Projector Reviews

OPTOMA UHD55 4K HOME THEATER AND GAMING PROJECTOR REVIEW – HARDWARE

CHASSIS

The Optoma UHD55 is a relatively compact and lightweight projector weighing 8.60 lbs, measuring 12.4″ x 10.63″ x 4.65″. Since this is a home theater and gaming projector, it can be easily moved and set up in a variety of locations. This projector offers a range of convenient features such as vertical lens shift, geometric correction, and Wall Color adjustment to ensure the best possible picture with the least amount of setup.

This projector can be physically mounted above with an optional mounting plate or on an accessible surface. The Optoma UHD55 uses a lamp as the light source and can therefore generate a lot of heat. Optoma has built-in air vents around the projector’s body to assist with cooling. 

The lens focus control is located in a ring around the lens assembly on the front of the projector. Zoom controls, the manual lens shift dial, and the projector’s control panel are located on top of the body. The input and connector panel is on the rear of the projector.

8-SEGMENT COLOR WHEEL

The Optoma UHD55 has an 8-segment color wheel

The Optoma UHD55 incorporates an RGBWRGBW 8-segment color wheel, designed to achieve a more vivid color performance than lesser segment color wheels combined with 3,600 ANSI lumens of brightness. According to Optoma, their specialized color calibration and adjusting technologies allow the UHD55 to exceed the HDTV Rec. 709 standards and display 97% of the DCI-P3 color gamut for true and accurate colors.

CONNECTIONS

Optoma UHD55 rear connections panel
Optoma upgraded both HDMI ports to 2.0 and added an additional USB-A connection.

All the Optoma UHD55 inputs and connectors are located on the projector’s rear. There are two HDMI 2.0 inputs, a VGA (YPbPr/RGB) input, and a 3.5 mm audio input on the back. The UHD55 provides users with both a 3.5 mm and S/PDIF audio output as well as a USB Type-A 1.5A output for power. Finally, there are two USB Type-A (read/write) connectors, an RS232 port, and an RJ45 connector. 

Starting from the left of the rear panel, the projector’s first USB port is for Power Out (5V/1.5A) for smart devices up to 5V/1.5A, such as the Amazon FireStick or Android TV stick. This USB port also functions as a service port. The UHD55 12-volt output is designed for functions such as triggering screens.

As this is a home entertainment projector, I’m surprised that Optoma has not included ARC functionality into the projector’s HDMI since this technology has been compatible going back to HDMI 1.4.

THE LENS

Optoma has upgraded the lens to a 1.3X optical zoom
Optoma has upgraded the lens to a 1.3X optical zoom

The Optoma UHD55 has a manual focus lens with a focus wheel, a 1.3x manual zoom, a throw ratio of 1.21:1 ~ 1.59:1, and a projection throw distance of 47.24″ – 318.9″. 

The UHD55 also offers a mechanical vertical lens shift allowing the projector to be placed at the top or bottom edge of the screen with 105% native offset. The vertical lens position adjustments are made using a dial on the projector’s top front. The image moves as you turn the wheel until you reach the adjustment limits. Like all projectors with vertical lens shift, moving the image in one direction limits the amount of shift available in the opposite direction. For example, if you were to place the projector at the top of the image, ideally, you would center the unit on the screen’s width.

This ability to move the image location via optical lens shift provides the best image quality compared to digital keystone adjustments. 

Since screen sizes are often listed as diagonal, we’ve provided this chart for easy reference to eliminate the need for algebra.

Since screen sizes are often listed as diagonal, we've provided this chart for easy reference to eliminate the need for algebra.

CONTROL PANEL

The Optoma UHD55’s control panel has a simple configuration. Three indicator lights sit above a standard nine-button arrangement, with some buttons serving dual functions. The indicator lights are On/Standby, Lamp, and Temp. The Power button is at the top left, with the Information button directly opposite. The Menu button is on the bottom left corner. An additional IR sensor for the remote control is at the bottom right.

Four buttons surround the center (Enter) button in a plus-sign configuration. These are the directional arrow keys: Up, Down, Left, Right. They all serve dual functions. The Up and Down buttons are for adjusting vertical keystone correction. The Left Arrow button also brings up the Source Menu, and the Right Arrow button also re-syncs 3D.

REMOTE

I don’t usually have much to say about a projector’s remote control besides what it can do; however, I have some thoughts about the UHD55’s remote. Optoma has chosen to make it smaller with fewer features than the remote for its previous model, the UHD50X projector. While this new remote is consistent with competitively priced projectors, I feel the older remote model is far superior. The older unit has more direct shortcut buttons and feels more substantial in my hand because it is taller, wider, and about an inch thicker than the new remote control for the UHD55.

Optoma UHD55 remote control

MENUS

The menus on the UHD55 are basically Optoma’s long-standing menu architecture. They are simple with logical navigation providing access to all the projector’s functions. This projector uses two menu systems that I call the core and the home menus. The more visual home interface offers menus with a design similar to Android TV. I had hoped to see Optoma integrate all of the projector’s functionality into the home interface. Unfortunately, Optoma only integrated a small number of controls into the home menu system, resulting in most of the projector’s functionality being controlled through the core menu interface.