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Optoma HD81

alaTest has collected and analyzed 38 reviews of Optoma HD81. The average rating for this product is 4.5/5, compared to an average rating of 4.2/5 for other Projectors for all reviews. Reviewers are impressed by the black level. The design is also mentioned favorably, but the noise and reliability get critical views.

image quality, design, black level

usability, price, reliability, noise

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Projectors the Optoma HD81 is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 87/100 = Very good quality.

Review analysis

(Based on 38 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 20 review(s)

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Showing 1 - 10 of 20 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (18)

Expert review by (

ThemeScene HD81


Offers much of the ability of more expensive projectors for a far more reasonable price

Dramatic specification, great performance, competitive price

A little cantankerous in operation ; no vertical lens shift

Expert review by (

ThemeScene HD81-LV


Capable enough, but be sure to audition some others in this price class before you buy

Good picture in most regards, with smooth motion and image scaling

You can now find projectors with similar specs and more contrast for less money

Expert review by (

Themescene HD81 review


The HD81 has the projector world in a frenzy. But can it deliver on its promise of full-fat hi-def DLP for what, by home cinema standards, is a pretty reasonable price?

A seriously good projector that offers the kind of tech and performance that you’d expect in rivals that cost three times as much

Jul, 2007

Expert review by : staff (

Optoma ThemeScene HD81 review


You pay a lot, but you also get a lot

Separate connectivity box ; Good basic spec ; Superb picture performance

Difficult and limited setup ; £5,000 is a lot of money

A magnificent projector that delivers excellent results, but you may need a professional to set it up for you

Mar, 2007

Expert review by (

Optoma ThemeScene HD81


Couple '1080p projector' with '£5,000' and you've got an exciting proposition. Optoma's new DLP video projector is the first to offer full-on HD at this price point, and it has many other tricks up its sleeve too

Separate connectivity box, Good basic spec, Superb picture performance

Difficult and limited setup, £5,000 is a lot of money

A magnificent projector that delivers excellent results, but you may need a professional to set it up for you

Mar, 2007

Expert review by : Clint DeBoer (

Optoma HD81 DLP Projector Review


The HD81 is not just a projector. It combines an excellent optical display system with an advanced external video processor that handles, among other things a host of inputs from composite all the

True native 1080p DLP ; Deep blacks, rich colors ; Outboard video processor with numerous inputs and Gennum VXP processing ; Consumer adjustment of RGB gain, cut and gamma ; Backlit remote

Weak 1.2x Zoom Lens ; No lens shift ; Slow switching between formats/inputs ; Manual zoom/focus ; Loud fan ; Loud auto-iris with delayed response ; Requires long RS-232 serial cable for proper installation (not included) ; Frequent HDCP errors ; Locked...

Nov, 2006

Expert review by (

ThemeScene HD81


Offers much of the ability of more expensive projectors for a far more reasonable price

Sep, 2008

Expert review by : Scott Wilkinson (

Optoma HD81 1080p DLP Projector


We are witness to the beginning of a new era in front projection. As CEDIA Expo 2006 so clearly demonstrated, the market is about to be flooded with 1080p front projectors, many with list prices below $10,000. Among them is the Optoma HD81, one of the...

In terms of picture quality, the Optoma HD81 is difficult to fault. Color, detail, black level, shadow detail, and video processing are all exceptional. The only drawback—and it’s a big one—is the lack of lens shift, which makes placement problematic....

Aug, 2008

Expert review by : The Smarthouse Team (

Optoma ThemeScene HD81


Optoma enters the 1080p projector market with the $12999 DLP HD81

Full HD resolution; 3 HDMi inputs; separate XVP scaler

Demanding installation; Auto Iris is disconcerting; unintuitive menu

Apr, 2007

Hot product award by

Expert review by : Anthony Arrigo (

Optoma HD81


The projected image was truly impressive at the show, leading me to expect an excellent projector to review. I was also curious to see what additional capabilities the HD81 home theater projector offered, by virtue of its using a Gennum outboard...

Extremely sharp image ; Good color out of the box (can be improved with a basic end user calibration disk - like AVIA), or go full ISF calibration ; Brightest 1080p projector so far, in "best" movie mode ; Outboard processor simplifies setup, with only...

Noisy - although definitely acceptable in low power, in high power mode fan noise will be an issue for some ; Lack of vertical lens shift ; Limited zoom lens range (1.2:1) ; Dynamic iris makes occasional short bursts of noise, sufficient that most will...

PS. Unlike previous 1080p reviews, I did not put separate comparison paragraphs between the HD81 and the various competitors. With a major article directly comparing the 1080p's coming out in late January, I figured just pointing out the specific...

Dec, 2006

Product Specifications

With image quality normally reserved for film screening rooms the ThemeScene HD81 is the ultimate in High Definition Home Cinema. The innovative two-piece design delivers unmatched performance, sleek styling and whisper-quiet operation. The HD81 is the embodiment of exceptional form and function. A native resolution of 1080p means over 2 million individual pixels at your command. That's more than twice as much detail as a 720p projector. Exceptional performance requires the exceptional control provided by the Gennum VXP studio grade processor. Capable of deinterlacing 1080i from today's highest quality broadcast and disc sources, VXP processing ensures natural, fluid motion and exceptional image detail. Masterly orchestration of DarkChip3 technology from Texas Instrument and ThemeScene Iris technology produces a stunning 10.000:1 contrast ratio. Deep, balanced color is provided by an exceptional quality 7-segment, 6-speed color wheel. This unprecedented combination ensures natural, real-looking images with crystal clarity. Unparalleled flexibility is ensured by 14 video inputs including 3 HDMI, 4 Component, and 2 SCART RGB. Mimicking the operation of a human eye, the Auto Reactive Iris works to maximize image contrast - ensuring the deepest velvety blacks and brightest whites. The 15-step Iris can also be manually adjusted to suit program material. At the heart of the projector is the 1080p DarkChip3, DLP technology. This 10-bit signal processing architecture combines with the 7-segment, 6-speed color wheel featuring NDG (Neutral Density Green) technology. NDG increases visual color resolution in green, creating a higher bit-resolution image, dramatically reducing low-level dithering artifacts. The result is pure images with unprecedented detail. At the heart of the HD81 video processing is Gennum Visual Excellence Processing (VXP) technology. This provides revolutionary image quality improvements by employing the world's most advanced image processing algorithms. It combines studio-grade video enhancement and color management with state-of-the-art video switching, scaling and format conversion. Staggering, never-seen-before color management tools unleash the full potential of the HD81 giving you complete control to render the perfect image.

Audio Output

Type: None


Colour of product:Silver
Form factor:Desktop
LED indicators: Yes
Product Type:Desktop projector

Display (Projector)

Class:Digital projector
HD Image Format:1080p
High Definition:High Definition
Image Brightness:1400ANSI lumens
Image Contrast Ratio:10000:1
Max Image Size:7.62m / 762cm
Max Resolution:1920 x 1080
Max Screen Distance:12.5m
Min Image Size:0.76m / 76cm
Min Screen Distance:1.5m
Native Aspect Ratio:Widescreen
Recommended Use of Projector:Cinema
Type:DLP Projector


Manufacturer:Optoma Technology
Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Optoma Home Theater Series


Bulb power:300
Lamp Type:UHP
Lamps quantity:1
Service life of lamp:2000

Lens System

Aperture range (F-F):2.6 - 2.82
Focal length range (f-f):39.1 - 46.9
Throw ratio:1.85 - 2.22:1


Ethernet LAN: No

Operational conditions

Storage temperature (T-T):-20 - 60

Packaging Content

Batteries included: Yes
Cables included:Component, HDMI, RS-232
Handheld remote control: Yes
Manual: Yes
Quick start guide: Yes
Remote control type:iR
Warranty card: Yes


Noise Level:32

Ports & interfaces

BNC input ports:10
Component video (YPbPr/YCbCr) in:2
Composite Video In:3
DVI port: No
HDMI ports quantity:4
RS-232 ports:1
S-Video inputs quantity:3
VGA (D-Sub) ports quantity:1


AC adapter frequency:50/60
AC adapter input voltage:90 - 264
AC input frequency:50 - 60
AC input voltage:90 - 264
Power Consumption (Standby):12
Power consumption (typical):430
Power Source:AC


Contrast ratio (typical):10000:1
Keystone correction, vertical:-5 - 5
Matrix size:2.41
Matrix type:DMD
Native Aspect Ratio:16:9
Number of Colours:1.073 billion colours
Projection distance:1.5 - 10
Projection Technology:DLP
Projector brightness:1400
Projector native resolution:1080p (1920x1080)
Screen size compatibility:762 - 7620
Supported aspect ratios:16:9
Zoom ratio:1.2:1

Projector Lamp

Bulb life cycle:2000hour(s)

Service & Support

Type:3 years warranty


Card reader integrated: No


Analog signal format system:NTSC, PAL, SECAM
Full HD: Yes
Supported graphics resolutions:1024 x 768 (XGA), 1280 x 1024 (SXGA), 640 x 480 (VGA), 800 x 600 (SVGA)
Supported video modes:1080i, 1080p, 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p

Video Input

Analogue video Signal:Component video / Composite video / RGB / S-Video
Digital Video Standard:High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI)

Weight & Dimensions

Height :11.6