Optoma DV11 Remote Control and Menu System
The included remote is good enough to allow you to control the product as required, but I constantly found myself holding it upside-down for some reason (possibly due to the fact that it is naturally top-heavy in its design.) It's also a bit unwieldy overall, and there is no backlighting or even glow-in-the-dark buttons. Using it in the dark proved to be an exercise in trial and error or waiting for those bright movie scenes and explosions to hit the screen. The required buttons are all present and accounted for and the system obviously allows you to control DVD functions as well as projector features without requiring separate remotes. Remotes are cheap, and overall I found the remote to be very disappointing and bland - I'd expect a little better from a product designed to be a Lifestyle system for family use.
A nice thing to point out is that controlling DVDs with the remote is lightning quick. I was able to navigate DVD menus faster than I can ever remember controlling any DVD player. Whether it was selecting chapters, jumping through special features or just clicking the 'Next' or 'Skip' function the response on this system is amazing.
The Menu System
The menu system on the Optoma DV11 is simple and effective. I'd like a way to more easily back out of it than have to repeatedly hit the Menu button, but it worked well enough for setting up the system. There is also a submenu that controls the DVD player and has basic functions, most of which are set perfectly without any adjustments.
This menu system is where most people will start and it's where you'll select the Display Mode for the projector. If you are looking to crank out as much light as possible, engage "Vivid" or "PC" mode. For home theater use we recommend the Cinema mode. Once you make any adjustments in the Image-I or Image-II menus, the Mode will change to User. After selecting the proper mode, you'll want to use a setup disc Like Avia or Digital Video Essentials to calibrate the white and black levels. If you don't have one of these discs, look for a DVD with the THX logo on it and run the DVD Optimizer program that is always accessible from the DVD menu.
In the Image-II menu you have access to the more advanced image settings such as Degamma ("Gamma" is an adjustment to compensate for the non-linear nature of CRT displays, so in linear digital displays we refer to the controls as Degamma), white-peaking, Color temperature, and RGB Gain & Green cut (under the "TrueVivid" moniker). We found that white peaking offered a way to enhance the apparent contrast of the image, though if set too high it created and artificial look and crushed the white levels. Color temperature results using an 80IRE field at default settings were as follows:
- Cinema - 7600K
- sRGB - 6500K
- Vivid - 7500K
- Game - 7300K
- PC - 7100K
We quickly found that setting the Color Temp to '0' ('1' is the Default) allowed us to achieve a color temperature of close to 6500K in the Cinema mode. This is what we based our measurements on in the Calibration section of the review. White Peaking is a setting that I found I liked. You could still get a relatively smooth gradient with the setting as high as 7 and it was almost impossible to get the maximum contrast potential out of the projector without having this function enabled. Make sure to re-adjust the Contrast after making any change to this setting. Sharpness should be set to the absolute minimum as it artificially sharpens the image on screen and creates harsher edges.
- 4:3 - uses the full 800x600 resolution of the projector
- 16:9 I - Scales the image to 800 wide by 450 tall
- 16:9 II - Scales the image up to 854x480, centering the image and cropping off 27 pixels from each side
- Native - delivers a 1:1 pixel representation of the inputs up to 576p, scales 720p signals to 800x720 centered and 1080i signals to 960x540 centered.
The bottom line here is that the DMD chip in the DV11 is 4:3 native, not 16:9 native as some reviewers have erroneously reported. It is a step up from the DV10 (854x480) if you plan to watch a lot of 4:3 content, but is actually a slight decrease in resolution if you're focused primarily on 480p material (widescreen or anamorphic DVDs). We found that the deinterlacing and scaling ability of the player was only marginal (more is mentioned about this below in the Benchmark Testing section) and based on what we saw with real-world material and test patterns, our recommendation is to utilize 16:9 I mode for most anamorphic DVD viewing. Native mode looked the cleanest, but also reduced the image size considerably and defaulted anamorphic DVDs out of their proper aspect ratio. Here are some screen captures using the different modes:
Language, System and Lamp Setting Menus
These remaining menus allowed configurations having to do with the projector lamp, menu system and fan settings. Users can activate high altitude mode to spin up the fan a bit more to compensate for thinner atmospheres. There is also a mute function that either turns the speakers on, off, or routes the volume control to the built-in 1/8-inch mini jack located on the back of the unit (while simultaneously muting the speaker output). This is a really nifty feature and makes the system perfect for watching movies when you don't want to disturb the rest of the household. The only deficiency we found with using headphones was that the system also picked up the noise induced by the DVD transport, so the occasional track and layer changes were heard along with the main content. The System menu also houses the DVD Setup submenu system.
DVD Setup Submenu
The DVD Setup submenu allows control over the audio output and aspect ratio settings for the player (16:9, and 4:3 letterbox or pan & scan as expected). You can set the S/PDIF output to RAW or PCM depending upon the type of AV receiver you have (whether it supports Dolby Digital/dts or not). You can also set ratings and password-protect the system so that you can create a family-friendly system for viewing only the content you deem appropriate. Brightness, Contrast and Saturation are configurable in the player, however we'd avoid this unless you have some kind of special needs or deficiency that needs to be compensated for specifically form the player.
I am aware that there is a 'Hack' for the previous model the DV10 to allow it to play All Region, does anyone know if this will also work with the DV11 ?
I'm living in hopes