1080p Home Theater Projector
Anamorphic options. The HD8200 has an anamorphic vertical stretch mode on board, so it is ready to accommodate an external anamorphic lens. The 1.5x zoom lens has enough range to move back and forth from 2.35 to 16:9 if the user wishes to set up a 2.35 CIH system with zoom changes rather than the anamorphic lens. However, for the large majority of users who are expected to ceiling mount this projector, that option is impractical since the zoom lens adjustments are manual. For the price, we would like to have seen powered zoom/focus.
Warranty. The HD8200's warranty lasts for three years, which is as good as it gets in the projector business these days. This means you can rest easy, knowing your considerable investment is protected should anything go wrong.
Good placement flexibility. The HD8200 has a 1.5:1 manual zoom, allowing it to throw a 100" diagonal 16:9 image from 10' 10" to 16' 7". It also has some modest lens shift capability, which is somewhat of a rarity on DLP projectors. Lens shift allows you to move the image up to 1/3 of the image's height or width, or about 17% in any one direction from center. This is especially handy if you're planning to ceiling mount, which the HD8200 is ideally suited for. If you get the projector settled into a ceiling mount only to find that it's not hitting the screen quite right, you can fix it without relocating the mount itself.
Color wheel configuration. The HD8200 has a six-segment (RGBRGB) color wheel with a 6x rotation speed, which is excellent for home theater. A 6x-speed wheel virtually eliminates any concern about color separation artifacts.
Frame interpolation. The HD8200 has a frame interpolation system, which Optoma calls PureMotion. It is hard to find at first, as it is buried in Image > Advanced > PureEngine, along with the settings for the auto iris and some detail and color enhancements. When using 24p content, the HD8200 creates one interim frame for every real frame, displaying them at 48 Hz. This greatly reduces judder.
Our impression of FI on this unit is mixed. There are three settings, Low, Medium, and High. In the Medium and High settings, we found too many distracting artifacts. But when the system is set to Low, the results were quite satisfying. Motion judder was significantly reduced, while just a minimal level of undesirable artifacting was introduced. We found this to be the smoothest and most attractive option for a number of films being viewed in 24p transmission.
Rear shelf mounting is difficult. The HD8200 has a built-in offset throw angle that makes it good for ceiling mounting, and good for placement on or under a coffee table, or a table between the seats. When ceiling mounted (or table mounted), the lens shift can place the top (bottom) of the projected image at the same height as the lens centerline, or drop (raise) it up to 33% of the image height. However, if you wanted to install the HD8200 on a rear shelf above and behind the seats, you're out of luck. When turned upright, the bottom edge of the projected image cannot be dropped below the centerline of the lens, which means you'd need to tilt the projector and compensate with a lot of keystone correction. Not recommended.
Strange auto iris behavior. There seemed to be some peculiar behavior in the auto iris, in that when turned off, it would default to a position that was not wide open. This substantially reduced lumen output from what the projector would otherwise be capable of. Having manual control of the iris position would be a desirable feature on this model.
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