Optoma HD39HDR: Bright, Low-Lag Projector
PC Magazine|November 2020
Designed for gaming and for watching movies and TV, the Optoma HD39HDR is one of a growing number of 1080p home projectors that can accept a 4K UHD (3,840-by-2,160-pixel) HDR signal and downconvert the resolution to 1080p. Some projectors in this category accept the input without really offering any of the benefits that high dynamic range promises for a wider color gamut or range of brightness levels. Others, including the Optoma, make good use of HDR. In my tests, the HD39HDR delivered more-vibrant color and far better shadow detail when I played the 4K HDR versions of movies on my Blu-ray player than when playing the 1080p SDR versions of the same titles.
M. DAVID STONE

GAMES AND MOVIES...WITH THE LIGHTS ON

Optoma includes the HD39HDR on its lists of both gaming projectors and home entertainment projectors for watching movies and TV in ambient light. For games, the projector offers low lag to speed up your reaction time; Optoma rates it for up to 8.4 milliseconds (ms) at 1080p/120Hz, and I measured it by a Leo Bodnar meter at 16.4ms at 1080p/60Hz. For both games and home entertainment with the lights on, it delivers a bright picture, reflected in its rating of 4,000 ANSI lumens.

Another feature of particular interest to gamers is the projector’s compact size, which makes it easy to bring to a friend’s house or to store when not in use. The sound system, with an onboard 10-watt speaker, can also come in handy, thanks to robust-enough volume to fill a small family room. That said, the sound quality is marginal enough that you’ll likely want to plug an external sound system into the 3.5mm audio-out jack. Note, too, that Optoma doesn’t include a carrying case for the projector.

The HD39HDR’s high brightness is due in part to its six-segment RYGCWB (red, yellow, green, cyan, white, blue) color wheel paired with the single 1,920-by-1,080 DLP chip. The yellow panel helps it produce a brighter, more vibrant yellow than many DLP projectors offer, while the white panel lets it deliver a brighter image than it could without one. As with any projector with a white panel—including, for example, the BenQ TH585— this also affects color accuracy. DLP projectors without white panels in their color wheels, such as the BenQ HT2150ST, tend to offer better color accuracy, but they also tend to have lower brightness and are better choices for traditional home theater in a dark room.

Optoma HD39HDR

PROS

Low cost for the feature set. High brightness. Full HD (1080p) resolution with HDR support; also accepts 4K HDR input. Low input lag for fast reaction time when gaming. Supports 3D.

CONS

With default settings, some hues are noticeably off for both SDR and HDR content. High brightness works well in ambient light but means disappointing blacks and three-dimensionality in dark rooms.

BOTTOM LINE

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