Optoma GT1080 1080P DLP Projector
Projector Central Highly Recommended Award

Highly Recommended Award

Our Highly Recommended designation is earned by products offering extraordinary value or performance in their price class.

  • Performance
  • 4.5
  • Features
  • Ease of Use
  • Value

When the latest generation of game consoles boosted their resolution to 1080p, they left Optoma's 720p gaming projectors behind the curve. The Optoma GT1080 is their response, delivering 1080p in a projector designed for game playing. Key features include a short throw lens, which lets you get a big image even in a tight space, and a short lag time--an obvious advantage in any game where reaction time matters.

Beyond that, because games include both photorealistic scenes and images that are visually equivalent to business graphics, the GT1080's focus on games means it also has to handle both video and data images well. That lets it double as a data projector or, to a lesser extent, a home entertainment projector for video. The combination can make it an attractive choice at $749 street, even for people who aren't all that serious about games.

Viewing Experience

One important plus for the GT1080 is that it does an excellent job of avoiding rainbow artifacts (red-green-blue flashes). With static images, I didn't see any. With games and full motion video, I saw them only occasionally and only in scenes that are prone to showing them, including a black and white clip. If you don't see these artifacts easily, you may never notice them with the GT1080. If you're sensitive to them, you'll see some, but almost certainly not often enough to find them annoying.

Also on the list of strong points for game playing is lag time. I measured it in Game mode at 33.0 msec--or 2 frames at 60 frames per second--and between 33.0 and 34.0 msec in all other predefined modes. The only option I could find that affected the lag was Brilliant Color, which increased lag in Game mode by less than 1 msec when I changed it to the lowest setting.

Near-excellent data image quality. Colors in data images were nicely saturated in all predefined modes and suitably vibrant in most modes. In the brightest mode, red was a little dark in terms of a hue-saturation-brightness color model, but that's typical for projectors with a significant difference between white and color brightness. The GT1080 also did an excellent job maintaining detail across the entire screen. White text on black, for example, was highly readable at 9 points, and black text on white was crisp and readable even at 7 points.

Good video quality. Video quality is in roughly the same class as typical home-entertainment projectors in the GT1080's price range, but with one odd problem. Posterization was unusually obvious in some predefined modes, particularly with live or recorded video, as opposed to filmed, content. With Cinema mode, however, I saw barely a hint of the problem, and only with particularly demanding images.

Very much on the plus side, the projector did a good job maintaining shadow detail, it delivered good to excellent color and contrast, and, except when the posterization problem showed up, it handled skin tones well. It also helps a lot that the projector doesn't show many rainbow artifacts.

Game playing. The near-excellent quality for data images and good quality for video translates into near-excellent quality for games. The same crisp focus that lets you read small fonts in a data image lets you see a similar level of detail in a game, and the same ability to handle shadow detail well pays off when you're exploring a dark cave. The 33.0 msec lag is in the range that most people would consider near excellent.

3D. The GT1080 supports HDMI 1.4a, which means it can connect directly to video sources like a game system for 3D. It doesn't come with any 3D glasses, but it supports both Vesa RF glasses and the 144Hz DLP-Link glasses I used for my tests.

Image quality, for both full-motion video and games, was essentially the same for 3D as for 2D images for those aspects of image quality that both share. Color quality was excellent, for example, and I saw occasional rainbow artifacts, but not often enough to be a problem. Also note that the single predefined mode for 3D doesn't tend to posterize images.

The projector also did well on issues specific to 3D. I didn't see any crosstalk, and saw just a hint of 3D-related motion artifacts. A swinging baseball bat in a game, for example, moved in small, discrete steps, rather than a continuous smooth motion. However, the jerkiness those steps introduced was minor enough that I didn't find it annoying.

Set Up

Minimal connectivity. The side panel offers surprisingly few connectors.

2 HDMI, 1 with MHL
1 mini plug stereo OUT
1 3D Vesa Sync
1 12v trigger
1 Micro USB (for firmware updates and providing power)

Setting up. The GT1080 weighs 6.0 pounds and comes with a soft carrying case, making it easy to bring to a friend's house or store away when you're not using it if you need to. The short throw is a particularly welcome touch, giving you a big image even in a tight space. For my tests, I used a 90" diagonal image at the native 16:9 aspect ratio, with the projector just 38" from the screen.

As with most short throw models, there's no optical zoom. The digital zoom can shrink the image to 80% of the full size, but because it adds artifacts with some images, it's better avoided in favor of moving the projector to adjust image size. The manual focus ring offers a little too much resistance for fine control, but the focus changes little enough with a given amount of movement that it's hard to overshoot the best focus.

With the GT1080 sitting on a flat surface, the lens offset puts the bottom of the image at 16% of the screen height above the midline of the lens. If you need to, you can use the screw-on feet near the front and back of the projector to move the image up or down or adjust yaw. You can also adjust the image shape with a vertical keystone setting, although, as with digital zoom, this is better avoided since it can introduce artifacts.

Key Features

Short throw lens. The short throw lens can give you a big image even in a small family room.

Long lamp life. The rated lamp life, at 5,000 hours in bright mode and 6,000 hours in Eco mode should help keep the total cost of ownership down, even with the $179 lamp replacement cost.

Excellent sound system. The 10-watt mono speaker delivers good sound quality along with volume suitable for a large family room or living room.

Quiet operation. Optoma doesn't publish a noise level for the GT1080's Bright lamp mode, but it's within an acceptable range: low enough to get drowned out by the sound system most of the time and ignore easily otherwise. Eco mode is rated at 27dB, and is almost impossible to hear from a few feet away.

Test Results

Bright image. Optoma says that the GT1080 changes its color wheel algorithm to adjust brightness and color quality depending on whether the incoming signal is from a computer or video device. The measured brightness using the two types of sources is enough to notice in two images side by side, but only a minor difference in perceived brightness.

Using a PC, I measured the brightness at 2257 lumens in the Bright predefined mode, at 663 to 1151 lumens in other predefined modes, and at 1765 lumens using Bright mode and setting the lamp to Eco. With a video source, I measured it at 2563 lumens for Bright mode, 800 to 1321 lumens for the other modes, and 2022 lumens in Bright mode with Eco on.

As a practical matter, the 90" image I used for most of my testing was a little too bright for comfortable extended viewing with Bright mode in theater dark lighting but was a good choice for Game mode in moderate ambient light.

Acceptable brightness uniformity. With a 69% brightness uniformity measurement, the difference between the brightest and darkest areas on screen is visible even with the image broken up by text and graphics. However, you have to be looking for it to see it. Unless you're particularly sensitive to brightness variations, it shouldn't be a problem.


Rainbow artifacts. Although the GT1080 shows rainbow artifacts far less often than most DLP projectors, it would be ideal if it didn't show any.

3D motion artifacts. Much as with the occasional rainbow artifacts, the 3D-related motion artifacts aren't obvious enough to be annoying, but image quality would get higher marks if it didn't show any motion artifacts at all.

Posterization. The tendency to posterize video (as opposed to filmed) material in its brighter predefined modes makes the GT1080 less useful than it could be in the role of general purpose home-entertainment projector.


The Optoma GT1080's tendency to posterize live and recorded video with its brightest predefined modes may limit how bright an image you can use for video. However, the projector doesn't have the same problem with data images, filmed content, or games. And it delivers a constellation of features--including the short throw, capable audio system, and short lag time--that make it an attractive choice for its intended use. If you want a solid, portable projector for gaming with a robust on-board sound system, the Optoma GT1080 is an excellent value for only $749.

For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Optoma GT1080 projector page.

Comments (13) Post a Comment
John Richardson Posted Oct 16, 2014 1:20 PM PST
I think you have to be careful with comments on lag. Certainly a lot of people will be unaffected by 33 ms but as a long time gamer that figure rules out this projector for me. 25 ms is the limit IMHO. I have a Benq 1080, a Panasonic Plasma at 16ms and a Sony LCD at 10ms (the fastest HD TV Test in the UK have tested).

For some 33 ms is too laggy. Most might find it acceptable but I don't think "excellent" is true.

The problem with lag is that it is subtle - it seems OK until you try it on a sub 20ms system!

Just my thoughts...
Chris Posted Oct 18, 2014 10:21 AM PST
I did not see a VGA connector. Is this a trend with the projectors that you see?

There are far too many computers with VGA (more than HDMI) outputs to understand why manufacturers are eliminating this feature.
Jeff Posted Oct 18, 2014 11:54 AM PST
I am surprised by the input lag measurement of 33msec. The manufacturer's spec sheet for the GT1080 rates the "latency" at <14 msec. Is latency the same as input lag? If so, was Optoma just stating an incorrect value of <14msec? Seems like a pretty big difference between 14mse and 33msec.
andy M maldonado Posted Dec 1, 2014 5:33 AM PST
Actually your thinking Milliaseconds. Sorry about that. but DLP is Microseconds. not milliaseconds. 33Microsconds is Fast as a input Device. you are going to experience Perfect controller Feed back.

so when the review says MSec in Caps He is talking about Milliaseconds Which LCD and TV can do.

But this Projector is not that. is more of a Uni Second projector. So Frames are superfast. which -msec zone under 0 actually its under centaseconds.

33 ms is Laggy for Gamers. in Milliaseconds this is microseconds. Basically to Fast.

the BenQ W1080ST you have is 33microseconds. this is a 14 Microsecond Projector. I have never got any Controller lag from this Projector I own one. and I have owned a Optoma Game Time 750e Projector its never laggy at all. actually I tested it with the Neo-GeoX where people had Controller Problems There is was to damn Perfect. even on a NES or Super Nintendo or older consoles. It just works. even on PC gaming No Lag.

and you heard this from a gamer who owns both of those Projectors. Your not going to get any Lag with a 33 Microsecond Projector of Input Times. Your Lag with the controller is not there. It depends on the person and how fast he can React to the Video games on the screen.
Bill Livolsi Posted Dec 1, 2014 8:43 AM PST
For clarification:

We measured both the Optoma GT1080 and Optoma HD26 at 33 milliseconds of input lag. We have seen the 14 microsecond "latency" specification and have asked Optoma for clarification but have yet to receive a response.
C.Pierre Posted Dec 16, 2014 8:57 PM PST
Hi,I would just like to know from anyone who owns both or have compared this and the w1080st if the image quality, 3D and rainbow effects are better on this one. Also does it make sense to upgrade to this projector if you already own a w1080st? Thanks
Jeff Posted Dec 26, 2014 3:47 PM PST
C. Pierre - I did have an opportunity to do a brief side-by-side comparison of the Optoma GT1080 and the BenQ W1080ST. The two are _very_ similar in specs and performance, but if I had to pick one, I'd say the BenQ has slightly better color saturation, probably due to its RGB/RGB wheel. I also felt that rainbows were slightly less noticeable on the BenQ, though with both projects I really had to 'force' myself to see rainbows by rapidly scanning my eyes back and forth while watching a high-contrast scene.
Rob (CaptainTaco) Posted Feb 3, 2015 4:23 PM PST
In response and followup to Andy and to prevent confusion with others. Microseconds and Milliseconds (there is no such thing as a millasecond) are different factors of a second, there is no conversion for microseconds to milliseconds other than 1 millisecond is 1,000 microseconds; otherwise known as 10 to the -3 second, as microseconds are 10 to the -6 second.

When talking about response time of a projector, we are talking in milliseconds, 34 milliseconds is 0.034 seconds or about 2 frames @ 60fps (each frame is 16.6ms as 1,000ms (1 second) divided by 60 is 16.6r). To clarify, we are never talking in microseconds which is represented as µs. this would be a factor of 1,000 faster than milliseconds, and would indeed be far beyond perceivable.

Lastly I should mention, 34ms is absolutely noticeable, though not as bad as some others, such as BenQ's projectors (specifically the w1070 and w1075) which I regularly measure much closer to 50ms (3 frames of input lag). I should also mention this doesn't really apply to console gamers as much. The perceived lag times of console games and their associated controllers is significantly less than that of PC Gamers. Mouse input lag will always be more noticeable due to the higher precision of the input source ie joystick vs mouse and the fact that over the last 4 generations of console gaming systems, the primary display device was LCD or Plasma Televisions which did not cater to low input lag as computer monitors have.

The average desktop monitor now-a-days is under 5ms response time (though there is the issue of decay that has some effect on the perception of lag, though is not truly relevant in this conversation). As the frame itself takes 16.6ms to propagate, any response time under 16.6ms will be relatively unnoticeable.

This said, I am able to play games just fine on the Optoma EH500 which I have measured to be about a 33ms response time, though variable. I do indeed notice the lag however, but am able to get over it, I am not, however, able to play without frustration at 50ms of input lag with a PC game. The true disadvantage comes when you stack other limitations of input response time on top of this; such as Vertical Sync on a computer game (a process of matching the games frame output to the displays refresh rate) which tends to add 5 to 15ms of input lag. Add to this another 20-30ms of lag within a multiple game via your ping time to the game server (20-30ms ping is considered excellent in online gaming) and you now find you actually have a 70ms or above lag, 45 of this visual to your mouse movements (local lag based on the projectors input lag and the lag of vsync) and another 20ms or likely more of less visually noticeable but absolutely ability and timing apparent lag.

Now, for some you can get away with vsync, the lack of vsync can present screen tearing, where the projector shows two halves of a frame giving a visually apparent non-alignment of the two images somewhere on the screen, generally perceived as a jutter. This will be more apparent on screens that have variable input response times, such as the EH500. The EH500 was not meant to be a gaming projector, it handles some amount of video processing in the background, there are times when this can hold up the image about to be displayed, taking perhaps 38ms instead of 33ms to display the image. This happens often on this projector and tends to cause A LOT of screen tearing, which in turn leaves me with a decision to make, deal with the increased input lag of vysnc or deal with the visual artifacting of screen tearing. If you are playing with 3D glasses, this is not an option, screen tearing will destroy the 3D effect and give you a massive headache in the process.

Now I cannot speak to the GT1080 regarding variable input response or screen tearing as I do not own one, but I can say that if the response time is truly 32ms, this is very sad considering their push regarding this projector was about quick response for gaming; if a not quite proscene business projector (EH500) has the same input response, this does not speak volumes for their attempt. Meanwhile the EH500 has sharpness that surpasses BenQ's W1075, color that is bright and fairly accurate after calibration (though not even close to as accurate as BenQ's RGBRGB wheel) and black levels that far surpass most of Optoma's other home entertainment offerings. Granted it is almost twice the money.

When they come out with a projector that truly measures input lag times of 16-18ms as this projector claimed to, then I will be interested.
Vladimir Posted Feb 16, 2015 10:25 PM PST
Does anyone know the input lag measurements for Benq HT1085ST? Is the HT1085ST lag the same as HT1085 lag?
Shreyas Hoskere Posted Feb 18, 2015 1:16 PM PST
Jeff, I am torn between GT1080 and W1080ST.

Being a former Optoma GT750E short throw projector, I really dont like the extreme offset from horizontal line of lens to top of projected image when using a cieling mount - which results in me using the digital keystone which shaves off pixels. This looks like is not an issue with BenQ W1080ST as the offset is minimal from lens center.

But, I live the bright image and the ability to fight off ambient light in the Optoma. the GT1080 is similar to 750E in brightness.

So, the real deciding factor would be based on your feedback - Do you have any insights to which is projector is noticably better at fighting off ambient light and maintaining a brighter image?

Any other insights? I am a gamer and use the projects very frequently on my PS4.

Thanks, Shreyas
Bill Livolsi Posted Feb 20, 2015 10:56 AM PST
Shreyas -- the GT1080's light output advantage is only for white light. The W1080ST/HT1085ST will have much brighter color, so it will look brighter in most situations.
david Posted Aug 2, 2015 6:16 PM PST
what would you recommend for gaming.. ie first person shooter

optoma gt1080 or ?
Brandon Baumann Posted Sep 4, 2015 11:26 AM PST
Has anyone compared this projector directly to the HD141X? Specifically, as Bill Livosi pointed out projector central tested the input lag at 33 ms whereas Optoma lists it at 14 ms. Is this projector truly faster than the HD141X in that respect or are they the same as projector central shows with their test results?

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