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Review: Optoma UHZ65 4K Laser Projector Offers Quality at an Affordable Price-point

The Optoma UHZ65 4K laser projector breaks new ground to provide homeowners with an UltraHD solution that delivers low cost of ownership.

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9 Comments
Posted by John Nemesh on February 27, 2018

Nice review!  I bought this projector for myself, sight unseen, when it was first released, and haven’t regretted the purchase in the slightest!  I agree that it “jumps to the top of the pack” for value as well.  It has an outstanding image, overall, and the only drawbacks, as you stated, are the lack of horizontal lens shift and limited vertical shift.  You HAVE to plan for this projector and make sure it’s positioned EXACTLY where it needs to be!  That being said, it’s a one time limitation.  Once it’s properly installed, the projector will deliver where it counts.  Note that this projector IS a “pixel shifter”.  However, unlike the Epson or JVC models, which pixel shift a 1080p chip to deliver double 1080p resolution, this chip has a native resolution of 2716x1528 (source: http://www.ti.com/product/DLP660TE ), which doubled, gives you over 8.3 million discrete pixels on screen.  DOUBLE the number that the JVCs and Epsons deliver.  I also agree that this projector is well suited for high ambient light situations, as my purchase is replacing my 65” Samsung UN65KS8000 in my living room.  I have a Screen Innovations “Slate” 1.2 gain screen, and I am able to watch even in the middle of the day, with plenty of ambient light in the room.  It’s laser light engine means that I can power on the projector almost instantly (cold start to image on screen in under 15 seconds), and I don’t have to worry about lamp life.  At a 20,000 hr rating, I can watch 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for SEVEN YEARS!  I promised myself that I would buy the first 4k/UHD projector with a laser light engine that retails under $5000…This just happened about 2-3 years faster than I expected!  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Posted by Mike McNamara on February 28, 2018

I do not believe the projector is capable of “reproducing the Rec.2020 and DCI-P3 Color Gamuts” as stated by the author. It only supports them—which means it can receive content mastered in those WCG spaces, but can only reproduce slightly more than the much smaller Rec.709 color gamut—at least according to ProjectorReviews.com which actually tested the color gamuts.

Posted by cinemapete on February 28, 2018

Contrary to what the author stated…“It offers basic lens shift, focus and keystone options”, the UHZ65 does not have any keystone adjustments and that has been born out by other technical reviews.  Lens shift and focus are totally manual - there is no motorized lens shift/focus on the UHZ65 - something even less costly 4K compatible projectors have.  For a more technical review and assessment of the UHZ65 take a look at the projectorcentral dot com website for their Jan 17th review of it and their Jan 24th shoot-out comparison of the UHZ65 with the JVC RS440U (a lamp-based projector).

Posted by Robert Archer on February 28, 2018

You guys caught my lack of attentiveness with my choice of words in this review. I did state the projector produces 8.3 million pixels, which is not as much as a native 4K product, but it means the 4K spec based on industry standards. I did know about the keystone, and mentioned basic image adjustment options, which limits its installability, I just didn’t think when I used the term lens shift and keystone adjustments while writing the story. Besides, why would you use keystone adjustments anyway, it’s not an ideal solution. The specs section also specifies compatibility with the various color gamuts, and if you look at the start of the paragraph it says According to Optoma. I think videophiles needs to realize you are not going to find a reasonably priced projector that’s going to reproduce a REC 2020 color space at this point in time. Maybe a flagship Barco or Christie product, but how much more money are those products than this projector. Rather than parsing words I think the important thing with this projector is that it provides 3840 x2160 compatibility with bright images and low maintenance requirements. Over time any bulb-based product will lose brightness and image quality will suffer as a result. Videophiles should be applauding Optoma for developing this product. They cut a few features out, but the omission of those features in most cases are worth it.

Posted by Robert Archer on February 28, 2018

I do want to thank you guys pointing these items out because it is important to on point with content like this.

Posted by John Nemesh on March 5, 2018

Actually, 8.3 million pixels IS the standard number of pixels for UHD (“true” 4k is slightly higher) and displays the same amount of detail that the “native” UHD projectors provide.  Same detail (some comparisons show MORE detail on the UHZ65!) as the Sony “native” projectors, and DOUBLE the number of pixels on the screen than the Epson and JVC pixel shifters.

Posted by John Nemesh on March 5, 2018

I would also add that this projector is NOT for everyone.  Some will prefer the flexibility in installation that other projectors offer.  Some will want a motorized zoom, focus, and shift for switching between 16x9 and 2.35:1 content.  Others will prefer a projector with better black level and contrast such as what JVC offers in their higher end projectors.  But for the customer who is looking to replace a flat panel and USE it as such, or to someone with a high amount of ambient light in the room, this product is GOLDEN!  There are others with arguably better picture quality, or more flexible installation options…but NO ONE ELSE is offering a UHD LASER projector under $5000.  No one.  As such, I have sold quite a few over the past months, and I expect that Optoma is most likely pretty pleased with the reception this model has had.

Posted by Mike McNamara on March 5, 2018

To John Nemesh: The claim by DLP and Optoma to provide 8.3 million “unique” pixels on screen is questionable at best—given that the pixels overlap each other (via pixel shifting!) by about a half pixel width in a diagonal direction. So assuming the lens quality is the same between the UHZ65 and a native 4K Sony, which it isn’t, there is no way the same detail can be provided by the Optoma with overlapping pixels and what is actually closer to an interlaced image than a progressive image. What comparisons do you refer to that claim images from the UHZ65 are sharper or more detailed than from a native 4K Sony?

Posted by John Nemesh on March 5, 2018

To Mike, you might want to check your info.  The Optoma doesnt overlap pixels, does display all 8.3 million individual pixels, and does have more detail than the “native” Sony.  Link to video comparison, where you can see for yourself here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeFUsR056SA

9 Comments
Posted by John Nemesh on March 5, 2018

To Mike, you might want to check your info.  The Optoma doesnt overlap pixels, does display all 8.3 million individual pixels, and does have more detail than the “native” Sony.  Link to video comparison, where you can see for yourself here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeFUsR056SA

Posted by Mike McNamara on March 5, 2018

To John Nemesh: The claim by DLP and Optoma to provide 8.3 million “unique” pixels on screen is questionable at best—given that the pixels overlap each other (via pixel shifting!) by about a half pixel width in a diagonal direction. So assuming the lens quality is the same between the UHZ65 and a native 4K Sony, which it isn’t, there is no way the same detail can be provided by the Optoma with overlapping pixels and what is actually closer to an interlaced image than a progressive image. What comparisons do you refer to that claim images from the UHZ65 are sharper or more detailed than from a native 4K Sony?

Posted by John Nemesh on March 5, 2018

I would also add that this projector is NOT for everyone.  Some will prefer the flexibility in installation that other projectors offer.  Some will want a motorized zoom, focus, and shift for switching between 16x9 and 2.35:1 content.  Others will prefer a projector with better black level and contrast such as what JVC offers in their higher end projectors.  But for the customer who is looking to replace a flat panel and USE it as such, or to someone with a high amount of ambient light in the room, this product is GOLDEN!  There are others with arguably better picture quality, or more flexible installation options…but NO ONE ELSE is offering a UHD LASER projector under $5000.  No one.  As such, I have sold quite a few over the past months, and I expect that Optoma is most likely pretty pleased with the reception this model has had.

Posted by John Nemesh on March 5, 2018

Actually, 8.3 million pixels IS the standard number of pixels for UHD (“true” 4k is slightly higher) and displays the same amount of detail that the “native” UHD projectors provide.  Same detail (some comparisons show MORE detail on the UHZ65!) as the Sony “native” projectors, and DOUBLE the number of pixels on the screen than the Epson and JVC pixel shifters.

Posted by Robert Archer on February 28, 2018

I do want to thank you guys pointing these items out because it is important to on point with content like this.

Posted by Robert Archer on February 28, 2018

You guys caught my lack of attentiveness with my choice of words in this review. I did state the projector produces 8.3 million pixels, which is not as much as a native 4K product, but it means the 4K spec based on industry standards. I did know about the keystone, and mentioned basic image adjustment options, which limits its installability, I just didn’t think when I used the term lens shift and keystone adjustments while writing the story. Besides, why would you use keystone adjustments anyway, it’s not an ideal solution. The specs section also specifies compatibility with the various color gamuts, and if you look at the start of the paragraph it says According to Optoma. I think videophiles needs to realize you are not going to find a reasonably priced projector that’s going to reproduce a REC 2020 color space at this point in time. Maybe a flagship Barco or Christie product, but how much more money are those products than this projector. Rather than parsing words I think the important thing with this projector is that it provides 3840 x2160 compatibility with bright images and low maintenance requirements. Over time any bulb-based product will lose brightness and image quality will suffer as a result. Videophiles should be applauding Optoma for developing this product. They cut a few features out, but the omission of those features in most cases are worth it.

Posted by cinemapete on February 28, 2018

Contrary to what the author stated…“It offers basic lens shift, focus and keystone options”, the UHZ65 does not have any keystone adjustments and that has been born out by other technical reviews.  Lens shift and focus are totally manual - there is no motorized lens shift/focus on the UHZ65 - something even less costly 4K compatible projectors have.  For a more technical review and assessment of the UHZ65 take a look at the projectorcentral dot com website for their Jan 17th review of it and their Jan 24th shoot-out comparison of the UHZ65 with the JVC RS440U (a lamp-based projector).

Posted by Mike McNamara on February 28, 2018

I do not believe the projector is capable of “reproducing the Rec.2020 and DCI-P3 Color Gamuts” as stated by the author. It only supports them—which means it can receive content mastered in those WCG spaces, but can only reproduce slightly more than the much smaller Rec.709 color gamut—at least according to ProjectorReviews.com which actually tested the color gamuts.

Posted by John Nemesh on February 27, 2018

Nice review!  I bought this projector for myself, sight unseen, when it was first released, and haven’t regretted the purchase in the slightest!  I agree that it “jumps to the top of the pack” for value as well.  It has an outstanding image, overall, and the only drawbacks, as you stated, are the lack of horizontal lens shift and limited vertical shift.  You HAVE to plan for this projector and make sure it’s positioned EXACTLY where it needs to be!  That being said, it’s a one time limitation.  Once it’s properly installed, the projector will deliver where it counts.  Note that this projector IS a “pixel shifter”.  However, unlike the Epson or JVC models, which pixel shift a 1080p chip to deliver double 1080p resolution, this chip has a native resolution of 2716x1528 (source: http://www.ti.com/product/DLP660TE ), which doubled, gives you over 8.3 million discrete pixels on screen.  DOUBLE the number that the JVCs and Epsons deliver.  I also agree that this projector is well suited for high ambient light situations, as my purchase is replacing my 65” Samsung UN65KS8000 in my living room.  I have a Screen Innovations “Slate” 1.2 gain screen, and I am able to watch even in the middle of the day, with plenty of ambient light in the room.  It’s laser light engine means that I can power on the projector almost instantly (cold start to image on screen in under 15 seconds), and I don’t have to worry about lamp life.  At a 20,000 hr rating, I can watch 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for SEVEN YEARS!  I promised myself that I would buy the first 4k/UHD projector with a laser light engine that retails under $5000…This just happened about 2-3 years faster than I expected!  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


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