Posted on December 12, 2017 By Art Feierman
This is a slightly shorter than usual review of Optoma’s UHD60 home entertainment / home theater projector. A factory fresh UHD60 arrived here just two weeks ago, but only a day before a week’s vacation.
Unlike our traditional reviews, this Optoma UHD60 review will be a bit different. That, of course, is because we already reviewed the near identical UHD65. I’ll also be dropping in commentary about how it compares with several projectors both above and below its price point.
We’ll help you figure out whether this Optoma, or it’s big brother, the UHD65, is best for you. The UHD65, it should be noted, also won one of our Hot Product Awards and also earned a Best In Class – Value award (projectors priced from $2000 – $3500) in our 2017 Best Home Theater Projectors Comparison Report. One key difference in our analysis is that we did not calibrate the UHD60. (So, for those of you looking for them, there aren’t any calibration pages.
The UHD60 is a $1995 4K UHD projector using a single chip DLP based light engine. It claims 3000 lumens, has a manual zoom lens and perhaps most important to mention, it accepts 4K content, including HDR (high dynamic range) and like all lamp based projectors, attempts P3 color (part of BT.2020 color space), with its richer colors, wider color space, and greater intensity. P3 is superior to the traditional REC709 standard from HDTV, and Blu-ray disc. From a practical standpoint, the ability to fully implement HDR and BT.2020 puts home theater projectors on par in capabilities with your local Cineplex movie theater, but like even cinema projectors I don’t believe anything yet can achieve full BT.2020.
There are only three key differences between the UHD60 and its big brother. One is cosmetic – the UHD60 is in a white case (not black), as that would be considered the better match for a projector heading into a living room, media room, or family room environment. In theory, projectors designed for dedicated home theaters are typically black, which is the “color” of choice for the ceiling of a dedicated theater. (There are marketing reasons too!)
Second, and more important, is the choice of color wheels. The one for the UHD60 seems to be designed to maximize brightness with its color wheel which has red green, blue, cyan, and yellow filters, while the color wheel in its big brother is designed to maximize color accuracy and richness of those colors by using a color wheel which sticks to primary colors RGBRGB (also no clear slice).
A direct result in the difference in color wheels is the extra brightness. The UHD60’s claimed 3000 lumens is 800 lumens more than the UHD65’s 2200. The UHD60 (due to its wheel) makes spotting rainbows more common than the UHD65 for the small percentage of folks like me, who are “rainbow sensitive.”
That pretty much covers the significant differences. Later, we will discuss the differences in the picture quality, including some comparison images between the two projectors.
That third significant difference, I already mentioned: It is that the UHD60 is $500 less at $1995.
I should note that I have both projectors running right now, one stacked on top of the other. You’ll see various pictures of both projectors in action, from the same source material, so that I can demonstrate the qualitative differences to you.
This page focuses on the UHD60 projector with a fresh Overview and Highlights section. The second page of this review, however, talks about unique aspects of the UHD60 projector, and how it compares with its big brother, the $500 more expensive UHD65 which we have, as mentioned, reviewed in great detail.
In order to better address 4K content without the expense of creating projectors with true 4K resolution, Texas Instruments, the folks that bring us DLP, came up with a suitable compromise in the form of their pixel shifting 2716 x 1528 x2 resolution (the x2 is the pixel shifting). Although the individual pixels are twice the size of true 4K, those pixels overlap, which provides additional benefit.
There are a number of well known, or at least known, projector manufacturers that use TI’s DLP chips, Optoma being the best-selling brand of DLP projectors in the US, but you should recognize other names, which include BenQ, Viewsonic, Vivitek, Panasonic, Acer, and others.
Optoma, with their two models, the UHD60 and UHD65, have created two projectors aimed at slightly different buyers. The UHD60’s $1995 price is less than the UHD65, but more significantly, the 3000 lumen UHD60 is built for less than ideal rooms, while the 2200 lumen UHD65 is at its best in a dedicated theater environment.
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