An Ultra Short throw projector like this Optoma GT5000 is much easier to place than a typical home cinema projector. We look at how it is with its image performance.
Specifications Optoma GT5000
- What: Full HD DLP Ultra Short Throw Home Theater Projector
- Arrangement: Light output 3000 ANSI lumen, contrast 23.000: 1, projection ratio 0.25 (100 inch diagonal at 0.59m), noise level 28dB (ecomode)
- Connections: 2x HDMI, 1x composite, 2x VGA, 1x 12V trigger, 1x 3D Sync, 1x RS-232C, 1x network, 1x stereo cinch in, 1x stereo minijack in, 1x microphone in, 1x stereo minijack out
- Lamp life: Standard: 3,000 hours, Eco: 5,000 hours
- Extras: USB (for power supply only), 3D (requires optional active 3D glasses), optional wireless Full HD 3D connection.
- Dimensions: 385 x 310 x 120 mm
- Weight: 4.78 kg
- Consumption: 310 / 0.5 watt
- Price: 1,299 euros
Beauty prices will not win this Optoma. He looks a little boring, in his white chassis, and lateral gray stripes he seems to be taken out of an office. But at the same time he is intriguing. The prism-shaped notch on the top ends up in a window at its deepest point. No lens to be detected, but a whole series of connections.
The selection of those connections clearly indicates a projector with a rather business background. In addition to two HDMI connections, there are also two VGA connectors, one of which functions as an input or output, composite video, and stereo audio inputs and outputs. Finally there is a network connection, USB power, and the connection for a 3D-sync emitter. Control options are available via RS-232, network and a 12V trigger.
Ultra short projection ratio
An Ultra Short Throw projector can not be set up like a different projector. This Optoma is as good as against the wall. The lens has a fixed projection ratio of 0.25 and that means that from a distance of 55cm it puts an impressive 100 inch image on the wall. So you can simply place it on a TV cabinet near the wall. The projection offset is 118%, so the bottom of the image is well above the lens.
The lens has no zoom, and focus is improved with a slider on the side. Because of its very short projection ratio, a tiny shift translates into very large changes, but that did not prevent us from having the projector set up perfectly. Optoma also recommends the use of a projection screen. The reason is that a wall is rarely straight, and you just need a perfectly flat surface to prevent distortion of the image.
Once the projector stood right in front of the wall, and the image had the desired size, we set the focus. You will not get the picture really sharp. At the top the image remained a little out of focus, but in practice you can not see anything from an ordinary viewing distance. Remember, there is no lens shift available, and you can only correct vertical trapezoidal distortion. That correction, by the way, uses very large steps. There is a digital zoom and shift available in the projection menus, but you lose a part of the image. Only to use as an emergency solution.
The end result is impressive: all the fun of a big picture, without needing much space for it.
Very modest image processing
In terms of image processing, you should not expect miracles from this Optoma GT5000. Deinterlacing and detection of film and video framerates was very poor, which could result in serrated line edges, or in moire effect in fine detail. Put your source where possible in 720p or 1080p to avoid that problem.
The noise reduction even seemed to be active even in the lowest position, albeit very weak. On the other hand, even in the highest position you do not get rid of all the noise. The projector does not offer motion interpolation, so you can not expect perfect stutter-free pan images. We can conclude with a positive note. The Optoma had a reasonably good movement sharpness. Even in fast moving images a lot of detail remains visible, even though fast moving objects sometimes have a double edge.
Light measurements on an Ultra Short Throw projector are very difficult, because of the sharp incidence of light. So take our results rather as a guideline. In the specifications we find 3,000 lumen light output, and in the ‘Bright’ image mode and with the lamp in the highest position you also get that effective. For the best color reproduction, choose the ‘Movie’ or even better the ‘sRGB’ image mode. The ‘Movie’ image mode gives a bit more black detail, and a brighter image, but occasionally we saw very slight problems in the brightest and softly colored parts of the image in which sometimes detail disappeared.
With the lamp in the highest position you can get another 1,400 lumens in Movie mode and 1,000 lumens in sRGB mode. Unfortunately the cooling of the projector is pretty noisy, so unless you watch a football match with friends, you better opt for the eco-mode. Then the projector is a lot quieter. The light output is then reduced by about 20%.
The contrast is rather on the poor side, in the Bright picture mode you get 2,000: 1 but in the Movie and sRGB modes the contrast drops below 1,000: 1. This is mainly due to a relatively weak black value. This does not have to be a problem with ambient light. And even in bright scenes, the Optoma continues to project excellent image. Looking at eclipse, especially when it comes to dark films, the projector is less suitable.
The GT5000 also gets good points for its gray scale. It is very good in sRGB and Movie mode, and does not contain any annoying shades. The color range is solid but blue and green are visibly too dull. Most skin colors tend to be light to orange. Nevertheless, the end result still remains very tasteful. The images never look unnatural, and the colors are sufficiently intense, provided the correct image mode.
Do you look at eclipse? Then choose sRGB image mode and set the lamp to eco. In weak ambient light, the ‘Movie’ mode is slightly better, but let the ‘Brilliantcolor’ option fall to 3 or 4. With even more light, switch the lamp to ‘Bright’.
The GT5000 is also ready for 3D image, provided you purchase the optional glasses and 3D emitter. The built-in 16W speakers sound a little too shrill. They are sufficient for occasional use, but for serious pleasure we really recommend a good soundbar. The USB connection is only a power source, for example for a Chromecast.
Conclusion – Optoma GT5000
An Ultra Short Throw projector such as the Optoma GT5000 offers a clear advantage in terms of placement. Little or no hassle with long cables or people walking through the picture. We have to add that a perfectly flat screen is necessary, because every wave or dent in the wall is sharply accentuated. Its black value and color performance are not at the level of a true home cinema projector. But combined with its high light output, it fits best with viewers who do not want to completely obscure, and who see their projector as an asset to put sports or games on the big screen.