Optoma HD91 Plus Review - Picture Quality Review

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Optoma HD91+ – Picture Quality

My first impressions of the

HD91+ in action were a little mixed. On the upside, the impact of the

extra lumens and contrast is remarkable. In place of the rather flat,

limited contrast images of the original HD91, you now get impressively

dynamic pictures that genuinely pop off the screen. This is especially

apparent now that there’s a winningly natural and deep black-level

response against which bright areas and rich colours are able to

juxtapose themselves to great effect.

The only problem is that

the HD91+’s most dynamic, engaging results require you to use the

Dynamic Black feature. Yet if you use this feature on its most powerful

two settings, it causes so much distracting light shifting that it can

leave some movie scenes pretty much unwatchable.
Optoma HD91+
The

issue seems to be that Optoma’s processing takes way too long to make

its luminance adjustments – something Optoma tells me is deliberate,

since it wants the system to be considered rather then just reactionary

in its calculations about when to shift the light level.

In

reality, however, this considered approach just doesn’t work effectively

at all for content that contains anything but action. Which is a pity,

since the Dynamic Black 2 and 3 settings do deliver easily the most

punchy pictures.

Turning off all the Dynamic Black processing and

manually selecting an “LED Brightness” value instantly removes all

traces of the distracting brightness shifting, but also substantially

reduces the image’s contrast. White peaks and bold colours look less

punchy, and black picture areas take on a greyer appearance – especially

if you push the LED brightness above its 60% level.

Keep the

LED brightness set low enough and you can still enjoy very

filmic-looking images in a dark room. However, once you’ve experienced

the extra dynamics achieved with the Dynamic Black tool engaged, you

can’t help but feel a little cheated by having to flatten things out

with the manual LED brightness setting.

Fortunately, the day is

just about saved by Optoma’s Dynamic Black 1 setting, which tones down

the dynamic contrast effect considerably. This means that while you

don’t get the deep black levels achieved with the higher settings, you

do at least get predominantly stable images that nonetheless contain

enough black and colour vibrancy to make them worth £3,500.

Also

notable is the HD91+’s sharpness and detail. I’d go so far as to say I

haven’t seen any other non-4K, sub-£5,000 projector deliver pictures

with so much precision, texture and clarity. The HD91+ does full justice

to the phenomenal amount of detail contained in the Blu-ray of Oblivion

– and it does this, moreover, without exaggerating source noise,

over-stressing object edges or introducing excessive grittiness into

high-detail picture areas. Even if you engage the Ultra Resolution

feature.

On occasion there’s evidence of moiré noise over

particularly tricky areas of detail, such as checked shirts or patterned

ties. But as mentioned, this issue crops up very rarely, and when it does

it’s subtle enough not to count as a major problem.

Optoma HD91+
The

HD91 Plus also deserves huge credit for its colour performance. Tones look

more vibrant than they did on the first HD91,

and much more convincingly natural and balanced – at least once you’re

rid of the initial slight infusion of pink during dark scenes. The

slightly green flavour to skin tones sometimes seen on the HD91 has

almost completely gone now, only slipping momentarily back

into view during particularly extreme light-level shifts while using the

Dynamic Black modes.

It’s great to find, too, that there’s

comfortably enough subtlety in the HD91+’s colour handling to keep up

with the exceptional detail response, meaning you don’t see any issues

with banding, colour blocking or plasticky skin tones.

Add into

the mix some excellent motion handling by DLP standards – which can be

enhanced with some sources by the lowest power level of Optoma’s

surprisingly effective PureMotion processing – and you end up with

pictures that are seriously beautiful and always genuinely

cinematic.

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