Optoma UHD65 4K Home Theater Projector Review
OPTOMA UHD65 4K PROJECTOR – PERFORMANCE: Measured Brightness / Color Temp – pre calibration, Calibrated Reference mode brightness, Affect of Zoom lens and Eco mode, As a Gaming Projector, Comments about Dynamic Black
The short version is that with good to great color, the Optoma UHD65 serves up a number of picture modes that deliver between 840 and almost 1400 lumens. Only Bright mode (not to be confused with Normal lamp – the brightest lamp setting – available to all modes), is the only one that came close to the claimed 2200 lumens. We measured – at full wide angle on the lens, 1929 lumens so down a little more than 10% vs claim. That’s about typical of what we find most projectors do vs their claims. Some projectors barely make 70% of claims and a few will beat claims by 20-30%. Still most projectors miss their numbers by a little.
|UHD65 MODES: BRIGHTNESS AND COLOR TEMP – at Mid-point on zoom lens|
|PICTURE MODE||BRIGHTNESS (lumens)||COLOR TEMP (K)|
|HDR (for 4K…)||1108||6117|
Maximum Brightness measured was Brightest mode which was terribly green, and mostly unusable, except under the worst possible lighting. At full wide angle (placing the projector as close as possible to a screen of a given size), Brightest mode clocked in at 1929 lumens.
Reference mode, per Eric, was the best mode over all for 1080p.
Uncalibrated, Reference mode measured 846 lumens
That makes this Optoma a typical home theater projector, rather than a home entertainment projector like the lower cost UHD60 version. Although it’s rare that projectors get slightly brighter by calibrating them. Still, the difference is insignificant.
Remember, 4K HDR is very different from non-HDR, whether 1080p or 4K. The “gamma” is very different, with more brightness saved for the very brightest elements being projected. Thus more punch / brighter, when there’s a flash of lightning, or a headlight on a dark night, or sunlight in the window of a dark room. The dynamics of HDR are very different and call for having more brightness than non HDR. In that regard, no projectors (not even Sony’s $60,000 VW5000ES with 5000 lumens, is technically, ideally bright enough.) The same can be said for all but a very small handful of LCDTV’s. Few of the OLED TVs are close either. That doesn’t mean there aren’t benefits to HDR, but there are trade-offs. For perspective, a bright Samsung 65″ 4K LCD HDR TV at Costco was about $3500 the other day, but a far less bright 4K Samsung – also 65″ was under $1000.
Post Calibration Reference Mode
870 calibrated lumens in Reference Mode is enough for 130″ screens under dedicated home theater conditions and will do just fine with say 100 to 110 inch screens with minor ambient light, even for movie viewing. Brighter modes, of course, can be almost twice as bright for tackling more ambient light desired such as for watching sports, or maybe an HDTV comedy.
The two places more lumens would be nice are for HDR and 3D. Of course this Optoma lacks 3D. Since one can’t really expect more than about 1/3 of the lumens hitting your eyes when watching 3D compared to 2D, you’ll likely find the Optoma underpowered in Vivid mode if you try to push much above 110″ diagonal, and it doesn’t get respectably bright above 100″ diagonal.
Affect of Zoom Lens, and Eco mode, on Brightness
|UHD65 Lens Setting vs Brightness (lumens) (Bright mode)|
|Wide Angle (closest placement to the screen)||1929 lumens|
If you can place the projector so the zoom is at full wide angle – the closest you can place your projector to whatever sized screen you have, that will be the brightest. Because the lens is a 1.6:1 – a moderate amount of zoom range, the brightness drops off less than with projectors with more zoom range. Measuring at the mid-point of the zoom lens results in a very minimal drop of just over 5% (barely detectible by the human eye) while going to full telephoto (typically for back of the room placement, results in a drop compared to wide angle, of almost a perfect 16%, still pretty minor (dropping from full power to an eco mode on most projectors means a drop of 20% – 40% in terms of brightness).
One thing worth noting. I detected a small amount of defocusing going on as the Optoma projector fully warms up. It’s slight, but enough – on 4K content, that I needed to reshoot a couple of close up images – images used to show off the Optoma’s sharpness, because the defocusing softened the image just slightly. Note, that a small amount of defocusing is hardly unusual. Recommendation: Refocus the projector after it’s been on about 20 minutes at full power (or lower power if you never use full lamp). Then leave it like that. The focus will be off a minor amount when you first power up after that, but you aren’t likely to even notice.
|UHD65 Full Power vs. Eco (Bright Mode)|
As long as we’re discussing full power (Normal) vs Eco, I should mention that the UHD65 is rated 4000 hours on the lamp at full power, and 1000 hours in Eco. They even stretch the spec, as do many projectors, even further. In this case, Optoma claims a maximum of 15,000 hours. But for that, it’s assuming at times you forgot about your projector, it’s on, without content, or content isn’t changing, so the Optoma will dramatically reduce power, waiting for you to start using the projector again.
Optoma UHD65 as a Game Projector
Gamers, you will be disappointed with the UHD65. I used my Leo Bodnar input lag tester on both HDMI 1 and 2.
Before I did, I turned off everything I could find that might be dynamic, and therefore increase lag. I turned off Brilliant Color, Dynamic Black, all the Pure functions (Contrast, Motion, Detail) and so on, even before my first measurement.
I’m sure if I turn some of that stuff back on, the lag with further increase, but no matter.
The UHD65 measured in the 83ms range. Generally we consider right around 50ms to be acceptable to most, but hard core folks, playing fast games, including team games, may get by with 50ms but they would like better. around 33ms has to be considered pretty good. If a projector is as low as 16-17 ms, that indicates only being 1 frame behind on a 60fps game, or 1/2 frame behind on a 30fps game.
While this Optoma has a number of skills and talents, attracting gamers won’t be one of them.
Gamers, you should probably look elsewhere, unless your idea of a game is more the speed of Scrabble.
The brightness difference between full power (Bright), and low power (Eco) works out to approximately a 32% drop. That’s pretty typical as 25% to 35% is what most projectors lose when switching to Eco.
Like many DLP projectors for home, Optoma offers up Dynamic Black – a lamp dimming scheme which uses lamp dimming to accomplish the same sort of thing dynamic irises do – lower black levels on the darkest scenes.
Dynamic Black is pretty subdued on this projector. It doesn’t accomplish near as much as a good dynamic iris (not even close), but in this case, that’s not a terrible thing.
Over the years, I’ve routinely advised our readers to turn off Dynamic Black which has benefits in theory, but in previous iterations, created more problems (visible pumping of images) than it produced in benefits. My best guess here is that Optoma was wise to limit the reach of their dynamic black so that it proves nice and smooth are rarely noticeable, as compared with other Optoma’s where the dimming and brightening action was so obvious on many mid brightness scenes that I just couldn’t watch it.
So, while better blacks would have been even better, I’m pleased to report Optoma has found the sweet spot for their Dynamic Black. They get improvement, but not great improvement, but in this case, that’s great – since with great improvement in blacks, using lamp dimming, invariably came very noticeable dimming action. I still would have loved to see a dynamic iris, but happy that they have found a good compromise with Dynamic Black, even if it doesn’t rival what a good iris can do.
||WA||2,499.00||Free Shipping! 1800+ Outstanding reviews! Save Today and experience exceptional customer service, expert advice, timely delivery, free tech support and your best price from an Authorized Dealer!|
||FL||2,499.00||Free Shipping! In Stock Now! 30 day no-hassle guarantee and FREE lifetime tech support from projector experts. We are an authorized dealer.|
You May Also Like
AAXA M6 Pocket LED Projector Review
Epson Home Cinema 4000 Home Theater Projector Review
Epson BrightLink 696Ui Projector Review
Ricoh PJ WXL4540 Short Throw Projector Review
Sony VPL-VZ1000ES Laser, True 4K, Home Theater Projector Review
Optoma ZW300UST Projector Review
Epson PowerLite 680 Projector Review
BenQ CH100 Portable Business Projector Review