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UK Optoma H79 first impressions

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by gandley, Oct 14, 2005.

  1. gandley

    gandley
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    Hi all,

    My H79 arrived today by surprise. I was going to go for a more costly PJ but until that model does native 1080p im not putting down big ££s.

    So, waiting was the plan but that just didnt happen and i guess its not realy worth going 1080p untill end 2006/2007 when there are enough sources.

    So i needed a great image at a great price so i dont eat into what i have put back for the big one.

    Enter the H79.

    Im not a noob to optoma, my first projector was a H56 which had an excellent image but sounded like a vacum cleaner and its here we start with the H79

    This thing IS as quiet as every one says it is. very very impressive.
    It is a tad big but the construction is very solid and it is well built, just a bit ugly though.

    Setup out the box is a breeze and the pic out the box was acceptable but no where near excellent. As always tweaking is needed.
    So, did a few tweaks (contrast, brightness, colour levels etc) and already the image has a real sense of depth and the contrast range is excellent. Blacks realy are black with no sense that there grey which is again very good.
    Optics are pin sharpe and i suppose this suprised me the most as i thought this would be my compromise coming from a Sim2, but not so.

    The Highlight for me is how well the H79 handles banding and contouring.
    Unless its in the source you wont see it period :) . in dark scence where you have white light (lord of the rings opening to the mines of moria) the light just blends away no rings or banding i use to see. Very very very fluid thats all i can say.
    Colour is also first rate with excellent reds. i have made no compromise.

    I did receive advice to go for the H79 by senior members of the avforum(they can comment if they want) and i am so glad i took the advice.
    with a decent scaler this will be fabulous (im currently using the DVI input with an HDMI adapter from the pany s97).

    Down sides.

    did i say it was a tad ugly :D

    Slightly more image noise than im use to but i have manage to tweak most of it out and im nowhere near finished tweaking.

    The remote is a tad fiddly though it light up real well in the dark.

    Also the S97 sees it as a dvi input so will only send it RGB colourspace and not send it component colourspace, even though the H79 will do component colourspace over DVI quite happily. (need to work this one out or maybe Gordon can comment as i know he has installed the H79)

    But overall a nice improvment with excellent contrast that realy does pop of the screen. And at such a silly price its well worth the cash. It is better than some much more expensive models.

    Mine came from www.audiovisiononline.co.uk who gave me a fantastic service (in fact this is my third PJ from them) and a great deal. Thanks Neil

    Its hard not to like this PJ it does so much just right.
    However i feel it realy does need a scaler/deinterlacer to get the very best from it, as well as an ISF calibration as the pic potential is huge once you get tweaking. A pro could do wonders i think.

    Im of tweaking :smashin:
     
  2. mikeaitch

    mikeaitch
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    Thanks for the mini review Gandley :smashin:


    What about rainbow? I was about to buy a H78 DC3 when I had a dem and to my surprise saw quite a lot of rainbows, and it was through a scaler too.

    Was gutted since I hadn't seen many before except a real cheapy which was terrible

    I'm with you, the next big purchase HAS to be 1080i and 3 chip in whatever technology (Ruby anyone?) but price per pound has shot up recently

    Maybe I'll stick with the HS60- since it looks exactly the same as the HS50 the missus won't even know I've upgraded.....
     
  3. gandley

    gandley
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    I dont see rainbows anymore (i did with my first DLP) so thats a none issue for and so its something i cant realy comment on, but i dont see any with the H79 but some will see them for sure.

    Definate not a time to spend big money, next year will see the arrival of some fantastic kit, so late next year i will get a top line 1080i/p Projector which will most likly be DLP based and hopefully 3 chip.


    Im also suprised at how contrasty the image is even in brite mode with the H79. riddick look excellent in high lamp mode.
     
  4. Timbo21

    Timbo21
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    Gandley, what 1080p source will there be? I haven't heard of Sky doing 1080p or Blu-ray/HD-DVD? Isn't it worth waiting, before getting a 1080p pj, for 1080p to come along?

    Tim.
     
  5. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello Dustin

    The H79 is an excellent bit of kit - last weekend we had it running with a Lumagen VisionHDP Video Processor at the Scottish Sound and Vision show; feeding it all manner of material from DVD players through to the SnaZio SZ1350 with HD content and for around 5.5K for a full system (Projector, Video Processor, Screen, Cables and ISF Calibration) it really is pretty hard to match.

    Now if Optoma/ThemeScene would only up production numbers it would be the 'perfect' projector - for a day or two at least.

    Is your DVD player like the Arcam players - you have to adjust the colourspace with the Digital connection disconnected!

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  6. gandley

    gandley
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    JOE!!

    thanks, i will give the colourspace connection a try unconnected.
    With my old Sim2 PJ i could do it on the Fly with the S97 so was stumped when it would force RGB (even though it was previously set to YUV)

    Watched Tombraider Cradle of(whatever) and the underwater scences were just a revelation. I thought alot of what i had seen in the past was bad encoding on the disc, ie ringing around underwater lights, banding/graduation in the water but to my amazment i was left with a very smooth and natural image with none of these artifacts. so i then tried a few other discs that i had problems with (u571, T3, etc etc) and again they were all just smooth clean images. :smashin:
    I am so surprised that even in brite mode the image is so puncy yet remains very accurate( except it clips white in clouds etc but no biggie if your not looking for it, but for a decent movie it would be in low lamp mode anyhow )

    excellent for the money (well no just excellent period), now i just need a good scaler and i will be very happy. The new pioneer 989 should be with me soon so i want to pair that up with a sweet scaler.
    Joe on a side note if i got a HDMI player SDI modded, would i loose the use of the HDMI output?
     
  7. gandley

    gandley
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    Timbo.

    Depends on how you look at it, and why i say a time nearer end of next year beginning 2007.

    PS3 will output 1080p. anything else will have its 720p or 1080i output scaled or in the case of 1080i deinterlaced to 1080p (which would look sweet).
    Even the new denon flagship dvd player has added 1080p support so it is somthing that is starting to happen. Thats why i have the optoma now. I will wait for a decent display that is capable of 1080p native. and its that thats important, that it can handle 1080p at its native res.(every thing will then be converted to the native res.) I would also expect there will be more processing headroom with a native 1080p PJ so lower sources will also benefit from the extra processing.
    But more so its a disire to slow down the upgrade bug. and a bit of extra res cant hurt right?
     
  8. Timbo21

    Timbo21
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    :thumbsup: I probably wont be able to upgrade until the kids leave home, in 15 years :rotfl: . I am thinking, however, to get an fl-day filter and have it calibrated. Apparently it can increase CR bt quite a bit.

    T. :)
     
  9. Joe Fernand

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    Hello Dustin

    I don't think a 'catch all' answer will apply - so far most SDI mods I've seen leave the rest of the Outputs intact; though I'm sure this is not always the case.

    Has anyone confirmed the DV-989 retains the ability to Output an Interlaced signal on its HDMI socket; I've not had a chance to play with one as yet. If yes then its a good alternative to SDI.

    As before the Lumagen VisionHDP is an excellent partner for the H79 - with the latest improvements to 1080i support and the soon to be released 1080i inverse telecine will be unique at this price point.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  10. gandley

    gandley
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    Joe, thx

    Theres a chap from canada who is preparing a review of the 989 or 79avi as it is over there and he said that it does indeed retain the Interlaced HDMI output. Pioneer also say it absolutely features no processing what so ever and is a pure signal just like SDI. The chap did comment he felt there was an improvment with the picture quality(over the 868/59avi via interlaced HDMI) but will explain further in the review.

    Timbo

    the filter will indeed increase CR but will lower your brightness by a fair bit and may effect colour balance. Should look great though.
     
  11. Timbo21

    Timbo21
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    Gandley, I've got a ND2 filter on at the moment, so I'm right in thinking this reduces brightness by half. So, if I take the ND2 off & add the fl-day, that won't reduce the brightness any more than the ND2 will it, + of course an ISF calibration to rebalance colours?

    Cheers,

    Tim.
     
  12. Docta teef

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    Just out of interest how much better do you find PQ over the H56 thats what im running at the though plan to upgrade 1st 1/4 next year. The main reason being as you say it makes a fair old bit of noise.
     
  13. gandley

    gandley
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    Doubt you see much difference then in brightness, perhaps a little brighter maybe?
     
  14. gandley

    gandley
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    Alot better. The H56 is quite sharpe with dvd, but the colours are a little pushed.
    The colour accuracy of the H79 is very very good, not perfect but much better.
    Noise level of the H79 is just amazing. even when there is no sound coming from your sound system the H79 is just audible. Its much more quieter than my PC. In brite mode its as loud as my last PJ but still much better than the H56. Pic has a real 3D feel to it, there is a real sense of depth to the image + its also HD ready where it will realy shine.
    The H56 suffers from graduation a fair bit(where you see the banding in water and colours etc) but the H79 is the best DLP i have seen in this regard and considering the price that is quit a big statment.

    I think you would realy like it. But keep in mind the H81 will be coming next year and is 1080p.
     
  15. Docta teef

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    Thats exactly what im ive been wondering about. The hot swap option is up on the H56 at the end of march so thats about when im thinking (not that ive ever been able to find out how hot swap works)
     
  16. gandley

    gandley
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    Hot swap is if your breaks down and they deliver 1 (the same model as yours if its still available) and take the other away.
    Thats my understanding
     
  17. Docta teef

    Docta teef
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    Id alaway got the idea it was part of an upgrade scheme sort of trade in dont know why
     
  18. ntslik

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    Gandley's right, it's part of Optoma's warranty, it makes sure your not without a projector, a nice little extra in my view
     
  19. juniper

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    Hi Dustin - read with great interest your comments. I've just pulled the plug and ordered one of these, and cannot wait for it to arrive :thumbsup: I have a question as regards your comment re scaler/deinterlacer - I will be feeding from a Denon 3910 (I believe you have owned one of these in the past?). Do you still think I should look at a scaler, or would the output from the Denon (I intend to go via upscaled HDMI) be "sufficient" do you think? Thanks in advance :)
     
  20. Timbo21

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    gandley, how does the h79 compare to your old sim2? Did you change in order to get a DC3 chip?

    I'm not really familar with all the different variations of the sim2 300 range, but it was meant to be pretty good wasn't it? So, I was just really wandering if the h79 was much of an upgrade?

    T.
     
  21. ntslik

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    You need to read the rest of the thread
     
  22. gandley

    gandley
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    Im not going to run down the Sim2 300xtra-H as it is a fine projector but like many its not perfect and while it was one of the best when i bought it the same could not be said now.

    I would also choose the H79 over sim2`s current model the 300E (and yes i have seen the 300E in action a few times) for reasons stated in my thread and the fact it just is not £3000 better. Somehow optoma at the affordable end of the DLP range seem to get perfect control over the DMD. So you see zero banding/graduation. No contouring. etc. Optics are also very sharpe with no abberations and no kind of effects you sometimes expect to see with cheaper optics.

    The H79 really can hold its own. My only complaints would be it dosent have a HDMI type( though is compatable via DVI) input, the remote is a little fiddly at first, and its not a thing of beauty.
    I see the H81 addresses these issues and adds an external input box much like the Sim2 link additions. actually the H81 looks a little like a sim2.

    As said buy a H79 and a quality deinterlacer/scaler and you will be living with the best of DLPs finest and a little above some of them. Cant be bad :thumbsup:

    The H79 was a worthy upgrade in my book.
     
  23. gandley

    gandley
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    Personaly i would look to invest in a Scaler that has maybe SDI inputs and get your 3910 SDI modded. This will yield a much better picture i think. However thats not a cheap option but could be part of a progressive upgrade.
    The Denons scaling is OK but will not compete with a dedicated scaler but thats true for most upconverting dvd players. So try the denon first and see what you think. but know you could do better. ;)
    Perhaps a better option would be to sell the 3910 and get a HDMI based DVD player that can pass an interlaced HDMI signal(like an arcam, marantz or pioneer that support this feature) and pair this up with a scaler and deinterlacer that can make use of the signal. Like the dvdo vps30, lumagen HDP, HDPpro or if funds permitting the spanky new HQV or gennum based units.

    I have a pioneer 989 on order as i think this will be an excellent partner for a scaler with said HDMI interlaced function.
     
  24. gandley

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