Optoma H31 DLP Projector Review!

Clint DeBoer

Clint DeBoer

Banned
<P><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 13px; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: times new roman"><SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: arial"><A href="http://www.audioholics.com/productreviews/avhardware/OptomaH31DLPProjectorReview1.php"><IMG style="WIDTH: 125px; HEIGHT: 94px" alt=[optomaH31projector] hspace=10 src="http://www.audioholics.com/news/thumbs/optomaH31projector_th.jpg" align=left border=0></A>We get asked fairly regularly to review more budget-minded products for our readers. In particular, everyone seems fascinated by the influx of lower-priced front projection systems that are competing for a large financial portion of the home theater display market. These front projection systems promise large viewing screens with an almost unbeatable price point. Sure there are trade-offs, mostly in terms of ambient light management and viewing distance, but if you can overcome these obstacles then you are looking at a tremendous opportunity. <SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 13px; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: times new roman"><SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: arial">The Optoma H31 DLP projector has a host of excellent features and functions that makes it a tremendously configurable entry-level&nbsp;home theater&nbsp;display as well as an adaptable one. We found more than a few positives with this 480p projector and were very pleased with its performance.</SPAN></SPAN></SPAN></SPAN></P><P><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 13px; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: times new roman"><SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: arial"><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 13px; COLOR: black; FONT-FAMILY: times new roman"><SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: arial">[Read the Review]</SPAN></SPAN></SPAN></SPAN></P>
 
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RLA

RLA

Audioholic Chief
Nice review Clint
I have been seriously thinking about getting one of these for my bedroom
It appears like this is a quiet< (less audible fan noise) solution to the very popular Infocus 4805
Entry level projector are now more than ever an acceptable solution to flat panel displays and rear crts

For about $2,000 you can have a very nice system Mate this with a Carada 45x80 screen, ceiling mount and a nice set of component cables or DVI/HDMI and you will transform your living room/family room into a cinema If I get my hands on one I will post all my tweaks and calibrations for all to see As good as it is I bet we can make it better ;)
 
Takeereasy

Takeereasy

Audioholic General
Great review as always guys. I love seeing budget projector revies. In the reasonably near future I hope to have a front projecor and screen. That is my last purchase though. I can't belive how the cost has come down on these things as the years have gone by.
 
Clint DeBoer

Clint DeBoer

Banned
We're making a conscious effort to offer more budget product reviews this year.

The H31 impressed me on several fronts - the connectivity and calibration options being at the top of the list. And the remote was quite cool - though that weighs very little into my scoring.

While it has a fan that blows LOTS of hot air out its starboard side - it never struck me as loud.
 
gene

gene

Audioholics Master Chief
Administrator
We're making a conscious effort to offer more budget product reviews this year.
Yea I just completed a review of a $6,000 receiver :rolleyes:
 
M

MBauer

Audioholic
mid range too

I would be very interested in reviews of midrange projectors; $3000 - $10,000 or so. There is a lot of competition in that area and proces are plummeting. I think a good $5 to $6 K projector in the right environment competes very well with a RPTV
 
S

scswcs

Audiophyte
H31 setttings

I have just purchased the H31 and am looking to configure the unit as done in the review. Did you log the final settings of the Brightness, Contrast, Color, Sharpness, etc. and if so will you share this information?
 
C

cesarious

Audiophyte
Optoma H31 DLP projector - Calibration values

Hi Clint,
same situation here than scswcs mentioned in his post.

Could you please post or send us via e-mail what your settings were after calibration?.

I will not have possibilities to get my hands into Milori ColorFacts in order to calibrate properly my H31.

Thank you very much in advance.

Best regards,
C.
 
B

Bassomatic

Audiophyte
Couldn't be happier with my H31

I did a lot of research and comparisons before I purchased my Optoma H31 about 4 months ago, and I can't sing its praises loud enough. While its 854 x 480 native resolution won't please a hardcore videophile, an entry-level home theater enthusiast will be more than blown away by the exceptional picture quality and color reproduction. My biggest concern with buying a projector was decent-looking black levels, and I'm thrilled to say that the H31 does an amazing job with "dark" movies like "Batman Begins" and "Aliens." Also, no one who has watched my projector has ever mentioned seeing any rainbow artifacts of any kind. Set-up was quite easy (I did it myself, and I am no home improvement expert, I assure you), and despite some complaints that I have read about calibration issues, I found the image from my H31's factory settings to look spectacular right out of the box, and I have not needed to make any major adjustments. Fan noise is extremely low (I sit almost right beneath it, mounted on an 8-ft. ceiling, and never notice it running, even with volume muted), and the picture looks unbelievable sitting about 15 feet away from my 106-inch Da-Lite widescreen -- no screen door effect at all from that distance and closer. I haven't run HDTV on it, but DVDs in progressive scan through standard component cables look pretty sweet and SDTV looks better than I anticipated.

There are only two things to look out for with the H31. The high throw angle is pretty pronounced, so if you do a ceiling mount your screen might need to be mounted a little lower than you might like (It worked well in my family room, but I can see where it could be problematic for some), and there is no vertical lens shift capabilities. Ambient light control is also important for the H31 (but it is for all projectors, really); in a lit room the image is very much visible, but the image really "pops" in a fully darkened environment.

Overall, the H31 is a tremendous value...especially for those of us who have a little tighter budget. Dollar-for-dollar, you will not be able to get a picture this rich and vibrant with such an impressive screen size at a price any better going any other route. A higher-end projector with greater resolution will outperform the H31, but only the most-trained eyes would notice this without seeing the comparison side-by-side. You cannot go wrong with this projector!

One last note...if you love movies, front projection is the only way to go. The projected image, even when digital, replicates the majesty of the cinematic experience far better than even the highest quality plasma or LCD...in my humble opinion, at least.
 
B

billnchristy

Senior Audioholic
I just discovered this projector from doing research.

Here is my situation, I am looking for something to watch DVDs on and occasionally a road race on SPEED (non HD).

I would like, in the future, to get a 1080p projector and right now it seems kind of silly to spend the extra 1200 bucks to get a 720 when I wont even be viewing HD on it.

I will be upgrading from a 32" CRT. I assume this thing will satisfy me!!?

I plan on buying a 100" screen but probably only using this in the 80" range but whats the point of buying another screen later.

Good plan?
 
C

cgnman59

Audiophyte
throw angle

Hi I'm new the whole home theater thing, though I've had an interest for years. The last piece of the puzzle for my budget theater is the projector and I've decided on the h31. My ceiling is 8 ft and the bottom of my 80" diagonal screen is about 42 inches above the floor. Since I plan to ceiling mount the h31 when I get it, am I facing any kinds of issues on how low or high I should mount the pj? Will I need an extension? Thanks for any thoughts.
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Warlord
FYI: The H31 is no longer being made by Optoma as they have a 720p model that is replacing their 480p models on the 'cheap' end of things.
 

parkker

Audiophyte
This or BenQ Mp610

hi saw these both for $600 after rebate on bensbargains.net

Which would you recommend for home theater entry level use. I want to do ceiling mount about 8-10 feet from wall (could be further if needed , say 10-12 feet . Room has 8 foot ceilings.

Which would be best BENQ mP610 to Optoma H31?

thanks for insights

parkker
 

skeogh

Audiophyte
Looking for calibration settings

Would anyone share the suggested calibration settings for the H31. I am a newbie without the equipment or know how to attempt it! Thanks in advance
 
W

weisy12

Audiophyte
optoma h31

I am also looking for calibration settings for the h31, if anyone can be of assistance that would be great.
 
mpompey

mpompey

Senior Audioholic
Which settings in particular are you looking for? Do you have the Avia setup disc? You'll need to set the unit up within the context of your current room, screen, gear, etc.

Using someone else's setting can make the image display look worse, not better. The avia setup cd takes about 15-20 minutes if you take your time. I have the H30 and I usually adjust my every 250 hours on the bulb.
 
W

weisy12

Audiophyte
H31 calibration

I understand that everyones room is different and some settings would be different, I guess I am trying to get some input on brightness and contrast levels, as well as the rgb brightness and contrast levels. I think the setup disk might be the way to go for me, is the avia better than the essentials setup dvd? I was trying to save myself the step and the $. I am fairly new at all this, i was not sure if I just adjusted the brightness and contrast levels and left the advanced adjustments alone if the picture would be clear and crisp. Some specs on my system, I have a DIY 115 inch screen and my projector is back 18ft, everything is dvi and hdmi, ps3(bluray) and I have a yamaha rx-v1700 receiver, with full B+W surround sound, expressvu HDTV.
 
mpompey

mpompey

Senior Audioholic
...I think the setup disk might be the way to go for me, is the avia better than the essentials setup dvd? I was trying to save myself the step and the $. I am fairly new at all this, i was not sure if I just adjusted the brightness and contrast levels and left the advanced adjustments alone if the picture would be clear and crisp...
IMO, the Avia setup disc is a bit easier to navigate than DVE. I own both however. Considering the time and money you've invested so far, the costs of the DVDs are well worth it. I doubt you'll need to go into the advanced measurements area. Between contrast, brightness, color, tint, & sharpness. You'll more than likely be very satisfied with the picture. Since you are just starting out, the truly advanced measurements are best left to trained A/V professionals.

Welcome to Audioholics, you'll find a ton of information and experienced folks here. Don't be afraid to ask.a
 
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