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New H78 DC3 for the USA

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by foghorn, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. foghorn

    foghorn
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    Optoma in the US are going to introduce a new model H78 however it would appear that they will replace the Hd2+ chip that is in the European version with the DC3 chip.

    This means the US will have the H77, H78 and the H79.

    Looks like us Europeans are being shortchanged again, no H79 and no DC3 H78.

    Foghorn
     
  2. mikeaitch

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    Don't be too quick to jump to that conclusion- the H79 sounded to me like the 77 with the DC3

    I'm pretty sure we will get DC3 soon, it's already out in the 7210...
     
  3. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    The US H78DC3 is a lower spec than the H79 but better than the H77 and our H78. The H77s real contrast is 2300:1, H78 (UK) is 2400:1 and the H79 is around 3000:1 (2900:1@D65). The USA H78DC3 will be about 2600:1 at a guess.

    Some say the H79 has better optics amonst other things, so that's why it'll still be the flagship product, but it does seem an odd thing to do with the DC3 chip unless the DC2 is no longer being made.

    The Sim2 300e is also DC3 btw. I'm looking forward to the Benq 8720 HD2+ DC3 with it's two irises - rated at 6100:1 it'll be an interesting machine should it ever get into the shops.

    Gary.
     
  4. mikeaitch

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    As well informed as ever Gary....

    Still seems a bit of a strange thing to do though- I guess theyre trying to win market share at all price points. but it does, I agree, make us poor cousins again

    What do you think will be their offering here in the UK - which has to be soon- the 3000:1 or the 2600:1 UK version?

    The Benq sounds interesting, the 300E is way out of the price band I'm hoping DC3 will be offered at, as it comes up against the Marantz S4 doesn't it?
     
  5. foghorn

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    A couple of years ago Optoma brought dlp to the masses with the H30 a model that definitely shook up the home cinema projector world. However I wonder if Benq are now beginning to worry companies like Optoma. Therefore the introduction of the H78DC3 is in my opinion a reaction to lower priced HD2+ machines with Benq leading the way with the PE7700.

    If we are to believe that the H77 will remain in the USA then this will become the direct competitor for entry level HD2+ projectors. The H78DC3 will occupy the market and price level that the H77 used to occupy. The H79 with its better optics and general spec will remain and target models like the Infocus 7210.

    Now the above strategy may make some sense for the US but where does that leave Europe.

    Optoma in Europe were quite clever with the introduction of the H78, they rolled it out as a new model with slightly improved spec, however this was not the original motivation it was a reaction to criticism of problems with the H77. By promoting the H78 as a new model it allowed Optoma to sustain the original pricing level in Europe when in the USA the price of the H77 was in free-fall. This may have also have been a factor why Optoma choose to deprive Europe of the H79 it allowed the company to sustain the original pricing level of the H77. The introduction of the H79 at a similar market price to the USA would have forced down the price of the H78.

    I believe that Optoma Europe now has a dilemma, how does it compete with the price level of the PE7700, £2000 is a large price difference. Benq are now undercutting Optoma at the sort of price levels that Optoma themselves were undercutting companies like Sim2.

    A possible solution for Optoma Europe may be to retain the current H78 but realign the pricing somewhere between its current price and that of the PE7700. This would then allow them to introduce the H79 at a similar price to the current H78 and also steel a march on the Benq PE8720.

    It will be interesting to see how Optoma Europe deals with this situation. Their actions in the USA will have caused uncertainty in Europe with the H78. My opinion is that they need to react quickly.

    Foghorn
     
  6. inzaman

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    Very good write up Foghorn, it will be very interesting to see what Optoma do with regards to models and pricing over the coming months. They (Optoma) may see Infocus as their direct competition as the models and pricing do seem to pretty much mirror each other, with the exception that Infocus do have a DC3 model out in Europe.

    As i stated in previous threads i thought that the H78 was a way of increasing the product life and high selling price of the H77, although the H77 had not been out very long when the H78 was announced. This suspicion was further enhanced by no mention of the H79 for Europe.

    I too think that we will see these models, both Optoma and Infocus, fall some way between their current prices and the price of the PE7700 in the coming months.

    If all the PE7700 does in the current 1280x720 DLP market is bring prices down to more current realistic levels then it is excellent imo.
     
  7. squibbly

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    Wise words, Foghorn.

    I'm going to pull the trigger on the PE7700 next month, because for DLP HD there really is no other reasonable choice. I'm very surprised that Optoma or Infocus have done nothing to redress the price imbalance so far. I would imagine that they are losing sales left, right and centre. Maybe they're waiting for the Benq to be reviewed in the Home Cinema magazines and thus alerting the masses before they make any cuts (though will it be rated that favourably given that Infocus and Optoma both advertise in those kind of mags :) )

    Granted the H78 looks a better machine than the PE7700 and I'd willingly pay £500-600 more for the lens shift and better contrast, but £2000?! You'd have to not know about the existence of the Benq to pay that kind of premium. I've even read a report where the Infocus 7205 and PE7700 have a very similar image.

    Mind you we should remember that Benq allows much heavier discounting from retailers than the other two. Advertised Infocus and Optoma prices are fixed, though you may get a dealer to drop them behind closed doors.

    So basically, it's PE7700 for me after 1.5 years of surfing projector websites unless Optoma shave £1500+ off their H78 in the next month or so. And remember the H56 first came out at £3500, but quickly dropped to £2500, then £2000, so Optoma can react. But look what you can buy for £1450 now!

    Neil from Audiovision, have you got any views on this? You're not averse to the odd illuminating post, or do you have to be politically correct on this kind of matter?

    Squibbly
     
  8. Zag

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    I couldn't agree more with you Squibbly

    I've had my 1st projector for over a year now, the H30 and I really want to upgrade to a native HD DLP. I'm a big fan of the Optoma machines, excellent warrantly and the customer service has been very good.

    I would really like to upgrade to the UK H78 but looking at the prices of the H77 and H79 in the states I've realised that Optoma UK are just taking the UK consumer for a ride.

    This being the case I reckon the BenQ7700 looks like a good bet, unless Optoma can sort out their marketing strategy and bring out the new DC3 H78 in the UK for a realistic price.

    Spec wise the DC3 H78 looks like a great machine and is exactly what I and a lot of people are after. A high contrast reduced cost (over the H79) DC3 DLP.

    If it's released in the UK at the right price point, Optoma could be onto a winner machine.

    If Optoma UK do not do something soon they will continue to lose sales to the new wave of price/perfomance champions.
     
  9. foghorn

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    Squibbly,

    The Pe7700 looks like a very interesting proposition for the price, however it may be worth holding off for a few weeks.

    The H78DC3 is being quoted by one retailer in the USA at a recommended price of $3999, which means in our money a remarkable price of approx £2260.

    We can only keep our fingers crossed a price like that would shake up the whole market place.

    Foghorn
     
  10. Gary Lightfoot

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    Even with VAT on that price, it's still cheaper than we're getting over here for the Euro H78, so hopefully the next year should should see some interesting pricing - downwards of course. :)

    Gary.
     
  11. squibbly

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    Just specced up my attic today for the PE7700's throw and lack of lens shift. Also surveyed Gary's site for his home made mounting (top tips, Gary!). Due to the slope of the roof (which limits both the height of the screen and the positioning of the projector), I end up with the Benq sitting about 40cm directly above the heads of the viewers. Hope it's not too loud and that the audience don't stand up suddenly!

    We're all being a bit apples and oranges here on the price differential. Remember, if Benq were on a fair playing field with Optoma (ie sold through dealers who actually demoed the things and not through a load of one man bands out who can make about £100 on the deal due to low overheads, which forces down the price elsewhere), it would retail at about £2k, like the Tosh MT700 clone (mind you, seen that for £1650!). So maybe £2.5k is a more reasonable expectation of the H78. (Blimey, had a few too many pints tonight - getting all maudlin over the pre-internet days when a shopkeeper could make a decent living!) I get the impression that the US is more of a free market for Infocus and Optoma. Here in the UK there's a bit of price protection going on (which has benefits like encouraging reputable dealers who demo the things, but ups the cost and always makes me suspicious in our supposedly free market world).

    Benq's were always priced really low. It was just that the PE8700 had its faults (green dot crawl, barrelling), so the other manufacturers could get away with the premium.

    Still, just had to buy a new waste disposal unit today and the wife's telling me the rug needs replacing due to 6 years of spilt milk and child vomit, so maybe it'll be September/October before I purchase anything. We'll see what Optoma does then!

    Mind you can I bear to actually buy the damn thing after so many months of price dropping, spec-improving, yet masochistic denial (pleasurable in its own way!)? I'll have to stop reading avforums and rediscover that strange life I once had beyond the glow of the pc monitor!

    Squibbly
     
  12. n0s

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    This recent release has really thrown me off, i was literally about to buy a H78, and now i am debating on wheter or not to wait for the DC3 version. I plan on keeping my projector for a while so id like to get it with DC3. What do you guys reckon about the H78DC3 and a European release date if any at all?

    Thanks
    n0s
     
  13. inzaman

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    I am definitely holding out until end of year, i was going to get the PE7700 which i will still probably get depending on what happens between now and then.

    With it being summer i havent spent as much time in my cinema room as i do in the winter so can wait until then.
     
  14. squibbly

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but last I heard Optoma weren't going to release the H79 here, because they hadn't got around to optimising the DC3 chip for PAL. Isn't the current H78 a PAL optimised H77, which ironed out all the problems the H77 had?

    Mind you, it is inevitable that if they want to grow the market here, they will have to release some kind of PAL optimised DC3 projector. When that is, however, I just don't know. I would say that the H77/78 has been around at a fixed price (£3500) for a lot longer than any other Optoma projector, so there should be some movement soon!

    Squibbly
     
  15. foghorn

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    nOs

    Under normal circumstances you would expect that a projector would become available fairly quickly after its release in the USA. But this is Optoma we are dealing with, who would have expected that they would have chosen not to have a DC3 chip home cinema product (H79) in Europe.

    If you consider that Optoma will have been working on the H78DC3 for at least for a few weeks they must have been aware that without making a simultaneous announcement in Europe, the company would run the risk of negative press and a loss of sales.

    Your own comments are case and point. You were about to purchase a H78 and have now put it on hold; this is the type of feedback that Optoma Europe needs to hear.

    Perhaps we should give Optoma a few more days to announce in Europe their intentions before getting too critical, but no more than that.

    Foghorn
     
  16. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    Optome Europe and Optoma USA operate as seperate companies, so I wouldn't be surprised if we don't see the DC3 chip in an H7* any time soon, after all, the H79 isn't here and the H78DC3 is merely a lesser version (how exactly I'm not certain - optics are meant to be better on the H79 but the jury's out on that IMHO).

    Gary.
     

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