Optoma HD66 Review – The Best HD Projector Available?
The Optoma HD66 boasts a variety of useful features, such as support for multiple resolutions, 3D video, a powerful lamp, and BrilliantColor technology, without sporting a hefty price tag. Below is my review of the Optoma HD66.
The HD66 is capable of displaying 3D images in resolutions up to 720p (1280 x 720p) and 2D content up to 1280 x 800 without compression; however, resolutions above 1280 x 800 can be obtained, including 1280p (“Full HD”) with minimal compression. This may not sound as appealing as the wealth of full 1280p plasma or LCD/LED televisions available, but for the purposes of 3D content 720p is more than enough to get the job done. All in all, the Optoma HD66 has plenty of resolution output capability for general purpose HD projecting.
The Optoma HD66 also features a 1.1x zoom, manually-adjusted optical lens, but lacks an automatic lens-shifting feature, a shortcoming commonly found among lower-priced projectors. This means that the Optoma HD66 is better suited on a table top instead of a ceiling mount so that easy access to the lens is obtainable to adjust the picture size and lens direction. The HD66 is capable of producing video of up to 300 ft at its maximum setting, but for general purposes should be set no higher than 120 ft.
The HD66 features a lamp bulb with a rating of up to 2500 lumens, meaning that this projector can deliver incredibly bright images. This makes clear, rich and colorful video possible in highly-lit environments. However, in lower levels of lighting this may prove to put an uncomfortable amount of strain on the eyes. Different factory pre set modes are available, but most of the Optoma HD66’s default settings were calibrated more for brightness than color, which is why personally calibrating the unit is highly recommended to achieve better picture in areas of low lighting.
This projector also features a contrast ration of 4000:1, which is much lower than some of the more expensive projectors. The HD66’s default settings allow for high detail in the highlights and dark areas of the video, but only in a well-lit environment. Again, to achieve deeper black tones and more distinct whiter tones in lower lit environments, personal calibration must be performed. Tweaking these settings allows the user to be able to improve picture quality and color accuracy by adjusting these levels based on the lighting environment. These individual settings can be adjusted both directly on the device or by using the remote control that is packaged with the Optoma HD66; the remote control is very basic but also very small, leading to the buttons becoming very tightly packed and crowded towards the bottom end of the remote.
The HD66’s 3D feature is certainly one of the projector’s greatest features. However, once the 3D mode is switched on the bulb’s lumen rating drops to 660 or below, regardless of how bright the 2D picture was prior to the switch. Also, once the 3D glasses are used the brightness experienced by the user is cut by another 60%, thus reducing the brightness of the 3D picture to under 300 lumens. However, this does not pose much of a problem as long as the 3D content is experienced in low levels of light.
In conclusion, this powerful home theater projector delivers lots of bang for its buck, although it is not without its flaws: the unaccommodating factory default settings, the lack of convenience features save a small and cluttered remote, and the drastic drop in brightness of 3D images. However, for someone looking for a general purpose HD projector that is also capable of 3D display, the Optoma HD66 is a strong choice.