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Performance
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Features
Ease of Use
Value
Intended Use:
Home Theater
Optoma HD8300 Projector Optoma HD8300
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Street Price: n/a
3D: Full HD 3D
Contrast:30,000:1
Lumens:1500
Weight: 18.5 lbs
Resolution:1920x1080
Aspect Ratio:16:9
Technology:DLP
Lens:1.5x manual
Lens Shift:H + V
Lamp Life:3,000 Hrs
4,000 (eco)
Lamp Cost:$379.00
Warranty:3 year
Connectors:  Composite, Component, VGA In, HDMI 1.4a (x2), USB, RS232, 12-Volt Trigger (x2),
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 576p

Optoma HD8300
DLP 3D 1080p Home Theater Projector

Bill Livolsi, September 28, 2011

Limitations

Contrast. The HD8300 has solid dynamic range and a black level that is aided by an automatic iris. Unfortunately, its dynamic range is not as good as some other projectors in its price range, and black level is likewise outmatched by some competitors. The end result is that contrast as a whole is somewhat lacking for the price. Now, if you're using the HD8300 in a room with some ambient light, contrast matters a lot less--the little bit of ambient light you have is affecting contrast more than you know, and you might not ever see the improvement from a higher-contrast projector in that situation. But for those who have pitch-black home cinema rooms dedicated to the theater experience, the slight differences are noticeable.

Light output. The HD8300 is a very bright projector, putting out almost 1,000 lumens in Cinema mode. However, it has two problems. For one, there's no way to curtail lumen output for smaller screens, and even the 761 lumens of Reference mode may be too bright for some. Secondly, the projector is rated at 1,500 lumens maximum. This means that the brightest precalibrated mode, Bright mode using the Native color temperature, still falls short by 20% of the specification. Those who need or want 800-1000 lumens will be delighted, while edge cases to either side are out of luck.

Placement flexibility. The HD8300 has a 1.5:1 manual zoom/focus lens with manual horizontal and vertical lens shift. The 1.5:1 lens allows for some flexibility when mounting the projector. For example, if you are using a 120" diagonal 16:9 screen, you can mount the HD8300 anywhere between 13' and 19' 10" away from the screen. Unfortunately, as with any zoom lens, as you move towards the telephoto end of the lens you lose light output. In this case, the HD8300 loses 32% of its maximum light output at the telephoto end of the zoom. The progression is roughly linear across the lens' range; at halfway between wide and telephoto you'll lose 16%. This is higher than average for a 1.5:1 lens, where most similar lenses lose around 20%. As an example, Cinema mode at wide angle produces 832 lumens, while Cinema mode at telephoto produces 573.

The HD8300 has lens shift, but the range is somewhat limited. Vertical shift allows for a total range of 1/3 of the image height, while horizontal shift allows for 1/3 of the image's width. If the projector is mounted level and perpendicular to the screen, the bottom edge of the image can appear anywhere between 11% below the centerline of the lens and 24% above it. In all instances, the bulk of the projected image is above the lens centerline. In this way, the lens shift allows for some fine-tuning once you have the projector mounted, but does not allow for the same kind of off-center placement that is possible on certain LCD projectors with more extensive shift ranges.

Remote control. The HD8300 has two remote controls--one main remote for day to day use and one miniature, credit-card-style remote that can be attached to the back of the projector just over the connection panel. The main remote is well laid out, with intuitive button placement. However, the buttons themselves have icons rather than words on them, and the strong blue backlight makes it impossible to read any of them in the dark. Once you learn the layout, this becomes less of a concern. The second remote is meant to function in place of a hardwired control panel, since the HD8300 has none save for a single power on/off button. While this is an unlikely scenario, this means if you manage to lose both remotes, you'll be unable to adjust your projector.

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Shootout vs Panasonic AE7000
Review Contents: The Viewing Experience Key Features Performance Limitations
  Shootout vs Panasonic AE7000 Conclusion
Comments (9) Post a Comment
John Hermes Posted Sep 28, 2011 11:29 PM PST
In the comparison picture of the Optoma and Panasonic, the Optoma looks brighter in both the dark and light areas. For the Panasonic to have "better" blacks (at least in this picture), it would seem the lighter areas of both projectors should be about the same.
PatB Posted Sep 29, 2011 10:01 AM PST
I appreciate that you have made an effort to equalize the conditions and setting for the photos of the Panny and the Optoma. But the comparison still doesn't show waht you say it does. The Panny picture seems just darker not more contrasty. Snadler has dark curly hair which in the Optoma picture shows reflected light. That seems appropriate since its outdoors in the sun and Sndler is wearing sun glasses. So the panny picture is better but less realistic.
CJv Posted Sep 29, 2011 9:09 PM PST
I have to agree with PatB. While its true that the panny is obviously darker there doesn't seem to be as good of a balance between the darks and brights when compared to the optoma which had better balance. The panny seem so out of balance it gives the impression that the picture is warmer than it actually is. The color in the face of Adam Sandler face from the Panny screen shot seems a bit too red but not in a "I live in tropical environment I have a sun burned face look". Also, his shirt seems a bit to deep in the orange.......... even for a island type shirt. While the Optoma seems much more balanced and the shirt seems to have a more natural look

Knowing that Optoma can make a higher contrast projector its almost as if they purposely went conservative on the contrast for the HD8300 to keep the picture balanced and natural. I can't believe I'm saying this but I prefer the Optoma picture over the Panny. Another thought; why Optoma spent the effort to create a very bright color accurate projector one, of course, would think to allow bigger screens, but in addition, I believe Optoma created this projector with high gain screens in mind.......that way if somebody wanted to increase contrast they could a higher contrast projector screen. Generally brightness takes a hit when using a projector screen to increase contrast but Optoma has created an incredibly high, color accurate, cinema mode......hmmmmmm

Optoma HD8300 + Back Diamond G3 (comes in gains: 2.7(may only be commercial accounts), 1.4, and .8) and is designed with 3D viewing in mind........ could be a Home Theater Enthusiast dream come true
TRoher Posted Sep 30, 2011 10:04 AM PST
Before I offer my comment, it should be noted that I handle the PR for Optoma. But I also agree with both PatB and John Hermes in that the Panasonic picture just looks darker. To that point, if you looke at the Optoma image, you can actually see the white of Adam Sandler's front teeth, where as in the Panasonic image you don't see it. So while the blacks are deeper, in the example, at least, it is at the expense of lighter details.
Evan Powell, Editor Posted Oct 3, 2011 12:26 PM PST
The comments posted here regarding the screen shot illustrate the limitations of screen shots and why we do not normally use them. The camera imparts its own interpretations of what it sees, then the image is compressed and displayed on a variety of different monitors, which is a different type of display technology than a projector and screen. What you end up with is a rough interpretation of the original scene, but it does not and cannot look precisely like the original.

The shot in this review was intended to illustrate the relative differences that we were seeing in real life, which is that the HD8300 is the brighter of the two, and the AE7000 has greater dynamic range and saturation. In order to get the two images on the same screen so they could be photographed together in a single exposure, we reduced the size of the projected images to about 70" diagonal. The images would look different if displayed at different sizes. Perceptions of brightness, contrast and saturation change based on the size of the projected image.

In general, screen shots NEVER look like a projected image. In real life you are seeing light reflected from a (hopefully) relatively neutral screen. A computer monitor on which you view a screen shot is light-emitting, a completely different type of video display that imparts a different quality and character to the image. Screen shots displayed on computer monitors make projected images appear more like flat screen TV pictures than they do a genuine projected image. For this reason we typically avoid screen shots since they are by nature misleading. No one should ever buy a projector thinking they will end up with a picture on a 120" screen that looks like the screen shot they saw in a review on a website.
Frank Bitterhof Posted Oct 21, 2011 12:55 AM PST
Thanx for a great review, I own the HD83(00)myself and am absolutely taken by its PureMotion Frame Interpolation. Where I beg to differ is that in the high FI mode it doesn't add "digital effects", what it does add is reality. The problem WE are having, is that since the day we were born we've all gotten used to the motion blur in theatrical films and on home video. But our eyes can do much better and in reality capture movement vastly exceeding 24 frames/sec.

Douglas Trumbull first noticed the problem and introduced 30fps for the showscan theme park rides, filmmakers like Peter Jackson and Jim Cameron are investigating possibilities to overcome the limitations of our now almost a century ancient camera filming process with only 24fps.

Thanks to the PureMotion FI details, previously obscured in motion blur, suddenly become noticable, especially objects in foreground that are out of focus, providing valuable information to our brain for a better depth perception of the overall picture and scenery. The scene from ALIENS where the aliens break into the command center almost looks 3D in 2D and the scene from CRIMSON TIDE, where water breaks into the engineering section, made me want to run to the kitchen to fetch a water bucket for all the water I was expecting to drop from my projection screen.

We are now watching scenes exactly like the filmmakers watched these while they were shooting, but we will also notice limitations of the studio sets and certain CGI (LotR: Battle in RETURN OF THE KING). Purists and those that have gotten used to the motion blur will probably reject FI, others that have been annoyed by the motion blur (especially ever since these awful handheld, shaken camera movements became fashion) will welcome the PureMotion FI the HD83 provides with open arms.

Since "digital effect" has such a negative connotation (Digital Noise Reduction etc.) I felt it necessary to elaborate on the issue and apologize for my lengthy post.
Josh Posted Oct 24, 2011 1:11 PM PST
Is the HD83/HD8300 shipping? I've found one online retailer in Canada (linked to via your helpful link above to Optoma HD8300 Merchants) but none in the US. Is it available in the US yet? If so, can someone point me in the right direction to purchase it? Thanks!
paul Posted Mar 16, 2012 9:54 PM PST
I am surprised that the review says that the panasonic PT-AE7000 does not have visible crosstalk. I went to 3 different stores to see it and it clearly had highly visible crosstalk in my opinion. You can see it easily on a highly contrasted scene with black over white. Batman Dark Knight has a lot of these.
Louie Posted Feb 21, 2015 4:04 AM PST
i read a review that compared this with the benq w1070, but which is better? i can´t decide which one i should get.

The projector will hang from the wall and with 3.8 meters distance

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