Optoma UHD60 First Look Review

Optoma UHD60 First Look Review

The rise of 4K and 4K UHD projectors has driven manufacturers to create their vision for the optimal 4K capable projector. Optoma, a company well-known for their use of DLP technology and their stake in the home entertainment and home theater markets (especially gaming), has come out with two new models to add to their catalog – the Optoma UHD60 and the already-reviewed UHD65.

These two projectors contain the first Texas Instruments 4K UHD, DLP chip. The Optoma UHD60 is geared toward home entertainment use, while its older brother sits on the home theater side of the spectrum. There are three main differences between the two: price, overall brightness, and color lumens vs white lumens. We’ll get into that a little later.

Optoma UHD60 First Look Review

Overview

Whether or not you’re a fan of Faux-K projectors, it is undeniable that the UHD60 produces a visibly sharper image than any 1080p projector views we’ve seen – pixel shifter or not. The highlight features of the UHD60 and UHD65 are their level of sharpness and that they accept 4K content, including content using HDR (high dynamic range).

The native resolution of the UHD60 is 2716 x 1528 – that’s 4K UHD guys, not true 4K. True 4K is 3840 x 2160. That’s a huge difference. Still, 4K UHD is moderately priced next to a true 4K projector like the Sony VPL-VW665ES, which goes for $15K. We’ll get into price later, but know this – you can have an incredibly sharp image for under $2,500 with either of these Optoma projectors.

There is a modest amount of vertical lens shift, allowing for about a foot of placement flexibility. A manual, 1.6:1 zoom, manual focus, and a 4,000-hour lamp life make the UHD60 and its brother pretty much typical home theater projectors. They do have pixel shifting as well. That high pixel density chip is really all that makes them stand out from the crowd.

Differences Between the UHD60 and UHD65

There are three main differences between the otherwise-identical UHD60 and UHD65 projectors. Both are DLP projectors, featuring that Texas Instruments 4K UHD chip and the same feature set. So, what sets these two models apart?

Price

The Optoma UHD60 is priced at $1,999, costing $500 less than the UHD65, which has an MSRP of $2,499. For comparison purposes, the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB, direct competition to the UHD65, had an MSRP of $2,999 when it hit the market and has since been lowered to $2,699.

That’s a 1080p pixel shifter, which is different from 4K UHD. You get the idea here – the UHD60 has an excellent price point for the resolution. But, the price shouldn’t be the deciding factor. You want a projector that suits your specific needs.

Brightness

Some viewing rooms have a disagreeable amount of ambient light, while others have lighting reminiscent of a cave. Optoma has addressed this by providing two models, each having different brightness levels. The UHD60 has 3,000 lumens, whereas the UHD65 has 2,200. As a home entertainment projector, the Optoma UHD60 needs the extra lumens.

Home entertainment projectors are generally created to handle brighter rooms where there is little control of ambient light. The UHD65 is designed for those cave-like home theaters. Art says that if you’ve got control over the amount of ambient light that enters your room, you should spring for the UHD65. Most of us don’t have that luxury, though I’ve found a workaround for my space – blackout curtains. This allows me to use the lower-lumen home theater projectors instead of the home entertainment ones my viewing room required before the curtains.

Color Lumens vs White Lumens

If your choice is not contingent on lack of ambient light control, then what sets these projectors apart aside from price? The UHD60 uses a DLP a color wheel with a clear slice, whereas the UHD65 uses an RGBRGB color wheel. That RGBRGB color wheel is typical of home theater, and the clear slice configuration is seen in many home entertainment projectors.

The UHD60 produces more white lumens because of that clear slice, but not as many color lumens. That is, you get that extra brightness but lose some color saturation. By comparison, the Optoma UHD65 has more color lumens than the UHD60, though less white lumens.

If we were to calibrate the UHD60, it is likely that the two would be equally bright. They would calibrate differently, of course, but we have no reason to expect that the UHD60 would be superior to the UHD65, except in the case of white lumens.

Optoma UHD60 Highlights

  • Accepts 4K Content with HDR
  • 3,000 Lumens
  • Quiet (-28 db at Full Power)
  • 2716 × 1528 Pixel DLP Chip (with Pixel Shifting) is Higher Resolution Than 1080p Pixel Shifting Projectors
  • 1.6:1 Zoom Lens
  • Modest Lens Shift for Good Placement Flexibility
  • Color Wheel with Clear Slice
  • 4-Watt Speakers for More Portable Use, Some Streaming
  • Multiple HDR Settings
  • Creative Frame Interpolation (CFI) for Smooth Motion
  • Uses Lamp Dimming to Improve Black Level Performance
  • HDMI/MHL port, for Mobile Devices and Streaming Sticks
  • Lacks 3D

Picture Quality of the UHD60

We did not receive a UHD60 unit for review, and as such, the photos provided are from the UHD65 that we did review. There are likely to be some differences in color from the UHD65, as the UHD60 has more white lumens and less color lumens. However, the photos in the slider should provide some idea of what to expect from the Optoma UHD60 out-of-the-box picture quality.

The first two photos were taken in the HDTV color mode. Next, there are four photos of the Victoria’s Secret swimwear model, in the following modes: User, Game, Cinema, and Bright. The next photo is of 4K UHD content projecting from the UHD65 of the firehouse in the new Ghostbusters film. The final photo is from The Hunger Games, and shows the sharpness of the image when you direct your attention to the scoreboard.

Review of the Optoma UHD65

To learn more about the UHD60, read our review of the Optoma UHD65. It is identical to the Optoma UHD60, except for the key differences we have outlined in this First Look Review. The review of the UHD65 goes into greater detail about the special features, hardware, picture quality, and performance of the projector. This review will give greater insight into the two projectors and help you along in your search for your perfect 4K UHD projector.

News and Comments

  • Jason B

    This is a NATIVE 4K projector. Please don’t write reviews about things you are uneducated about. It’s not one of the garbage pixel shift, fake projectors. It is NATIVE 4K. Fix this review.

    • ProjectorReviews.com

      Hi Jason, We’re just having a discussion of semantics. I agree, the new DLPs are all 4K UHD, which is a standard of the CTA, the nice folks who bring us the CES show every year. If their standard is limited to 8.3 million pixels on the screen, no matter how much they overlap, no matter how they fail to resolve the finest lines, then enjoy. When the panels are at least 3840×2160, then I’ll agree with you. I have spoken with a variety of engineers, and we all agree that 2716×1528 x 2 is 4K UHD. But I, and some of them would have been far happier if the 4K UHD standard was simply called UHD that would have solved the problem.

      I have no doubt, that TI did a major lobbying campaign to convince the CTA that 8.3 million pixels was all they needed. I’ll be curious to see if other, more display focused organizations, such as SMPTE or SID. Also, note that they created a standard called 4K UHD, not a standard called 4K. A bit of slight of hand.

      I always make sure to point out that 4K UHD (with pixel shifting) is still superior, and just plain sharper than 1080p pixel shifters, which I also don’t call 4K, but I’ll stick with my definition. If it can’t resolve two adjacent lines, each 1/3840th of the width of the screen, with different colors, without overlap, then there’s something just not “true” 4K about it.

      So, the Optoma’s BenQ’s Viviteks, etc, are 4K UHD. I just don’t call them true 4K, and feel obligated as a reviewer, to make sure people know that 4K UHD isn’t the same as what I call true 4K. Since 4K and 4K UHD projectors probably make up about 0.001% of all consumer displays sold in the US, and only projectors use pixel shifting, you realize of course, we’re having a discussion affects maybe 10,000 of the 30+ million displays that will be sold in the US this year.

      Here’s a thought? do you have any problem referring to 1080p pixel shifters such as the JVC projectors as 3K projectors?

      The CTA is a very respectable organization – they’ve been bringing us CES for about half a century. They “are heavily involved” in many areas, but there are more expert display organizations. No matter, to me. it’s about resolving the image. I will continue to talk about oversized pixels, and also for three chip projectors, mis-alignment, because they all educate the consumer.

      Question for you. Let’s say JVC comes out with an 8.3 million pixel projector that uses 1080p panels and shifts 3 times instead of one. Are you good with calling that a true 4K projector? How about 720p panels shifted 8 times? There are lots of ways to get to 8.3 megapixels.

      Standards serve a purpose, to educate. Consider this, I don’t believe there’s a single projector shipping under $50K, that can achieve 1000 NITS, yet almost all the 4K and 4K UHD projectors fail to get even remotely close to 1000 NITS, but no one seems to mind calling them HDR projectors. Ditto for BT.2020 or P3 color space. Only a few can even achieve P3, let alone the larger BT.2020. Again, I try to remember to always qualify, that the projectors are not achieving the standards they are reaching for. -art

      • Wayland

        Thank you for clarifying this in the comments. We really need to return to almost scientific accuracy in the reviews, so people could clearly define what kind of product they use. Honesty comes first.