Posted on October 7, 2019 By Dave Duncan
Optoma UHL55 4K UHD Smart Projector review – Hardware 1: Overview, Inputs and Connectors, The Lens
The Optoma UHL55 delivers a great image and it does it in a small audio filled footprint. The projector itself weighs in at 8.7lbs. There is even an optional carrying handle you may purchase if you plan to tote the UHL55 around from room to room.
Optoma UHL 55 4K UHD Front
Optoma UHL 55 4K UHD Front with lens cover closed.
Simple Controls a the top of the Optoma UHL55
Lens Open / Close on the left, Focus and Bluetooth controls on the right
Optoma UHL55, left side
Optoma UHL55 Left Side
Optoma UHL55 input panel
Optoma UHL55 Bluetooth remote
Optoma did a most excellent job with the cooling of the UHL55. The airflow has intakes on the front and sides, while the back is where the exhaust is. This is great keeping all the hot air away from the lens. Not to mention it is very quiet. Being LED and not having a color wheel makes it whisper-like.
One of the very unique features of the UHL55 is the integrated lens cover, which is also the power switch. So as you turn the projector on, it opens the lens. In the same manner when you close the lens cover the projector shuts off. Brilliant! I was very pleased with this functional design.
The UHL55 is a great form factor, almost cube-like. Being 8.6”x 5.3” x 8.6” it will fit nicely on any end table or coffee table. Equipped with a 1.2 throw ratio you can have a good size image from only a few feet away. While I mention the UHL55 being great for tabletop projection. It supports many modes for your installation needs. The Optoma UHL55 fully supports Front, Rear, Ceiling mount, and tabletop. This allows you to mount it if you wish, or enclose it in that pool facing rear projection application. The lens is fixed, as I mentioned so you may want to use an adjustable mount if you do ceiling mount it. There is always some tolerance with optics. Another avenue is to turn in on, hold it up and mark exactly where the lens should be. Then install it for that position. When you do not have zoom, there isn’t a lot of room for mistakes. The UHL55 does have digital zoom, but who wants to sacrifice pixels to fit the image on their screen.
There are two options for expanding the already great audio of the UHL55. You can connect the 3.5 mm audio out to headphones or PC speakers of your choice. The other option is the optical audio out. You can connect this to your receiver or just a subwoofer and expand the audio performance for your viewing pleasure.
You have a couple of options for networking. The UHL55 supports wired and wireless connectivity. The wireless is even built in.. no Dongle needed. Out of the box, it supports 802.11ac with all your favorite security options, WEP/TKIP. AES. WPA, WPA2. It was quick and easy to connect to the local network. If you don’t want to use wireless the RJ45 on the IO panel is ready to connect directly into your backbone.
One connection the UHL55 that you can’t see is the bluetooth. Optoma has a great option to use the UHL55 as a bluetooth speaker. You can connect your phone or favorite player to the UHL55 and use its great sounding speakers. They also had the foresight to use it in the other direction. You can connect the UHL55 to your favorite bluetooth speaker or headphones for your own sound quality improvements. My Onkyo receiver easily connected to the Optoma, to use my surround system.
The UHL55 has great connectivity for a home entertainment projector. We have 2 HDMI 2.0 connectors, featuring HDCP2.2. These will deliver fantastic digital content with HDR 10 support.
You will find 2 types of USB A connectors on the UHL55. There is 1 USB 2.0 which will deliver 1a for an external device. Then there is a USB 3.0 connector which will deliver 1.5 amps and support the faster speeds for throughput. Both of the USB connectors are supported by the onboard media player. You can easily switch between them for your content needs.
The Optoma UHL55 has a recessed lens. Which is great for protection. Should you decide the optional handle and carrying case is right for you. Its a great feature to have the lens protected. As I mentioned, the projector had a built in lens cap. It is actually integrated with the power switch. So as you slide the switch to turn on the projector, you are opening the lense cover as well.
The UHL55 has an auto-focus and Auto keystone correction feature. This is a great option when a projector is not going to be installed and you want to be able to quickly set it up and use it. I found both features to work really well. They were also very fast. The autofocus would take a few seconds from time to time but did well. There were only a couple of instances where I needed to adjust it manually. While running the UHL55 through its paces I had it situated on a table. I was impressed that as the table was bumped and jostled around the auto keystone didn’t flinch or move. They were both very solid in performance.
The Throw ratio of the UHL55 is 1.2: 1. If you are somewhat new to projection. The Throw ratio is the specification that lets you know what your image size will be from a given distance. What this tells us is that for every 1.2 feet we move the projector back, we will get a foot of image width. Pretty straight forward right? So if you want a 6-foot image, you need to be 7.2 feet back. Easy peasy. This is a great throw ratio for home use, its short enough to have a very large image from not to far back. From 61/2 feet away from the wall you can enjoy a 80” screen!
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