Projector Reviews

Optoma UHL55 4K UHD Home Entertainment LED Projector Review-Performance

Optoma UHL55 4K UHD Home Entertainment LED Projector Review- Performance: Brightness, Contrast, Audible Noise

Brightness

The Optoma UHL55 put a great image on the screen. The best part is the color is very well balanced. Skin tones look good, no one is sunburnt or cursed with super red ears and cheeks. It does offer a few different color modes. Each of these does vary in brightness.

To measure the brightness on the Optoma UHL55 I had to bring the projector much closer to the screen. As there is no zoom lens, only focus. As it has a 1.2 throw ratio, to take measure ments I wanted to have the vertical height of the screen at 30”.  This simulates the screen size the manufactures use when measuring their products for specifications.

It’s good to see what the brightness measurements are for the different modes. Often times the different modes lend themselves to different uses. Perhaps you want to use the UHL55 on a very bright day, with lots of ambient light coming in through the window. You could put the projector in Bright mode. Take advantage of the 1100 lumens we measured.  While the image will appear a little green, you will be able to see it.

Picture Mode Lumens
Cinema 587
HDR Simulation 596
Game 738
Reference 435
Bright 1107
User 615

The Optoma UHL55 4K had a pretty even brightness distribution.  Most of the modes as seen in the measurements on the left were around 600 lumens.  Only Reference mode, dipping below to 435 lumens.

While the measurements seem a little short of the specified 1500 Ansi lumens,  having measured 1100 when in Bright mode is close. Usually there is a trick to find the remaining lumens to get closer to the spec. Perhaps turning the brightness and contrast to max or using a special image.  There is always some set of magic to get to the brightness numbers.

The table on the left has what you should expect. When it comes to solid state light sources like LED and Laser, there is not much variance from product to product.  Cinema is my favorite mode and even at 587 lumens it filled up a 200” screen and looked very nice.

Contrast

Rocket picture on UHL55
Strong colors and good blacks, powered by LED

The Optoma UHL55 has respectable contrast for a home entertainment projector and provides very nice details in the dark scenes. There are few pieces of content that I like to view to see the level of detail the projector can show in the dark portions of a scene. As projectors can’t throw black light onto the screen, the brightness and greys they produce give our eyes the contrast and black level detail we are looking for.

When watching Netflix Earth 4k, there are lots of great scenes with bright colors and fantastic scenery. One part that I like to run a projector through is in the jungle about two-thirds of the way through, there is a portion about these birds that have a beautiful blue plumage on their chest and red on top of their heads.

Picture of bird on UHL55
Great detail in the neck feathers, Earth 4K on Netflix

Their face and neck are a deep black. If you view this on a display that has poor contrast. You can not even see their eyes. The Optoma UHL55 did a great job. Not only could I see their eyes, but you could see the feather details as they fluff themselves up and dance around the trees. Other comparable projectors that I have seen lately, didn’t have the contrast to show as much detail as the Optoma UHL 55. It looked fantastic. Not only with the details on the black portions of the birds but also in the landscapes and night scenes.

There are scenes in Jumanji as the picture above. Where they are racing in the jungle to get the jewel back to its resting place. The Optoma UHL55 did a great job of showing the night scenes in all their glory. You can see the details in the shadows and the beautiful orange and reds of the torches. It was very nice to watch these scenes on such a well-performing projector.

 

Bright room picture
Even in a bright room, the UHL55 was still able to perform.

You can also see in the images above that the UHL55 performs great in a lit room. I was able to use it with the curtains open. I have a window right by the screen. However, on this bright grey day. The UHL55 does just fine. Of course the dark scenes lose some of their black level as its washed out by the ambient light, however the image looked great.

Audible Noise

Audible noise is a spec that can make or break a great projector. Projectors are meant to cast beautiful images on the wall so we can get lost in our content and enjoy the show. That is exactly what the Optoma UHL55 delivers. Rated at 28db it is whisper quiet.

The airflow goes in the front and sides and out the rear of the projector. Even when I was seated directly behind the projector, the fans were not noticeable.

I was very impressed with the fan noise as I cycled through the color/brightness options. Even in the bright mode as the projector delivers all the light it can, I didn’t notice a difference. The projector was still running very smooth. The fans didn’t rail up full speed, the UHL55 quietly just delivered its performance.

Which is great. As it’s equipped with 2 8W Stereo speakers, I was expecting the fan noise to be an obstacle they would have to overcome. That is definitely not the case. The fans were very quiet. The speakers were way more than what is needed. They worked fantastically.

As a whole system, the Optoma UHL55 delivers a great show. Great image on the screen, fills the room with sound and it does it very quietly.