difference when zooming out or in.

post #56 of 988
I will be taking the delivery off my new H57 this week and I cant wait. I sold my X1 a couple of weeks ago so I have been without a projector for a while.

Should be perfect for me here in Australia, as its PAL resolution, and most of our HDTV too is actualy 576p (I believe US standards dont have this res) only some channels beeing 1080i so there shouldn't be much scaling and most of the material will be watched in its native resolution.

It will be used on 92" matte white with 1.0 gain screen.

I have heard you can see some rainbows on this model? I assume its going to be much better then the old X1 with its 2x colour wheel....

Also I heard with this projector the noise is reduced and lamp light increased in econo mode, yet I havent found a way to engage the econo mode in the user manual which I downloaded from optoma....
post #57 of 988
Regarding the 1080i/540p mode,

Connect H57 to a HDTV source with 1080i signals, first use 16x9 mode, you will get a 1080i signal scaled to fill the 1024x576 image.

If my memory serves me (I've not played H57 for a long time), there is a "Native" mode in the Aspect ratio control, change it to Native mode.

You should be seeing the image shrunk just a little to 960x540. This is the 540p mode for 1080i.

You might prefer the full image (16x9) than the 540p one with black, unused surrounding pixels. Give it a try and see which one you prefer.

H57 is so very bright, I also recommend using grey screen. Da-Lite High Contrast sounds like a goo match, one can also try Optoma's Greywolf, which is affordable enough as a side experiment ...
post #58 of 988
Originally Posted by mystery View Post


Thanks for your post. It was very informative and educational. Tell me, is there anything special one must do in order to bring up the 540p mode? I use both an HTPC and a DVD player. I'm feeding 1280 x 720p from the HTPC and it looks wonderful. The DVD player is upconverting the image to 1080i and is accepted as such on the H57 but I seem to recall that for a brief moment, the display shows 1080i/540p in the upper right hand corner. Is this what you're talking about? If so, then 1080i coming from my DVD player I can assume is possibly being converted to 540p by the H57? Please advise.


If you are using DVD as source, the 1080i/540p mode probably won't do you any good, since the source is 480p and scaled.

If you are using HTPC, stay at 720p resolution, as you already found a sweet spot there. If you are using a DVD player, does output 1080i from the DVD help the resolution in the 540p mode? I don't know. In this way, the signal is processed, from 480p to 1080i by the internal scaler of the DVD. Compared to feeding H57 with a 480p and scale to 576p by H57 scaler, both are processed, the resulting image quality really depends on the quality of the scaler.

That being said, I still encourage you to try it, just to compare. I've heard people saying that feeding a 480p projector with upconverted 720p from DVD is better than sending it at 480p. Like I said, if the projector won't show a 1:1 mapping, then upconverting to 720p, then scaled in the projector back to 480p might give you a smoother picture, but may not be sharper than a 1:1 mapping projector.

Feeding DVD from HTPC will always give you a much better image, especially if you have pixels to spare (in this case H57 does!) The Graphic chips (ATI or GeForce) will give you a powerful image processing (combined with FFDShow and other software). In this case then, you don't really need to get 1080i out from a HTPC, then to H57 using 540p mode. Just let the HTPC do the processing and scaling to 576p or 720p, then feed to H57.

I remember one time, I tried using HTPC to match to a 720p DLP with 16x9 lens to render a 2.35:1 movie in 720p vertical resolution. The viewers who saw it all claimed that it looks like HD ... The power of HTPC and full pixel of 1280x720 with the help of 16x9 lens!!
post #59 of 988
Optoma H57 experience:

I am a recent purchaser of an Optoma H57. I have about 180 hours on it so far and I can say that it is an excellent projector. The color is outstanding and it is probably the best DLP color I have seen. Watching B&W movies is a treat. The projector produces excellent contrast and greys. The resolution is a bit better than the entry level and it allows me to either sit closer or move to a bigger screen. Currently, I have a Da-Lite HCCV 84" 4:3 screen that I purchased when I had an Infocus X1. I just use the zoom lens to fill the 4:3 screen when I am watching 4:3 material. Otherwise I watch a 77" 16:9 image on the 4:3 screen. I am tempted to go with a bigger 16:9 Da-Lite screen but I have to limit my budget for a while.

I have only one complaint about the projector and that is a buzz that it makes. I know the fans are quiet because during cool down it is silent. I don't think it is the color wheel because it seems to get louder as the bulb warms up. It almost sounds like it is a power supply buzz. I was aware of the H30 having buzzing issues but I didn't think the H57 would. Does anybody else have a buzz or is it just me? I haven't contacted tech support yet because it only bothers me during quiet scenes in a movie. I just wanted to see if anybody else may have the problem.
post #60 of 988
Hey just a quick question guys. Like i said earlier, I love my H57, however I was just wondering why you guys bought the h57 over the ae700u. Those were my two main choices. And my reasons were well the most common ones. I was afraid of VB and didn't want to have to clean it and such, and i heard the colors weren't as good. But i was just curious about everyone else. Oh I'm not trying to like take over this thread or anyting, I just figured it would be the easiest place to get the attention of the most h57 owners.
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