Ultra Short Throw projectors are clearly on the rise. They provide a large image while still close to the screen, which greatly simplifies the setup. This Optoma also comes with a laser light source with very high brightness, HDR and a built-in soundbar. Reason enough to roll out the projection screen again.
Optoma UHZ65UST – specifications
- What: Ultra HD DLP projector with laser light source
- Setup: 3,840 x 2,160 (1,920 x 1,080 with pixel shifting), light output 3,500 ANSI lumens, dynamic contrast 2,500,000: 1, projection ratio 0.25 (100 inch diagonal at 0.26 m), noise level 28/26 dB (standard, eco-mode)
- Connections: 3x HDMI (2.0, ARC), 2x USB (1x Power, and 1x media player, MS office player), 1x optical digital out, 1x stereo minijack out, 1x ethernet
- Lamp life: laser light source, up to 20,000 hours
- Extras: HDR10, HLG, 2x 10 Watt NuForce soundbar, WiFi, Aptoide appstore, media player,
- Dimensions: 576 x 383 x 130 mm
- Weight: 11.0 kg
- List price: 3,499 euros
Optoma UHZ65UST – Design
Ultra Short Throw- projectors clearly seem to opt for a salon-fähig design. This is not surprising on the one hand because they are so visibly arranged, but it remains a pleasant surprise.
The Optoma is built considerably, it is 10 cm less wide than the LG HU85LS but it is 4 cm deeper, a difference that is important, as we will see further. Furthermore, both projectors share the same appearance. Handsome finish, luxurious speaker fabric on the front, and only the lens opening on top of the device betrays its projector function.
Optoma UHZ65UST – Connections
Also on this projector are most connections and power cable on the side facing the wall. Due to its projection ratio, the minimum distance to the wall is about 14 cm. As a result, the connections are always relatively easily accessible. One HDMI connection and USB connection are also on the side, which are ideal for the occasional laptop or USB hard drive.
The Optoma UHZ65UST is equipped with three HDMI 2.0 connections, one with ARC. There are two USB ports, one that you can use for media, and one that can be used as a power supply (for example for a Chromecast dongle). The third USB connection is for service purposes only. In addition, there is a stereo minijack output, an optical digital audio output, and a network connection. The UHZ65UST is also equipped with WiFi. Bluetooth is available for the remote control, but also to use the projector as a Bluetooth speaker.
Optoma UHZ65UST – Placement
With its projection ratio of 0.25, the Optoma UHZ65UST is fully in the field of Ultra Short Throw projectors . The difference with the 0.19 projection ratio of the LG does not seem very big, but combined with its slightly deeper profile, it can still become a point of attention. Why? For a 100 inch image, the Optoma should be about 26 cm from the wall. Add its depth (38 cm) and you arrive at a total of 64 cm. That is just a little too long for many TV furniture that is often around 50 cm deep. For the same 100 inch image, the LG only needs 45 cm total depth (10 + 35 cm). It is of course not a show stopper, and is easy to solve by pulling your TV cabinet off the wall, but something to keep in mind. The projection offset is 124%, so the bottom of the image appears just under a quarter of the image height above the lens.
The Optoma UHZ65UST can project an image from 80 to 120 inches. Zoom and lens shift are missing as on most UST models. Setting the focus is done via the remote control and is easiest to do by calling up the built-in test pattern with a grid and then setting the focus. The top left and right corners always remained very slightly out of focus on our test model, but in practice we didn't notice it, even with a desktop image on the screen.
Because small shifts cause large trapezoidal distortion the most recent UST projectors equipped with an extensive keystone correction system. The Optoma can display a grid of 4 to 81 (!) Points on the screen that you can adjust individually to create a perfect image.
The laser light source requires cooling, but the sound is not too bad. Even at full power, the fans are not really disturbing.
Furthermore, you have to take into account all the advantages and disadvantages of UST projection that we discuss in this article . The most important? Provide a perfectly flat projection surface to avoid image distortion. And know that even the smallest displacement means that you have to readjust the image.
Optoma UHZ65UST – Ease of use
This Optoma UHZ65UST is equipped with a “smart TV” system, based on Android. The settings menus have a completely different structure than what we are used to on other models. You will find a whole range of image modes and all the necessary settings to adjust or calibrate the image, including a color management system. There is no explanation for the settings, so keep the manual with it.
Via the quick menu you can quickly choose another input, adjust the picture or sound modes, adjust color temperature and HDR brightness. Remote control
The Optoma remote is a luxury beast. It's small, all-metal, and dark black in color with backlit keys. Two important plus points: it works with IR and Bluetooth so you don't have to aim perfectly. And it has a rechargeable battery, and micro-USB connection for charging. The remote can also function as an “air mouse”, which lets you move a pointer on the screen by moving the remote.
But, it may be a bit too minimalistic. The icons on the small keys are not very clear, so initially you will often look for exactly how to do something. And because there are so few keys, it takes several keystrokes to change a picture mode or other setting. Not a problem for the more casual user, but for the enthusiastic user it takes some getting used to.
The installed Android version uses the Aptoide appstore that we also encountered on the Philips Screeneo S4 . Optoma has made the software more stable. But some problems remain. For example, the Netflix app is clearly not intended for TV and we received maximum SD images, while in YouTube we failed to recognize HDR images. Those who have a media library can install Plex.
The built-in media player supports a lot of formats, but occasionally dropped a stitch. For example, he played Divx, but no Xvid (although it was in the list of supported formats) and you cannot play DTS soundtracks. We were unable to select subtitles. HDR files were possible. Once the player suddenly refused all files, and we had to restart the projector. In short, despite the built-in possibilities you are better off with a good external media player that also contains a solid app platform.
Optoma UHZ65UST – Image processing
The image processing on the Optoma UHZ65UST is rather minimal. There is no noise reduction, and the deinterlacing is good, but it stumbles regularly, showing moire. So put your sources in 720p, 1080p or 2160p and avoid 1080i.
The basic performance is very good. This Ultra HD DLP projector uses the smaller 0.47 inch DLP chip from Texas Instruments. It offers two million pixels and uses a quadruple pixel shift technique to display Ultra HD images. If you want to know how this works, take a look at our background article about projectors . He does not provide perfect detail, we are now used to all those pixel shifters. But the result with good Ultra HD sources is better than we expected, especially for a model with the smaller DLP chip. Ultra HD sources deliver significant detail and sharp images. The upscaling is fine, so you can expect sharp images from Full HD or even SD images.
A tip: set the 'sharpness' setting somewhere between 1 and 3, regardless of which image mode you use. . Even in the “Reference” image mode, Optoma has set the sharpness far too high. As a result, noise is strongly emphasized and even on a noise-free image you get a lot of false detail. The projector does not need that to make an impression.
If you want to make movie images a bit smoother, you can activate “PureMotion” in three different steps. The image does not become perfectly smooth, but on the other hand it also causes very little to no image artifacts.
Optoma UHZ65UST – Image quality
The blue laser of the UHZ65UST projector uses a color wheel that with red and green phosphor for the other two. basic colors. The projector also promises a very high brightness (3,500 lumens) and enormous contrast.
We now know that we never achieve the specified values with UST projectors, but we come in the brightest image mode (bright). yet up to 2,385 lumens, with a handsome contrast of 1442: 1. The colors are very green. In the “Reference” that drops to 1042 lumens, a contrast of just 800: 1. Even that is still enough for a 90 inch image with some ambient light. You can also dim the laser in steps of 5% (with “Brightness Mode”) from 100% to 50%. And finally, there are three “DynamicBlack” modes that dim the laser in real time based on image content. This way you can increase the contrast to 6,000 to even 13,000: 1.
The Cinema mode is rather too red and causes unnatural skin tones. The 'Reference' image mode gives very nice results, and we could improve it even more by choosing Dynamic Black 1 (or 2 if you really want a lot of extra pop).
Still, the calibration of the Reference fashion a lot better. For example, the gray scale has a significant blue surplus, so that images look slightly cooler than desired. With the gamma setting at 2.2, the projector turns out to be 2.4, no drama, it gives the image some extra plasticity. But it is still intended for viewing by eclipse. The color reproduction is reasonable, but the too intense blue of the laser is not sufficiently tempered. Of course, that also attracts magenta and cyan extra to the blue side. With a good calibration you can improve the image a lot, but even out of the box we found the images very good.
Optoma UHZ65UST – HDR
A projector has a very hard time competing with TV when talking about  HDR goes, but the Optoma really does present nice results. With support for HDR10 and HLG, the Optoma already offers more than some competitors. Dolby Vision and no HDR10 + remain exceptional for projectors until further notice. The color range of 88% DCI-P3 (64% Rec2020) is close to the specification that indicates 87%. That is just enough for a good HDR display, we require 90% DCI-P3. Just like in SDR, it has too deep a blue, and red and green are very slightly lacking.
The projector offers four different HDR brightness modes, from bright to dark: Bright, Standard, Film and Detail. We preferred Bright or Standard. You enjoy very intense HDR colors and all white detail up to 2,000 nits is preserved thanks to the tone mapping. The brightness is sufficient to ensure a good impact when darkened.
Optoma UHZ65UST – Gaming
With an input lag of 136 ms, the Optoma is clearly not in the category of gaming projectors. Optoma claims an input lag of 70 ms, a result we unfortunately couldn't reproduce. But even at 70 ms, the lag is still too high unless you're into some casual gaming.
Optoma UHZ65UST – Sound Quality
Built-in projector speakers rarely leave a good impression. Even with many of the UST projectors that we have already tested and which nevertheless offer more than enough space to build in a sound solution. Not so with the UHZ65UST. The built-in NuForce soundbar with 2x 10w power delivers a lot of volume, with clear voices and even a decent portion of bass. Even at really high volumes, the sound remains good, with very little distortion. You should not expect a real surround experience, but the movie sound mode does create a great spatial effect.
Via Bluetooth you can also connect the projector to your smartphone to use it as a Bluetooth speaker. Of course, he can not compete with a real audio installation, but for ordinary listening pleasure he seems excellent. Classical or rock, it doesn't matter, this built-in soundbar did very well.
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. More info about our measuring equipment can be found here
Optoma UHZ65UST – Conclusion
For the largest screen sizes projectors certainly have a future, and this UST laser projector from Optoma illustrates that perfectly. Although he can do even better here and there. Especially the “smart TV” environment needs a big boost. The Android TV-based Aptoide app store left us with mixed feelings again. Yes, you have YouTube, Amazon, Netflix and a media player all at hand. But all of them also fail, especially with the apps because they do not offer the real smart TV apps, but mobile versions. So you ultimately have to turn to an external player. Where we could overlook that with a small portable projector such as Philips Screeneo S4, we find that a real drawback for the Optoma. Better calibration would also be an additional asset, although the images are quite satisfactory.
But the UHZ65UST really surprised us. It takes the place of your TV, like all UST projectors, and can be placed easily with the right precautions. For example, choose a pre-stressed screen. The laser projector pumps out a lot of light, with a very good contrast and rich colors. The images are therefore very compelling. It can really shine when embezzled. For those who often look at ambient light, we recommend opting for an ALR (Ambient Light Rejection) screen, to improve the performance even more. The real surprise of this projector was its sound quality, which is very good. The built-in soundbar delivers solid sound that is pleasant to the ears for both film and music.
And then there is the price. That is almost half of the comparable LG HU85LS, while the performance in terms of image quality is very comparable, and the sound performance is downright better. Yes, WebOS is a great asset for the LG, but you can solve that with the Optoma with a good external player. In short, this is an excellent choice for those who aspire to a really large image in the living room.