- Written by Chris Eberle
- Published on 21 November 2011
Design of the Optoma HD33 3D DLP Projector
The HD33 comes in a white curvaceous case that looks quite elegant. It’s definitely a step up from some other more industrial designs. The exterior is all white with silver accents around the lens barrel. Ventilation is accomplished with an intake on one side and an exhaust on the other. A little light leaks from these vents and also from below the lens. In my black hole theater, I could only see it when the image was very dark. Fan noise is minimal; impressive, given the 230-watt lamp that powers this projector. There are IR receivers on the front and top of the chassis and I never had any trouble pointing the remote just about anywhere and getting a response.
Around back there is a complete jack panel with two HDMI 1.4a inputs, one each of component and composite, a VGA connection and a special DIN-style port for the 3D emitter. For control purposes, a 12-volt trigger and an RS-232 input are provided. Also on the back panel are a power button and lamp status LEDs. Should you need to secure the unit, you can use the Kensington lock port on the lower right. The lens is adjusted via exposed rings on top. Zoom and focus are the only controls available. You’ll have to plan your installation carefully because options are limited by the lack of lens shift. On the bottom are four independently adjustable feet to help get the HD33 perfectly level.
For watching 3D content, Optoma provided me with one pair of glasses and a sync emitter which is plugged in to the HD33 using a short cable. The glasses communicate with the projector through an RF connection which is more robust than the infrared used by other brands. You can place the emitter anywhere you want and sit anywhere you want and the sync will never be broken. As an alternative, the HD33 also supports DLP link which maintains the connection through signals projected on the screen between frames. This method doesn’t require an emitter. Optoma sells both types of glasses. I found them quite comfortable with a nice soft nosepiece and properly shaped ear hooks. They seem heavy when you hold them in your hand but on your face, they’re quite light. And they fit just fine over my prescription eyewear.
The remote is pretty basic but provides all needed controls with discrete buttons. Power on and off are separate, which I prefer. Then there are a series of toggles for things like picture mode, 3D format, aspect ratio and lamp mode. Brightness and contrast keys give you direct access to those adjustments. In the center is menu navigation and at the bottom are discrete keys for all the HD33’s inputs. The backlight is a soft blue which is much easier on the eyes in a darkened room than uncolored lights. The IR sender is quite powerful allowing me to point the handset lazily and still get quick command response.