Posted on March 18, 2021 By Philip Boyle
Optoma UHD50X Cinema Gaming Projector Review – Special Features: 240Hz/15.7ms Input Lag, 8-Segment Color Wheel, HDR 10 & HLG, Auto 3D Display with ISF Calibration Setting, DLP® BrilliantColorTM Technology, Dynamic Black Technology, 4K UltraDetail, Display Mode for Gaming, Six color compensation for Wall Projection
The Optoma UHD50X is listed as featuring a 240Hz refresh rate when its enhanced gaming mode is activated. This is an amazing performance specification, but there are some caveats regarding this specification.
For starters, there are no gaming consoles that support 240Hz. The ability to game at 240hz is currently limited to gaming on a PC featuring some incredibly expensive hardware. Even with these current limitations, a maximum input lag of 15.7ms at 240Hz is stunning. If you’re wondering why this 240Hz gaming projector is limited to 1080P with next-generation consoles it’s the fault of the HDMI ports on the UHD50X. I can hear you saying, “But, Phil, Xbox and PS5 support HDMI 2.1,” and you are correct. But, the HDMI ports on the UHD50X are 2.0 and 1.4, so realistically, 4K high-refresh gaming on a console is never going to be possible on this projector.
The PS5, Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X next-generation consoles, graphical powerhouses that they are, (especially compared to previous generation consoles) can easily render 1080P images at 120fps which can be displayed on the UHD50X for an enhanced gaming experience
The Optoma UHD50X incorporates RGBW RGBW 8 segment color wheel, designed to achieve more vivid color performance with 3,400 high lumens of brightness. According to Optoma, their specialized color calibration and adjusting technologies allow the UHD50X to exceed HDTV Rec. 709 standards for truer, more accurate colors. This increase in color accuracy and performance will allow the projector to display better color.
UHD50X supports HDR10 and HLG. HDR, High Dynamic Range, is a standard designed to display a higher dynamic range in video signals, allowing the image to be shown with more brightness and color without losing any details. Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) is an HDR system that was specifically developed for live broadcast television by the BBC and Japanese broadcaster, NHK. Online video streaming platforms such as Youtube, Freeview Play, or DirecTV all support HLG format as well. You can enjoy TV programs like World Cup games or Blue Planet at home with stunning HDR effects.
When an HDR/HLG signal is detected, the projector automatically switches to HDR/HLG display mode. Optoma’s HDR color mapping and tone mapping technology helps optimize the projector to get the most out of HDR/HLG movies or games.UHD50X allows users to adjust the HDR tone mapping according to the video content or environment.
HDR is really hard to do on a video projector because it’s not as noticeable as it is on an LCD or an OLED display. LCD devices have the ability to do things like local dimming, which makes a huge difference when watching content that is presented in HDR. I’m not saying that HDR content looked bad on the UHD50X. Quite the contrary, it looked excellent. The truth is, I wasn’t really able to tell much of a difference between HDR content and SDR content at 4K. One of the pleasant surprises was that the UHD50X HDR Sim mode improved content in almost all cases, at least to my eye. The reality is that HDR is hard to do on a projector.
Typically Cinema mode is one of, if not, the best mode for color accuracy. That's not the case with the UHD50X. As you can see the colors are oversaturated.
Optoma's HDR-SIM mode is more color accurate as well as adding pleasant detail to this 4K HDR10 Disney movie.
This photo is captured in the projectors HDR mode. I did not notice an increase in color accuracy or detail. To my eye HDR-SIM did a better job.
Game mode is one of the better modes for color accuracy but curiously the image softens.
Reference did as good a job with color accuracy as HDR-SIM and Game modes but like the Game mode the image was noticeably softer to my eye.
Bright mode is what I expected although Optoma has managed to do a better job maintaining decent color and not losing everything to a bluish green cast.
User is where I would take the color down to -7 and slightly adjust the Gamma. This image is USER Mode out of the box.
Here is a scene from Star Wars Episode 7. I can't really see much of a difference between HDR on and SDR.
User mode provides you a good starting point where the image can look excellent with just a little tweaking.
I found Game modes color to be slightly higher with this content. The image still looked softer.
Again Cinema colors are oversaturated.
Ahh yes the blues and greens of bright mode. Loss of color is still a good trade off for being able to clearly see the image in a room with uncontrolled ambient light.
With Thor Ragnarök I finally could see a difference between HDR and SDR. I just didn't prefer it. Details are good but the image is flat to my eye.
Once again HDR-SIM looks better in my opinion.
Cinema mode does a better job with Thor than Mulan but what my camera did not capture is that the colors were more oversaturated then captured in this image.
Optoma provides “3D” display mode to resolve the issues related to variations in brightness of 3D images due to overlapping signals and use of specialized lenses. When a 3D signal is received, the system directly switches to 3D mode to elevate image brightness and contrast.
The built-in ISF Display Mode allows your calibrator to save your calibrated day, night and 3D mode settings for the ideal viewing experience.
DLP® BrilliantColorTM Technology for UHP lamps is a technology that is able to achieve up to 50% improvement in brightness over traditional three-color solutions. BrilliantColor technology offers up to six-color processing, enabling a wide color gamut and making it possible to produce over one billion colors.
Dynamic Black can accurately control light bulb output power and automatically adjust it, based on different image brightness. There’s no need to use an aperture ring to adjust for dark scenes. With Auto Gain function, details are more pronounced and an increase in contrast ratio of nearly three times is achieved. This means that images appear true to life with a dramatic increase in contrast. The UHD50X Dynamic Black is one of the key reasons that this projector is able to display 500,000:1 contrast. Dynamic Black mode makes darker video content present with more depth. If you’re going to watch any serious movie or television content, I highly recommend you turn on this mode. When Dynamic Black is engaged, there’s a noticeable increase in the HD50X fan noise, especially when the video transitions between whites and blacks. Typically, you would set the projector to Eco mode to mitigate some of the fan noise, but you can’t engage ECO mode when Dynamic Black is turned on.
The UHD50X is what Optoma calls a True 4K UHD projector. This projector is powered by a Texas Instruments 4K UHD DLP Chipset featuring a high performance DMD. One of the big advantages of this DMD technology is the incorporation of TI’s XPR video processing technology. XPR provides fast switching allowing the UHD50X to display 8.3 million pixels (4x the number of pixels of 1080P). True 4K XPR Technology Fast switching XPR technology creates pixels horizontally and vertically in four ways to achieve 8.3M pixels on screen all faster than the human eye can see.
Optoma’s Color Lab simulations were carried out for gaming in different ambient light settings to calibrate and boost the details in the dark and develop the exclusive “Game” display mode. This means that gamers can avoid getting stuck at a certain level, as they can clearly find the gimmick hidden in the dark.
Projecting on Any wall with Optoma’s six color compensation are provided to suit different types of wall spaces in the home and avoid distortion of colors. Even in the absence of a projection screen, images can be viewed on a wall space with the most accurate color gamut.
© 2019 Projector Reviews (V0625)