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Optoma Expands 1080p Line

Milpitas, Calif. – Optoma introduced today a pair of high-value 1080p DLP front projectors, targeted at custom and A/V specialty home theater distribution.

Models HD80 and HD81-LV are both 1080p projectors based on Texas Instruments’ 0.95-inch 1,920-by-1,080 digital micro-mirror device (DMD) technology. Both models are scheduled to ship later this month and should appear on store shelves in early July, said Jon Grodem, Optoma’s senior product manager, and will give dealers a range of option steps for 1080p DLP projection.

Optoma said the HD80 ($2,999 suggested retail) produces a 10,000:1 contrast ratio, using its proprietary ImageAI technology. The technology is said to deliver high color saturation and detail levels. The projector uses a one-piece design to reduce cost.

Included are TI’s Dark Chip 2 and Brilliant Color light engine technologies. Brightness from the native 16:9 aspect ratio projector is listed at 1,300 lumens.

The projector includes two HDMI v1.3 inputs, DVI-I w/HDCP, S-Video, component video, composite video, RS-232, 12V trigger, and external IR receiver port.

Image processing is handled with a 10-bit, motion adaptive 480i, 576i and 1080i de-interlacer and advanced 3D comb filter. Video processing uses a PixelWorks-based solution.

The HD81-LV ($7,999 suggested retail) is an enhanced version of Optoma’s two-piece HD81, offering a native 1080p projector and studio-grade video processor.

The Optoma HD81-LV’s 2,500 Lumens brightness level offers more flexible use in home theater environments with varying degrees of ambient light. The HD81-LV includes Texas Instruments’ 0.95-inch 1080p DarkChip3 DMD chipset, which is optimized for deep textures with image quality.

The contrast ratio is listed at 10,000:1 and the two-piece design reduces the need for multiple cable runs from video sources to the projector.

An optional anamorphic lens/sled kit will be offered to help users create a “true widescreen cinematic experience,” Optoma said.

When the anamorphic lens is installed together with the HD81-LV, it creates a 2.35:1 widescreen image, without the loss of color clarity, brightness or resolution.

Connectors include: three HDMI (plus external HDMI expansion), one RS-232, one USB (projector), two BNC component YPbPr/RGBHV, two sets of component video, three composite video, one VGA, RS-232, two 12V triggers, one IR port extension (video processor).

Image processing uses 10-bit motion adaptive 480i, 576i and 1080i de-interlacing, and an advanced 3D comb filter. Optoma’s two-piece models use a Gennum-based processing solution.

Among new dealers getting the new projectors will be the 20 West Coast standalone stores of Best Buy’s Magnolia specialty chain. Optoma will supply a mix of products including its HD73 and new HD 80 and HD81-LV (the later in select stores).

“DLP is a big deal for Magnolia, and we were able to deliver some high performance products,” said Grodem. “We are able to offer them a $2,000 entry level solution and help put together a tri-level system solution strategy.”