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Optoma HD33 3D Projector Review

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Optoma HD33 3D Projector Video

Optoma HD33 3D Projector Video

Summary

  • Product Name: HD33 3D Projector
  • Manufacturer: Optoma
  • Review Date: December 27, 2011 07:10
  • MSRP: $1500
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!
  • Buy Now
  • Resolution: 1920x1080p
  • Brightness: 1800 ANSI lumens
  • Colors: 1.07 billion
  • Full 3D, 1080p for Blu-ray, gaming consoles, HTPC, cable and satellite
  • Up to 300-inch screen size for large audiences
  • Remote: Backlit IR with discrete code
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Native, 4:3 and 16:10
  • Contrast Ratio: 4000:1
  • Compatibility: HD, UXGA, WXGA, SXGA+, SXGA, XGA, SVGA, VGA Resized, VESA, PC and Macintosh Compatible
  • Weight: 7.7 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 14.2in W 4.5in H 12.2in D
  • Warranty: One-Year Limited Parts and Labor, 90-Days Lamp

A couple years ago, Optoma redefined the projector market by introducing a 1080p model for under $1000. That was unheard of. What's equally unheard of is a 3D projector under $3000 - except that Optoma has now broken down that barrier again, too. And this is the model that did it, the HD33. And, you know, you'd think that doing this would result in a projector that meets the 3D spec, but perhaps drops a lot of features and sacrifices quality to do it.

inputsThat's where it gets weird, in a good way, because the HD33 is actually a good projector. In fact, it's a great projector. There are several stand-out features that I'd like to point out. First, color is incredible, right out of the box. We used the Cinema mode and set the lamp to Standard to reduce light output. This gave us just under 700 lumens, perfect for our light-controlled room and a configuration that gave us deep, rich black levels. Connectivity is also great, with dual HDMI inputs, a component video input, composite and VGA.

The images on screen are very crisp, but not artificially so. Everything just looks extremely detailed. Of course, if you switch on PureMotion, you get that hyper-real 'LiveTV' look that makes film look like you're watching daytime Soaps... not that I do that. We just really don't like using it, and it seems to put artifacts on anything that's in motion - but some people really appreciate the increased clarity from the extra frames of video that are inserted.

Optoma Ad VAPEX

harry potter 1Now we were using mostly Blu-ray content to test out the HD33 and scenes like the final battle in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 just looked like they had tons of depth - and that was just the 2D version. There are two scenes we used extensively to test out the HD33. One was the dragon scene in Gringotts when the fire-breathing reptile literally lights up the screen with flames. On a cheap projector, all sense of dynamic range would be lost, but the HD33 seemed to be able to articulate a high degree of brightness without washing everything out. On the opposite extreme, the final battle sequence had such amazingly deep blacks we were stunned that such an image could come out of a projector that only costs around $1500.

harry potter 2

RF 3D glassesSo what else do you get. Well, there's that whole 3D thing, remember? The way Optoma does this is actually pretty great. They use rechargeable RF glasses (which are sold separately) and an RF transmitter. Now don't miss this, because RF-based 3D glasses are very rare right now - but they're gaining traction. Most use IR and the problem with that is that when you turn your head you often break the connection and it has to re-sync, causing a glitch. With these you can actually turn to the left or right, walk around, have a conversation. It's pretty cool and somehow Optoma pulled it off without the glasses being bulkier than any of the IR models. Where the glasses lapse back into bad habits is that they colorize the on-screen image, making us want to do a custom color calibration for the 3D mode - something you may want to experiment with if you have the skills to do so.

What I think surprised us the most was that 3D performance was just as good as 2D performance. Animated movies like Cars 2:3D looked fantastic and the glasses are so big you really get a clean and clear view for each eye. So you see everything and the glasses are actually pretty comfortable to wear. Tron Legacy 3D also looked stunning and was a great movie to watch in 3D. For a film that was shot almost entirely on blue-screen, the sets and foreground elements were startlingly realistic. You're going to enjoy movies a lot on this projector.

Cars 2

The Optoma HD33 is a great product that breaks all the rules... again. This time it's taking 3D to a new level. Maybe this is what the format needs to move a little bit further into the living room. In any case, this is one product that we think you're gonna find hard to pass up.

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Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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Andrew Gash was the online personality for Audioholics' video reviews back in 2010. He's an accomplished video editor and scriptwriter and enjoys masochistic events such as entering 48 hour film festivals each year, for which his last several attempts have placed in various nominations and awards.

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