Projectors

Optoma HD8200 Single-chip 1080p DLP Projector

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Optoma HD8200 DLP Projector

Most horror movies use a stylized color palette to portray a more dark and foreboding atmosphere but Drag Me to Hell was an exception. This film has only a small amount of dark material. Most of the very cliché action scenes take place in brightly lit rooms with lots of color and light. While the overall presentation was pleasing and accurate, I found the when women wore lipstick or red clothing the color was too saturated. This was confirmed by measurements. The red primary is a bit outside the Rec 709 gamut. Fortunately it only affected red objects. The flesh tones were as good as I’ve ever seen. Fire also had a very natural look. I watched about half this movie with Pure Motion set to Low. The added smoothness took some getting used to but it was done well. I didn’t notice any artifacts or motion-related issues. Still, I would consider any type of frame interpolation to be an acquired taste.

Optoma HD8200 DLP Projector

Since I had watched Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope so recently, I couldn’t help but watch Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back on DVD. This a good-quality transfer with just a bit of added edge enhancement. The HD8200 did a fine job rendering a very clean image with good detail and texture. Color again was reasonably accurate with a slight oversaturation of red. Fleshtones were fine but red objects like control panel buttons or spaceship running lights took on a deeper hue than I have seen in this film previously. I tried out the other Pure Engine options, namely Pure Detail and Pure Color. Pure Detail is another form of edge enhancement. I was not a fan of the ringing effect it produced even on the lowest setting. I left it off for the rest of my evaluation. Pure Color increases the vividness of color, to quote the manual. As The Empire Strikes Back already looked a tad oversaturated, Pure Color did not help here.

Optoma HD8200 DLP Projector

I couldn’t resist watching a Pixar film while I had the HD8200 so I popped in Monsters Inc. ; recently re-released on Blu-ray. I always enjoy seeing the amazing hair effects on the Sully character and the Optoma rendered every follicle in impressive detail. What I really look for in CGI films are the textures. These are often hard to see on a flat panel television but a good projector will show you things you might not have seen before. For instance, Sully has a fine pebble-grain nose, a bit like a dog’s. This showed up very well as did things like wood grain and the fine scratches on metal surfaces. Darker scenes looked a bit gray so I tried out the dynamic iris (Dynamic Black) on its Cinema 1 setting. Blacks and shadow detail were improved quite noticeably. I did notice occasional brightness pumping as the iris did its thing but it was not objectionable. As perceived contrast was improved, I left Dynamic Black on for the rest of my evaluation. I also tried the Pure Motion again. The effect was less dramatic given the content is completely computer-generated. Perhaps I noticed it less because the camera is more static than in most live-action movies. It certainly does increase perceived resolution however. I believe there are users that will appreciate this feature and Optoma has implemented it well.

Optoma HD8200 DLP Projector

I was very happy to pick up the Blu-ray release of the three X-men films. I’ve always enjoyed them and it was a shame to have to watch them on DVD. The first chapter is presented with a nicely saturated yet natural color palette. Computer-generated special effects are executed seamlessly and showed well on the HD8200. There are plenty of dark scenes and they were rendered with good detail using the Cinema 1 preset on the dynamic iris. I experimented with the Cinema 2 setting which is more aggressive. While it did increase perceived contrast a bit more, the brightness pumping was quite obvious as the iris lagged a little behind the changing picture content. As the iris was more active, I could hear its operation at times. The motor that drives it is louder than I have experienced on other projectors. I went back to Cinema 1 which works just fine and creates a nice punchy image.