Optoma UHD65 Review
Things to Love:
This 4K projector is built to delight people who love watching movies at home. Fewer lumens and off-the-chart blacks help to fulfill this promise. Priced at around $2,499, this is a great projector for someone who wants to step up to near-4K.
Things That Could Be a Concern:
The Optoma UHD65 is large and heavy. If you're hoping for something you can pick up and take with you, this isn't it. Moreover, the user interface is less than impressive. You won't get a modern OS or even any apps.
Excellent picture quality and a competitive price make the Optoma UHD65 a safe bet. You'll love how deep the blacks are and the tremendous contrasts.
While it's not technically considered a 4K projector, the picture quality on the Optoma UHD65 comes awfully close. Additionally, the manufacturer's suggested retail price is a mere $2,499. If you want to step up to near-4K quality but don't have the budget to spend $6,000 or $8,000, then this is the compromise you're looking for.
This isn't a portable projector as it weighs in at over 30 pounds. Still, set up on a table, credenza or other platform is easy. Ceiling and wall mounting also are possible.
The unit itself is black with a bit of silver trim. An exhaust vent is located on the left side of the front of the projector, and the lens is recessed. You may focus the lens manually by turning its outer edge.
On top of the Optoma UHD65, you'll find a lid. Raise it, and you'll find the controls for the manual zoom and a dial for adjusting the vertical lens shift. The control panel is located near the rear of the unit on the left-hand side while the inputs are located on the rear along with the pair of four-watt speakers.
One thing that you don't get with this model is any features that are motorized. This is a common item on more expensive projectors, and it's important because it allows you to save certain lens settings. Still, that's hardly a deal breaker on this powerful, functional and affordable projector.
Best Use of the Optoma UHD65
With its 2,200 lumens and 1,200,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, the Optoma UHD65 is purpose-built for the home theater market. These characteristics give this projector improved black levels over other entries in this market segment.Of course, catering to the home theater crowd doesn't mean that the UHD65 isn't capable of excelling in other applications. It will project outstanding visuals for sporting events and broadcast television too. Even gamers will find plenty to like about the UHD65's short lag time.
Specs for the Optoma UHD65
- Resolution: 4K
- Number of Pixels on Chip: 2716 X 1528
- Type of Display: DLP
- Lumens: 2,200
- Compatible with HDR: Yes
- Manual 1.6X Zoom
- Vertical Lens Shift
- Not Compatible with 3D
- Lamp Life in Bright Mode: 4,000 hours
- Two HDMI Inputs
- Two USB Ports
- Minijack for audio input and output
- Digital audio output
- LAN Port
- 12-volt Trigger
- RS-232 Remote Port
- Pair of four-watt speakers
- Dimensions: 19.6" X 13" X 6"
- Weight: 16 pounds
Purists consider this projector more of a FauxK than a 4K. Nonetheless, the Optoma UHD65 delivers in the picture quality department. It uses one of Texas Instruments' first 4K UHD chips. Maybe it isn't 4K in the most precise sense, but the images it produces are visibly sharper than they are on 1080p projectors.
The pixel density of this DLP chip is greater than has ever been seen before. It's sufficient for the 4K UHD standard, though it does not quite reach the platform of a true 4K. However, keep the price in mind. You could pay $6,000 or more for a true 4K projector while this one is priced at just $2,499. That's a spectacular deal for a really sharp, clear picture.
Where does the concept of FauxK come from? It began with projectors that boasted 1080p resolution with pixel shifting. They were capable of accepting 4K content, then they processed it, and put it through their chips. The chips were capable of firing twice, effectively shifting a half pixel in a diagonal direction. While it's true that this creates a more detailed image, the pixel size is far larger than normal.
This new chip from TI also relies on pixel shifting technology. Moreover, the pixels are still larger than they are with true 4K technology. This chip still complies with the 4K UHD standard of 8.3 million pixels, which makes no distinctions concerning pixel size.
Accordingly, the images produced by this projector are a big jump up from 1080p projectors, but an equally big jump down from true 4K projectors. That is unlikely to bother most movie viewers, who likely will be delighted with picture quality and the lower price point when compared with true 4K projectors.
The Optoma UHD65 is equipped with numerous modes so that you can always achieve the best possible picture no matter what you are viewing. These preset modes include bright, reference, game, vivid, HDR and cinema.
All of these modes present highly detailed visuals. However, the bright mode likely is too bright for most applications. The green tones overwhelm every other hue in this mode, and you would probably only use it under the most specific conditions, such as when ambient light is at its fullest. Most consumers probably use the cinema or game modes more often than the others. Like all of the modes, these have excellent color saturation and color accuracy.
In fact, you are likely to find that you enjoying viewing just about anything with this projector. The whole FauxK versus 4K debate aside, the UHD65 offers solid performance that really enhances the fun of whatever you watch.
Everyone except the most finicky of viewers is likely to appreciate the sharpness that this Optoma projector provides. If you are upgrading from a 1080p projector, then you will notice an immediate improvement.
Another plus as far as picture quality is concerned is the accuracy of the colors. Skin tones appear natural and lifelike and even the most vivid hues appear to be rendered with ease. The black levels generated by the Optoma UHD65 are decent enough although they do not rival those produced by a true 4K projector. Of course, at this price and picture quality, no one is likely to complain.
In fact, none but the most avid aficionados are likely to notice that much of a difference between the picture produced by the Optoma UHD65 and the image that you get from an entry-level true 4K projector. However, you will certainly notice that you still have money in your wallet after buying this Optoma model.
Here's a scene from the 2016 version of Ghostbusters:
Another scene from Ghostbusters:
Take a look at the vivid colors and the contrast in this scene from Lucy:
Another sharp and colorful image from the UHD65:
Additional Features to Consider
One of the enhanced features on this unit is the four independently adjustable feet. If you are going to be using the projector in a variety of settings and on a variety of surfaces, this can be an invaluable advantage. Having four adjustable feet is a marked improvement over the two adjustable feet on Optoma's UHD60.
Movie fans will love this projector's Dynamic Black function. This is the feature that really sets this projector apart from others in this category. Turn off the Dynamic Black function, and the UHD65's performance is fairly mediocre when it comes to screening dark scenes from movies like Gravity and The Bourne Supremacy.
However, that dull, flat image is transformed once Dynamic Black is turned on. In this mode, contrast and black levels improve over far more expensive projectors. Even the colors look richer and more lifelike. If you do decide to go with this model, consider turning on the Dynamic Black function, and leaving it that way.
Viewers also may appreciate the Optoma's Creative Frame Interpolation, or CFI. Sometimes referred to as "smooth motion," Optoma has actually registered a trademark for the technology they call "Pure Motion."
This is an especially critical feature for sports fans. Essentially, it enhances the frame rates so that the action on the screen is smoothed out. Some critics call it the "soap opera effect." Just turn it on whenever you are watching sports, and the action will feel even more lifelike and immediate. There are several settings within Optoma's CFI, which you may want to experiment with according to sporting event. This feature is not recommended for viewing movies.It's also wise to keep in mind something that this projector does not have: 3D compatibility. If you have invested in numerous 3D films or just love the 3D experience, then this projector is not for you.