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Optoma HD50 Home Theater Projector

Review Contents
Best Home Theater Projector
Ease of Use
Intended Use:
DIY Home Theater
Optoma HD50 Projector Optoma HD50
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Street Price: n/a
3D: Full HD 3D
Weight: 6.0 lbs
Aspect Ratio:16:9
Lens:1.5x manual
Lens Shift:Vertical
Lamp Life:3,000 Hrs
5,000 (eco)
Lamp Cost:$199.00
Warranty:2 year
Connectors:  Composite, Component, VGA In, HDMI 1.4a (x2), USB (x2), RS232, 12-Volt Trigger
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 1080p/24

With the new Optoma HD50 home theater projector, Optoma continues a trend of delivering low-cost, high quality projectors to consumers. While other Optoma projectors seem to best be labelled as family room models, the HD50 steps up the image quality by delivering a Full HD 1920x1080 image with 3D support, and an RGBRGB color wheel that is sure to impress.

Coming in at a $1,599 street price, the HD50 offers more than any of their lower priced models, including a 50,000:1 contrast rating, 1.5x zoom range and vertical lens shift, and some system options like PureMotion (frame interpolation), and a full Color Management System that may make it perfect for your home theater setup.

Viewing Experience

When the projector first came on, it was clear that a bit of adjustment was going to be necessary. The image appeared artificial with over blown colors and brightness that was artificially high. Switching between the seven different color modes that include Cinema, Reference, Vivid, Bright, Game, 3D, and User, it was determined that Reference really did deliver the reference settings.

Some time was spent with the Blu-ray Disney WOW! calibration disc and only minimal changes were made to the reference setting to get a overall solid image on screen from the HD50. Colors appeared accurate and well saturated on the large 161" test screen that was being used. There wasn't a time when extra light output was desired, and the image didn't appear muddied when scenes got darker.

An early viewing experience of ice hockey really played to the strengths of DLP technology and the HD50 delivered the goods. A small black puck zipping around on a white background can be a nightmare for those who are sensitive to DLP rainbows. Not only were there no rainbows jumping across the screen, but the fast paced action of hockey was matched by the HD50 with sharp detail, with the white ice having good on-screen pop, and the black puck travelling cleanly across the screen. Even with a few lights turned on, the HD50 held up nicely and the game was still very watchable.

Sitting down to watch a few movies once it was calibrated, the Optoma was out to impress. The image delivered by the HD50 for movie viewing is perhaps the best on the market at its price range. It delivered excellent image quality with colors that were smooth and accurate. No hints of false contouring were present and movies such as The Avengers delivered smooth color gradations, without appearing to be over saturated or lacking. The skin tones were very good, avoiding a lean towards yellow or green bias.

Certainly, the black levels were not as impressive as the higher priced models out there, but the lack of inky blacks wasn't a distraction to the viewing experience in any way. The image allowed for true submersion into the movie. So, instead of watching a projector, and finding faults, it was easy to get lost in the story that was unfolding. The unparalleled sharpness of single chip DLP projectors rung true with this model as fine details in sharp scenes stood out with impeccable precision. The HD50 allowed for an enjoyable movie viewing experience from start to end.

3D, using the included Optoma 3D glasses and VESA emitter, was a breeze to use. The 3D glasses didn't come charged, but a USB cable was included and after a few hours of charging, the simple on-off switch, instead of a more typical push-button, allowed for the glasses to be utilized. A bit of menu surfing into the 3D setup allowed for a choice between VESA, DLP Link, or Off, as choices for 3D operation. After VESA 3D was enabled, the Blu-ray player immediately started playback and the glasses had no issues whatsoever with syncing up and working very well. To test the other options, DLP Link was enabled for 3D, and a set of very well regarded eStar 3D glasses were put to use and they seemed to actually look better than the Optoma glasses. The eStar glasses maintained better separation between the two halves of the image with better overall contrast and no visible color bias. For those who consider 3D an important part of their viewing experience, the HD50 did an impressive job overall.

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Set Up
Review Contents: Viewing Experience Set Up Key Features Performance
  Limitations and Conclusion
Comments (8) Post a Comment
Phil Bucci Posted Apr 30, 2015 12:07 PM PST
Will be curious to see how the HD50 compares to the BenQ W1070, considering the W1070 can be had for $600 to $700.
Ryan Posted Apr 30, 2015 4:21 PM PST
Would you say that the level of RBE on this projector is better than or equal to that seen on the Benq W1070? They both have an RBGRBG wheel but perhaps there is a speed difference. Really wish these numbers were provided by the manufacturer.
Dave Posted Apr 30, 2015 10:58 PM PST
I'd also like to know the answer to Phil's question about the well-liked w1070 because that seems like a steal right now at $655 street price. The star ratings seem awfully high for this.

Similarly and more in range with the hd50's listed street price of $1599, how would the image quality compare to an Epson 5025 which is currently available for $1699 with a $300 rebate and free bulb. Was this kind of current deal factored in when you said this has one of the best image quality around for this price range?
Paul Vail Posted May 1, 2015 8:31 PM PST
There should be some comparisons coming up. I have the W1070 which I use as my reference model. The HD50 does not show as many rainbows in my viewing as the W1070 does. Hockey is the type of image which flashes RBE for my somewhat sensitive, but not overly-bugged, viewing. So, that's why it was a good test for RBE. The HD50 certainly appeared to perform better. This may mean that it holds 5x and 6x speeds better than the W1070, or it could just be my W1070, or could be a reflection of the projector not being as bright overall, which brought down RBE issues. Because manufacturers are fairly mum about telling anyone what the true color wheel speeds are, it is difficult to say. But, it was very nice to see a model which delivered an image that was a bit better than the W1070 hit the market from Optoma.
Knir Posted May 5, 2015 8:27 AM PST
Some users reported dust issue, it is said that dust in the optical path of HD50 will be noticeable after several hours and it matters.

Hope you guy test this.
Pieter van der Merwe Posted May 12, 2015 6:46 AM PST
Will the Grandview high contrast high gain 3D silver material curved screen be a good match for the HD 50. The room has some ambient light
Nam M Posted Jun 22, 2015 1:41 PM PST
I am debating between Optoma HD50 and Epson 5025 vs Sony HW40ES. My short term usage includes more coffee table placements (150" screen) in non-greatly-light controlled environment. Long term is dedicated home theater room similar specs. Mostly for movie-buff and sports viewing (NFL, NHL) I did not find any reviews for Epson 5025 and can't find comparable model to review from. Amazon reviews are all from the vine program so am inclined not to given much weight to that. Any suggestions? BTW - I am prone to rainbow effect and like watching 3d movies.
Abdull Posted Apr 28, 2018 9:22 AM PST
Hi all. Im using sony vpl-hw40es but after 2years it starting color uniformuty issues. I have changed all three sxrd panels with it's prism together but still it is not good. I think the problem was already there in the first plce just didnt notice it enough because of new lamp. I also have a new lamp but not using it yet. My question is if i get optoma hd50 for my theater would it be a downgrade from the sony 40es im using? Coz i dont think the sony is that good like all the reviews say. Especially the black level is just a very bad side for me. Anyone has the change from sony 40es to optoma hd50? Your opinion would be appreciated. Thanz

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