Optoma UHD65 Projector review

Optoma UHD65 Projector review
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Last Updated on by Daniel Osakwe

If you’re looking for a high-quality projector that will give you a vibrant, well-defined image that won’t blow out the lights, the UHD65 is a great choice. It’s one of the most expensive projectors we’ve tested, but if you can live with the extra cost, you’ll be rewarded with a projector that’s not only powerful but also easy to use.

The UHD65 has a lot going for it. For starters, the projector offers excellent contrast and color performance, thanks to its Optoma High Definition Engine (HDX) engine. The picture is also sharp and clear, with deep blacks and vibrant colors.

Optoma UHD65 Projector: Design

Optoma UHD65 Projector review

In terms of dimensions, the UHD65 is a beast at 498mm x 331mm x 141mm and 7.8kg. A glossy black projector with a round edge and a side air vent feature a lens centered in the front. 

One of the HDMI slots is HDCP 2.2-compliant, so 4K output is guaranteed. In addition, there is a VGA input for connecting a computer, a S/PDIF optical output, and an analog audio jack for connecting the UHD65 to a home cinema system.

Unfortunately, the USB slot nearby does not support 4K video files stored on a thumb drive or hard drive. Chromecast dongles, however, are supported. 

Due to its basic user interface, the UHD65 lacks apps or even a modern operating system; it is restricted to old-fashioned – if perfectly functional – on-screen menus. 

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Optoma UHD65 Projector: Setup

You can easily set up the UHD65. Due in part to its lens shift feature, which allows easy alignment to a screen. In an odd fashion, this top trick is hidden from view under an awkward plastic hood that stretches the entire length of the projector – access is unnecessarily difficult. Additionally, the lens can only be shifted vertically. 

Most projectors don’t have lens shift, but the UDH65 should really have a motorized zoom, focus, and lens shift system. It is, however, easy to manually aim the UHD65; its throw ratio is 2.22:1, and there is a simple image shift system, a digital zoom, and a test pattern grid so you know the geometry is correct. 

Depending on the color of your wall, you can change the tint of the projection to the blackboard, light yellow, light green, light blue, pink, and gray, to compensate – and hopefully, come as close as possible to matching – the color of your wall. 

Optoma UHD65 Projector: Performance

Projectors

Despite being bright, the UHD65 is quiet. In reality, the UHD65’s 2,200 lumens aren’t as bright as we had hoped, but they can be used during the day, as long as the curtains are half-open. Even though its 4W speakers have great volume, they are not suitable for very quiet environments. As well as being muffled, they are of very basic quality.

The UHD65 offers a variety of picture presets, including Cinema, HDR, Vivid, Game, Reference, Bright, and a user-defined setting. Despite a slight blue tint, bright was the best setting for watching a sports event amid significant ambient light.

Our entire viewing experience on the UHD65 was highly detailed. At no point is the pixel grid visible, even when the image is magnified to 100 inches. The same thing applied to Netflix and YouTube streams in 2160p as well as upscaled HD TV channels, which all looked very good.

The most important picture parameters for DLP projectors are black levels, shadow detail, and rainbow effect (when the rotating color wheel leaves flashing rainbows in some people’s eyes). In spite of having a single-chip RGBRGB color wheel, the UHD65 had no noticeable rainbow effect.

Despite this, the UHD65’s black levels and shadow details aren’t class-leading during a blackout. PureContrast and PureColour, two of UHD65’s PureEngine picture tweaks, don’t seem to have much of an impact, and Dynamic Black is also ineffective. 

Similarly, HDR material falls flat (even on the HDR setting), while the SDR to HDR converter is definitely worth a look (the result is rather stark, also oversaturating the colors). Would anyone but the fussiest of home cinema enthusiasts be bothered by, or even notice, these tiniest shortcomings? Unlikely.

Despite its PureMotion limitations, the UHD65 is always enjoyable to watch, and its detail is unmatched (the UltraDetail setting was largely superfluous). By inserting frames, this ‘de-judder’ feature creates a smooth, video-like appearance. In my opinion, big projectors like the UHD65 are often used for sports events as for movies, which is why PureMotion is so useful. On the other hand, it proved to be a blunt instrument that did little to improve motion smoothness even on its highest setting.

FOR & AGAINST

Pros Cons
No rainbow effect Basic user interface
Built-in speaker Not as bright as expected
Highly detailed 4K No motorized focus/zoom
Bright yet quiet

Verdict

This is a very enjoyable projector that delivers excellent images even in low light conditions. It is common for projectors to be limited to either one or the other, halving their versatility. 

The UHD65 sacrifices both ultra-high brightness and impressive black levels in a blackout, but it gives the ‘best of both worlds’ as any projector can: From HD TV channels and DVDs to Netflix 4K and Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, few users will be disappointed with the UHD65’s image quality, detail, or color.

Although, we were missing a few luxury touches that a projector this expensive should have. There’s no motorized zoom, focus, and lens shift, and the remote control is the same as one on a projector for a sixth of the price (and even has some buttons that don’t function). Adding these would’ve given the UHD65 a more polished, professional look; it shouldn’t just be about new technology for high-priced products.

Despite some slight reservations for home cinema users, those who are looking for a projector that can deliver 4K sports and HD TV channels, especially for the upcoming World Cup (it upscales well if you cannot get native 4K broadcasts), will be delighted with the UHD65.

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