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Optoma UHD65 4K UHD Projector - Picture Quality, page 3

Posted on July 18, 2017 by Art Feierman

Overall Picture Quality on 4K Content

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On the previous page, we got pretty techy, and tried to describe what the Optoma can and can't accomplish in terms of color and dynamic range, with 4K content.  Given that Optoma does not calibrate particularly well in terms of the BT.2020 color space, since it doesn't get close, it still produces a picture that is very, very, watchable and is enjoyable to watch.  Only the fanatics demanding near perfect reproduction will be really unhappy.

For example, I watched the beginning of Star Trek and most of Passengers last night.  No problem, I didn't encounter any obvious issues with color balance, Jennifer Lawrence looked great - I'm primarily talking skin tones, but great overall.  My primary complaint when watching Passengers is the black levels, which for a movie that shows a lot of dark deep space, just didn't quite give me those ultra high contrast blacks that so many of us demand on darker scenes.

Above are a number of images of 4K HDR/BT.2020 content from Blu-ray UHD discs - most of the movies these pictures were taken from include Ghostbusters, Hunger Games, Journey to Space, Passengers, and Lucy.

The Optoma isn't capable of getting the most out of BT.2020 or HDR, for that matter (like almost any projector, not bright enough to fully deliver on HDR.  But, no question, the viewing experience is better than watching the same content with REC709, which of course means no HDR. Remember, this is one of the most entry level 4K capable projectors on the market.

I think Optoma's done a pretty good job for it being their first generation attempt, also considering the  very reasonable price point they went after. That said, you've got several Epsons and a JVC out there handling 4K content all between $2199 and $3999, and all doing it better.  But they are all 1080p pixel shifters, so one half step lower resolution than the UHD65!

As always - trade-offs.

Upcoming - A comparison of 4K content capable projectors we've reviewed under $10,000.

I've been mentioning other projectors a lot, for comparisons, but I really don't want to turn this into a comparison report - we'll be tackling a multi projector comparison for this year's Best Home Theater Projectors report which I'll start writing after I finish this review, two other 4K UHD DLP projectors' reviews, and one other 4K capable (a 1080p pixel shifter). So we're talking late August.

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Overall Picture Quality Sports, HDTV, and 1080p content.

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When you are not feeding your UHD65 4K content with all the trimmings, the Optoma turns into a fairly typical DLP home theater projector.  For sports viewing, in a theater, cave, or, perhaps a "media room" that's not quite either of the others, but has good lighting control, the almost 1400 lumens measured in Vivid mode at mid-zoom is plenty for great sports viewing.  The sports images shown were taken in my theater but with the window shutters on the right window and the one of the two back ones open about forty percent on a sunny day.  I could sit in my captain's chair and read the newspaper off of the light coming in (but I'd prefer brighter if I really was going to spend time reading.

That almost 1400 lumens of good quality picture including some very bright, rich colors, combined with excellent sharpness, looked great on sports.  If I had any complaint, it was with the CFI (smooth motion) which they call Pure Motion, which worked well enough to smooth the action.  But even it's lowest setting had minor but visible artifacts.  That's fine for a lot of folks but I'm not that big a fan of CFI, typically only using it on sports, and that's the kind of reason why. I don't like those artifacts, minor as they are.


The UHD65 has plenty of horsepower to deal with watching sports in rooms with moderate ambient light.

Movie viewing at 1080p off of Blu-ray disc was very enjoyable.  I rate the experience high.  That said, I would definitely have liked to see  deeper blacks.  I wish they would have deployed a good dynamic iris. Watching my favorite dark scenes from Hunger Games and Casino Royale, were a bit disappointing.

Don't panic!  They also didn't look like a lot of entry level and near entry level projectors in terms of those black levels. Respectable black levels - and very good handling of the darkest shadow detail make the UHD65 a very serious projector, but definitely not up to the best 1080p pixel shifters.  You end up with sharpness vs. black levels around this price point.

Bottom line:  Even forgetting 4K capabilities, this is probably at least as good as any Optoma we've reviewed in the past few years.  It may not be my first choice around it's price point, but it should end up with a strong following, especially among those seeking the sharpest image for the bucks, and don't need any of the features found on some more feature laden projectors.

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