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Home Theater
Optoma HD8300 Projector Optoma HD8300
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Street Price: n/a
3D: Full HD 3D
Weight: 18.5 lbs
Aspect Ratio:16:9
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


Light output. With a rated maximum light output of 1500 lumens, the HD8300 is a great projector for both large-screen home theater and more casual presentations in the living room. Its Cinema mode, which has the best color and contrast performance of all of the projector's preset modes, measures 832 lumens in standard lamp mode with the lens at its widest angle setting. Bright lamp mode increases lumen output by about 20%, bringing Cinema to 996 lumens. On a large screen of 150" diagonal or greater, in a room with good control over ambient light, the HD8300 looks superb. Smaller screens look bright and clear in rooms with some ambient lighting.

The HD8300's image modes are all in the same ballpark when it comes to lumen output. In addition to Cinema, available modes include Reference (761 lumens), Photo (896 lumens), 3D (704 lumens), and Bright (872 lumens). All of these modes were measured using the lamp's Standard setting and the widest angle available on the projector's 1.5:1 zoom lens. What's missing from the HD8300 is a preset image mode that produces between 400 and 600 lumens, which would be useful for owners of small screens or folks with excellent ambient light control in their theaters. Note that the HD8300's zoom lens loses up to 32% of its light output at the telephoto end of its range, which brings Cinema mode to 573 lumens. However, not all users will be able to use the lens at max telephoto. With no manual iris, the only remaining option for lower lumen output besides the lens is a neutral density (ND) filter.

If you need more brightness from the HD8300, say for a football game in the living room, you can use Bright mode with the Bright lamp setting (Dear Optoma, this is confusing) and the Lamp Native color temperature preset to push output up to around 1200 lumens. In exchange for the extra light, though, you lose most of the HD8300's black level, some dynamic range, and color accuracy goes to pot. Still, if you're in ambient light, you'll be losing contrast anyway.

Color. Even at its factory defaults, the HD8300 has respectable color. As far as color temperature, the D65 preset measures around 6000K with no adjustments--a touch too warm, but certainly livable. Calibration of this projector was quick; the controls are responsive and the adjustments have enough granularity that it's easy to hit the exact value needed. After ten minutes with our CalMAN calibration system, the HD8300 was producing 6500K across the board.

Color gamut on the Optoma HD8300.

The color gamut is likewise in pretty good shape without any adjustments, and the HD8300's color management system is easy to use. Twenty minutes of fine-tuning produced a color gamut nearly identical to the Rec.709 standard used for HD. In English, this means that movies and video shown on the HD8300 will look exactly how the director wants them to look.

3D. The HD8300 is capable of full HD 3D from any HDMI 1.4 enabled 3D device. This means you can hook up your 3D Blu-ray player, satellite or cable set-top box, or other 3D device directly to the HD8300 and everything will work perfectly.

Like the HD33, the HD8300 supports Optoma's radio frequency (RF) active shutter glasses. Unlike infrared systems, line-of-sight between the glasses and the emitter is not required when using RF. This simplifies emitter placement in a big way--as long as the emitter is within 15 meters of the audience, regardless of direction, the system will still work as advertised. Obstructions between the emitter and the glasses can reduce the range somewhat, so be sure to test your configuration before mounting anything permanently.

In 3D, the projector takes certain options out of your hands, namely the auto iris, PureMotion (the control remains active but has no tangible effect), and image mode selection (you are limited to 3D and User). On the other hand, you retain control over lamp mode, while several competing projectors disable this option.

Warranty. The HD8300 has a full three-year warranty complete with Optoma's Express Replacement service, as well as two years of coverage on the lamp. These days, it is increasingly rare to see a manufacturer stand behind their product the way that Optoma has with the HD8300.

Color wheel. As the HD8300 has a native speed of 120Hz, color wheel numbers must be interpreted slightly differently. The projector has a six-segment color wheel (RGBRGB) that runs at 3x speed; that is, it refreshes each color three times per frame. However, since the projector runs at 120Hz, that means the equivalent of a 6x speed color wheel when viewing 60Hz content. Whichever way you slice it, the end result is a rainbow-free image.

Connectivity. The HD8300 has the standard slew of connections, but the highlights are a pair of HDMI 1.4 ports, a set of YPbPr component inputs, and a pair of 12V triggers. The VESA port for the 3D emitter is also located here, and looks kind of like an s-video jack. It's even located next to the composite video port. It is not advised that you try to use it to display s-video, however--it won't work and you'll probably break something.

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  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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