Updated: Oct 9, 2021
Taiwanese brand Optoma, has been long known for redefining the DLP based projectors and competing against the market favourites LCD brands. Officially launched in the year 2002, Optoma became a popular brand in the Indian Home Cinema Market when they launched their popular Laser Projectors like UHZ65 Regular Throw and P1, the infamous Ultra Short throw model.
The model that I received for Demo and Review, is Optoma’s latest launch (May 2021) in the 4K Pixel Upscale Category i.e., Optoma UHD 33, the super-fast 240Hz Gaming as well as Home Cinema Projector.
Some of the key highlights, that I intended to check in this projector are -
The DLP True 4K XPR technology which is actually Texas Instruments’ Cross Polarisation Ratio to upscale the resolution to 4K. This is used by many DLP brands including the Benq projectors.
Dynamic Black which allows you to control light output power from the lamp which increased the contrast ratio up to 3 times as mentioned by Optoma.
Optoma Game Master which enhances HDR effect, provides 21:9 Ultra-wide screen and gives an Input lag of only 4.2ms for 1080p 240Hz source.
Shadow Boost effect – This exclusive Game Display feature according to Optoma, makes the image or video clearer to find out small details even in darker blacks.
ISF Display Mode which allows us to save the calibration settings separately for Day, Night and 3D viewing.
So, let’s check out what this projector has to show us on screen!
The first impression on the screen really seems to be very good. While the 3600 Lumens of lamp output makes the image brighter even with ambient light, the 10lakhs:1 Contrast makes the image stronger with no lights. In this video we have kept the image mode as HDR and the Brightness mode is Dynamic. The image looks really impressive but color seems to be little saturated on and off. Now, for this mode the input content ideally needs to be in HDR too.
But in case if the content is not in HDR format, then you have to change the image setting to HDR Sim and this is how the projection looks like in that case -
The mode on the side is cinema where the image whiteness reduces to a great extent. This mode should be ideally used only in darker ambience, as the image brightness is very low to produce deeper blacks.
According to Optoma, the HDR Simulation mode can achieve colors closer to the real High Dynamic Range gamut. The brightness, contrast, tint, color, sharpness changes every time one changes the image preset.
The next image mode is Game. The shadow boost feature is activated only in this mode.
While keeping the image mode as Game, we are now switching to the Enhanced Gaming mode which then shifts the image resolution back to 1080p but the refresh rate increases in this case.
One of the common problems with most of the DLP projectors is their grains. You can feel these grains in this projector too, especially during constant switch from full light to full dark scenes.
We also checked the various Brightness Modes with a constant image to see the difference in the output and this is what we got on screen -
Let us know in the comments, which one was your favourite mode as we dive deep in the tech specs of this projector.
Optoma UHD 33 has 8 segment color wheel, Rec 709 color gamut coverage and can cover a screen size from 30” to 300” diagonally. The ideal applications of this projector vary from a Media Room to a fully lit Ambient Room. The plastic remote has got backlit which makes it easier to operate in total darkness too. One of the other surprises to us, if you all would have also noticed about this projector is the Optical Output provided on the rear panel, the use of that is really doubtful but may come in handy some time.
Some features that I genuinely feel need an upgrade in Optoma UHD 33 are –
Lens Shift - Its pain to keep the projector always in the center as one may have some ceiling design or a placement issue
Remote Operation – Too slow and not at all smooth while operation as the screen becomes frozen for a moment.
Buzz – This was an issue we encountered thrice while playing with the Test Pattern and HDR Color display settings.
Regardless to these drawbacks, Optoma can be one of the first choices for not just the Gamers but for Home Cinema Buyers too for its low noise and mighty colourful performance when calibrated properly.
Watch the entire video of Unboxing and Live Demo of Optoma UHD 33