Optoma ZH55, HD29Darbee, GT1080Darbee HD Projectors at CES 2017

Optoma ZH55

In addition to two 4K/UHD projectors—the UHD60 and 4K UST ultra-short throw—Optoma showed three DLP-based 1080p models in its suite at the Westgate hotel during CES 2017. The Optoma ZH55 (seen above) looks very interesting, with a laser-phosphor light engine that is specified to deliver 3000 lumens and a dynamic contrast ratio of 20,000:1. It also features frame interpolation (which, of course, most AVS Forum members would disable), but unfortunately, no lens shift. Pricing and availability were announced; in fact, this unit was at the show to gauge interest in a laser-illuminated 1080p projector, so depending on the feedback Optoma received, it might not become a real product at all.

The HD29Darbee is an update to the lamp-based HD28DSE with all the same features—3000 lumens, 30,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, long lamp life, low-latency game mode, 3D, and Darbee image processing—adding a more powerful processor. It also offers BT.709 and sRGB color modes, but unfortunately, it doesn’t provide any lens-shift capability. The new model will be available in the first quarter of 2017 for $699.

Optoma HD29Darbee
The HD29Darbee is identical to the HD28DSE with a more powerful processor.

For gamers, the GT1080Darbee is an update to the GT1080 with 3000 lumens of peak light output, a dynamic contrast ratio of 25,000:1, long lamp life, and Darbee image processing. A new Enhanced Gaming Mode exhibits a latency of only 16 ms. It also has a short-throw lens that creates a 100″ image at about three feet from the wall, but from what I’ve been able to learn, it has no zoom or lens shift capability, making placement very inflexible. It should be available in the second quarter of this year for $699.

All three projectors were demonstrated in a single hotel room at the Westgate, and there was lots of ambient light because a meeting was being held in the same room. The screens weren’t ambient-light rejecting, so it was impossible to evaluate the picture quality in that environment.