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Optoma HD39 Darbee

Optoma HD39 Darbee Review - Compact FHD DLP Projector

Updated by Timo Altmeyer on February 16, 2022

The Optoma HD39 Darbee is a entry-level full-HD home theater projector that promises a crystal-clear and highly detailed image through its DARBEE Visual Presence image enhancement technology. In the multi-week test, I took a closer look at the projector.

8
Our rating

First impression of the Optoma HD39 Darbee

Last year I already had an Optoma projector with DARBEE Visual Presence technology. The one tested at the time  Optoma GT1080 Darbee  especially impressed with its excellent color brilliance. With the Optoma HD39 Darbee I now had another full HD projector with DARBEE Visual Presence in the test, which despite its optical similarity to the Optoma GT1080 Darbee is not a short distance projector, but a standard projector.

Front of the HD39 Darbee Beamer

The dimensions of the matt white plastic housing are 314 x 224 x 114 mm, with a weight of 2.81 kg. Thus, the projector is one of the comparatively compact models and is suitable, among other things, for mobile use with friends or in the garden. The projector can be used both standing and hanging. Rubberized and height-adjustable feet ensure secure positioning. A corresponding ceiling mounting option is available for hanging use. A Kensington Lock theft protection is located on the back of the housing.

Lens of the HD39 Darbee Beamer

The projector is equipped with an easily accessible control panel for operation. A remote control is also included in the scope of delivery. Focus, zoom (1.6x) and lens shift (17% vertical) can be set directly on the device. All connection options are located on the left side of the housing. There are two HDMI 1.4a sockets, both with 3D support and one with additional MHL 2.1 function, a 3.5 mm jack audio output, a 12V output, a 3D sync output, a USB Type-A socket with a 1A output voltage, as well a USB Mini-B socket. There are no other video interfaces such as DVI or VGA. The processing quality is nothing to complain about. 

Connections of the HD39 Darbee Beamer

Hardware

On the hardware side, the Optoma HD39 Darbee is equipped with a .65 “DC3 DLP chip from Texas Instruments. The projector has a native resolution of Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels). The maximum possible brightness is 3.500 ANSI lumens. The (dynamic) contrast ratio is given by Optoma as 32.000: 1. Depending on which display mode is used, the lamp life ranges from 4000 to 15000 hours. A loudspeaker is integrated.

Top of the HD39 Darbee

An essential image enhancer is the so-called "DARBEE Visual Presence Technology". Depending on the playback material, the DARBEE Visual Presence image processor adjusts the image brightness and color reproduction at the pixel level and thus ensures a particularly clear image with improved depth of field. Optomas “Amazing Color” ensures precise color performance, after which the projector adheres to the Rec.709 color scheme. Another image enhancer is the so-called "Dynamic Black Technology", which adjusts the contrast ratio according to the scene. As a full 3D projector, the HD39 Darbee can handle just about any 3D video material.

Bottom of the HD39 Darbee

Commissioning and user interface

OPERATION

Commissioning is not associated with any hurdles and can also be carried out by a technical layperson. User-friendly alignment is possible thanks to the 1.6x optical zoom and vertical lens shift. The maximum projection size is between 26.21 ″ and 303.3 ″, at a distance between 1.3 and 9.4 meters. A precise calculation of the projection size and the respective distance is possible with the help of the Optoma distance calculator (Link) possible.

After the projector is connected to the power, the playback device only needs to be connected via HDMI. After a warm-up phase of no more than 70 seconds, the HD39 Darbee is warmed up and ready to go. Connected devices are automatically recognized and selected as a source the first time they are connected.

Rear of the HD39 Darbee

Service

The operation of the individual functions is designed for laypersons. The control buttons on both the projector and the remote control are clearly identified by symbols or labeling (remote control). In addition, the remote control is illuminated in white so that the HD39 Darbee can also be operated in the dark without any problems. Thanks to several infrared receivers, the remote control works from any position. The operating status can be read from 3 LED indicators on the top of the housing.

Remote control of the HD39 Darbee

The OSD (on-screen display) is particularly noticeable due to its range of functions. At the same time, the menu is also nested, which is why you first have to familiarize yourself with the numerous levels of the individual menu items.

On-screen display of the HD39 Darbee

Home theater capability

picture quality

The image quality of the Optoma HD39 Darbee is convincing. The native 1080p projected image is razor sharp and does not reveal a pixel grid within a normal viewing distance. The sharpness distribution is constant over the entire image area. The brightness distribution is slightly sloping from left to right, but this is not noticeable during normal operation.

Grayscale and RGB level in Hell - Cinema mode

Grayscale and RGB level - Bright mode - Cinema

measurements

The following measurement results were obtained after several test measurements on a 90 inch projection surface with gain 1.0. 

  •  Luminous flux: Optoma specifies the maximum brightness with 3500 ANSI lumens. The luminous flux measured in the center of the image is 1106 lumens in "Bright" mode and 616 lumens in "Eco" mode.
  •  Black level: The black level is 1,277 lumens (bright) or 0,743 lumens (eco).
  •  Contrast ratio: Optoma specifies the dynamic contrast ratio with an outstanding 32.000: 1. The static contrast ratio determined by measurements is 866: 1 (light) or 946: 1 (eco).
CIE Standard Color Chart - Bright Mode - Cinema

CIE Standard Color Chart - Bright Mode - Cinema

Subjective impression

Subjectively, the Optoma HD39 Darbee impresses with its pleasant color reproduction, provided you are in cinema mode, which is closest to the Rec.709 color space. With the individually configurable DARBEE Visual Presence technology in combination with the Dynamic Black image enhancer, the icing on the cake is added. Especially in very dark and particularly bright scenes, the image enhancers impress with a visibly higher contrast with accompanying, richer colors. The projector can still be used in a slightly darkened room. In daylight-bright rooms, colors appear increasingly washed out and the contrast decreases accordingly.

Brightness Comparison of the HD39 Darbee - Dark - Dimmed - Daylight

Brightness comparison - Dark - Darkened - Daylight

 There is no inter-image calculation (FI). The rainbow effect, which is often encountered with single-chip DLP projectors, is hardly noticeable and does not impair the film experience.

Audio and 3D

The projector is equipped with a 10 watt loudspeaker. The sound is balanced and reaches a decent volume without distorting. Bass is not expected according to the equipment. However, the onboard sound is sufficient for mobile use of the projector.

The 3D function can be used with conventional 3D DLP-Link glasses (active shutter glasses). Losses in brightness and contrast are particularly noticeable in 3D mode, but they are still within an acceptable range.

Operation Volume

The operating noise in the "bright" mode, with a normal seat spacing, is around 38 decibels. In the "Eco" mode, 30 decibels were measured. The fan noise is quite audible in quiet movie moments.

Gaming suitability

In the last point we take a look at the gaming suitability of the Optoma HD39 Darbee. In contrast to many PC monitors, which hardly work with image enhancers, the so-called input lag on televisions and projectors is significantly higher. In some cases, this input lag, i.e. the signal delay between the player and playback device, is so noticeable that enjoyable gaming is not possible.

To reduce the input lag, the HD39 Darbee is equipped with a gaming mode that optimizes the processing and display process. The input lag measured in the test was already a comparatively low 38 ms without gaming mode. An input lag between 16 ms and 32 ms was measured with active gaming mode. Even action-packed shooters that require a certain speed can be played with the HD39 Darbee without any noticeable delay or dragging effect.

Optoma HD39 Darbee

Optoma HD39 Darbee

8
Rating
Positive

Compact design
Good workmanship
Long lamp life
Accurate color representation
Particularly sharp picture
High brightness
Extensive setting options
Good gaming suitability

Negative

No VGA / DVI
No integrated WiFi
Loss of color and brightness in 3D mode
Operation Volume

Conclusion

The Optoma HD39 Darbee is a versatile and above all portable deployable projector. Both in home theater, as well as gaming, the projector boasts a pleasant image sharpness, a rich color reproduction and also an extremely low input lag. The projector reaps criticism in turn by the falling brightness and color saturation in the 3D playback, as well as the operating volume. For under 1000 € the Optoma HD39 Darbee offers a decent overall package.

Timo Altmeyer avatar
author

Timo is the founder of techreviewer.de and a real technology expert. From smartphones to e-bikes, from home cinema to smart homes, he always has his finger on the pulse of the latest trends.

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More from Optoma
Overview
Manufacturer

optoma

Model

Optoma HD39 Darbee

Specifications

 General 
Type: DLP
Chip: 0.65 "DC3 DMD 1080p
Lens: F / 2.5 ~ 3.26; f = 20.91 ~ 32.62 mm

Brightness: 3500 ANSI Lumens
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
Picture format: 16: 9 (4: 3)
Projection size: 26.21 "- 303.3"
Projection ratio: 1.4 - 2.24: 1
Projection distance: 1.3 - 9.4 m
Contrast: 32.000: 1

Zoom: 16-fold, manual
Lens Shift: + 17% (vertical)

 Connections 
2x HDMI 1.4a (1x MHL)
1x 3.5mm jack (audio out)
1x 3D Sync Port
1x USB Type-A female
1x USB mini-B female connector
1x 12V output

 Other 
Lamp life: 15000 / 10000 / 4000 hours
Speaker: 10W
WiFi: Optional
3D: Yes
Power consumption: 285W / 205W (Eco) / 0.5W (standby)
Size: 314 224 x x 114 mm
Weight: 2.66 kg