Posted on June 5, 2020 By Art Feierman
The Optoma CinemaX P1 is a smart home projector that I had long been very excited to review. It is one of the first of what should prove to be hot new projector category for the home: A 4K UHD laser TV. The P1 combines its 4K UHD resolution with its ultra short throw design that places it just below your screen and a less than two feet back from it.
Some may argue that to be a Laser TV, it should be complete – that is, come with a screen, although I don’t think so. I think having a choice on screen sizes and types makes for a superior big screen experience. Besides, there will be some folks who find a white wall is good enough. More on screens for the P1 later. I’ll just say now, you’ll want to get the right screen for your room and viewing goals.
The CinemaX P1 and other “laser TVs” hitting the market offer you consumers a simpler solution to get the big screen experience into most rooms because the projector is close to the display, other equipment, and your sources
The CinemaX P1 claims 3000 lumens. It supports HDR – both the primary HDR standard and also the newer HLG (hybrid log-gamma), which is more for broadcast and streaming. And of course, it supports SDR (“standard dynamic range” – aka everything that came before HDR).
The Optoma P1 when not handling HDR content, offers multiple picture modes, including, of note, an HDR SIM mode. It’s not the first projector to have one, but most home theater and home entertainment projectors so far, don’t offer processing to take your Blu-ray discs, and cable/TV 1080p content, and make the image pop like HDR. I count that as a nice extra touch.
Optoma was one of the very first to ship a 4K UHD resolution laser projector – back in the fall of 2017. And of course, they have a large number of 4K UHD projector models for home, business and educational use. With that in mind, we start out expecting the P1 to have less “rough edges” than, the last 4K UHD Laser TV I reviewed, the VAVA. That was pretty much their first projector period – and it turned out pretty good!
The P1 at a glance would be a modest step up from the VAVA which sells for several hundred less. The P1 can certainly be used in a home theater/cave, but will also perform very nicely in a living, family or bonus room, even a spare bedroom that’s not too tiny. Given respectable lighting control, of course. Hint: This is not respectably controlled lighting:
It is bright enough to handle modest to moderate amounts of ambient light for casual viewing. If this is going to be your primary TV, you will want reasonable control of your room’s ambient light. You’ll definitely want coverings on your windows. Within this review, you will see several different photos of both successful and unsuccessful viewing conditions.
My living room is a projector’s nightmare in the daytime. But that makes it ideal for showing you what can, and can’t, be done!
Come nighttime, the P1 shines – and rather brightly, as seen in this photo:
Our next two pages take a look at some key “special” features. After that, we get into the general hardware, followed by picture quality, Performance. Additionally, we provide our calibration settings and notes. That is followed by our summary and specs pages (including datasheet).
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