Ultra HD projectors have been very expensive for a long time. But with the introduction of a number of Ultra HD DLP models, that has changed a lot. The Optoma UHD65 offers a lot of attractive features, including HDR support. Reason enough to put him on the test bench.
Optoma UHD65 – specifications
- What: Ultra HD DLP projector
- Arrangement: 3.840 x 2.160, light output 2.200 ANSI lumen, dynamic contrast 1.200.000: 1, projection ratio 1.39 – 2.22 (100 inch diagonal between 3.08 and 4.91 m), noise level nb / 25 dB (standard, ecomode)
- Connections: 2x HDMI (1x v1.4 and 1x v2.0a), 1x VGA, 1x USB, 1x stereo minijack in, 1x stereo minijack out, 1x optical digital out, 1x 12V trigger, 1x network, 1x RS-232
- Lamp life: 4,000 / 10,000 / 15,000 hours
- Extras: HDR10
- Dimensions: 498 x 141 x 331 mm
- Weight: 7.8 kg
- Consumption: 305/249 / 0.5 watt
- Recommended retail price: 3,299 euros
Optoma UHD65 – design
Of DLP projectors we usually expect that they are very compact, but that is not the case for this Optoma UHD65. His measurements and weight clearly place him in the home theater domain. And even though he has built-in speakers, you do not see him as a model that you sometimes take to friends or family.
The glossy black housing has gray ridges all around and a silver accent line. It gives the UHD65 a somewhat slimmer appearance. The cooling emits the warm air right at the front, and the projector also leaks a little light, but without any adverse effects on the screen.
The connections are on the back, so there is sufficient space if you want to place it on a shelf against the wall. There are two HDMI connections, but only one is suitable for Ultra HD / HDR content (HDMI2). You can also use this connection for a mobile phone via MHL. HDMI1 supports Ultra HD , but with a maximum of 30 frames per second. However, because it does not use HDCP2.2, many Ultra HD sources will refuse service. Connect your Ultra HD Blu-ray player or other UHD source to HDMI2.
In addition, only a VGA input is provided for image. The USB connections serve for service purposes and as power supply for any HDMI dongles. A stereo minijack for audio in and out, and an optical digital audio output make the selection complete. This optical connection makes it possible to connect the projector to some sound bars that only have that connection. That is interesting, but keep in mind that in view of the typical setup, you will need a very long optical cable. When placing such a cable you may not make sharp kinks in the cable.
If you set up the projector in an environment that you want to automate, you can use the RS-232 connection or the network connection. A 12V trigger is available for automation of the screen.
Optoma UHD65 – Placement and ease of use
The Optoma UHD65 projector exhibits virtually identical placement options such as the Acer V7850. The projection ratio of the lens gives you a 100 inch image from just over three meters away. And the 1.6x zoom lens makes it possible to set the projector even further (4.9 m) for the same image. The lens offset of 115% causes the image to appear 15% of the image height above the lens, and you can slide the image down by 15% using lens shift. Because there is no keystone support (even if that button is on the remote), your flexibility in choosing a place is limited. The most obvious solution is mounting on the ceiling. Setting up on a low table seems more difficult in view of the projection ratio. The lens shift and the zoom are covered by a lid on the top of the projector that opens and closes particularly difficult. The zoom works smoothly, but just like with the Acer, you control the lens shift with a rotary knob at the top of the projector, and that is a somewhat laborious process. Drafting is a one-off activity, so we do not count that as a negative point.
This Optoma scores particularly well for fan noise. With the eco-mode light, the projector is quiet enough that you can sit close to it. But even with the lamp on full power, the noise of the cooling is audible but not disturbing. The Optoma also offers a dynamic lamp mode (Dynamic Black). That lamp varies between 30 and 100% depending on how bright the scene is. In that case too, the noise is absolutely not disturbing, or even barely audible.
The menus give you extensive options for adjusting the image. This way you can mask the edge of the image, or light digital zoom in if there is some interference in the image edge (something that sometimes occurs on set-top boxes for digital TV).
In addition to a good selection of image presets, there is everything to calibrate the image, including a selection of color temperatures, gamma values and a complete CMS. This works with very handy x / y coordinates, which makes calibration much easier. In practice, the system proved usable, but not as convenient as expected.
The remote is clearly of the generic type for Optoma projectors. Some buttons such as a component video input, keystone or 3D are available, but are not supported by the projector.
The remote is small, but the keys are pleasant and easy enough. They are also illuminated. The three buttons at the top can be assigned a function via the menus themselves. This is very useful during calibration, but also gives the end user the option to adjust certain settings quickly.
Optoma UHD65 – features
Like all Ultra HD DLP projectors, it uses the latest 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 addition of stereo 4 Watt speakers seems completely unnecessary. The dimensions of this projector clearly place it in a fixed setup, and in that case you want a good sound solution. The thin sound of the built-in speakers does not seem useful for any application.
Optoma UHD65 – Image quality
We have known for a long time that you do not deliver interlaced images on a projector. Similarly for this Optoma. Although not dramatically bad, the deinterlacing and detection of film and video framerates is poor. That is indeed the case on many projectors, only some expensive models do that well. So choose your sources for 720p, 1080p or 2160p instead of 1080i.
Ultra HD images, but also Full HD images are pretty sharp, although the DLP panel does not succeed in showing the finest detail. Whoever demands this is dependent on a much more expensive real Ultra HD model. The projector also provides no noise reduction and that means you have to be careful with the sharpness settings. With older DVDs, too much sharpness can be magnified than unwanted image noise. With a good (read Full HD) source, the result is very good. You leave the sharpness setting between 5 and 10, and for some extra detail you can activate UltraDetail to taste. Only the highest position you have to avoid, that gives the image an artificial look.
With ‘PureMotion’ you can make faltering pan images smooth, without too many side effects. The detail in fast moving scenes is limited, that is not unexpected. But the projector shows rather a vague edge around a moving object and that is better, and less disturbing than the double edge we sometimes see on other models.
With a maximum light output of approximately 2,090 lumens, the Optoma is not too far from its specification of 2,200 lumens. But of course you only get that amount of light in the ‘Bright’ image mode that is excessively green. Who wants the best image quality, switches on the ‘Reference’ image mode. With that you still get a good 920 lumens with the lamp in standard mode. There you fill a screen of 130 inches in a darkened room and even 100 inches in some ambient light. With the eco-mode lamp the projector reaches 610 lumens, and you best limit yourself to a screen of 100 to 80 inches. The Optoma also offers a nice contrast value of approximately 1,050 to 1 for that performance. The black value is not fantastic, but better than what we saw on recent competitors. With the lamp in dynamic mode he theoretically picks up a contrast of more than 4,000: 1 but with some more realistic test images (where we do not make the whole screen black) he still gets 2,800: 1. The lamp is dimmed very gradually, typically in 15 seconds, and there are no annoying effects. So if the image goes from clear to dark very quickly and back, then the effect is somewhat smaller. With PureContrast you can sharpen the contrast within the image, but the results were especially good on clear images. PureContrast shows too much black detail on dark images.
The Reference image mode is well calibrated. The gray scale shows too warm a color temperature, so that the image tends to be too much red, but no annoying changes in the tint. The brightness gradient neatly follows the gamma 2.2 value. Who looks into eclipse may consider switching the gamma to 2.4 for a slightly more intense picture. The projector hides a small touch of white detail, and we were not able to correct that with the contrast setting. However, the loss is small, and therefore not disturbing. He shows excellent black detail. The color range is good, but red and magenta are clearly too bright. In the saturation of the different colors, the projector drops a stitch in red and green, but the error is not serious enough to spoil the viewing pleasure.
If you look in a dark home theater, opt for the Reference image preset. With a bit more light, you better choose the Cinema image set.
HDR on a projector is a tricky business because a lot of light output is required and a lot of contrast. You can not compare HDR on a projector with HDR on a television. And yet, with the light output of this Optoma UHD65 projector there is potential for beautiful images, it supports HDR10 content. And soon we notice that the HDR view of the UHD65 is very nice. The projector shows neatly black detail, and pretty natural looking colors, although the color range with 77% DCI-P3 is too limited to show real HDR colors. Only in the clearest parts of the image do we notice that he hides some detail.
An edge note: the menus for HDR are a bit confusing. There is an HDR image preset, but it actually creates a pseudo-HDR look. The real HDR setting can be found under the label ‘Dynamic Range’.
There you choose HDR best ‘auto’, so the projector automatically recognizes HDR input. Avoid ‘SDR -> HDR’. That position makes the images almost cartoonishly intense, with strongly exaggerated colors and contrast. If you want a pseudo-HDR effect, choose the HDR image preset. With the help of HDR effect (light, standard, film and detail) you adjust the display. Light is the brightest, but it hides an enormous amount of white detail. Detail yields slightly more black detail but makes the image considerably darker. Standard and Film are between the two in terms of clarity and we usually choose Film.
The UHD65 has a lag of 93.7 ms in Reference and 77.8 ms in Game. That is probably noticeable for many players, so be careful if you wish to play games on this projector.
For the lag measurement we use a Leo Bodnar Display lag meter. For all other measurements we rely on a Spectracal C6 colorimeter, Xrite i1 Pro spectrophotometer, an AVFoundry HDMI Pattern Generator , an HDFury Integral for HDR patterns and the Spectracal Calman for Business software.
Optoma UHD65 – Conclusion
Ultra HD DLP projectors with HDR support are still in their childhood, but this Optoma UHD65 succeeds to produce very convincing results. You miss a little detail, but the images are significantly sharper than with Full HD projectors. It is a very quiet projector, with ample light output and good contrast, which is improved by the dynamic lamp. The UHD65 also delivers the most beautiful HDR images we have seen on a projector so far. The color range is somewhat too small for HDR, but the images are nonetheless very impressive. The price is slightly above that of the on paper virtually identical Acer V7860, but we think he is absolutely worth the extra price.