Optoma HD26 4 1 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
  • Features
  • Ease of Use
  • Value
$1,299 MSRP Discontinued

Last year, the Optoma HD25 made a splash in the sub-$1000 home theater projector market. This year, Optoma has released the HD26, another sub-$1000 home video projector, as the next iteration in its inexpensive home theater line-up.

Like many other inexpensive home theater projectors, the HD26 is powerfully bright but feature-light, eschewing many of the bells and whistles found on higher-end models in order to keep costs down without sacrificing image quality. However, its 6,500 hour lamp life in Eco mode makes it an obvious choice for television and video games, while its light weight adds to portability for mobile use. Prices on the HD26 have already fallen to $699, making it one of the most affordable 1080p projectors available, and you can buy the Optoma HD26 on Amazon as well as from specialty projector resellers. And while there is fierce competition in the sub-$1000 home theater market, the Optoma HD26 can be an attractive option for folks who want 1080p for as little money as possible.

Update 12/12: A statement from Optoma regarding the firmware update has been added to the Performance section.

The Viewing Experience

Just going by the spec sheet, the HD26 is a bright video projector built for ambient light use. So it came as a surprise when we started up the projector and found ourselves with an image that wasn't terribly bright after all.

The HD26 starts up for the first time in its Cinema mode, with the lamp at full power. Cinema mode emphasizes image balance rather than sheer light output, so it only measures about 1,000 lumens after the projector has warmed up for a few minutes.

Cinema mode produces bright colors with plenty of saturation, but white balance needs some adjustment. Detail sparkles with excellent definition and crisp focus. Black level is deeper than some competing projectors, and the image has good three-dimensionality, with foreground objects in good source material appearing to pop off the screen.

While viewing film and video, we saw a decent number of rainbows, especially in dark scenes whenever a bright highlight also appeared on screen. The opening minutes of Quantum of Solace are a good telltale scene if you need sample material. If you already know that you are sensitive to the rainbow effect, you will definitely want to audition the HD26 prior to purchase.

In 3D, the HD26 turns in a respectable performance, but it doesn't do much to differentiate itself from other DLP Link 3D projectors. Like those projectors, it has very good definition with very little crosstalk when using good-quality 3D glasses. We did not get a chance to test the VESA 3D sync port, but 3D performance using that feature is largely dependent on which glasses you choose, so our results would not mirror yours in any case.

Key Features

Unlocked image modes. Many inexpensive projectors have image modes that can't be adjusted - the settings they came with are the settings they keep, forever. This was the case on the HD25 - you couldn't make adjustments to the factory image modes without the projector dropping you into User mode. This has been corrected on the HD26, and the projector now allows users to make corrections to the stock image modes. This is especially helpful if you use the HD26 in different environments, or if you want to maintain different calibrations for day and night use, or one calibration for movies and another for games.

Full HD 3D. The HD26 is compatible with HDMI 1.4 3D inputs, and uses the DLP Link standard for glasses synchronization. The projector does not include any glasses, but as DLP Link glasses are both inexpensive and widely available, it's easy to pick some up if you decide to give 3D a try.

The HD26 also includes a "3D to 2D conversion" option. No, we didn't get that backwards. If you have a native 3D movie but want to watch it in 2D mode, you can instruct the HD26 to display only the frames intended for either the left or right eye, discarding the others. While many 3D sources include a 2D option, some don't, so this is a nice option to have available.

VESA 3D sync. In addition to the built-in DLP Link 3D compatibility, the HD26 also includes a VESA sync port. You can connect an external emitter to use either infrared (IR) or radio-frequency (RF) 3D glasses, which have their own benefits and downsides that are beyond the scope of this review. This can also be used with certain 3D accessories to convert the HD26 from active shutter to passive-polarized 3D using a third-party switching polarizer and a silver screen. If you're serious about 3D or simply have strong preferences about RF versus DLP Link or passive versus active, the HD26 can accommodate your needs.

MHL. Mobile High-Definition Link is becoming more and more common on home theater projectors, especially those aimed at the portable and home entertainment markets. MHL allows you to connect mobile devices (such as your phone or tablet) or internet streaming devices (such as a Roku stick or Chromecast) without running any additional wires, essentially transforming the HD26 into a complete Netflix streaming solution with the use of a single power cable.

Long life, low cost lamp. The HD26 uses a 190W P-VIP lamp rated to last 5,000 hours at full power or 6,500 hours in Eco mode. That's about as good as it gets for projectors using traditional arc lamps. What's more, replacements (model number SP.8VH01GC01) are only $179. Depending on where you live, the lamp cost per hour can be lower than the cost of the electricity needed to run the projector in the first place.

Audible noise. Even in full power mode, the HD26 is rather quiet - much more so than several of its competitors that use higher-wattage lamps. This is a bonus in small rooms and during quiet scenes in films. It also means less heat exhaust, which is a benefit when you don't want to run your air conditioner every time you watch a movie.

Input lag. With only 33 milliseconds of input lag, the HD26 is fast enough for most gamers. At 60 frames per second, 33 milliseconds is just two frames of video. While it's not as fast as dedicated gaming monitors, the HD26 on the fast side for projectors and one of the quickest projectors in its price class.

Anamorphic mode. The aspect ratio control of the HD26 includes an option for "Superwide," which stretches 2.4:1 content to vertically fill the projector's native 16:9 frame. This setting enables the use of anamorphic lenses for native 2.4:1 home theater. This is a nice feature, especially since there are quite a few home theater projectors significantly more expensive than the HD26 that don't include this ability. On the other hand, even the least expensive anamorphic lenses are twice as expensive as the HD26, so this feature is primarily of interest to folks who already have a lens and need a new projector to go with it.


Light output. According to the spec sheet, the HD26 should be capable of 3,200 lumens in its brightest mode. Our initial test sample measured only 1732 lumens in Bright mode, but we discovered that this was due to a firmware bug that caused the HD26 to produce much less light than it should.

Regarding the firmware update, Optoma offers the following comment: "Optoma believes that the vast majority of users will not be affected by this issue, as it is unlikely to impact any normal viewing. That said, if users are having an issue and want to have the firmware updated, they will handle it though normal warranty repair channels."

If you already purchased an HD26, contact Optoma customer service for instructions on how to upgrade your projector to the correct firmware. In North America, the phone number is (888) 289-6786.

Our updated test sample measured 3,041 lumens in Bright mode, which is right on target. Bright mode, as the name suggests, is the HD26's answer for those times when you need maximum light output without much regard for color accuracy or contrast performance. In this mode, whites are boosted, while color can appear dull and muddy. Shadow detail also takes a hit.

For more balanced performance, the HD26 includes Cinema mode. At 1056 lumens, Cinema mode has much better color and contrast performance than Bright mode, but only produces a third of the white lumens. However, color in Cinema mode is just about as bright as color in Bright mode, so you end up with a much more balanced image by opting for Cinema.

Reference mode, at 983 lumens, is quite similar to Cinema mode. The differences come down to a one-point decrease in BrilliantColor and some tweaks to grayscale and gamma. Whether you prefer Cinema or Reference is largely personal preference.

Vivid mode, at 2,331 lumens, attempts to strike a balance between Cinema and Bright modes. It performs more similarly to Bright mode than it does to Cinema mode, though color balance and saturation are significantly better than that of Bright mode.

The readings above were all taken with the lamp at full power. The HD26's Eco mode extends lamp life from 5,000 to 6,500 hours and decreases light output by 22%, bringing Cinema to 813 lumens. That's still quite a bit of light for a darkened theater room, but it should make for some vibrant, engaging big-screen performance.

Contrast. Black level on the HD26 is slightly better than that of other sub-$1000 home theater projectors. This is probably due to its lower lumen output in Cinema mode. In film and video, contrast in mixed scenes is sufficient to give the image satisfying depth and detail. The default gamma settings are imperfect, but still better than expected for such an inexpensive projector.

Rather than an automatic iris, the HD26 instead features DynamicBlack. This feature adjusts lamp power in response to the content being shown, producing less light during dark scenes and more light during bright ones. The system is reasonably well executed. Since the HD26 has low fan noise to begin with, the use of DynamicBlack does not create any objectionable audible noise. However, it sometimes takes a moment for the lamp to adjust, and if that adjustment is particularly dramatic, it can occasionally be visible as a drop in brightness after the scene has already changed. If you are one of those folks who finds auto irises objectionable due to the visibility of their adjustments, you probably won't enjoy DynamicBlack. Plenty of folks, however, will appreciate the increased on/off contrast and won't mind the occasional adjustment.

Color. In terms of grayscale tracking, Cinema mode isn't bad, even right out of the box. The chief deficiency in the stock calibration is a lack of green, as seen in the graph below. There's also slightly too much blue, but the lack of green is far more noticeable.

Since the HD26 does not include separate adjustments for gain and bias, one has to be careful and deliberate with the single-axis adjustments in order to obtain a usable picture, balancing low-end error with high-end error until both are minimized. This can be tricky, since decreasing error on one end of the spectrum tends to increase it on the other. In the end, we arrived at a satisfactory calibration by using the following settings:


You'll note that we ended up reducing red and increasing blue, even though our initial readings indicated too much blue. That's just how things worked out. The final calibration has some unwanted warmth in the shadows, but acceptable performance from 20% to 100% illumination and rock-solid accuracy from 30% to 90%.

The HD26 has a full color management system, but we had limited success making adjustments due to the inherent limitations in the projector's gamut. The color gamut in Cinema mode is far from ideal, but that's one of the trade-offs inherent in purchasing a $700 projector for home theater.


Color adjustments. The HD26 has a full color management system, which is good. However, its white balance controls are surprisingly coarse. The HD26 has one slider each for red, green, and blue, whereas most home theater projectors have those adjustments split into Gain and Bias. The lack of separate high- and low-end controls makes it much more difficult to perfect the HD26's grayscale tracking.

Color light output. In Bright mode, the HD26 cranks out over 3,000 lumens. However, color in Bright mode is dull, undersaturated, and generally lackluster. The use of non-RGB segments in the HD26's color wheel means that it can produce more white light than colored light. This can be helpful in a bright room when watching content that isn't particularly color-sensitive, but it is entirely inappropriate for film and video. Cinema mode, on the other hand, has excellent color but only produces about 1,000 lumens. If you plan to use the HD26 as a home theater projector, count on 1,000 usable lumens, not 3,000.

Placement flexibility. The HD26 has a skimpy 1.1:1 zoom range, giving it only a few inches of leeway when adjusting image size or projector placement. Its predecessor model, the HD25, had a 1.2:1 zoom. Very few home theater projectors below $1000 have good placement flexibility, but moving from a 1.2:1 to a 1.1:1 lens is a step in the wrong direction.

Remote backlight. For years now, Optoma's remote controls have included a bright blue backlight. It is so bright, in fact, that in a darkened theater room it can leave afterimages in your eyes. We would much prefer a more subdued backlight at a lower level of brightness. The HD26 has HDMI Link compatibility, so the easiest way to avoid the bright blue backlight is to use a different remote for your day-to-day viewing. When properly configured, you should be able to turn on your projector by turning on your HDMI-CEC enabled Blu-ray player or other input device.


The Optoma HD26 is a perfect example of why you shouldn't base purchasing decisions on a projector's specifications. On paper, the HD26's 3,200 lumens make it look like a super-bright projector for living rooms and other areas with lots of ambient light. In reality, the projector's best modes are much more appropriate for darkened theater environments, and it makes the HD26 an attractive option in the entry-level home theater market.

In some ways, the HD26 is a no-frills projector for first-time buyers. It lacks extensive placement flexibility and some of its adjustment options are unfortunately limited. On the other hand, it includes a surprising number of high-end features, such as a VESA 3D sync port, anamorphic lens compatibility, low input lag, and super-long lamp life. Combined with a satisfying image, these features make the HD26 a strong contender for your home theater dollar.

Competition in this market is fierce, and more options are available every day. But the Optoma HD26 is a solid product, and if it fits your needs (and your budget), it can make a great addition to your home theater.

For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Optoma HD26 projector page.

Comments (55) Post a Comment
sp sp Posted Nov 3, 2014 6:21 PM PST
what about brighness in 3d mode? please standardize your reviews to cover these important aspects.. good to see input lag getting regular testing now.
E R R Posted Nov 8, 2014 3:35 AM PST
Your comment about a firmware update is incomplete... I contacted Optoma regarding this and non of the techs had a clue about a firmware update for the HD26. Could you please give additional information about who you contacted? Also, firmware version numbers pre/post update would be helpful for those owners that want to check their projectors.

This update may resolve a number of average review that stated the projector is not too bright.
Mike Colllins Posted Nov 9, 2014 6:08 AM PST
A couple of comments here... 1) which firmware version is the one that fixes the brightness issue? 2) the projector is supposed to have ISF day/night modes. How do you access? 3) if you go to the advanced settings you can adjust the gain and bias for each portion of the color wheel individually. I am surprised you did not find these options.

I purchased one of these a few weeks ago, and I am satisfied with the picture projected on a light brown stucco'd wall. I had to really tweak the individual gain and bias controls to get the colors correct, but I enjoy the picture. I have significant light in the room while watching. Enough to read a newspaper. Brought this with me to use as a TV while I am out of town, so my display options are limited.
Cesar Posted Nov 9, 2014 4:50 PM PST
I don`t live in USA. How to update the firmware? Thanks.
Hoove1970 Posted Nov 10, 2014 9:24 AM PST
I have owned several Optoma projectors and my last, the HD33 was an exceptional unit. I thought this unit would compare but it does not. It is far louder, it has a great deal of light 'leakage' around the room, and it was very challenging to balance the color etc. I also called Optoma customer support and after my rep checked with her techs, she advised me to watch the website for a firmware update when it becomes available, but it is not available at this time! I'm going to find another HD33 or a new HD161X..... Much better performance for the dollars!
daniel c Posted Nov 10, 2014 1:30 PM PST
Great review, I have owned this projector for around a month now and I must say it is an absolute bargain for the price. The picture quality is great once tweaked using a spears and munsil calibration disc using blu ray and a virgin media TiVo box, and gaming on a 100" screen is out of this world. This is my first Optoma projector and coming from a 55" 4k tv that I hardly ever use because the projector is that good. Well done Optoma I am amazed at the quality of this for the price.
Chin Posted Nov 11, 2014 9:50 PM PST
@Mike Collins, would you mind sharing your calibration settings for the gain,hue and saturation. I have searched for the settings as point of reference but still can't find any. Also did you setup by eye or use professional equipment.

Mike Collins Posted Nov 12, 2014 4:22 AM PST
I found this as a starting point for calibration. Since I am projecting onto a light brown wall, I am sure my personal settings are not valid for other users..


Also, I put in a tech support request at optoma's website and called as well. They said that the firmware update is still in beta, but should be available via download once it is approved. They said to expect it in a couple of weeks.

Hope this helps. M.
Mike collins Posted Nov 12, 2014 4:26 AM PST
I used HVE. Blu Ray going through a PS4 to set it up. Used all three of the color filters to get as close as possible tweaking each color wheel individually. Took a couple of hours because the colors interact with each other, but got something I am satisfied with. Still have to pull curtains to get decent black depths, though.
Bill Livolsi Posted Nov 13, 2014 10:29 AM PST
Hi everyone. Thanks for reading the review.

Since we're getting a lot of questions about the firmware update: I've asked Optoma for an official comment on the firmware update and I will post here when I have more information. They have told me I should receive a response in the next day or two.

sp sp - It’s difficult to talk about brightness in 3D mode when a projector doesn’t include any 3D glasses. Which glasses should we use? Should we also obtain RF and IR glasses for the VESA port and test those? If so, which brand? It’s not as simple as “3D brightness is X.” I wish it were.

E R R - My comment is incomplete because that’s all the information Optoma had at the time. To my knowledge, the updated firmware has not yet made it into the mass-production models. And it’s interesting to note that the firmware update gave Bright mode a huge boost but didn’t increase light output in Cinema mode very much at all.

Mike Collins -

1. Optoma is still hammering out the firmware update issue so I don’t have a version number for you.

2. ISF modes can be accessed by an ISF Certified calibration technician. I don’t have the passcode for that menu, and if I did, I couldn’t give it out.

3. Those color adjustments are the color management system, and they adjust the projector's gamut. They don’t directly affect grayscale tracking. In that same menu, you adjust grayscale under "W," where you'll notice there is only a single slider for each color. That's the limitation I mentioned.

Cesar - Wait a while for the details to get hammered out, then call the Optoma customer support line for your country. They will know what to do. If they don’t, drop us a line via the “Contact Us” link at the bottom of the page and I’ll find out what’s going on.

Hoove1970 - the HD33 was a more upscale projector than the HD26. Optoma is releasing a new projector very soon, the HD50, that might appeal to you. We should be receiving a sample shortly, so stay tuned for a review.

daniel c - Glad you’re enjoying your projector!
Chin Posted Nov 13, 2014 11:42 PM PST
Using S&M disc, I found that the contrast has to be turned down to -33 and brightness to 4. Did you guys have similar results? I take it that you did not change the hue/saturation/gain for RGBYCM
Mike Collins Posted Nov 14, 2014 6:11 AM PST
Bill, thanks for the updates.

Would it be worth spending the money on an ISF calibration for a projector that only cost me $650? I assume that it would be in the hundreds of dollars range to get something like that done.

For the review, you guys didn't do any type of calibration like that did you?
Sam Wong Posted Nov 25, 2014 6:02 AM PST
Dear Mike Collins,

Is this US$650 and it is the price in the State?

I was just given a quote of $1600 ( US$1,227 ) and am puzzled by the big difference!!
ERR Posted Nov 26, 2014 3:31 AM PST
Still not a peep regarding the firmware update. Any assistance you can offer current owners of the HD26 would be appreciated.

I suspect your review projector was 'fixed' quickly in order to receive a good review. There is no reason why the firmware cannot be posted on the HD26 Downloads section of the website so those interested can download and install the update. That is the purpose of the USB connection on the projector, right?
Clark Posted Nov 26, 2014 2:00 PM PST
I want to make sure I read the article right. Are you saying that the RF emitter and a silver screen are needed to use passive glasses? Or were you suggesting some other accessory? Can you elaborate, or point to an article about how to set up this projector to use passive glasses? And then are we talking about RealD glasses that come from the theater?
sp sp Posted Nov 28, 2014 3:31 AM PST
Bill, when i saud "brightness in 3d mode", i am comparing this to other projector reviews on your site. It seems most projectors have a dedicated "3d mode" setting, where they adjust the default brightness of the lamp.. its this value that i was hoping you could standardize.

Your site has advised many times on how glasses cut the brightness by 50%. So if a 3000 lumen projector shows 3d in 2000 lumens, with the potential of the glasses cutting it down further, that would be good info.
Mike Collins Posted Dec 1, 2014 4:34 AM PST
Price was from Amazon. It was $700 with a $50 gift card included for a net price of $650. Looks like the gift card offer has expired, but it is still available from amazon for $700.

It was in the US. See below.

[edited to remove link]
Bill Livolsi Posted Dec 1, 2014 8:50 AM PST
sp sp - Here's the problem. RF and IR glasses use "invisible" synchronizing pulses, but DLP Link uses either white or red flashes of visible light. So by definition, DLP Link projectors will measure higher 3D brightness without glasses than projectors using the other technologies.

I'd also like to clarify something. We've said that 3D glasses will reduce brightness by 50% AT MINIMUM. That's with theoretically perfect glasses and instantaneous synchronization pulses. Real glasses cut light output by 70% or more.
Dickie Posted Dec 1, 2014 9:59 AM PST
I have a mounting problem...on the calculator projector pro page for a 106" screen ceiling mount the lens vertical height is to be " -8 " from the upper edge of the screen. This seems to mean the lens is 8" below the top of the screen for ceiling mount since it is a minus 8. Correct? ? or is it above the top of the screen? I'm confused.
sp sp Posted Dec 1, 2014 12:50 PM PST
Thx Bill. Can you please do a dedicated 3D projector shootout soon? What is the best value in the market right now? What gives out the best brightness, which even under 70% light reduction under glasses, is a good picture? What has the least lag? I am a gamer that needs a good 3D 1080p projector. Should we wait for hdmi 2.0 for better 1080p refresh rates, and UHD / 4k? Any news on projectors starting to support HDMI 2.0?
Mike Collins Posted Dec 6, 2014 10:05 AM PST
I just had my bulb die on my HD26. I had it about 45 days, with about 2 hours of use a day on it. Turned it off last night heading to bed, and this morning, I get a red bulb light and splashing power light. I am trying to figure out if if was something that I did that caused the bulb to fail, or if I just got a bad bulb. I switch between 720p and 1080p on my PS3 quite a bit as it goes into and out of games, not to mention watching tv in1080i. When this happens, I get a bunch of colors on the screen then it settles down and switches to the new resolution. Every one in a while, the projector goes into search mode and does not complete the handshake with the output device. I was thinking that maybe my HDMI cable was bad, so I have a new one on order. Does this sound like a projector issue, a HDMI cable issue or am I burning up the bulb because of resolution changes? The projector is table mounted with lots of clearance for cooling. The temp light never came on once.... Opinions appreciated.
Bill Livolsi Posted Dec 8, 2014 12:55 PM PST
Mike, it sounds like you have two separate issues.

Resolution changes should have no effect on lamp life. It sounds like you received a faulty lamp.

Re: losing sync, that's usually a cable issue. Either the cable is too long or the wiring is beginning to wear out. Swapping out the cable should fix the issue.
Chris D Posted Dec 10, 2014 12:13 PM PST
After speaking to Optoma customer service today, I think I can provide some clarity and insight on the status of the "firmware update" for the HD26.

According to Optoma, there will not be a firmware update for this projector at this time, because there isn't an issue that requires such an update.

I was told that there is an additional 'bright mode' specifically for projecting from a PC that Optoma can add to the HD26, however this requires physically sending in your projector for them to make software and hardware changes to the ROM. Most importantly, this change only affects projecting from a PC, and does not impact light output when projecting from any other type of device.

I am sorry if this disappoints folks, but I hope this helps to clear the air on where things stand regarding a downloadable firmware update for the HD26 projector.
GDR Posted Dec 10, 2014 8:31 PM PST
Bill, we now have 4 Optoma DLP 3D HD projectors in a similar price range: the HD26, the GT1080, the HD25-LV, and the HD141X. Which one gives the brightest 3D image, which one has the least rainbow effect, and which one is the quietest?
MTM Posted Dec 11, 2014 2:34 AM PST

I just had my HD26 die on me as well. Power attempts to cycle and I can hear the ballast whine, but no light and after a couple cycles I get a solid red bulb LED and slow flashing power LED.

I emailed Optoma Tech Support and they just said get an RMA and send the unit it.

I had about 60 days on my unit with about 4 - 8 hours per day. No warnings, no temp, just a few hundred hours on the lamp.

At first I was astounded by the performance value of the HD26, but now I am looking at the Holidays without a projector, and my opinion of Optoma is very low at the moment. I have yet to receive an RMA...

Interesting that someone else has experienced this failure mode. Might be wise for someone sitting on the fence to hold off purchase until we get a better idea of what is happening.
Bill Livolsi Posted Dec 12, 2014 9:14 AM PST
Chris D - The issue with Bright mode has nothing to do with PC presentation; I observed the same diminished brightness when using video sources. Here’s the official statement from Optoma:

“Optoma believes that the vast majority of users will not be affected by this issue, as it is unlikely to impact any normal viewing.  That said, if users are having an issue and want to have the firmware updated, they will handle it though normal warranty repair channels.”

GDR - The HD26 and HD141X are functionally identical. The GT1080 is very similar. The HD25-LV is the brightest by over 1,000 lumens. All four have 2x-speed color wheels, so RBE should be very similar. No idea on fan noise.
ERR Posted Dec 12, 2014 1:59 PM PST
It appears as though they pulled a quickie on you too, Mike.

What I can't understand is, why do they even bother to put a 'USB firmware update connector' if you still have to send the unit in? I know, I know... they have to replace a chip. Sounds like more crap to me.
GDR Posted Dec 13, 2014 1:52 AM PST
Bill, are you sure that the HD25-LV is actually brighter than the HD26? Per your 25-LV review: "Bright mode on the HD25-LV measured 2420 lumens" For the HD26 you stated 3041 in bright mode?
Bill Livolsi Posted Dec 15, 2014 9:14 AM PST
GDR - you wouldn't use Bright mode for 3D. We measured Cinema brightness on the HD25-LV at over 2,000 lumens, and on the HD26/GT1080/HD141X it's more like 1,000. You do lose some of that brightness in 3D, obviously, but that's a more realistic starting point.
Optoma Posted Dec 18, 2014 10:40 AM PST
Mike, As much as we would like it to be otherwise, the lamp manufacturing process is not an exact science. The overwhelming majority of lamps will live to, and even exceed their life expectancy. Unfortunately a very small number will not. We apologize for the inconvenience you may have experienced. Switching resolutions does not in any way contribute to lamp failure. The color changes you experience when switching to 1080i are due to the color wheel shifting speeds to accommodate the new signal timing. While not attractive, this in no way will affect your projector's reliability.
Optoma Posted Dec 18, 2014 12:24 PM PST
Dear MTM, We apologize for the inconvenience you have experienced. The issue you described is certainly not a typical one. I will follow up with our Technical Support team and ensure this is resolved expediently and satisfactorily.
Cesar Posted Dec 21, 2014 12:21 PM PST
My Hd26 show almost the same brightness level in Cinema, Vivid or Bright modes. Is that correct? The difference is very slight.

I'm having another issue: I just bought a Disney WOW calibration Bluray. When trying to calibrate the brightness the darker stars/squares just doesn't appear even if I set the brightness to a high value. It's like if the projector just doesn't show darker images independent of the bright/contrast values.
Mike Posted Dec 30, 2014 11:34 AM PST
RMA UPDATE STATUS as of 12/3014: I have called and spoken with Tom from support many times, and I am sure that he is tired of hearing from me. He has been very helpful in getting my HD26 repaired. The RMA process is a bit tiring and slow to be sure. You MUST go to the Optoma website, and fill out an RMA form for ANY type of warranty work. You must send in your unit/bulb assy. They will not send out any parts without receiving and inspecting your projector and/or bulb. Granted that is the holiday season, but my unit was delivered by UPS on 12/19 at 11am. It was not officially received into their system until 12/23 per the RMA update page. I happened to catch Tom during one of my calls as he was looking at the machine. It was diagnosed as a bad build, the rest of the issues that I have must be with my 20' HDMI cable. To, said that they had to send to the warehouse for a build and with the holidays, he was hopeful that I would receive it by 1/12. Optima, and Tom in particular, we're all over the repair, though I had hoped for a faster turn around time. I guess this is to be expected with the holidays.
Mike Posted Dec 31, 2014 11:35 AM PST
RMA UPDATE 12/31: optima shipped out the repaired HD26 yesterday. Per the RMA page, the bulb was replaced and it looks like they also did a firmware/hardware update as well... Here is the exact verbiage used: Repair: IMPLEMENT TB/RM TO UPGRADE HARDWARE. All in all, I am really satisfied by the Optoma tech support group.

I just hope that the bulb issue was a one time thing and the new one will last it's rated hours.
Paul Posted Dec 31, 2014 1:26 PM PST
I have had my Optoma HD26 for about 4 weeks. On 4 separate occasions this projector has locked up while watching a football game or movie. When it locks up, the lamp shuts off but the LED stays solid blue. The remote will not communicate with the projector and thus I have to physically unplug the unit ( not convenient with a ceiling mount ) and then plug it back at which times it powers back up with no issues. Curious if anyone else has experience something similar?
Larry666 Posted Jan 1, 2015 11:54 AM PST
Hi Folks! Nice review. My third projector and after 2 month of use, i 100% can recommed the hd141x. Not perfect but really Good Bang for the Buck! If you are disturbed by noise you can make it silent very simple with some extra damping. I thought to use it occasionaly, but now i got dependent :) Cheap Bulb and "low" power. Is it possible to flash the hd26 firmware on a hd141x unit to get the saturation setting? Does anyone know the code to enter the service menu or a source for schematics.

Ben Posted Jan 19, 2015 5:51 PM PST
Ok so you mention that people should audition this projector if they're sensitive to the rainbow effect, well I am. but for the life of me I have no idea where I can test drive projectors as they're not really sold in retail stores, and when they are the selection is limited. So whats a good way to try out projectors before settling on one?
Bill Livolsi Posted Jan 20, 2015 10:57 AM PST
Ben - money permitting, you could buy the projector from a place with a good return policy and then return it if it doesn't work out.
AV68 Posted Jan 26, 2015 10:54 AM PST
Hi, I just bought this projector and installed it on the media room. i was trying yesterday to take some pictures and short videos of the projected image, using my iphone 6 (1080p 60fps) and I noticed some flickering that I can't see at simple view, I can only notice it through the screen of my iphone. I know that if I can't see it with my eyes, the flickering is not an issue, but I'm just wondering if this may or may not be an issue. Thanks, Arturo
Evan Powell, Editor Posted Jan 26, 2015 1:31 PM PST
Arturo, there is nothing to be concerned about. You can't take video of a picture being projected by a DLP projector. At any given moment in time the projector is showing either the red, green, or blue component of the picture. It changes so fast that your eye cannot see it, but your camera can. So your iPhone video will pick up just portions of the total image. The only way to make a still photo of the screen image look normal is to slow down the shutter speed so that the DLP engine has time to deliver several cycles of red, green and blue all in the same exposure. This is simply the way single-chip DLP works.
Kaiser adnan Posted Jan 28, 2015 6:29 AM PST
Hi guys, Please belp me to buy a projector as i'm confused between optoma HD 26 vs Benq w1070. First time i'm going to buy the projector. My room wall to wall size is 16 ft where im gonna place the projector and alredy having 5.1 home theatre with me. I really highly appreciate if i'll get the choice with some comaprison that on is competing other. Main purpose is to watch movies and sports or sometime ps games.

Jen Posted Feb 10, 2015 10:20 AM PST

I have experienced the same thing. Returned one machine and thought they returned the same one - but I'm told it is new. The machine does not respond always respond to the remote. I've had it turn off in the middle of a movie and I too have had to climb a ladder to pull the plug. Did you find a solution?

Thank you, Jen
Jason Rasmussen Posted Feb 12, 2015 8:03 AM PST
My last projector finally died so I purchased this Optoma HD26. I am already returning it. Having owned 2 previous <$1,000 DLP projectors, the HD26 is SUBSTANTIALLY louder, even in 'eco' mode which I could hear across the room. Having it above my head during viewing it is unacceptably loud, and having it in 'normal' mode is a jet engine of distraction. It also leaked a lot of light onto the ceiling which is also a distraction. Black levels were a poor grey, even after THX calibration. The nail in the coffin was the extreme rainbow effects. Again, I have owned 2 DLP projectors over the last 10 years and I rarely if ever saw rainbows, but with the HD26 there were rainbows all the time.

I returned it for an Epson 2030 and while still not as quiet as my previous Vivitek DLP projector, it gives a much better picture, quieter, vibrant colors, ok black levels, and of course rainbow free picture.
Tony Sammo Posted Mar 1, 2015 4:27 PM PST
Is the firmware update included in newly purchased units? Is there a way to check the version? Which version should it be? Have a hard time between this and the HD141X. Any help would be appreciated? Do either units do a 2d to 3d conversion?
Chaminda Posted May 3, 2015 4:52 AM PST
I also face same issue with my HD26 which is connected to my Harman Kardon AVR171. When its connected for video and audio both through HDMI, you have this problem of the projector getting stuck and does not respond to the remote. Then with the recommendation from a friend of mine I separated audio and video. Now my projector is directly connected to the blue ray through HDMI and audio is through optical from blue ray to the AVR171. problem solved.
XNet Posted May 11, 2015 1:13 AM PST
Where do you put in the color setting you talk about in the review? Do you adjust them in the "White" menu? Or in the colors' separate menus?
venkata R koliparthi Posted Jun 18, 2015 11:39 AM PST
Hi, In my room we don't get a rectangular picture if projected straight on to the wall, but i read in the specifications it mentioned that horizontal ketstone is not there. Without this option can I adjust the projecteor to get a rectangular picture.
Tyler Posted Aug 11, 2015 5:28 PM PST
Hi Optoma,

Very cool of you to respond to MTM on here like that. I had the exact same problem he posted below on my HD25-LV around the same time he did and I "fixed" it by removing and replugging the lamp. I use quotations because that only solve the problem long enough for my warranty to wear out and now I'm stuck with the same issue again except this time no quick fix.

Been a great projector otherwise!

Your thoughts?
Thor Posted Aug 20, 2015 6:31 AM PST
Hi, I just bought the Optoma HD26 DLP-projektor, and I like it! BUT it sounds like a hovercraft while watching movies ... has anybody had any luck opgrading the standard fans to better ones?
Brad Posted Aug 29, 2015 3:09 PM PST
Hi Bill (Livolsi) or someone,

please help to clarify the followings:

(1) Which lamp mode provides 6500hrs, Eco or Dynamic?

(2) Also, if the Dynamic Black setting is set to on, is there any impact on the lamp's life? That is, I wonder how this setting will impact the lamp mode setting, and thus the lamp life.

Thanks Brad
Mike MacPherson Posted Sep 30, 2015 3:23 AM PST
How do I reverse the image for use on the ceiling
Layne Moseley Posted Jan 11, 2016 8:25 PM PST
I'm having the same issues with the loud fan. It's quite distracting!
Ali Posted Mar 29, 2016 7:10 PM PST
Just wondering, how do you make the hd141x silent larry666? Because I can't decide between hd141x and hd26
Trevor Posted Jul 16, 2016 6:28 AM PST
I have owned mine for almost a year and a half and just had to replace the bulb. I did that, however now it works for about an hour and a half then just shuts down. Any idea what's going on?
Jay Posted Jul 26, 2016 8:18 PM PST
I've been using my new Optomoa HD26 for about four months now. I paid about $580 on Amazon. I agree in normal mode that the fan noise is more than it should be for sure. Even in EcoMode it's still a little too loud but generally okay. Overall, I'm very happy with my projector. I have about 50 hours on the bulb with no issues thus far.

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