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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I recently purchased a optoma hd30hdr as I wanted to upgrade from my Chinese blitzwolf vp6. Always found the vp6 lacking an obvious as it’s a cheap projector. Anyway overall I’m extremely dissatisfied with this optoma. First of all the black levels are absolutely appalling and I’m not expecting actual blacks I just mean the areas that are meant to be dark are a light gray and I can place a shadow over it with my hand I’m sure this is normal to a degree but back to back testing with my Chinese vp6. That has substantially better detail and black levels. I’m quite sensitive to this sort of stuff and watching a dark movie on it last night was almost unwatchable for me. Every dark scene is so washed out even in a perfectly dark room not to mention the grey “black bars” which are incredibly distracting. Now my room isn’t treated or anything and I have white walls but I still think it’s the projector that is the main issue with it’s bad black levels as testing against my cheap Chinese projector it’s far inferior. Colors on optoma are better but not “that” much better especially not when I spent close to $1000 on this.

what are you guys thoughts? Just a crap projector? I wish I could return it as the picture isn’t all that different to my vp6 and it’s actually worst in the dark.


in the attached photos you can see the more detailed flower on the vp6. It’s the same regardless of the light coming into the room as yes when I took the vp6 photo it was darker outside.


Flower Plant Orange Textile Wood
Flower Building Interior design Petal Floor
 

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So I recently purchased a optoma hd30hdr as I wanted to upgrade from my Chinese blitzwolf vp6. Always found the vp6 lacking an obvious as it’s a cheap projector. Anyway overall I’m extremely dissatisfied with this optoma. First of all the black levels are absolutely appalling and I’m not expecting actual blacks I just mean the areas that are meant to be dark are a light gray and I can place a shadow over it with my hand I’m sure this is normal to a degree but back to back testing with my Chinese vp6. That has substantially better detail and black levels. I’m quite sensitive to this sort of stuff and watching a dark movie on it last night was almost unwatchable for me. Every dark scene is so washed out even in a perfectly dark room not to mention the grey “black bars” which are incredibly distracting. Now my room isn’t treated or anything and I have white walls but I still think it’s the projector that is the main issue with it’s bad black levels as testing against my cheap Chinese projector it’s far inferior. Colors on optoma are better but not “that” much better especially not when I spent close to $1000 on this.

what are you guys thoughts? Just a crap projector? I wish I could return it as the picture isn’t all that different to my vp6 and it’s actually worst in the dark.


in the attached photos you can see the more detailed flower on the vp6. It’s the same regardless of the light coming into the room as yes when I took the vp6 photo it was darker outside.


View attachment 3174918 View attachment 3174919
The pictures show very different ambient light levels and are not very helpful.

What is the video source? It sounds like maybe you have something misconfigured.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The pictures show very different ambient light levels and are not very helpful.

What is the video source? It sounds like maybe you have something misconfigured.
I know that. Just some idea. Unfortunately light was different when I took that. Don’t worry about that though as even when it’s dark the optoma is very bad looking in comparison. Mainly dark levels there almost a greyish blue. Colors are fantastic though.

Using a shield going through my Onkyo receiver.
 

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If the specs are correct that the blitzwolf vp6 has 6,000 lumens, then it could be the higher brightness of that projector is being blown out less by ambient light than the Optoma. Or there could be a calibration issue. I see what looks like an outline of the image on the Optoma that is not there on the blitzwolf vp6. On the right side border of the image, and the bottom, it looks like picture-in-picture or something weird going on. Maybe that is the culprit. Since the blitzwolf vp6 is much brighter that should be raising the black level as well, meaning I would be surprised if, properly set up, it has better blacks than the Optoma. You'd think it would be pretty even given the extra brightness of the blitzwolf vp6, so maybe it's a set up issue.

But in general, at the same brightness, LCD like the blitzwolf vp6 should have better blacks than entry level DLP, while DLP may have better motion and sharpness if the resolution is the same. Am I reading the specs right though that the Optoma is 1080p while the blitzwolf vp6 is 4K? In your budget the best bang for the buck is often on used projectors. But before deciding you're unhappy with the Optoma, make sure it isn't a set up issue. Figure out what the outline around the picture is from. Often stuff like that leads to the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If the specs are correct that the blitzwolf vp6 has 6,000 lumens, then it could be the higher brightness of that projector is being blown out less by ambient light than the Optoma. Or there could be a calibration issue. I see what looks like an outline of the image on the Optoma that is not there on the blitzwolf vp6. On the right side border of the image, and the bottom, it looks like picture-in-picture or something weird going on. Maybe that is the culprit. Since the blitzwolf vp6 is much brighter that should be raising the black level as well, meaning I would be surprised if, properly set up, it has better blacks than the Optoma. You'd think it would be pretty even given the extra brightness of the blitzwolf vp6, so maybe it's a set up issue.

But in general, at the same brightness, LCD like the blitzwolf vp6 should have better blacks than entry level DLP, while DLP may have better motion and sharpness if the resolution is the same. Am I reading the specs right though that the Optoma is 1080p while the blitzwolf vp6 is 4K? In your budget the best bang for the buck is often on used projectors. But before deciding you're unhappy with the Optoma, make sure it isn't a set up issue. Figure out what the outline around the picture is from. Often stuff like that leads to the issue.
Thanks for the help. Im not sure how i go about this. The blitzwolf vp6 isnt 4k, only 1080p but i was seriously expecting a much better image black level wise from the optoma. Colour, Sharpness, motion are all better on the optoma but honestly not by much at all. If i had know the jump would be so small i wouldn't have bothered upgrading.

"On the right side border of the image, and the bottom, it looks like picture-in-picture or something weird going on. Maybe that is the culprit"

This is whats bugging me the most is an extremely obvious border around everything in dark scenes. Also as you can see there is like a second border as well? I've played with all the settings there is, tried lowering brightness, contrast etc but nothing gets rid of this extremely obvious bluish/grey background image in dark scenes.

Il most likely try to return it but doubt they will allow that and get something like a used jvc x3 or something similar.
 

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Thanks for the help. Im not sure how i go about this. The blitzwolf vp6 isnt 4k, only 1080p but i was seriously expecting a much better image black level wise from the optoma. Colour, Sharpness, motion are all better on the optoma but honestly not by much at all. If i had know the jump would be so small i wouldn't have bothered upgrading.

"On the right side border of the image, and the bottom, it looks like picture-in-picture or something weird going on. Maybe that is the culprit"

This is whats bugging me the most is an extremely obvious border around everything in dark scenes. Also as you can see there is like a second border as well? I've played with all the settings there is, tried lowering brightness, contrast etc but nothing gets rid of this extremely obvious bluish/grey background image in dark scenes.

Il most likely try to return it but doubt they will allow that and get something like a used jvc x3 or something similar.
You're welcome, it's no problem. I am only repeating stuff I learned from other avs members when I was a newb.

The border around the image is not normal I dont think. That suggests some issue in the settings and maybe that is creating the problem. But either way it sounds like if you can return it then that would be best for you. Contact them as soon as possible since the longer you wait the more people sometimes try to use that as an excuse not to help at all.

If you're able to return it, the bottom line is I don't think you are going to be pleased with the upgrade to a $1,000 new projector. Maybe there are exceptions but I think most of those will be similar quality.

Really, you're not going to get deep black levels on any projector when there is ambient light. You can do a lot better, but you need an ambient light rejecting screen of some type. Even then, to really get the best blacks, you need black "velvet" everywhere to absorb all ambient light and reflections from the screen. The Blacker the Theater, The Better the Image. If you black out the room, then a white screen is recommended, but if not, then an ALR screen (or paint mix) becomes the biggest improvement you can make.

If you want to keep buying new, I have no idea what new 1080p projectors of quality are still being manufactured at say $2,000, if anything, but I think the cheapest ones constantly recommended among the 4K offerings are the Epson 5050UB and Epson LS10000. I dont know the price in AUS though. But maybe you can find one of those new for $2,000, if you have the budget. You would probably see an improvement in black level, sharpness, and maybe color, with that, but the black level improvement will be very minor if you dont either add an ambient light rejecting screen, or black out the room. Even black paint is not recommended because light can reflect off of it, so imagine how big an issue having a lightly painted room is if even a black painted room is still considered a compromise.

Myself, I am a DLP guy, and I think the best bang for the buck is on used DLP projectors. Older High End DLP. But buying used can have its own headaches. Also, how big of an image do you like to project? Because finding a used DLP for $1,000 let's say that will be the best bang for the buck should not be a problem, but finding one with 6,000 lumens, or even 1,600 lumens like the Optoma HDR30 claims to have, is a lot trickier. The 1 chip DLP models with rgbLED lightsource are probably the top pick in your budget, but they are great for around 90-120 inch diagonal 16:9 screen sizes, in blacked out rooms, not so much for big screens, and definitely not if there is a lot of ambient light. But that is true for most higher end HT projectors. You can find entry level ones with high brightness and low contrast, but finding the good models, which have higher contrast along with other advantages, with a lot of brightness is more rare. There are still some though. If you let me know your desired image size, your budget, whether you are able to buy either a dedicated screen or not, and whether you are able to black out your theater or not (whether with curtains that can be opened and closed, including something on the ceiling, or stapled on the walls and ceiling, or taped, or wooden panels, etc), once I have the whole picture I can advise more specifically what models to look for.

And if it turns out Optoma wont let you return it, you can always sell it used for as much as you can get, but if you are still looking for an upgrade, you should get a huge upgrade just by sticking with your original projector if all you do is improve the screen+room situation. The will probably get more upgrade in black level, perceived contrast, and image pop from blacking out the room than you would by buying a $50,000 projector and using it in that room. Literally. I mean I could be wrong, but I'm not trying to exaggerate. Unless I'm wrong, then literally a $50,000 projector would not give you as much improvement in those areas as blacking out the room.
 

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hmm if in doubt take it back..

it says 3800 lumens so it should work with the light in the room, it was never going to have black blacks, my old benq doesnt but it sounds better than what you are getting.

i will say though, 4k,HDR,3800 lumens and 400 features for around $1000? cant be done and i think this proves it. return it and check out epson seconds web site for an epson ehtw7100 as they come up for $1600 (retail $2600). better black i dont know but more than likely.

just for our American cousins... the 5050/6050 here is the ehtw8400/9400.. the 9400 is $4500 new or $3000+ 2nd hand. as for the 8400 thats around $3800+ new, things are not cheap here.
 

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You should be able to find a Epson 5040UB (UB stands for Ultra Black) for about $1000 used

It’ll smoke those projectors.

There some pictures of mine in my room thread linked in my sig.
Im not well versed in the 5040 vs 5050, but yeah, this, the Epson 5050, or (depending on screen size) a used high end DLP are the way to go, IMO. Or maybe if there is a good used JVC model for $1,000 that would beat the Epson and be bright enough. But none will give you deep blacks projected onto a white wall when the room is not treated.
 

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Maybe Ultra Short Throw models are something to look at too. There seems to be a lot more of those coming out at these prices than long throw projectors, at least that's the impression I get but it could be wrong. All else equal I think long throw projectors are probably better but you have to look at it model vs model, and what will work better in your space. The UST models probably are even more dependent on having an actual screen of the correct type for the projector and room situation, though.
 

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For projectors you DO need a black room with full light control or you are never going to be fully happy with the image.

This video shows how much painting wall and ceiling black can help contrast

However. It can’t help a $1000 DLP that throws up a gray box. You need a better starting place than that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
You're welcome, it's no problem. I am only repeating stuff I learned from other avs members when I was a newb.

The border around the image is not normal I dont think. That suggests some issue in the settings and maybe that is creating the problem. But either way it sounds like if you can return it then that would be best for you. Contact them as soon as possible since the longer you wait the more people sometimes try to use that as an excuse not to help at all.

If you're able to return it, the bottom line is I don't think you are going to be pleased with the upgrade to a $1,000 new projector. Maybe there are exceptions but I think most of those will be similar quality.

Really, you're not going to get deep black levels on any projector when there is ambient light. You can do a lot better, but you need an ambient light rejecting screen of some type. Even then, to really get the best blacks, you need black "velvet" everywhere to absorb all ambient light and reflections from the screen. The Blacker the Theater, The Better the Image. If you black out the room, then a white screen is recommended, but if not, then an ALR screen (or paint mix) becomes the biggest improvement you can make.

If you want to keep buying new, I have no idea what new 1080p projectors of quality are still being manufactured at say $2,000, if anything, but I think the cheapest ones constantly recommended among the 4K offerings are the Epson 5050UB and Epson LS10000. I dont know the price in AUS though. But maybe you can find one of those new for $2,000, if you have the budget. You would probably see an improvement in black level, sharpness, and maybe color, with that, but the black level improvement will be very minor if you dont either add an ambient light rejecting screen, or black out the room. Even black paint is not recommended because light can reflect off of it, so imagine how big an issue having a lightly painted room is if even a black painted room is still considered a compromise.

Myself, I am a DLP guy, and I think the best bang for the buck is on used DLP projectors. Older High End DLP. But buying used can have its own headaches. Also, how big of an image do you like to project? Because finding a used DLP for $1,000 let's say that will be the best bang for the buck should not be a problem, but finding one with 6,000 lumens, or even 1,600 lumens like the Optoma HDR30 claims to have, is a lot trickier. The 1 chip DLP models with rgbLED lightsource are probably the top pick in your budget, but they are great for around 90-120 inch diagonal 16:9 screen sizes, in blacked out rooms, not so much for big screens, and definitely not if there is a lot of ambient light. But that is true for most higher end HT projectors. You can find entry level ones with high brightness and low contrast, but finding the good models, which have higher contrast along with other advantages, with a lot of brightness is more rare. There are still some though. If you let me know your desired image size, your budget, whether you are able to buy either a dedicated screen or not, and whether you are able to black out your theater or not (whether with curtains that can be opened and closed, including something on the ceiling, or stapled on the walls and ceiling, or taped, or wooden panels, etc), once I have the whole picture I can advise more specifically what models to look for.

And if it turns out Optoma wont let you return it, you can always sell it used for as much as you can get, but if you are still looking for an upgrade, you should get a huge upgrade just by sticking with your original projector if all you do is improve the screen+room situation. The will probably get more upgrade in black level, perceived contrast, and image pop from blacking out the room than you would by buying a $50,000 projector and using it in that room. Literally. I mean I could be wrong, but I'm not trying to exaggerate. Unless I'm wrong, then literally a $50,000 projector would not give you as much improvement in those areas as blacking out the room.

The thing im just a bit confused about is i know room treating makes a huge difference but even with a dark image on the screen and not much light reflecting off the walls there is a noticeable washed out image and that greyish black as you can see in the picture i can hold my hand over it and it will create a shadow in the dark areas so this makes me think its the projector and not light reflection?? I'm not expecting actual blacks or anything like that but just thought it would be better than this when the Chinese vp6 did it far far better which i assume was down to the vp6's much lower brightness?

The issue is i cant really go treating the room and unfortunately it is in a "light" colour scheme room, Cream floors, white walls etc. It not a dedicated HT room. just a front lounge room i have tried converting. So i'm also a bit concerned of spending more on an upgrade to be just as disappointed and unsatisfied with the image because of my room. I've looked into ALR screens but they are very very expensive with my required screen size 130ish inches and budget.

Would my best course of action be looking at the used market for an old high quality 1080p projector? Sony, jvc seem to be extremely praised here. Was also wanting 4k as i find even the 1080p to look a little blurry to me but i think thats completely out of the question if i want better Picture quality first in my budget?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
However. It can’t help a $1000 DLP that throws up a gray box. You need a better starting place than that.
Wow thats a huge difference! But i still think even with a completely blacked out room like you say i would have that gray box always. Its very distracting and is ruining the whole experience for me.
 

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Ok first off we need to be sure that you are not feeding the projector the incorrect HDMI level. If the projector is expecting 0-255 the source feeding it also needs to be set to output 0-255, and if the projector is expecting 16-235 the source feeding it needs to be set to output 16-235.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok first off we need to be sure that you are not feeding the projector the incorrect HDMI level. If the projector is expecting 0-255 the source feeding it also needs to be set to output 0-255, and if the projector is expecting 16-235 the source feeding it needs to be set to output 16-235.
How do i check this?
 

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The thing im just a bit confused about is i know room treating makes a huge difference but even with a dark image on the screen and not much light reflecting off the walls there is a noticeable washed out image and that greyish black as you can see in the picture i can hold my hand over it and it will create a shadow in the dark areas so this makes me think its the projector and not light reflection?? I'm not expecting actual blacks or anything like that but just thought it would be better than this when the Chinese vp6 did it far far better which i assume was down to the vp6's much lower brightness?
Going off the specs, which are always bs but going off of them, the Chinese vp6 should be brighter, not less bright. So that is what makes me suspect there is a setup issue, or an issue in the signal chain. Why are you getting double borders on the Optoma's image? That's not normal. Step #1 is you have to figure that out. If nothing is wrong in the settings then something is defective in the projector, which would help your return at least.

The issue is i cant really go treating the room and unfortunately it is in a "light" colour scheme room, Cream floors, white walls etc. It not a dedicated HT room. just a front lounge room i have tried converting. So i'm also a bit concerned of spending more on an upgrade to be just as disappointed and unsatisfied with the image because of my room. I've looked into ALR screens but they are very very expensive with my required screen size 130ish inches and budget.
Maybe ask about DIY paint mixes, or DIY ALR materials. Someone probably sells just the material, so if you can make your own DIY frame or something, that would be the way to do it. A white wall for the screen, plus light colored walls elsewhere, is a difficult combo. You can have one or the other, but both makes it difficult.

Would my best course of action be looking at the used market for an old high quality 1080p projector? Sony, jvc seem to be extremely praised here. Was also wanting 4k as i find even the 1080p to look a little blurry to me but i think thats completely out of the question if i want better Picture quality first in my budget?
Sony and JVC are extremely praised on here for a lot of reasons, but without getting into that, and just focusing on why Sony and JVC are extremely praised on here by owners not sellers, the easiest way to sum that up is that it is because most projector owners on avs in 2021 are looking for 4K projectors, and DLP has lagged behind lcos as far as the jump to 4K technology, leaving Sony and JVC as the only native 4K projectors on the market. Whereas if you're looking at 1080p, there's a lot more to look at than just Sony and JVC (or Epson, who makes the most popular pixel-shift 4K projector, the Epson 5050). Probably because of the Older High End DLP thread, as well as the increasing popularity of the madvr PC program that lets you tonemap 4K HDR content onto 1080p displays, there seems to have been a renaissance of 1080p DLP projectors the last few years on avs. It took until now for the top 1080p DLP models to become affordable to most people, and for enough people on the forum to try them out and figure out which models were the best. Plus, the ones with rgbLED lightsources actually have wider color gamuts than almost all the 4K TVs and projectors, but it wasn't until 4K HDR discs came out that this feature of these older 1080p DLP projectors could be made use of (because before then, there was no wide color gamut content to make use of the wide color gamut of those projectors, as well as no way to convert it to the 1080p SDR signal).

But now there is, so this confluence of difference factors has contributed to a 1080p DLP renaissance somewhat, but going down that road takes even requires more research than researching new projectors, and to get HDR it requires having madvr or some external solution to tonemap the 4K HDR signal to the 1080p SDR signal. o even now, most people here are going for the current standard, which is 4K, and if you want native 4K, not e-shift, that means JVC or Sony by default. In your case, for a 130 inch screen, a used or refurbed Epson 5050, if you can find one in your budget, seems like the easiest way to go. The 5040 may also be good, I just dont know how much better the 5050 is. Can I think of used 3 chip DLP projectors I would personally buy over either Epson model (without having seen the Epson personally, for the record), yes, but can you find them for $1,000 in Australia, I have no idea. One of them went for $500 in the US recently but how typical is that deal even in the US, I have no idea.

I forgot to ask, but do you watch 4K content? If so, how much of it is streaming, and how much of it is 4K discs?

Do you already own a PC? If so, what is your GPU on it? This is mostly only relevant if you watch lots of 4K discs.
 

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Theres a 5020UB on ebay now for around $1000AUD. Not sure the difference compared to the 5040UB though?
5020UB < 5030UB < 5040UB < 5050UB

there a year or two between each of those generations and slight advancements in each. You aren’t going to find a killer deal on a 5050UB because that’s Epson’s current generation, but you should be able to find a killer deal on the 5040UB because it’s the previous model and doesn’t support 4K 60Hz HDR. It has a 10Gbps HDMI chip so it only supports 4K 60Hz SDR or 4K 24Hz HDR. It’s 4K is actually e-shift, but it’s good enough IMO, having seen true 4K projectors, I think true 4K is less important than better contrast, color, and brightness.
 
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