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Optoma HD81

alaTest has collected and analyzed 40 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 really like the black level and design. Many are critical about the noise and reliability.

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 85/100 = Very good quality.

Review analysis

(Based on 40 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 20 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews


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

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: 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

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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

Expert review by: 411Team Specialist (

Optoma HD81 Projector Review


Cinema has come closer to Home Theater. What we see in a movie theater can almost be experienced at home. Optoma HD81™, a single Texas Instruments® DarkChip3™ 0.95" DLP™ chip projector, has narrowed down this gap deeply. Films transferred on to digital...

This combination of projector and processor seems expensive but the Video Enhancement Processor is the heart of this whole machine and it can take care of your other analog and digital devices. Just reel back to the days when Lexicon™ line doublers...

Dec, 2006

Expert review by: Bill Livolsi (

Review: Optoma HD81 1080p Home Theater Projector


The new Optoma HD81 is one of several aggressively priced 1080p resolution home theater projectors to come to market this fall. It is the brightest of the new 1080p models and delivers a particularly sharp and detailed HD image. Other performance...

Nov, 2006

Expert review by: Al Griffin (

Test Bench: Optoma HD81 1080p DLP Front Projector


The Optoma showed a slight amount of color decoder error (-5% green) via both its HDMI and component-video inputs. Color points were very accurate - a factor that, along with the projector's precise color decoding, contributed to its rich,...

Crisp, detailed pictures with all sources

At $7,000, the Optoma HD81 1080p DLP front projector is an undeniably great deal. Its setup features are somewhat basic, and the Auto Iris feature is, unfortunately, a work in progress that Optoma claims will be fixed with a firmware upgrade.

Nov, 2006

Expert review by: Thomas J. Norton (

Optoma HD81 1080p DLP Projector


Not that producing a relatively affordable 1080p projector to satisfy the fussy videophile will be easy. The Optoma HD81 sample we received had a number of problems. But it turned out to be a pre-production unit. I was not aware of this until this...

Sep, 2006

Expert review by: Thomas J. Norton (

Optoma HD81 1080p DLP Projector


I've only been living with the new Optoma HD81 DLP projector for a little over a week, but it's already becoming obvious that new 1080p projectors selling for more than the Optoma's $7,000 price are likely to have a difficult time in the market. Even...

Sep, 2006

Expert review by: Grant Clauser (

Optoma HD81 Projector


We're in a 1080p world now, home theater fans. That's right, as much as you love your stunning, 720p resolution projector, the one the sales person at the electronics store told you was the best picture you could get from a little light engine-well,...

If you're thinking of upgrading your older projector, or getting into a front projection theater for the first time, the HD81 is definitely worth considering

Feb, 2001

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

Product Specifications

The HD81LV features an incredible 2500 lumens - more than twice the brightness of a typical video projector. This enables new possibilities for both Home Cinema and commercial applications. Exemplary video performance, accurate color reproduction and ultra brightness combine in this unique and innovative projector to enable exciting new possibilities both at home and at work. The staggering brightness of the HD81LV enables 2 exciting developments in Home Cinema. Bringing projectors out of the dark - Ultra Brightness means the HD81LV can be used in environments where the light is not completely controlled for an exciting Full HD 1080P Home Cinema experience. Bigger is better - Ultra brightness means your screen can be huge. The HD81LV can deliver an exceptionally bright image of up to 5m (197") wide. With image quality normally reserved for film screening rooms the ThemeScene HD81LV is the ultimate in High Brightness, High Definition video applications in or out of the home. The innovative two piece design delivers unmatched performance, sleek styling and whisper-quiet operation.

Audio Output

Type: None

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Class:Digital projector
Color Support:Up to 1.07 billion colors
Color Support:Up to 1.07 billion colors
HD Image Format:1080p
High Definition:High Definition
Image Brightness:1400ANSI lumens/2500ANSI lumens
Image Contrast Ratio:10000:1
Max Image Size:25ft/25ft / 299in/25ft / 300in/300in
Max Resolution:1920 x 1080
Max Screen Distance:33ft/41ft
Min Image Size:2.5ft/2.5ft / 29.9in/2.6ft / 31.5in/29.9in
Min Screen Distance:5ft
Native Aspect Ratio:Widescreen
Recommended Use of Projector:Cinema
Type:DLP projector


Compatibility:Mac / PC/PC
Manufacturer:Optoma Technology
Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Optoma Home Theater Series/Optoma ThemeScene

Projector Lamp

Lamp Life Cycle:2000hour(s)/3000hour(s)
Lamp Type:UHP

Service & Support

Type:3 years warranty

Video Input

Analog Video Format:NTSC / NTSC 4.43 / PAL / PAL-M / PAL-N / SECAM/NTSC / PAL / SECAM/PAL / SECAM / NTSC
Analog Video Signal:Component video / Composite video / S-Video / RGB/Component video / Composite video / RGB / S-Video
Digital Video Standard:High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI)