Optoma GT1080 3D DLP Short Throw Video Projector Review

Optoma GT1080 DLP Video Projector - A Big Picture For Small Spaces

Optoma GT1080 DLP Video Projector
Optoma GT1080 DLP Video Projector. Images provided by Amazon

The Optoma GT1080 is a moderately-priced DLP Video Projector that can serve as a gaming projector, as part of a modest home theater setup, or in a business/classroom setting. The two main features of this projector are the included Short Throw lens, which can produce a very large image in a small space and its 3D compatibility.

With a native 1920x1080 pixel resolution (1080p), 2,800 lumens output, and up to 25,000:1 contrast ratio, the GT1080 displays a bright image.

Core Features

The core features and specifications of the Optoma GT1080 include the following:

  • Core Technology: DLP projection with 2,800 lumens of white light output and native 1080p display resolution.
  • Color Wheel Characteristics: Information not provided.
  • Lens Characteristics: F=2.8, f=7.42 mm , Throw Ratio: .5 (distance/width).
  • Image Size Range: 38 to 300 inches - adds flexibility for both small and large screen sizes and room environments. Can project a 100-inch 16x9 image at from a distance of about 5 feet.
  • Aspect Ratio: Native 16x9 Aspect Ratio. The Optoma GT1080 can accommodate 16x9 or 4x3 aspect ratio sources.
  • Contrast Ratio: 25,000:1 Contrast Ratio (Full On/Full Off).
  • Lamp LIfe: 190 Watt Lamp and 5,000 Hour (Bright), 6,000 (Eco), and 6,500 (DB) Hour Lamp Life.
  • Fan Noise: 26dB (Eco Mode).
  • Video Connectivity: Two HDMI inputs are provided. Also, one HDMI input is MHL-compatible. NOTE: No VGA, Component, S-Video, or Composite Video input options are provided. This means that if you have older analog video gear, such as a VCR, you will not be able to connect it to this projector.
  • 3D Viewing Options: The GT1080 is 3D display compatible (Frame pack, side-by-side, top-bottom) and up converts frame rate from 60Hz to 120Hz or 24Hz to 144Hz (i.e 60 or 72 frames per eye). Compatible with both RF and DLP-Link 3D glasses (emitter and glasses sold separately).
  • Input Signal Compatibility: The GT1080 is compatible with video input signals with resolutions up to 1080p (including both 1080p/24 and 1080p/60). The projector is also compatible with NTSC/PAL video signals. All lower resolution sources are scaled to 1080p for screen display.
  • Focus and Zoom Control: A manual focus control is located behind the lens. A digital zoom function is also provided via onboard or remote control and on-screen menu system. However, when using digital zoom image quality is negatively affected as the image gets larger.
  • Control Option: The projector can be controlled via the provided wireless remote control. However, a 12-volt trigger is also included for easier custom control integration.
  • Audio: Although most video projectors do not provide built-in speakers, the GT1080 does incorporate an audio system that provides one speaker (10 watts x 1).
  • Security Features: A KensingtonĀ®-style lock, padlock, and security cable hole provided.
  • Dimensions: The Optoma GT1080 is 12.3 inches Wide x 8.8 inches Deep x 4.09 inches High - Weight: 6 lbs - AC Power: 100-240V, 50/60Hz
  • Included Accessories: In addition, the remote control mentioned previously, the GT1080 also packaged with a soft carry bag, HDMI cable, quick start guide, user manual (CD-ROM), and detachable power cord.

Setting Up The GT1080

To set up the Optoma GT1080, first determine the surface you will be projecting onto (either wall or screen), then position the projector on a table or rack, or mount on the ceiling, at the optimal distance from the screen or wall. However, it is important to note before you secure the GT1080 permanently in a ceiling mount - that you position the projector on a movable table or rack to first determine your screen to projector distance as the GT1080 does not have an optical zoom or lens shift function (more on this later in this section).

Next, plug in your source (such as a DVD, Blu-ray Disc player, PC, etc...) to the designated input(s) provided on the rear panel of the projector. Then, plug in the power cord of the GT1080 and turn on the power using the button on the top of the projector or the remote. It takes about 10 seconds or so until you see the Optoma logo projected on your screen, at which time you are set to go.

Now that there is an image on the screen raise or lower the front of the projector using the adjustable foot (or adjust the ceiling mount angle). You can also adjust the image angle on the projection screen, or white wall, using the Keystone Correction function via the onscreen menu navigation buttons on top of the projector, or on the remote or onboard controls (or use the Auto Keystone option).

However, be cautious when using Keystone correction as it works by compensating the projector angle with the screen geometry and sometimes the edges of the image will not be straight, causing some image shape distortion. The Optoma GT1080 Keystone correction function only works in the vertical plane. This meant that setting the projector slightly below the screen or slightly above the screen made it tricky to get rectangular images with straight left, right, and top edges. It is best to position the projector so that it does not have to project the image at an angle that is too high or too low in relation to the center of the screen.

Once the image frame is close to an even rectangle as possible, move the projector to get the image to fill the screen properly, followed by using the manual focus control to sharpen your image.
NOTE: The GT1080 does not have an optical zoom function, only a digital one - which means that if you use the zoom function provide, it will degrade the image quality.

The GT1080 will search for the input of the source that is active. You can also access the source inputs manually via the controls on the projector, or via the wireless remote control.

If you have purchased an accessory 3D emitter and glasses - to view 3D, plug in the 3D transmitter to the provided port on the projector, and the turn on the 3D glasses - GT1080 will auto detect the presence of a 3D image.

Video Performance - 2D

The Optoma GT1080 does a very good job displaying 2D high-def images in a traditional darkened home theater room setup, providing consistent color and detail.

With its strong light output, the GT1080 can also project a viewable image in a room that may have some ambient light present, however, there is some sacrifice in black level and contrast performance. On the other hand, for rooms that have may not provide good light control, such as classroom or business conference room, the increased light output is more important and projected images are definitely viewable.

The 2D images provided very good detail, especially when viewing Blu-ray disc and other HD content source material. I also conducted a series of tests that determine how the GT1080processes and scales standard definition inputs signals. Although factors, such as deinterlacing were very good, some of the other test results were mixed.

3D Performance

To check out the 3D performance of the Optoma GT1080, OPPO BDP-103 and BDP-103D Blu-ray Disc players were used in conjunction with an RF 3D emitter and glasses provided for this review. It is important to note that the 3D glasses do not come as part of the projector's package - they must be purchased separately.

Using both numerous 3D Blu-ray disc movies and running the depth and cross-talk tests available on the Spears & Munsil HD Benchmark Disc 2nd Edition the 3D viewing experience was very good, with no visible crosstalk, and only minor glare and motion blurring.

However, the 3D images are somewhat darker and softer than their 2D counterparts. If you are planning to devote some time watching 3D content, definitely consider a room that can be light controlled, as a darker room will provide better results. Also, run the lamp in its standard mode, and not the ECO mode, which, although saving energy and extending lamp life, does reduce the light output that is desirable for good 3D viewing.

Audio Performance

The Optoma GT1080 incorporates a 10-watt mono amplifier and built-in loudspeaker, which provides adequate loudness and clear sound quality for voices and dialog, but, not unexpectedly, lacks both high and low-frequency response. However, this listening option may be suitable when no other audio system is available, or for a business meeting or a small classroom. However, as part of a home theater setup, I would definitely suggest that you send your audio sources to a home theater receiver or amplifier for that full surround sound listening experience.

Optoma GT1080 - Pros

  • Good image quality from HD source material for the price.
  • Accepts input resolutions up to 1080p (including 1080p/24). Also, all input signals are scaled to 1080p for display.
  • Compatible with HDMI 3D sources.
  • High lumen output produces bright images for large rooms and screen sizes. This makes this projector usable for both living room and business/educational room environments. The GT1080 would also work outdoors at night.
  • Short throw lens provides a large projected image with minimal projector-to-screen distant. Great for smaller spaces and gaming setups.
  • Very fast turn-on and shut-off time.
  • Built-in Speaker system provided for presentations or more private listening.
  • A soft carrying bag is provided that can hold the projector and provided accessories.

Optoma GT1080 - Cons

  • Good deinterlacing/scaling performance from standard resolution (480i) analog video sources but mixed results on other factors, such as noise reduction and frame cadence detection (click on the link labeled "video performance tests" at end of this review for more details).
  • Black level performance is just average.
  • Limited video input options (only HDMI is provided).
  • 3D is noticeably dimmer and softer than 2D.
  • No optical zoom function.
  • No Lens Shift - only Vertical Keystone Correction provided.
  • DLP Rainbow Effect sometimes visible.
  • Remote control not backlit - However, with its great buttons on a white background, it is easier to see in the dark than other non-backlit remotes that use black buttons on a black background.

The Bottom Line

Using the Optoma GT1080 DLP projector for an extended period, although good overall, did present mixed bag with some capabilities.

On the one hand, even with its compact size, short throw lens, on-unit control buttons, remote control, and easy-to-use operating menu, it is a little quirky to physically set up and get the correct rectangular-shaped image projected onto the screen due to the lack of an actual zoom control, or lens shift function. Also, the lack of analog and VGA video input options limits connection flexibility.

On the other hand, combining the short throw lens and 2,800 maximum lumens output capability, the GT1080 projects both a bright and large image suitable for small, medium and large size rooms in most homes. The 3D performance was very good with regards exhibiting very little, if any, crosstalk (halo) artifacts, but was noticeably dimmer when projecting 3D images (you can make adjustments to compensate somewhat). Also, one added feature, MHL, allows easy integration of compatible smartphones and tablets.

Taking all into consideration, especially for the price, the Optoma GT1080 is worth consideration. If you have a small space work with, don't need a lot of input options, and don't have a lot of cash, this could be the right projector for you.