Overclockers UK Forums Click here for more details
Free Shipping for Loyal Forum Members - CLICK HERE

Go Back   Overclockers UK Forums > Audio Visual > Home Cinema & Hi-Fi

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 2nd Oct 2014, 23:03   #1
lucid
Mobster
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Cheshire
Posts: 3,833
Optoma HD50 Calibrated

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I'd be getting my hands on the replacement for Optoma's HD30. Well, that happened yesterday, and I spent a few hours with the new HD50 and my calibration gear to see what's possible from Optoma's latest creation.

Optoma HD50



Specifications and price:
Let's deal with the main differences between the two models first. This is how it reads on paper...

Brightness1 (Bright Mode) HD30: 1600 ANSI Lumens HD50: 2200 ANSI Lumens
Contrast HD30: 25,000:1 HD50: 50,000:1
Noise Level (Eco mode) HD30: 26dB HD50: 29dB
Throw Ratio HD30: 1.50 - 1.8:1 HD50: 1.39 - 2.09:1
Offset HD30: 116% HD50: 115% ~ 130% [The HD50 has lens shift up and down]
Lamp Life (Eco/Bright Mode) HD30: 6000/3500 HD50: 5000/3500
Price: HD30: 1099 HD50: 999

Some of the above carries over to real world experience; the 50 is definitely brighter. I'd question the claims on contrast and fan noise though. It might be possible to screw the settings to the ceiling to get 50,000:1 CR, but the 30 looks to have crisper and better defined whites and colours compared to the 50's slightly washed out look. I also found the fan noise more noticeable on the 30 despite the claim that the the 50 is 3dB worse. I'll put that down to fan pitch.

The other notable features are the 50 has a wider zoom range, so it can be positioned both closer to and further from the screen than the 30. The 50 also has a small amount of up/down lens shift. These two things combined mean that it's now possible to do constant height projection with the 50. IOW, it will fill the width of a 21:9 screen, and the lens still has enough range to zoom down (manually) to 16:9 and adjust the offset so that the image sits on the screen correctly.

Lamp life is quoted a little shorter at 5000hrs on eco mode. That's neither here nor there really though as very few projectors actually reach the estimated lamp life.

The other big change though is the price. They've now hit 999 for a machine with higher brightness and a bigger lens range and lens shift.


First impressions: HD30 vs HD50

Brightness aside, the HD50 out of the box looks like a backwards step. Yes, it's brighter. But in gaining that brightness and adding the extra flexibility of the new lens there's been other compromises made. There's a kind of faint fogginess to the whites and bright colours that isn't there with the 30. As a result, you'd guess that the 30 has more contrast rather than the 50. I think the cause is the lens. It doesn't seem as optically pure as the HD30 despite what the spec sheet claims. Unless the chip set or some other components in the light path have changed then that's what's robbing the image of some of its top-end sparkle.

The other thing that (to me) is really noticeable is that all the picture mode presets look garish and forced. The HD30 out of the box isn't stellar, but it does give a reasonable account of itself and has that 'something' that hints at better performance yet to be uncovered. The HD50 is more like a smash and grab raid on the senses. It's not subtle. Even Cinema mode looks it like the projector has been designed for an image shoot-out on the sales floor at PC World.

After messing around with the setting for a while as the projector was warming up thoroughly (90 minutes) I reset it all to factory default using the menu option, then measured the colours (primaries and secondaries), gamma, and greyscale.

Here's the CIE chart


You can see the primaries are all over-saturated and the secondaries are off target too. The greyscale showed a strong bias to blue. The average colour temperature ranged from 7600K to 8300K. Gamma came in at a very poor 1.56


Post calibration

After testing and setting all the picture control options, and then setting brightness; the contrast and the gamma to make the most of the projectors dynamic range, I set about adjusting the CMS controls. The HD30 had a tendency to over-saturate green a lot and the controls for blue had little effect. Well, my first positive experience with the 50 was that all the primaries came close to the targets really very nicely. They weren't bang on, but they were much closer than was achievable with all the HD30s I have calibrated. I then set about the secondaries. Yellow and magenta adjusted well. However, cyan remained tilted towards blue. I played around with the primaries to see if they were pulling blue off target, but it didn't seem to make a difference. Over all though, this was a pretty respectable result with some low Delta Es (0.2~0.4) on the four measurements from 60 and 90 IRE inclusive, and under 1.5 for 40 and 50 IRE. Gamma came in at a healthy 2.3





Verdict.

Optoma has done well to pull this kind of performance potential from a 1000 projector. The calibrated performance is actually very very good. It never gave me the same "wow" factor as the HD30, but some of that is down to the that projector being the first one under 1500 to really make a statement. The 50 calibrates closer to reference standard, and has some useful features and performance to make it a more usable projector for a lot of people. The limiting factor is the something in the optical path that takes away a smidgeon of the pop that the 30 has. However, in isolation no one would be able to tell.

On balance, the 50 benefits more from calibration than the 30. I do wonder though how many people will buy any projector and wonder what all the fuss is about. They'll never get it calibrated and so will miss out on a huge performance boost for very little money in relative terms.


Epilogue.

The dealer I calibrated for did two dems today of the 50. One was a casual browser looking to get familiar with what's around for a possible purchase next year. He saw the 50 on its Cinema setting (uncalibrated) and then on the user setting where I had done my work. That was no contest.

The second dem was the 50 versus the Epson EH-TW7200 (1899, but uncalibrated). Demo material included Skyfall and The Art of Flight. The people viewing were a husband and wife couple. It's a biological fact that many women have better colour vision than men. This particular couple had spent time in Norway visiting the icefields, so when the snowboarding scenes were played from Art of Flight the lady commented how accurately the 50 portrayed the blues and the colours of light reflecting from the snow. The pricier Epson was blown out of the water.
Last edited by lucid; 3rd Oct 2014 at 06:01.
lucid is offline   View trust for Reply With Quote
Old 3rd Oct 2014, 00:22   #2
Phate
Caporegime
 
Phate's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2003
Location: No fixed abode
Posts: 29,334
Great read Lucid

Reassures my recent purchase as well.

If you were to choose one would it be the 50 over the 30?

Phate is offline   View trust for Reply With Quote
Old 3rd Oct 2014, 00:29   #3
Rroff
Caporegime
 
Rroff's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 39,912
Nice write up - would have been kind of interesting (though it doesn't really show much) to see an action shot or 2.

Always been impressed with the calibrated results from Optoma projectors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid View Post
Lamp life is quoted a little shorter at 5000hrs on max brightness mode. That's neither here nor there really though as very few projectors actually reach the estimated lamp life.
Albeit I've run it in eco mode + high altitude all its life but my HD70 has actually rolled over the counter on its current bulb and put another 200+ hours on it and aside from taking longer to warm up to full brightness no real change - quite surprised how long it has lasted.

Samsung 700G7C, i7 3610QM, 16GB DDR3, GTX 675M.
i7 4820K, GB X79-UD3, KHX Beast 16GB DDR3, Gigabyte GTX780 GHZ, Antec Khler 1250, 840 EVO 250GB, KHX 3K 240GB, Seasonic 860w Platinum.
Rroff is online now   View trust for Reply With Quote
Old 3rd Oct 2014, 06:22   #4
lucid
Mobster
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Cheshire
Posts: 3,833
@ Phate - That's a tough question. It depends if I was going 16:9 or 21:9 Constant Height for the screen.

Purely on picture quality I'd lean towards the HD30. But if I wanted to make the most impressive and immersive cinema experience on a budget then the 50 with a 21:9 screen would be the only choice.


@ Rroff - You're right about screen shots in both senses. They're not that accurate, but they are great fun. The trouble is there are too many keyboard warriors who'll make snap judgements based on the pictures only without understanding how imperfect the capture and subsequent display chain is. I haven't got time to start explaining why the resolution differences of projected image, camera sensor, JPEG image display and the viewer's monitor quality all change the image substantially from what was seen when directly viewed. For example, how many of us here are looking at a D65 calibrated PC screen?

Nope, I've learned from bitter experience never to argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience

As for the lamp life, I do know of the odd projector that has exceeded manufacturer estimates. The problem again is people taking things out of context. The lamp life hours are an estimate only.
Last edited by lucid; 3rd Oct 2014 at 06:25.
lucid is offline   View trust for Reply With Quote
Old 3rd Oct 2014, 06:44   #5
jh30uk
PermaBanned
 
jh30uk's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2014
Location: To
Posts: 3,848
Does not get good reviews so far and massive lag if you use for gaming.

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/68-dig...l#post27913873

I have my eye on the HD36 or HD151x (not sure what is real difference going by specs and why bother with 2 versions?).

I think the HD50 is near same as HD161x.

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/68-dig...l#post27915569
Last edited by jh30uk; 3rd Oct 2014 at 06:48.
jh30uk is offline   View trust for Reply With Quote
Old 3rd Oct 2014, 07:48   #6
Phate
Caporegime
 
Phate's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2003
Location: No fixed abode
Posts: 29,334
This thread has also reminded me to look into possibly getting my unit calibrated when it's fitted.

Phate is offline   View trust for Reply With Quote
Old 3rd Oct 2014, 12:39   #7
spoffle
Capodecina
 
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 13,669
What are you using to measure the colours?
spoffle is offline   View trust for Reply With Quote
Old 3rd Oct 2014, 16:39   #8
lucid
Mobster
 
Joined: May 2010
Location: Cheshire
Posts: 3,833
A colorimeter
lucid is offline   View trust for Reply With Quote
Old 4th Oct 2014, 16:17   #9
Rroff
Caporegime
 
Rroff's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 39,912
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid View Post
As for the lamp life, I do know of the odd projector that has exceeded manufacturer estimates. The problem again is people taking things out of context. The lamp life hours are an estimate only.
Was anecdotal as I'm always a bit paranoid about lamp life but the current one has kept going on and on and on.

Samsung 700G7C, i7 3610QM, 16GB DDR3, GTX 675M.
i7 4820K, GB X79-UD3, KHX Beast 16GB DDR3, Gigabyte GTX780 GHZ, Antec Khler 1250, 840 EVO 250GB, KHX 3K 240GB, Seasonic 860w Platinum.
Rroff is online now   View trust for Reply With Quote
Old 4th Oct 2014, 16:23   #10
spoffle
Capodecina
 
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 13,669
Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid View Post
A colorimeter
I mean device/model wise.
spoffle is offline   View trust for Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:27.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Overclockers UK (Ocuk Ltd)