By Todd Anderson on Oct 11, 2017 at 10:46 AM
  1. Todd Anderson

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    Optoma's New 4K UHZ65 Projector Delivers Laser Performance For Under $4.5K


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    (Optoma) The new UHZ65 4K laser projector

    (October 11, 2017) Earlier this year we covered Optoma’s announcement of two new bulb-based 4K projectors, both priced below $2,500. Now, Optoma is rocking the home theater world again with the reveal of another true 4K projector, but this one is locked and loaded with a laser light source, making it intriguing in its own right.

    “The Optoma UHZ65 is the culmination of years of design iterations, engineering and testing to bring the highest quality home cinema projector to market for a price that consumers can afford,” said Brian Soto, head of product management, Optoma Technology. “With 4K content now readily available, and entertainment options always expanding, we are delivering on our goal to provide an entertainment experience that can truly envelop a room and an audience at home.”

    Priced at an astonishing $4,499, the new UHZ65 reads rather well on paper. Using a cutting-edge laser phosphor light source, the projector can produce 3,000 lumens (rated at 20,000 hours), a 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and a 140”-plus image. In addition to its 4K chipset capable of displaying 8.3 million distinct pixels, the projector also delivers High Dynamic Range in the form of HDR10 and is specified to cover both REC.2020 and DCI-P3 color spaces.

    Optoma says the UHZ65’s image is processed and stabilized by its PureEngine and PureMotion technologies, which are designed to remove image noise, judder, and motion blur during fast motion video playback. Other features include vertical lens shift, a 1.6x zoom, and onboard dual stereo speakers.

    Unlike higher priced projectors, the UHZ65 relies on DLP technology which means the rainbow effect could be a potential snag for customers sensitive to that visual byproduct. It also only carries one HDMI 2.0 input (with HDCP 2.2, MHL 2.1, and 18Gbps compliance), with the other deferring to HDMI 1.4a compatibility.

    The UHZ65 is an interesting entry in the projector segment, introducing laser light source technology at an insanely low price point. It certainly should appeal to the “must have true 4K functionality” crowd, especially those that use a projector for daily viewing. Ultimately, its ability to produce accurate colors and deliver notable high-contrast performance will dictate its enthusiast-grade value. Nevertheless, the UHZ65 is a welcomed addition to the segment, as Optoma will help to force prices down (not to mention ushering us closer to more affordable laser light source options from other manufacturers).

    The UHZ65 is available for purchase now, from ProjectorPeople.com, ProjectorScreen, ProjectorSuperstore, Full Compass and Visual Apex.

    Optoma UHZ65 Specifications
    • Resolution: Full / native ultra-high-definition 3840×2160 resolution on screen
    • Brightness: 3,000 lumens for great viewing in dark room or with ambient light
    • Contrast: 2,000,000:1 with Dynamic Black enabled
    • Color: HDR-compatible color gamuts Rec.709, REC.2020 and DCI-P3, means incredibly rich colors
    • Lamp Life and Type: Its laser phosphor provides a remarkable 20,000 hours of life, eliminating the need to replace the light source throughout the life of the projector
    • Imaging Processing and Stability: PureEngine’s PureMotion technology eliminates noise, motion blur, and judder in fast motion video, producing clear and consistently smooth images
    • Aspect Ratio: 16×9 native, 4:3 auto, LBX (2160p and 1080p)
    • Throw Ratio: 1.39 – 2.22
    • Noise: 33/29dB (Bright/ECO)
    • Audio: Integrated dual stereo speakers for crisp, loud audio
    • I/O: HDMI 1.4a, HDMI 2.0 (with HDCP 2.2, MHL 2.1 and Full 18Gbps), VGA-In, Audio-In (3.5mm), Audio-Out, SDPIF Out (Optical/2 Channel ONLY), USB 2.0 Port (Service), USB-A Power, RJ45, RS232C
     
    #1 Todd Anderson, Oct 11, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
    jinfeng123 and tripplej like this.

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Discussion in 'AV Industry News' started by Todd Anderson, Oct 11, 2017.

    1. tripplej

      tripplej Senior AV Addict

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      Very nice.. Thanks for the details.
       
    2. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      What's most interesting about this model, and others using Texas Instruments' new DLP digital micro mirror device (otherwise referred to as a DMD), is that its used in combination with another technology to essentially pull off the pixel shifting trick. Technically, the chip produces a native resolution of 2716x1528 (yes, less than full 4K)... but the addition of pixel shifting allows it to deliver 8.3 million pixels.

      The shifting process happens so quickly that our eyes see it as one frame... but technically speaking, it's not a true 4K imager. At least that's what some say. Texas Instruments says it is, because it can represent each singular 8 million pixels required to meet the definition of true 4K.
       
    3. Tonto

      Tonto Senior Member

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      Any chance we can get a review model?
       
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    4. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      Steve (@mechman) is due to get certified soon. Hopefully we can start get some of these budget projector's in house, get them measured, and put them through the wringer! Video reviews are definitely intended to be coming in the future!
       
    5. mechman

      mechman Senior Admin
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      I'll see if I can get one for review.
       
    6. Peter Loeser

      Peter Loeser Moderator
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      Interesting. Pushing the boundaries for sure.
       
    7. Tonto

      Tonto Senior Member

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      Thanks Mech, I bet there are a bunch of people that would love to own that projector if it really produces! You are the perfect guy to put them their paces! Looking forward to it!
       
    8. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      I agree, Tonto. I throw in my skepticism that it will match the $5-$8K traditional bulb crowd. BUT - would love to be surprised!
       
    9. Matthew J Poes

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      I thought I had read elsewhere that the new TI DMD used in these couldn’t handle high bit rate color. All the 4K models so far using it haven’t included that which is disappointing. Is this a next generation chip or was I misinformed in the first place?

      There are also a lot of reports of very poor contrast performance from this new DMD chipset. I’m really hopeful that doesn’t remain true as I think this approach holds a lot of promise.

      I really can’t wait for LED and laser to become more widespread. It still kills me to spend $300-$500 every year or two on a new bulb. It also would hold potential for reducing power consumption. The current lamp based technology is at its efficiency limits and so any progress toward reduced energy consumption would require a new technology for lighting. My theater is a power pig and how often I watch movies is noticeable in my month to month power bills.

      I’d also add that I personally consider this 4K and not a fake. There are reports of the projectors not resolving 4K test images but my understanding is the optics could be to blame as could the software implementation. This same approach was used in the early days of 1080p and isn’t all that far off from how a crt interlaced image is created. I think we may just need to see later iterations with better optics and software before they equal other true 4K projectors.
       
    10. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      Personally, I'm less concerned about the resolution and much more concerned with breadth of color and black levels.

      While I wouldn't be shocked to learn (or see) middling contrast on this model, I hope that reviews prove that to be an error in judgement!

      @MjPoes12: Not sure about high bit rate/color. I believe I remember reading that somewhere. It certainly wouldn't be advertised in the marketing materials.
       
    11. Matthew J Poes

      Matthew J Poes Staff Writer
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      I thought I read something about the chipset down sampling color from 12 or 10 bits to 8 bits. Maybe it was 12 bits down to 10 bits, which is still enough for P3 certainly.

      I agree, the enhanced color is probably the biggest improvement for many of us.

      I love the idea of HDR movies like Dolby Vision and I think it has potential importance for large screen movies even more so than for smaller screen presentations (as from a typical LCD or OLED flat panel). However the engineering challenges of HDR for projection systems seem to be really great. I had hopes that JVC's very high native contrast would be able to take good advantage of this, but to date they are fairly limited. It seems like two things need to improve dramatically in projectors for this to really work well. First is a massive increase in the ability to project high brightness, at least for short moments. Second is a fairly massive increase in ansi-contrast. Since TI has a technology to do this for Dolby Vision theaters, I think a translation of this with much higher native contrast would be good in a home setting (Though I would guess the cost wouldn't be affordable for a long time). I suspect that we would need to see laser light sources used with home projectors jump to more than 10,000 lumens of output, to have ansi-contrast jump to 10,000:1 or more, and a good bit of processing (and a second image switching device) to dramatically modulate the brightness on screen.
       
    12. Todd Anderson

      Todd Anderson News Editor / Reviewer/ Senior Admin
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      JVC is close... you definitely get the HDR benefit of increased detail in bright or lighter shaded objects (a light grey sky, for example). But intense specular highlights, not so much. The number of lumens just isn't there... which goes back to your original point: affordable high-output laser light source is key to the projector world moving further into WCG/HDR performance.


      The chip in question is a "TRP S610 4K UHD DMD" by TI. Here's a link to its data sheet: http://www.ti.com/lit/ds/dlps072/dlps072.pdf.

      I can't find reference to color down sampling... but, like you, I'm fairly sure I've read that it doesn't natively operate at 12-bit color. Hopefully someone can find reference to it! I'm super curious.
       

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