Optoma UHD65 DLP Projector Review

Optoma UHD65 is a kind of projector that brings the best of viewing experience.

    Regardless of 4K resolution rapidly becoming a norm in TVs despite the shortage of 4K broadcasts, the same isn't the case with projectors for the home. In fact, Sony SXRD projectors are the only native 4K projectors for the home.

    This still doesn't change because the new projector from Optoma - successor of the UHD60 - makes use of a pixel shifting technique called eXpanded Pixel Resolution (XPR) to produce a 4K image. It might not be true 4K, but it still manages to make a difference on this DLP projector.

    The 4K resolution and High Dynamic Range (HDR) are the two most important aspects to churn out the most out of the latest multimedia content. Since the number of 4K HDR Blu-rays are increasing rapidly in the market, getting a suitable projector without shelling out a fortune is a challenge.

    So is the latest Optoma UHD65 ready to take the challenge? Let's find out in our review.

    Full Specifications

     

    • Display Technology: DLP
    • Resolution: UHD (3840x2160)
    • Brightness: 2200 ANSI Lumens
    • Contrast Ratio: Up to 1,200,000:1 with Dynamic Black
    • Lamp Life: Dynamic/Eco/Bright 15000/10000/4000 (hrs)
    • Throw Ratio: 1.39 - 2.22 (with tolerance +/- 5%)
    • Zoom Type: 1.6x Manual
    • Lens Shift: Vertical: +15%
    • Speaker (Watts): 2x4W Stereo Speakers
    • Audio: 2x4W Stereo Speakers
    • Weight: 16 lbs (7.26 kg)
    • Dimensions (W x H x D): 19.6" x 6" x 13"
    • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 (native), 4:3, Auto, LBX (2160p and 1080p)
    • Computer Compatibility: UHD, WQHD, WUXGA, FHD, UXGA, SXGA, WXGA, HD, XGA, SVGA, VGA, Mac
    • Video Compatibility: 480i/p, 576i/p, 720p(50/60Hz), 1080i(50/60Hz), 1080p(24/50/60Hz), 2160p(24/50/60Hz)
    • Power Supply: AC input 100-240V, 50-60Hz, auto-switching
    • Security: Security bar, Kensington lock
    • Projection method: Front, rear, ceiling mount, table top
    • Warranty: 3 Year Optoma Express Warranty

     

    Design

    Weighing at 7.8kg, the UHD65 is more inclined towards the heavy side of projectors. It has a gloss white finish with curved edges, accompanied by an air vent on the side, and the lens placed in the center of the front panel.

    On the back side, the projector has two HDMI slots, and one them is HDCP 2.2-compliant guaranteeing 4K intake. You also get a VGA input to connect the projector to a PC or laptop. Additionally, there's an optical audio S/PDIF output, analog audio ports, and a 12V jack. However, the USB slot doesn't have support for 4K video saved on a USB drive or external HDD. But, it does support dongles such as the Chromecast.

    Focusing and zooming can only be done manually here. Users can access these controls by popping open the flap placed on top of the projector. We wouldn't call it an elegant design, but surely complements the office environment like conference halls really well.

    Setup

    The connection panel of the projector is placed on the back. In terms of setup, the UHD65 is better than any of the budget projector, but still feel a bit limited. There's a 1.6x zoom and 15 percent vertical lens shift but comes sans the horizontal shift.

    Well, most of the projectors do not offer lens shift, Optoma could have gone ahead with a motorized system to control the focus, lens shift, and the zoom. However, it's pretty easy to handle the manual controls. It offers a throw ratio of 2.22:1 and there's a simple image shift system, a test grid pattern, and a digital zoom. You can also change the tint of projection to get the same color as the background.

    The projector offers seven picture modes: Cinema, Vivid, Game, Reference, Bright, User, and a new HDR mode. It also has six color-temperature presets and RGB gain/bias controls and others. However, it does lack the noise reduction control. The UHD65 also has a Dynamic Range menu that allows users to set HDR for Auto, Off, or SDR-to-HDR alongside four HDR effects namely bright, standard, detail, and film.

    Performance

    Speaking of performance, we made a few adjustments such as brightness and contrast according to the conference room, to get the best out of the projector. We tried the PureColor, PureContrast, and UltraDetail settings, and we found out that the first two settings make the images look very intense, while the latter shows heavy sharpness making it look unnatural.

    The projector claims to offer 2,200 lumens, but it actually doesn't feel as bright one would expect. However, it can be used in the daytime. The 4W speakers are quite impressive as well, but it's hard to use them in a quiet setting. They offer pretty basic audio quality and some time you might notice muffled audio as well.

    The projector comes with numerous presets giving you an option to play the video according to your color preference. Everything that we played on the UHD65 offered an ample amount of detail. All the HD content including Netflix and YouTube videos with 2160p resolution looked pretty neat and clean.

    That being said, the DLP projectors still have few areas to improve: black levels, shadow detail, and rainbow effect. The UHD65, however, didn't show much sign of rainbow effect, which is impressive considering it uses a single-chip RGB color wheel.

    The HDR, on the other hand, lacks the oomph, while the SDR to HDR converter is definitely worth a try. But only querulous users would find these things a dealbreaker. Overall, using the UHD65 was a good experience and its detail is excellent, though the PureMotion features failed to impress us, it would still make for a good viewing experience.

    Verdict

    Overall, the UHD65 is an impressive projector that provides good images during both ambient and blackout conditions. However, you do miss out on ultra-high brightness for daytime and high black levels in a blackout, it still convincing enough to make for the price it asks.

    However, there are a few things that Optoma should have included in this price range. The remote control is very basic, similar to ones seen on projectors five times less cheaper than the UHD65. These things also give a more professional feel which high-end products should always bring to the table alongside the new technologies.

    But if you look beyond all these small flaws, this could be a really good option for setting up your own home theatre system. If you are someone seeking a projector that brings the best from HD TV and high-resolution sports channels, you might find the UHD65 as the best alternative. But as they say 'good things come at a good cost,' the Optoma UHD65 will cost you Rs 4,25,000 in India.

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