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Optoma HD7100 Home Theater Projector

Best Home Theater Projector
Performance
4.5
Features
Ease of Use
Value
Optoma HD7100 Projector Optoma HD7100
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5000:1 Contrast Ratio
1000 Lumens
Street Price: n/a

In March of last year Optoma released the impressive H79 at a retail price of $10,000. That was a 1280x720 DLP DarkChip3 projector. At its release it was selling on the street for about $6500, and it was truly an exceptional, leading edge product which we gave a full 5-star rating. Then in September of last year came the dramatic release of the high contrast LCD products, also at 1280x720 resolution, which hit the market at street prices of $2,000 to $2,300. At the time we said this competitive development would rapidly erode DLP pricing in this resolution class. And it has done so in spades. Exhibit A is the new Optoma HD7100, the latest DarkChip3 product from this vendor. The story in a nutshell: The HD7100 outperforms the H79 in image quality, and it is available for street prices under $3,000. Now that's progress.

With the release of the HD7100, price/performance levels between 720p DLP and 720p LCD products have reached a more realistic balance. You will pay a premium for the HD7100 over the LCD alternatives. That is as it should be since the image quality is, in some important respects, superior. But the fascinating question now posed by the HD7100 is this: how much longer will the high-end boutique vendors be able to market DarkChip3 single-chip 720p models in the price range of $10,000 to $15,000? The price gap between the HD7100 at $2,999 and the high-end models is enormous, while the image quality gap is, practically speaking, marginal at best.

Specifications

Light engine. 1280x720 resolution, 16:9 format DLP DarkChip3 with 4x speed, six segment color wheel, 250W UHP lamp.

Brightness. 1000 ANSI lumens

Contrast. 5000:1 full on/off

Video Compatibility. NTSC: M (3.5MHz), B/G, D/K (4.43MHz) PAL: B, D, G, K, I, M, N SECAM: B, D, G, K, L HDTV: 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i

Computer Compatibility. WXGA, UXGA Compression, XGA, SXGA, SVGA, VGA Compression, VESA standard, PC & Macintosh Compatible

Lens and Throw Distance. 1.25:1 manual zoom/focus lens. Throws a 100" diagonal image from 9.5' to 11.9'.

Lamp Life. 3,000 hours.

Connection Panel. DVI w/HDCP, component video, composite video (RCA), S-Video, RGB, RS-232

Warranty. Three years.

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