Projectors

Optoma HD8300 3D DLP Projector

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The Optoma HD8300 3D DLP Projector on the Bench

Equipment used: EyeOne Pro spectrophotometer, CalMAN Professional 3.7 analysis software, Accupel HDG-3000 signal generator, Spears & Munsil Benchmark Blu-ray disc.

All measurements were taken off the screen (Carada Brilliant White, gain 1.4) from the seating position (10 feet back). Video processing tests were performed using an Oppo BDP-93 connected directly to the projector and set to Source Direct mode.

The default numbers for the HDTV gamut preset aren't too bad. Color points are a bit undersaturated. Not to worry because the native gamut is quite large so you can use the CMS to push the points outward. Luminances are visibly light which makes the image look somewhat washed-out.

Out-of-the-box grayscale was quite good with errors of less than 3 DeltaE from bottom top. This is excellent performance. Gamma is not as good but it's partially skewed by the auto iris which is on by default. I always turn this off during calibration. I did turn it back on to watch movies however.

After spending some quality time with the CMS, I achieved the result below. Color points are all right on the money except for blue where I ran out of adjustment range. It's a pretty minor error though of only 4.5 DeltaE, barely visible. I also used up all the adjustment for green luminance. I still managed to get within .2fL of the target for all colors.

It only required a few tweaks to the white balance and gamma controls to achieve nearly perfect grayscale tracking. With an average DeltaE of only .7 for grayscale, it's pretty much perfect. Gamma was a tiny bit light at 2.15 but well within the range of superb. Without a multi-point curve editor, you won't get better results than this on any display.

Video processing performance was fine in terms of resolution and colorspace support, but came up a bit short in levels and motion processing. Specifically, if you want to see below-black and above-white information, you will have to output RGB from your video source. The only cadence test passed was 24p. You will need to use a decent disc player if you have a lot of DVDs in your collection. For Blu-ray, there were no flaws whatsoever.

Contrast performance was at the upper end for DLP projectors in my experience. The DarkChip 3 imager used by Optoma is also used in many other high-end brands. While black levels aren't quite as deep as the latest LCoS units, they rivaled the best I've seen from LED projection which is saying something. Minimum black measured a very low .004 fL. With a peak calibrated output of 18.28 fL, that makes the on/off contrast ratio 4570:1. When the iris was engaged, the black level was unmeasurable. I do recommend using the auto-iris as it does not have a negative impact on accuracy and is not obvious in operation.

Optical performance was superb for a projector in this price range. In fact, the HD8300 has one of the best lenses I've seen on any projector at any price. That it comes for only $3999 is quite amazing. I could not see any aberrations in crosshatch patterns and field uniformity was visually perfect. The image was razor-sharp with great edge-to-edge focus.