Posted on August 30, 2018 By Nikki Zelinger
The Optoma UHZ65 is mostly the laser version of the UHD65. And that UHD65 was one of the first 4K UHD projectors to ship, just over a year ago.
As I see it, so far there’s just not a whole lot of demand for 4K capable projectors on the business and education side of things, which for projectors is a far larger market. There is some demand for high end, such as museums, engineering applications, etc., but momentum is just starting up. As a result, it seems that just about all the 4K UHD DLP projectors marketing are targeting home theater, while waiting for 4K to get more traction commercially.
That tends to have us noticing 4K UHD laser DLP projectors considered for home, that lack pretty standard features on even lower cost projectors such as CFI for smooth motion (Creative Frame Interpolation). Not so this Optoma, it has all the usual bells and whistles you look for in a projector designed for home.
Of the laser 4K UHDs we reviewed, the Acer competition, I felt was the better of the two for a serious home theater environment, in large part due to much better black levels on dark scenes. Both use their laser engines as “dynamic irises” but Acer goes further in their implementation, making a big difference.
But this Optoma has its own advantages, and they are helpful in brighter rooms. Overall, the Optoma had a brightness edge, fully calibrated it was over 1,100 lumens.
Ron pointed out in his review that none of the color preset modes was especially good, that is accurate, but 2,200 lumens in Cinema mode (mid-zoom) provides a very nice combination of picture quality and brightness. The Optoma did not calibrate quite as well as the Acer, either, but more than fine for those of us who never play with the color on our less than perfect LCD TVs.
The color wheel on the UHZ65 is an RGBY – yellow, not clear for the extra slice. That is, in theory, not as good as the RGBRGB wheel on the lamp based UHD65. Still, the rainbow effect is less noticeable in the Optoma than the Acer.
A scene from The Fifth Element, projected by the Optoma UHZ65.
A scene from Lucy, projected by the Optoma UHZ65.
A scene from Mad Max: Fury Road, projected by the Optoma UHZ65.
A scene from Passengers, projected by the Optoma UHZ65.
HDTV sports, projected by the Optoma UHZ65.
Want a nicely sharp laser projector, that’s 4K UHD (with the better 2716×1528 x2 resolution), and plenty of muscle for a media room or family room with decent lighting control when paired with the right screen?
I classify this UHZ65, when it ends up in a home, as more home entertainment than home theater. Since, in theory, home theater enthusiasts demand more from their projectors, the lesser black levels and less than perfect color, are more easily forgiven.
The real question to me is not the value, but whether it will appeal for its advantages as a laser projector, or will less expensive 4K UHD projectors that are lamp based, make most consumers happy.
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