Projector Reviews

Optoma CinemaX D2 Smart 4K DLP Ultra-Short Throw Projector Review – Hardware

CHASSIS

The Optoma CinemaX D2 is the third series of projectors to use the identical Chassis as the previous two series of CinemaX projectors. I loved the design of the CinemaX P1 and P2 with their clean angular lines with a minimalist yet modern design. But a lot can happen in just a year. What was slim and minimalist two years ago is thick and

wide when compared to the crop of smaller and more flexible ultra-short-throw projectors available to consumers today. In just a year, many ultra-short-throw projectors have lost width and depth and continue to improve overall design yearly.

The Power button and four tiny LED lights remain on the right top of the projector.

Optoma has removed the side USB and HDMI connections and moved all inputs and outputs to the back, with ventilation located on the projector’s left, right, and rear.

The Optoma CinemaX D2 is larger than some competitors, like the Hisense PX1 series. Still, it is very lightweight, coming in at 18.52 lbs.

The Optoma CinemaX D2 design is, with some minor exceptions like input and connection placement, identical to previous CinemaX projectors.

INPUTS AND CONNECTORS

Optoma has moved all inputs and connectors to the rear of the projector.

Notable changes are that all the inputs and connections are located on the right rear of the CinemaX D2 and D2 Smart, including three (3) HDMI inputs. Optoma has removed a USB input for external media, leaving only one (1) USB Type-A connection for power and service. Optoma has curiously removed the RJ-45 connector and has provided an RS-232 port in its place. This year HDMI input#1 supports eARC rather than just ARC. Lastly, HDMI input#1 is the only input on the projector that supports the projector’s low input lag gaming mode. Unless I’m missing something, users must pick between better input lag performance or using eARC to connect the projector to an external surround system. I wonder why Optoma did not make one of the other HDMI connections eARC capable.

LENS

Optoma has added the ability to mount the CinemaX D2 series projectors upside down from the ceiling, a significant improvement from the previous CinemaX P2 and over some of this projectors competition.

Be aware that UST projector tolerances are very tight compared to standard projection systems. Using a UST projector is a lot like using a very shallow depth of field DSLR lens where any slight movement of the camera moves the point of focus of the image. A minor position adjustment of the projector can affect the projected geometry and focus of the displayed image.

The D2 has powerful auto-alignment tools (Four Corner, Zoom, Aspect Ratio, Image Shift, and 3×3 Warp). These tools are convenient, but I recommend that users spend some extra time manually aligning the projector position to the screen before using digital adjustments that will affect overall picture quality.

The CinemaX D2 allows projector placement at the bottom of the screen with 124% native offset with a throw ratio of 0.25:1. The CinemaX D2 optimally projects an image of 85″ – 120″ at a distance of 18.5″ – 25.98″ from the back of the projector to the projection surface. The D2 allows you to adjust focus for the size of the screen you are using.

PROJECTOR REMOTE

In my review of the CinemaX P2, I wished Optoma had made the included remote control backlit. The good news is that Optoma included a backlit remote with this new D2 series projector. The bad news is that Optoma made it a second remote and requires users to use both remotes. One remote to access the external Android TV and a few projector functions. And a second remote to access all of the features of the D2 projector. Making the customer use two separate remotes is not a good user experience. 

This remote controls all of the projector’s features (not the external Android TV device), is backlit, and offers a remarkable number of dedicated shortcut buttons, including aspect ratio, individual inputs, geometry, picture adjustments, and more. If it controlled the Android TV device, it would be even better.

This new remote appears to be a miniaturized version of Optoma’s traditional projector remote, so all the writing is smaller, and the buttons are closer together. Reaction times from pressing the button to an action happening are noticeably slower on this remote than on other projectors I have reviewed.

PROJECTOR MENUS

The Optoma projector menus are straightforward, with four separate menus covering DISPLAY, AUDIO, and SETUP features. This menu system is entirely separate from the Android TV menus for the external smart device.

ANDROID TV MENUS AND REMOTE

The CinemaX D2 Smart comes with an external Android TV 11 device that connects through one of the projector’s HDMI inputs. The device comes with an Android-style remote equipped with a built-in microphone allowing the user to control a wide range of features, including navigating the Android menus and controlling the Google Assistant.

The CinemaX D2 Android TV device supports Chromecast and streaming services from YouTube, HBO Max, Disney+, Paramount Plus, and Netflix, which is great.