Optoma CinemaX P1 Laser TV Review: A Smart, 4K UHD Projector For The Really Big Screen Experience

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.

Black Panther test
The Black Panther - 4K/HDR off of the Kaleidescape Strato S media server. Vibrant colors provided by the P1!

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

View Full Specifications Here >>
Optoma CinemaX P1 Specs
Price$6649
TechnologyDLP
Native Resolution3840x2160
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)3000
Contrast1,5000,000:1
Zoom Lens RatioFixed Focal Length
Lens ShiftNo
Lamp Life20,000 hours
Weight24.3 lbs.
Warranty3 years

Overview

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:

 

pano of sunny room
Pano of my living room at brightest time of day, west, sun pouring in. Not usable! Screen partially open, LG OLED behind it much better, but suffers from too much glare.

 

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!

Cloudy day/early evening. Even with lights on full, a bright saturated image. More than fine for sports, general viewing.

 

Come nighttime, the P1 shines – and rather brightly, as seen in this photo: 

black panther city

Highlights

  • “Laser TV” Ultra Short Throw design makes easy set up, large screen replacement for small LCDTVs
  • Pairing with an ALR screen designed for UST projectors lets projector work in most rooms with reasonable lighting control
  • Laser light engine will last many years of heavy usage.(40 hours a week, approximately 5 years or longer)
  • Smart, Android operating system, with a great many apps.i.e. key streaming services such as Amazon, Netflix…
    • IFTTT support
  • Voice control (some) via Alexa, Google Assistant
  • 4K UHD resolution:1920x1080p x 4 pixel shifter
  • 3000 Lumens claimed
  • HDR:Support for both HDR10 and HLG
  • Bluetooth input and output.
  • 3 HDMIs (one on the side – a nice touch)
  • Officially supports up to 120” diagonal!
  • Eyesight protection
  • Audio – built in NuForce “sound bar”(NuForce is part of Optoma)
    • Two channels x 19 watts
  • Multiple USB
  • Small Bluetooth Remote (all black – hard to spot at night)
  • 1 Gig of storage on board, expandable to 2 Gig
  • Media Player supports 4K UHD
    • Many photo, video, and audio formats supported
    • PDFs and Microsoft Office files also supported!
  • 30000 hour claim on the laser (eco), 20,000 full power

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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