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Review: Optoma UHD370X Ultra HD projector with HDR

Review Optoma UHD370X
Optoma UHD370X is Ultra HD projector with sufficient light output to look at ambient light, HDR support, and a particularly attractive price tag.
4.5 - 10 vote[s]

Optoma has a very wide range of projectors. We chose this Optoma UHD370X because it promises an excellent combination. An Ultra HD projector with sufficient light output to look at ambient light, HDR support, and a particularly attractive price tag. Can he make that combination?

Optoma UHD370X – specifications

  • What: Ultra HD DLP Projector
  • Setup: 3.840 x 2.160 (1.920 x 1.080 with pixel shifting), light output 3.500 ANSI lumen, dynamic contrast 500.000: 1, projection ratio 1.21 – 1.59 (100 inch diagonal at 2.7 – 3.5 m), noise level nb / 25 dB (standard, ecomode)
  • Connections: 2x HDMI (2.0), 1x VGA, 3x USB ( media reader, wireless dongle, Alexa), 1x optical digital out, 1x stereo minijack out, 1x stereo minijack in, 1x ethernet, 1x RS-232, 1x 12V trigger
  • Lamp life: 4,000 / 10,000 / 15,000 hours
  • Extras : HDR10, 2x 5 Watt speakers, and via optional wireless dongle: DLNA, screen mirroring
  • Dimensions: 392 x 281 x 118 mm
  • Weight: 5.22 kg
  • List price: 1.499 euro

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Optoma UHD370X – design

The Optoma is not a striking appearance, it has the typical flat shoe box shape of most projectors. The design has a lot in common with the UHD65. This means that he needs more space than the typical compact DLP projectors. With this weight and dimensions, you can still take it with you on a trip, but that does not seem to us the intention.

Like the UHD65, it is in a shiny black plastic housing. The upper side was accented with a dark gray stripe motif. The housing is ribbed around the front, with a ventilation grille at the front.

Connections

All connections are at the back, so you have to provide the necessary space if you put the projector on a shelf. You get two HDMI connections, both are v2.0 and fully ready for Ultra HD HDR. Via the menu you can also switch them to v1.4 (useful if there are compatibility problems with older devices, but then you lose on that input the 4K possibilities). There is also a VGA connection for picture.

For audio there is a stereo input and stereo output and an optical digital output. For automation there is a 12V trigger, RS-232 and a network connection. Curiously, the latter does not serve other network functions (DLNA, mirrroring) that the projector offers. For that you have to provide an optional wireless dongle.

It is striking that he also has no less than four USB connections. One is for service purposes, and offers no function for the end user, two only for dongles (WiFi and Alexa). The latter, a USB 3.0 connection can be used to offer media (video, photo, music)

Optoma UHD370X – Installation

The Optoma UHD370X is equipped with a lens with a limited zoom (1.3x) and a fairly typical projection ratio. You get a 100 inch image when the projector is about 2.7 to 3.5 m from the screen. The lens offset is 105%, the image appears slightly above the lens. With the vertical lens shift, operated with a knob above the lens, you can add 10% (only further up, not down).

Focus and zoom are obviously both manual, but they are easy to serve. A sharp image is a matter of a minute of work with the built-in test pattern. With the adjustable feet you place the projector nicely horizontally, that is important, keystone correction is not provided. The projector must also be at the center of the image.

We are pleasantly surprised by the fan noise. In eco-mode that is absolutely not disturbing, and you can even sit close to the projector. But even at full power, the noise is noticeable, and only appears in silent fragments and dialogues above the soundtrack. Also in the dynamic lamp mode (which you choose by activating Dynamic Black) the noise largely falls back to the level of the eco-mode.

Optoma UHD370X – Ease of use

Menus

This Optoma uses a different menu structure than formerly. The picture settings are a little less clear, but they still offer all the necessary settings to adjust the image and / or to calibrate.

So there is a complete CMS on board, and you can not do less then choose six different presets for the gray scale, and seven gamma curves.

Navigating through the menus occasionally suffered some delays, which can be tricky if you click too many times to adjustment.

Remote control

The remote is extremely small and offers very few keys. We regret this choice somewhat, the ease of use suffers slightly, because for every operation often very many clicks are needed.

The remote is illuminated. Although the projector aims to look explicitly while the lights are on, even using the lights off, the remote is not a problem.

Optoma UHD370X – features

Like all Ultra HD DLP projectors, it uses a DLP chip from Texas Instruments. It offers four million pixels (half of Ultra HD) and uses pixel-shifting technology to show Ultra HD images.

The built-in speakers are of limited added value. They are ok for an occasional sports match or some gaming, but you will not get a decent movie soundtrack. A soundbar or other sound solution is indicated.

The projector is equipped with a network connection, but to our surprise you can not use it for the multimedia features, only for controlling via eg. Crestron. Those who want screen mirroring and DLNA should use a dongle to equip the projector with WiFi. We find that a strange mistake. Screen mirroring uses EZCast software and works fine. Other apps like Netflix or YouTube are not there.

The built-in media player can handle the MP3, WMA and AAC audio. For video, the support is even very good. Xvid, H264, even HEVC and HDR files in 4K, and the most common subtitle formats are all no problem. Unfortunately, the projector does not play AC3 (Dolby Digital) or DTS audio, and that is disappointing. Yes, you obviously do not get a surround out of this projector, and the sound is moderate at best, but a built-in media player that does not support these formats is, in one fell swoop, a lot less useful.

The player is also not completely free of bugs. At a certain moment he refused to play the audio of our videos, and the playback seemed to be slightly accelerated. Only restarting solved the problem. The DLNA player lists all the servers in your network, but you can only reach the first in the list. Although you can select a different server from the list, once you press OK you will be taken to the menus of the first server.

In short, handy screen mirroring and a decent media player, but small mistakes or bugs make it external player remains necessary, especially if you want to use other streaming services.

Optoma UHD370X – Image quality

We also see a lot of similarities with the UHD65 in image processing, which means very poor results. Deinterlacing and detection of film and video framerates is occasionally flawed. Moiré, or an occasional staircase effect along almost horizontal lines can certainly not be ruled out. You should take care of sources that do not deliver 1080i, in that case you prefer 720p or natural 1080p.

The very finest detail of an Ultra HD image often gets lost, that is unfortunately a limitation of this DLP chip with pixel hifting. Still, Ultra HD images still provide a little more detail than Full HD, and given the extra cost of an Ultra HD projector with a native 4K panel, that is quite a good performance. There is no noise reduction, but the projector is equipped with frame interpolation (PureMotion). However, it produced very volatile results. In some scenes, the image became neatly flowing as expected, in others there were so many gross image artefacts that we immediately turned it off.

In the ‘Bright’ mode, the projector delivered a large 2,800 lumens, nevertheless a little under the specification, but a lot. In the Reference image mode it drops hard to about 700 lumens. This is due to the color wheel that uses not only RGB segments, but also other (probably white) segments that boost the light output. White is therefore brighter than the colors, a typical phenomenon in DLP. In the menus you will find ‘Brilliant Color’, with that setting you can control how much the white is boosted. In the Cinema mode you get 1.700 lumens, with a contrast of 820: 1, a solid result. But it does show that contrast is not the strong point of this projector. Light output, however. We got the best result in the User mode with a gamma 2.2 setting and DynamicBlack activated. For example, we could still get 1700 lumens (more than enough for 120 inches, even with a lot of light), with a contrast of about 1200: 1 and a proper calibration. By switching the lamp in eco-mode you deliver 35% brightness, but even that is still sufficient for a 100 inch image.

The weak contrast is mainly caused by a very moderate black value. An additional problem, specific to this specific DLP chip is that with all 16: 9 images you will see a particularly wide, ‘clear’ edge around the image (see photo above). Those two problems are of course especially important if you look at eclipse. In a generous portion of ambient light that edge absolutely does not.

Because the User-preset gave the best results, we use it for our measurements. We also activated Brilliant Color, which represents the intended use of this projector (looking at ambient light). The result is excellent, the gray scale is neutral, the gamma curve fine and only the colors are, as expected, a bit too dark. Cyan and Magenta tend to be a bit too blue, but you’ll rarely see that in practice.

HDR

The Optoma UHD370X supports HDR10, and delivers a nice HDR image, although it will never be as spectacular as a television. It must be said that the color range (63% DCI-P3) is too small to really speak of HDR .

You can choose from four EOTF curves, in ascending order in which they make the image brighter: Detail, Film, Standard, Bright. We would opt for Film in the event of misappropriation, with a lot of light choosing Standard or even Bright. You make a compromise in any case. Keep in mind that the projector will hide 5% shadow detail in HDR. Witnuances are retained up to 1,000 nits, even up to 2,000 depending on the metadata, but all are clipped above them.

For the best HDR results you have to get eclipse. In ambient light, the effect is pretty logical, largely lost.

Gaming

The Optoma UHD370X has a lag of 75 ms and that is a little too high for a good gaming experience.

Review equipment

For the lag measurement we use a Leo Bodnar Display lag meter. For all other measurements we rely on a Spectracal C6 HDR2000 Colorimeter, Xrite i1 Pro spectrophotometer, a VideoForge Pro pattern generator, and the Spectracal Calman for Business software. To analyze any HDR problems we use an HDFury Vertex.

Optoma UHD370X – Conclusion

The Optoma UHD370X is a projector with a clear goal. At home in the living room, even in ambient light, enjoy great picture. He also succeeds well, although you have to make some concessions. Contrast is not his strongest side, and his HDR image is nice, but pales with the performance of a decent television. In an environment with lots of light, this is not uncommon for a projector. Motion Interpolation is provided, but during several tests we had to deactivate it because of too many image problems. As a last restriction, you may not expect a perfect Ultra HD detail.

On the positive side, we find an Ultra HD projector with an enormous light output and a lively, fun image, even in a normal living room. Despite its limitations, the image is very pleasant even when darkened, but the moderate contrast weighs more often. The built-in media player is still a bit of a plus because of its good video support, even though Dolby Digital and DTS are missing on the supported list of formats. Finally, it is quite quiet, and not unimportant, very reasonably priced.

Negatives

  • No perfect Ultra HD detail
  • Too limited color range (HDR)
  • Fickle Motion Interpolation

Pros

  • Light output
  • Color rendering (SDR)
  • Built-in media player
  • Silent
  • Reasonable HDR performance

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