The Optoma HD36 boasts great colors, superbly bright images and excellent built-in speakers. The real quality projector is that solitary HDMI input if you are using more than one source. It is also one of the best equipped projectors for casual audio; a built-in 30W speaker will come in handy for on-the-hoof games nights when there is no proper surround sound system to slot into.



Set-up is a cinch using the HD36’s adjustable feet on the undercarriage and that zoom and lens shift lever, while a back-lit remote control is handy if the HD36 is used in a blackout. Blu-ray test disc, the wonderfully nuanced and varied animation of The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya, was projected with exceptional brightness when watched at noon, though areas of black can look washed out.

Left on the Bright setting, day-time viewing gets well-saturated colors and high Full HD detail. Put the lamp onto Cinema mode if you are watching with the lights out and you will get decent black levels if Dynamic Black is activated in the Advanced section of the onscreen menus.The HD36 treats all sources of video well. The HD36’s images also look impressively clean, with a built-in noise reduction system on hand to clean-up my test DVD Master & Commander.

Specifications & Style

The HD36 is big at 386x280x16 2mm, and weighs 4.5kg size, so this is not a projector to bandy about. Its large bulb stands proud just off-center in the chassis, with a 1.5x optical zoom lens control sitting above. A focus slider up here would have been useful; instead, there is a focus ring is around the lens itself, which is a little tricky to get to. Even though it appears to be a home cinema centrical projector, and boasts DLP chip-maker Texas Instruments’ Brilliant Color system, the HD36 reveals its true colors around the back.

The HD36 is as versatile as it is good value, boasting great colors, superbly bright images and yet somehow also decent black levels.