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Optoma ThemeScene HD82 - Optoma ThemeScene HD82

John Archer

By John Archer



  • Recommended by TR
Optoma ThemeScene HD82


Our Score:


Attempting to position the HD82 in our test room unveiled more signs of improvement over previous Optoma DLP home cinema projectors. For starters, the lens delivers a decent 1.5x optical zoom, making the HD82 much easier to adapt to different room sizes. It's also got a decent amount of vertical and horizontal image shifting via wheels mounted on the projector's underside.

The only remaining niggle is that the HD82 is basically designed for ceiling mounting or use on a desktop. If you want to use it mounted on a shelf or projection stand above and behind your seating position, you'll end up having to tilt the projector downwards and employing keystone correction to get rid of the resulting angled edges of your image - even though keystone correction effectively distorts the image.

Settling down at last to see what the HD82 can do, it doesn't take many minutes of use to realise that it's really quite a special machine.

For starters, the DynamicBlack system mentioned earlier is revealed to be almost totally unnecessary thanks to the refinement and profundity of the HD82's 'native' black level response. Basically, switching in a dynamic brightness element that introduces an element of instability to images and extra noise from the readjusting iris just isn't worth bothering with given how small a return it gives in terms of extra black level depth.

Sitting side by side with the HD82's wonderfully natural and cinematic black levels, meanwhile, are some superbly vivid colours. Animated fare like the stunning new Pinocchio Blu-ray transfer radiates off the screen with an intensity precious few non-DLP projectors can match.

What's more, colours are very natural in tone, too - at least after a little simple fine-tuning via the RGB gain/bias menus. The projector's clearly impressive processing and Full HD resolution play a key role, too, in ensuring that colour blends appear on the HD82 without the striping effect sometimes seen on less powerful projectors.

I should probably state here, at the risk of getting controversial again, that I personally chose to make my calibrations for the picture based on the projector's Cinema preset rather than the Reference one, for the simple reason that I preferred the Cinema setting's slightly more vivid 'starting point'.

In fact, after much toing and froing I even elected to use the PureColour mode to add a touch more vibrancy to pictures. Though before the cries of ‘heathen' get too loud, I did only set it to level 1, honest!


April 21, 2009, 9:51 pm

John, How does this Pj compare with the cheaper Sony Bravia VPL-HW10 and the more expensive JVC DLA-HD350?

- i am intrigued by your comments, as the three Pj's seem all to be highly rated. As I might be in the market for a new PJ and do take issue with the flashes etc., associated with colour wheels (I have an Infocus currently). But of course, ita always a balancing act seeking the 'ideal'. I would appreciate your comments, particularly as you reviewed all three...


December 2, 2009, 9:17 pm

Hi John, Can you give more info regarding your comment on the use of D65?

rejith moosa

July 25, 2010, 2:49 pm

hi john, can you tell me if the difference in perofrmance is really very big between optoma hd82 $ hd20, as much as the price differs? Is it really worth investing that much on hd82 or will you compromise a lot with hd20 as compared to hd82? FYI, I am a movie enthusiast, love going to the movies just for the big screen experience and having on top of my wishlist - a perfect class home theater that can last with me a lifetime even for my next generation (not too expensive and not too cheap, for eg: HD82 can be a bit tight on my pocket but can easily come over it whereas hd20 can easily fit my pocket). I am infact almost decided in going for an hd82. I would appreciate your advice so that if i have to make any last minute changes.


December 21, 2010, 12:11 am

You asked anyone to correct you if there is any other projector for a similar price that interpolates an extra frame to 24p to make 48p smooth blu ray images. Well, I have a Mitsubishi HC3200 and it cost me £800 and it has this technology. All Mitsubishi projectors have this.

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