There is a lot to like about the Optoma ZU920TST, starting with its 8,471 ANSI lumens of brightness. This number is 271 ANSI lumens brighter than Optoma's rated brightness of 8,200 ANSI lumens.
Optoma has increased the ZU920TST’s DYNAMIC CONTRAST to 3,000,000:1, which is 3X the estimated contrast of its predecessor.
The projector’s resolution is WUXGA (1,920 x 1,200 pixels). I have no idea what size DLP DMD the projector uses because Optoma would not say. Optoma also would not share any information on the type of color wheel used in the projector.
The color performance of the ZU920TST's out-of-the-box color preset modes is good but not great. The projector also features a lot of presets for other image elements such as HDR, COLOR SPACE, WALL COLOR, GAMMA, and more. Optoma also carries over all the manual image adjustments from the ZU720TST, which I appreciate. The projector's out-of-the-box preset modes are more oversaturated than I expect from an Optoma projector. I suspect that this is related to Optoma trying to compensate for the projector's increase in brightness which tends to wash out colors. This was not an issue with this projector.
The ZU920TST accepts video up to 4K resolution, and the projector is capable of receiving and displaying encoded HDR metadata.
The ZU920TST comes with both DYNAMIC CONTRAST and EXTREME BLACK settings that work exceptionally well with presentation-style content. I preferred to use the projector with these turned off for most of my entertainment content due to the noticeable increase and decrease in brightness when using DYNAMIC CONTRAST, plus this feature tended to crush black.
The lens on the ZU920TST is excellent, offering a 1.15 motorized optical zoom with a focal length of 9.69 mm -11.19 mm. The manufacturer recommends a projection distance from 27.56 inches to 653.54 inches and a throw ratio of 0.65:1 - 0.75:1. The ZU920TST works as an incredible short-throw projector and a generous medium-throw for larger spaces and screens.
The ZU920TST is powered by a DuraCore laser-light source that offers up to 30,000 hours of light-source life in ECO mode. Optoma Constant Power and Constant Brightness help the projector maintain consistent brightness as the light source dims with age.
The ZU920TST supports Optoma”s OMS, allowing techs to monitor, diagnose, and control one or more projectors via a local area network. This projector also supports RS-232 protocols, AMX, Crestron RoomView, and Extron IPLink.
Panasonic PT-MZ880U: With 8,000 lumens, WUXGA, 3-LCDs, and selling for $7,499, this projector is significant competition. The Panasonic has similar features, is sold at a lower price, and Panasonic makes a short-throw lens specifically for this projector for about $3,000 MSRP, along with five other lenses. The Panasonic also offers 3-LCDs for equal color and white lumens.
Epson EB-PU1008W: With 8,500 lumens, WUXGA + 4K Enhancement, ILC (not included), and selling for $10,593. Optional lenses sell from $500 to $4,000 MSRP. This Epson also features 3LCD panels.
BenQ LU9750: Selling for $11,999, with 8,500 lumens, WUXGA, and 67 DLP, this BenQ is probably the closest competitor in features and sells for $1,000 less than the ZU920TST.
The ZU920TST offers significant improvements compared to its predecessor, the ZU720TST. The projector's DYNAMIC CONTRAST has increased from 1,000,000:1 to 3,000,000:1, and Optoma has put a new short-throw lens. This new lens can be placed super close to the screen at a distance of 27.56 inches. The lens doubles the longer-throw distance from 241 inches to 653 inches.
- Exceeds Optoma’s stated brightness by 271 ANSI lumens
- It keeps almost all of the features of the ZU-920TST
- DuraCore Laser offers up to 30,000 hours of life in ECO mode
- No need for filter replacement
- 3,000,000:1 DYNAMIC CONTRAST Ratio
- Features a new motorized lens with a longer throw distance
- Geometric Correction, Warping, and Blending make setup faster
- 360-degree positioning with PORTRAIT mode
- Simple and Advanced Stacking supported
- Displays good color in brightness preset mode
- Features Dynamic Contrast and Extreme Black
- Capable of 24/7 operation
- Quick Resume (Quick On/Off)
- RS232, AMX, Crestron RoomView, and Extron IPLink-compatible
- $12,999 MSRP
- HDR performance was lacking
- Optoma also removed the HOME functionality and built-in media player
- The projected image appeared soft