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Optoma ThemeScene HD82 - Optoma ThemeScene HD82
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!