Projector Reviews

Optoma UHD60 Review and Comparison to UHD65 – Picture Quality

Optoma UHD60 Review and Comparison to UHD65 – Picture Quality: Out-of-the-Box Picture Quality, Skin Tone Handling, HDTV and Sports

It’s the picture! Hardware and special features are important. Let’s face it, though, while a projector that won’t work in your room because it doesn’t have the right zoom lens, or is missing some feature you consider a must have, such as CFI for smooth motion, or HLG for streaming 4K content, first and foremost, it needs to have sufficient picture quality, or why would you want it in the first place?

In this section, I’ll be talking about the UHD60’s overall picture quality, but tossed in with that will be comments about how it differs from the $500 more expensive UHD65 in terms of picture quality.

I’ll warn you right now, there really aren’t any great differences, but some differences can be seen, which is why I took a number of photos with the UHD65’s picture on the top and the UHD60 doing the same frame below it for direct comparison.

Out of the Box Picture Quality

The UHD60 has multiple picture modes. Most look pretty good without adjustment. Bright is the big exception, as it is very bright, but also very green. This is the mode that delivers the most lumens, but you should consider it a “break glass in case of emergency” mode, because the picture sure isn’t pretty. Save it for dealing with massive ambient light when no other mode is bright enough. In Bright mode, a sporting event is watchable, a good movie – not!

In the photo player above, the first three photos are from HDTV, while the last three are 4K HDR content from Blu-ray UHD. If you click on an image it will open in front of the page. Clicking again, will further enlarge the photos taken of the UHD60 projected scenes.

Unlike the UHD65, we did not calibrate the UHD60, but note that Game mode on the UHD65 interestingly had the best grayscale balance before adjustment.  Since we didn’t calibrate, all pictures of the UHD60 in action in this review are showing “out of the box” picture quality.

Skin Tone Handling

First, let me mention that I tried putting in the post calibration settings from the UHD65 into this UHD60 to see if they would work well. The end result, however, was not similar, and therefore I do not recommend trying to use those settings. We did not calibrate the UHD60, as this is a short review focusing not just on the UHD60 projector, but also on how the two Optoma projectors compare.

Calibrated, the UHD65 has the advantage in terms of handling skin tones, compared to an uncalibrated UHD60, but more specifically:

The differences are not great. The UHD60 tends to have lower color saturation in bright areas (expected), such as this particular comparison image. You can see in the forehead, that the skin tones show more white in the brightest area, less “skin tone.” I attribute this, perhaps, in part to not being calibrated, but more to having a different color wheel. Still, overall skin tones can look very good even without calibration.

HDTV and Sports

The UHD60 benefits nicely from its single chip design, creating a very sharp image on 1080i content typically found on cable and satellite sports. This single chip DLP has a distinct advantage over a 1080p pixel shifting 3LCD projector – not so much due to the slightly higher native resolution as the combination of that, and no convergence issues.

My football games look great on the UHD60, and there is plenty of brightness. I can’t wait for the day when I can watch my sports delivered in 4K instead of 1080. The UHD60’s inherently higher resolution should show a significant improvement in sharpness.

No complaints about color when viewing sports. Even uncalibrated, they looked great with rich, pretty accurate color as seen in the many images. The tendency of the UHD60 to be slightly on the cool (bluish) side compared to the calibrated UHD65 is, from my perspective, a plus for sports viewing. I personally find 6500K – the standard for movie viewing, to be a bit too warm for my sports and general outdoor features viewing.

Music videos, most TV, again, all look fine. The Florence and the Machine image from Glastonbury looks basically right on and natural (considering stage lighting).

The Victoria Secret swim suit models looked impressive, overall with more natural looking skin tones than most of our friends’ LCD TVs.