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Optoma aims for lights-on movie watching with UHZ50 4K laser projector

Optoma aims for lights-on movi...
The Optoma UHZ50 4K laser projector can be used at any time of day without needing to draw the blinds or dim the lights
The Optoma UHZ50 4K laser projector can be used at any time of day without needing to draw the blinds or dim the lights
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The Optoma UHZ50 4K laser projector can be used at any time of day without needing to draw the blinds or dim the lights
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The Optoma UHZ50 4K laser projector can be used at any time of day without needing to draw the blinds or dim the lights
Gamers are treated to a refresh rate of 240 Hz and a response time of 4 milliseconds at 1080p resolution
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Gamers are treated to a refresh rate of 240 Hz and a response time of 4 milliseconds at 1080p resolution
The UHZ50 projector supports HDR10, and the Rec.709 and DCI-P3 color gamuts for the promise of true-to-life visuals
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The UHZ50 projector supports HDR10, and the Rec.709 and DCI-P3 color gamuts for the promise of true-to-life visuals
Three HMDI 2.0 ports are at the user's disposal, one of which includes eARC for device integration ease
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Three HMDI 2.0 ports are at the user's disposal, one of which includes eARC for device integration ease
The UHZ50 comes with a media player built in, rocks two 10-W speakers, and users can mirror content from a smartphone courtesy of Optoma's own wireless casting tech
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The UHZ50 comes with a media player built in, rocks two 10-W speakers, and users can mirror content from a smartphone courtesy of Optoma's own wireless casting tech
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Watching projected movies during the day or in well-lit rooms can be a bit of a wash out, but Optoma says that its latest 4K laser projector offers "vibrant, true-to-life visuals" at any time of the day, and even includes tech that will compensate for different colored walls.

"With the introduction of the Optoma UHZ50, we are bringing true 4K laser technology home to even more consumers by reducing overall costs without compromising the quality of their personal home entertainment experiences," says Product Manager at Optoma, Billy Harrison. "As consumers are seeking more home entertainment and content options that fit their unique needs whether they're gamers, streaming movies or viewing personal photos, we remain focused on delivering versatile and innovative solutions that take the home theater experience to new levels."

The UHZ50 employs DLP technology from Texas Instruments and Optoma's own DuraCore laser tech to deliver 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160) images onto a wall or screen, with throw sizes ranging from 34.1 diagonal inches to 302.4. Brightness is rated at 3,000 lumens, which Optoma says should be good for daytime viewing, and contrast comes in at 2,500,000:1. Lifelike cinematic colors are promised thanks to support for HDR10 and HLG, and 100 percent of the Rec.709 and DCI-P3 color gamuts.

Gamers are treated to a refresh rate of 240 Hz and a response time of 4 milliseconds at 1080p resolution
Gamers are treated to a refresh rate of 240 Hz and a response time of 4 milliseconds at 1080p resolution

The company says that home owners don't necessarily need to have a huge white wall or dedicated screen to enjoy movie nights with the family, as a handy Wall Color feature can be used to adjust for color accuracy depending on the shade of the surface that the image is being thrown onto.

Frame interpolation technology takes care of motion blur and image judder in fast-moving scenes, and the projector can display 3D content from sources such as Blu-ray players and games consoles. An enhanced gaming mode offers players a 16.7-ms response time at 4K/60 Hz, or 4 ms at Full HD/240 Hz.

Users are treated to three HDMI 2.0 ports, with one of those rocking eARC for ease of integration with external media sources, and two USB ports for media sticks. The projector can wirelessly receive videos and images over 5-GHz Wi-Fi from up to four mobile devices simultaneously thanks to Optoma's Creative Cast app. And the unit is also home to two 10-W speakers, though users can opt to cable the unit up to external audio systems via the 3.5-mm jack or S/PDIF port.

Elsewhere, the UHZ50 is reported capable of 24/7 operation, its light source is reckoned good for up to 30,000 hours, and there's four corner keystone correction and multi-point geometric correction for precise image adjustment, vertical lens shift for placement flexibility, and 1.3x manual zoom.

The Optoma UHZ50 is available now for US$2,799, and ships with a backlit IR remote.

Product page: UHZ50

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4 comments
4 comments
Jon Austin
I'm sure that five years ago, this device would have costs $20,000, but for $2,800 US I would hope that it would be watchable in all lighting conditions. At that price point, I would expect it to be able to use the moon as a screen.
vince
Gotta check this out. That's bright. Should be great in daylight or at least with the curtains closed during daytime.
aksdad
I'm a huge fan of DLP and laser projectors, but... The color-balanced output of DLP projectors is (almost) always lower than the full brightness value, around 50% or so. Full brightness is usually very greenish, not good for movies, so that 3,000 lumens is more likely 1,700-ish with balanced color. The bigger the screen, the more the color fades. To match the 300 to 400 nits brightness of LCD TVs which can be viewed in a pretty bright room (but why?), that means a 75" screen, about the same size as some TVs. Even then, the image won't "pop" quite as much as the TV under the same lights unless you use an expensive ambient light rejecting screen, but if you shade the windows and dim the lights, you can watch it on an absolutely gargantuan 160" white screen with more vivid colors and contrast than your local, state-of-the-art digital movie theater. The advantage of projectors over TVs is a huge, immersive, viewing experience at home. They aren't really designed for living rooms in bright light unless you use a smaller and more expensive ambient-light-rejecting screen.
Nibblonian
Sorry, no way will 3,000 lumen get anywhere near a decent picture on a wall in daylight. Sure, you may be able to see something, but not much if direct sunlight is on the wall. Also, forget about contrast--you'll never get anywhere near blacks on a wall during the day. Optoma's marketing department should know better. Your only hope is as aksdad suggested, an ambient light rejecting screen. However, an ALR screen depends on the incident angle of ambient light upon the screen being significantly different from the incident angle of the projector's light output onto the screen. And as was also noted, ALR screens can be quite expensive.