Optoma UHL55 = $750! - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 39 Old 12-12-2019, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
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post #2 of 39 Old 12-27-2019, 10:26 PM
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Just bought one from Amazon. I expected to return it right away as I did the Benq 3550. As it turns out I’m keeping it.

I’m kind of weird but the top 2 things I was looking for in a projector was native 4k resolution and either an LED or laser light source. And I didn’t want to pay $5k for the projector and special screen as I was about to with the P1. After playing with the settings this throws an amazingly detailed sharp picture with contrast that’s perfectly acceptable (on a light gray screen) and the incredible color you get with LED. HDR works great and seamlessly and it (or AppleTV 4k) does a great job of uprezzing 1080p.

Of course for all that goodness at this prize there are trade offs. But fortunately for me not so much with picture quality. More in room placement (no zoom, short throw no offset) cheap annoying remote, don’t even mess with the internal smart features, and would prefer a glass lens though it’s plenty sharp without one.

As it is I have it on the coffee table and leave it there. Not elegant but for the quality of picture for the price - the trade-off is more than worth the money saved. I started projecting on an off white wall which was ok, but switch to one of our light gray walls and the picture was stunning/mesmerizing.
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post #3 of 39 Old 12-28-2019, 11:55 AM
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Would be fun to try, but in order to fill my 135" screen in my 12' deep room, I would have to cut out my closet frame and mount it there. A little shorter or. Little linger throw, and it would've been fun to play with and compare to my 1080 jvc. Would be able to keep them both up.

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post #4 of 39 Old 12-28-2019, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
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This is an excellent and in depth video review:

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post #5 of 39 Old 12-29-2019, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by dbpaddler View Post
Would be fun to try, but in order to fill my 135" screen in my 12' deep room, I would have to cut out my closet frame and mount it there. A little shorter or. Little linger throw, and it would've been fun to play with and compare to my 1080 jvc. Would be able to keep them both up.

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For the price you could buy a new screen and still be ahead. This just throws an amazing picture for multiples of its price. I bought the BenQ 3550 for twice the price and hated it. HDR sucked, contrast and black levels horrible, weird artifacts lackluster color and the bulb malfunctioned after two weeks.

Judging from the picture on the 55 with great color, superior resolution apparent, surprisingly good contrast and black levels, and seamless and perfect HDR plus eye popping color (and amazing on 1080p) this should sell for multiples over the BenQ IMO. I’m not new to projectors, I’ve had nothing but in my home theaters since the late 90’s. Never one this cheap or with a picture this good.
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post #6 of 39 Old 12-29-2019, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by DunMunro View Post
This is an excellent and in depth video review:

https://youtu.be/fMCf9uvIwZQ
Good review. I agree that it could be brighter - however in bright scenes no lack of brightness at all. playing around with the gamma settings and the black1,2 &3 settings can give blacks that aren’t noticeably gray for myself or probably most people. For an ISF expert like this guy - a different story and he IS correct. But these arguments vanish at this price. He was quoting a price probably 3x higher given the last exchange rate I recall.

Didn’t know it does 3D - and does it well. Nice.
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post #7 of 39 Old 12-30-2019, 09:42 AM
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I just ordered one of these from amazon. I will arrive thursday. I have been looking for a led short throw pj to use like a tv when i am not using my jvc rs3000. The throw works perfect for my needs. I will give my review thursday night. It seems like a no brainer for the money but we shall see.

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post #8 of 39 Old 12-31-2019, 01:53 AM
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I just ordered one of these from amazon. I will arrive thursday. I have been looking for a led short throw pj to use like a tv when i am not using my jvc rs3000. The throw works perfect for my needs. I will give my review thursday night. It seems like a no brainer for the money but we shall see.
Looking forward to your review. If you’re a fan of LED as I am - I’m guessing no brainer will be your conclusion. Even though you won’t be a fan of dark scenes coming from a JVC, you’ll love the color saturation and of course the sharpness if you’re JVC is 1080p (without pixel shift).

When you first receive it there are multiple firmware and other upgrades to install which is tedious but worth it. I didn’t bother until tonight but it works faster and better as the result. Also spend time playing with the settings before your review. And like other LED projectors I’ve owned the picture seems to improve over time. Maybe the LED element benefits from burn in like audio electronics.
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post #9 of 39 Old 01-02-2020, 06:52 PM
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I got the projector on Tuesday. This is only a supplement to my jvc rs3000. It was a very long process getting it set up perfectly in my theater. Hdmi issues. Turned out it was my yamaha processor not liking 2 hdmi outs. After many hours i must say i am blown away at how good it looks for most content. Almost instant on and zero worries about bulb life. The remote was awful until i figured out it can be set up as Bluetooth. It is super sharp from edge to edge. No its not as sharp as my jcv which has an msrp of 18k. But is is sharp enough for the 750 i paid. Thats about 200 more than a bulb for the jvc. I was able to get the greenish tint bright mode usable for cable and youtube with the lights on by doing simple adjustments in the color menu. I know they are not accurate, but more than good enough for casual viewing of jeopardy. Its funny how all the reviewers said this bright mode was unusable. I guess they never raise the red gain and lowered the green gain
The optoma easily beats my jvc with motion. Easily. It is a little nosier than i would like since it 3 feet above my head. Good news is that it is a consistent fan noise and not very distracting. My jvc is 6 feet behind the optima and its basically silent. I used the french guys settings for cinema mode and they really look great.

All in all this is just what my theater needed. My jvc for awesome movies with my cinema scope screen. And this cheap led projector for youtube, surfing the internet and some cable.
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super center XXL triton 7's sides Emotiva T1 rears
4 RSL C34 in ceiling SVS PB2-plus sub SVS PC13 ultra sub

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post #10 of 39 Old 01-02-2020, 11:52 PM
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Knew you’d like it. And the fact that you have an $18k JVC and can even bear to watch a $750 projector speaks volumes. I think anyone in the under $3k forum would enjoy this picture for movies as well. Placement is another issue. Good to know the bight mode is useable - I’ll play with it. And how do you use the remote as Bluetooth? Or do you use another Bluetooth remote to replace it (if there is such a thing)?
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post #11 of 39 Old 01-03-2020, 05:33 AM
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It's gone back to $985. I wish I had seen this post earlier!
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post #12 of 39 Old 01-03-2020, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HTCrazy2 View Post
Knew you’d like it. And the fact that you have an $18k JVC and can even bear to watch a $750 projector speaks volumes. I think anyone in the under $3k forum would enjoy this picture for movies as well. Placement is another issue. Good to know the bight mode is useable - I’ll play with it. And how do you use the remote as Bluetooth? Or do you use another Bluetooth remote to replace it (if there is such a thing)?
Play around with bright mode. I just switched color to standard upped the main color to 12 the big improvement was upping the red gain to 30 and lowering the green gain to -30 i raised the blue gain to 7. Calibrators will laugh nut it does make the picture very watchable with some lights on. The remote must be in bluetooth, it sucks in ir. Go the home screen go to settings and then to bluetooth. You can connect the remote there. One issue i found is sometimes when i turn it on it tries to do the auto focus which is out of range in my room. I then have to focus again. It only takes a few seconds but im looking for a fix for that. I dont use the built in apps they are frankly not very good. I have my shield pro for that. The built in apps are however good enough and very handy if you use this as a portable projector. Its really a great little package for cheap money. Its too bad it gets zero love on these forums. Like you said i know what the best looks like with my jvc. I dont mean to imply that it is even close to the jvc for critical viewing. its not. That however doesnt mean that it isnt a really good little projector for its intended uses.

Hers a pic pf my jvc. The optoma is now mounted in front of the beam just below the ceiling. I was lucky it was able to work in my theater.
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Dolby Atmos 7.2.4 Yamaha CX-A5200 Gemstone 200x7 Emotiva upa-500 amps
Oppo 103 panasonic ub820 Ultra HD Blu-ray Jvc RS3000 projector
Eulenvusion 130 2.35 screen Golden Ear Triton 5 L&R
super center XXL triton 7's sides Emotiva T1 rears
4 RSL C34 in ceiling SVS PB2-plus sub SVS PC13 ultra sub

Last edited by dan webster; 01-03-2020 at 11:36 AM.
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post #13 of 39 Old 01-03-2020, 03:59 PM
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It's gone back to $985. I wish I had seen this post earlier!
That's too bad. But knowing what I do now, I would have paid the $985 in a second for the UHL55. As long as the throw and positioning work for you of course. Great looking picture in the sub $3K category, and I hate projector bulbs with a passion. Plus at Amazon, this has or had a free returns policy so you can judge the value yourself.
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post #14 of 39 Old 01-03-2020, 04:35 PM
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Play around with bright mode. I just switched color to standard upped the main color to 12 the big improvement was upping the red gain to 30 and lowering the green gain to -30 i raised the blue gain to 7. Calibrators will laugh nut it does make the picture very watchable with some lights on. The remote must be in bluetooth, it sucks in ir. Go the home screen go to settings and then to bluetooth. You can connect the remote there. One issue i found is sometimes when i turn it on it tries to do the auto focus which is out of range in my room. I then have to focus again. It only takes a few seconds but im looking for a fix for that. I dont use the built in apps they are frankly not very good. I have my shield pro for that. The built in apps are however good enough and very handy if you use this as a portable projector. Its really a great little package for cheap money. Its too bad it gets zero love on these forums. Like you said i know what the best looks like with my jvc. I dont mean to imply that it is even close to the jvc for critical viewing. its not. That however doesnt mean that it isnt a really good little projector for its intended uses.

Hers a pic pf my jvc. The optoma is now mounted in front of the beam just below the ceiling. I was lucky it was able to work in my theater.
We should probably start an owners thread in the under $3k forum. People are pining for a native 4K laser project under 3K - and I'm not aware of any advantages of laser over LED in terms of picture quality. For under $1k now, still a no brainer.

The autofocus IS a pain when it tries to autofocus when powered on. I don't know if you can turn autofocus off, but I did try to calibrate it - and it happens much less often now. Let me know if you find a way to disable it completely. I'll try your settings for bright mode - thanks.
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post #15 of 39 Old 01-12-2020, 10:43 AM
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We should probably start an owners thread in the under $3k forum. People are pining for a native 4K laser project under 3K - and I'm not aware of any advantages of laser over LED in terms of picture quality. For under $1k now, still a no brainer.

So glad I found this thread. I received mine from Amazon less than a week ago after a regrettable experience with a Jmgo N7. (I mainly regret jumping the gun and posting a positive review, but after trying to overlook the weird image anomalies, and the meager controls, I returned it. I guess I was taken in by the extreme portability and easy set up). In any case, I was on guard with this UHL55, but my fears were unfounded. While this was comparatively tricky to set up, it was worth the effort.

Thank you Dan for pointing out the bluetooth option regarding the remote control. I wasn't aware of that. Also appreciate your settings advice. I'll try that before the playoff games begin today.

The online reviews have been a little underwhelming, but many critics are grousing about the apps. From my perspective though, if I could have saved one dollar for a version of this projector without the "smart" apps altogether, I would have elected to go that route. (I did try the Google Home voice control and can confirm it works. I'm sure I'll never use it again though. The commands are a mouthful, so it's easier to just grab the remote, in my opinion).

I did try the calibrated settings posted in a French review, but I found the results a little green. (I might have easily misunderstood the translation. I only noticed his color bias corrections, not the other settings).

BTW, I do get a prompt about the need to focus manually (for 99% of users I'd wager, given the two meters limit for auto-focus) but I find that it pretty much holds my last adjustment, so it hasn't been much of an issue.
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post #16 of 39 Old 01-12-2020, 09:46 PM
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Hey Steve - are you the guy on the Allstate commercials? Doesn’t matter, glad you’re enjoying the 55. Once you dial it in, it really throws a great picture. My budget was $3K for just the projector. This cost 1/4th of that when I bought mine and I’m completely satisfied.

I never use native smart apps when something like AppleTV 4K does apps so much better no matter what the device. As Dan mentioned it’s great with motion (on the minimum setting) and also does a REALLY good job with 1080P content making the playoffs look excellent. For sports I like the HDR simulation setting, gamma 2.2 and black level 3. The bad is I stay glued to the screen for hours on end.

Using the output from the Fios stb through the Oppo 103. The Oppo is just to connect to the sound system but does do some video processing on 1080p. For 4k content I feed directly with AppleTV and it looks great.
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post #17 of 39 Old 01-13-2020, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Mayhem View Post
So glad I found this thread. I received mine from Amazon less than a week ago after a regrettable experience with a Jmgo N7. (I mainly regret jumping the gun and posting a positive review, but after trying to overlook the weird image anomalies, and the meager controls, I returned it. I guess I was taken in by the extreme portability and easy set up). In any case, I was on guard with this UHL55, but my fears were unfounded. While this was comparatively tricky to set up, it was worth the effort.

Thank you Dan for pointing out the bluetooth option regarding the remote control. I wasn't aware of that. Also appreciate your settings advice. I'll try that before the playoff games begin today.

The online reviews have been a little underwhelming, but many critics are grousing about the apps. From my perspective though, if I could have saved one dollar for a version of this projector without the "smart" apps altogether, I would have elected to go that route. (I did try the Google Home voice control and can confirm it works. I'm sure I'll never use it again though. The commands are a mouthful, so it's easier to just grab the remote, in my opinion).

I did try the calibrated settings posted in a French review, but I found the results a little green. (I might have easily misunderstood the translation. I only noticed his color bias corrections, not the other settings).

BTW, I do get a prompt about the need to focus manually (for 99% of users I'd wager, given the two meters limit for auto-focus) but I find that it pretty much holds my last adjustment, so it hasn't been much of an issue.
Glad you are enjoying it. I agree this is far from a plug and play projector . I still smile every time i turn it on and see what my 750 bought me. Last night for example i used it for YouTube to watch tennis highlights and the motion was fantaastic.I also watched alot of content from CES and it was nice knowing that those hours weren't taking a toll on my expensive jvc bulb. After that i switched to the jvc for a movie . Night Hunter on amazon prime. Not a great movie but it sure looked good. I am planning on starting an owners thread, unless any of you would rather.

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super center XXL triton 7's sides Emotiva T1 rears
4 RSL C34 in ceiling SVS PB2-plus sub SVS PC13 ultra sub
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post #18 of 39 Old 01-13-2020, 03:38 PM
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Hey Steve - are you the guy on the Allstate commercials?
Not quite, but I was using the Steve Mayhem handle as radio disc jerkey long before those commercials.


I'm not a big fan of PureMotion (or whatever proprietary name they use) but it did work well in its lowest setting watching the Chiefs-Texans game yesterday. For anything other than sports, it's not for me. I haven't fiddled with Dynamic Black yet. Does it do any harm?

Quote:
I also watched alot of content from CES and it was nice knowing that those hours weren't taking a toll on my expensive jvc bulb.
This is my fourth projector, and bulb burnout is always in the back of my mind. It doesn't stop me from watching, but I think about it the same way I think about the mileage toll on my car before a road trip. In the case of a projector, part of that concern is praying the bulb will still be available when I need it. In my mind, it's a big plus for LED.

Dan Webster, please go ahead and start an owners thread. That would be great.

BTW, I see it was back at $750 again this morning. If anyone is on the fence, I would take some of the negative Amazon reviews with a grain of salt. I was shaking my head at some of them. While the UHL55 is far from the holy grail of projectordom, it really is a fantastic buy for under $1k.

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post #19 of 39 Old 01-14-2020, 02:08 PM
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Any thoughts on how this would compare to the Epson HC 2150? I was going to get the 2150 but the UHL55 is currently only a little bit more.
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post #20 of 39 Old 01-14-2020, 08:43 PM
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On the way at 750! Looking forward to it. Will be living room duty but fairly light controlled and not that demanding of a user. Upgrade from a hc1600 mitsu so will probably be happy with anything.


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post #21 of 39 Old 01-15-2020, 08:25 AM
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Any thoughts on how this would compare to the Epson HC 2150? I was going to get the 2150 but the UHL55 is currently only a little bit more.
The Epson looks like a really nice budget projector, but it's not 4k. Keep in mind that the UHL55 was originally received and reviewed as a $1600 projector. At that price point it has stiff competition, but at under $1k it's really hard to beat.

Some of the noted flaws that I had serious reservations about turned out to be no big deal. Most are set-up type issues (lack of optical zoom and lens shift) but given the relatively compact size and weight of this machine those were not the least bit daunting to overcome. (In fact, I had to completely realign the projector to the screen last night after my cleaning service moved the table and projector several feet away. Now that I'm accustomed to it, I had it realigned in no time).

Some users have complained about the poor "smart" app integration. I wouldn't know, and never will. I have no more interest in those options than I do with similar features on my blu ray player, which is zero. My inexpensive 4k Roku handles those functions perfectly.

My biggest concern was brightness, and while it's not as bright as the budget ViewSonic sitting in my vacation cottage, it's watchable in daylight (inasmuch as I rarely watch during the day) and more than bright enough for evening viewing in a darkened room. (Paradoxically, this Optoma appears noticeably brighter with 3D than the ViewSonic which is brighter otherwise. I'm really impressed with the 3D image on this thing).

As noted in one of the online reviews (I believe Projector Central) the image doesn't really "pop" enough on HDR movies, although I didn't notice that shortcoming with video based HDR material, which are eye candy.

Overall, given all the money I've pissed away over the years on consumer electronics (I'm not offended if you say Okay Boomer) I have absolutely no buyers remorse for this purchase. It's truly one of the best bargains I've come across.
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post #22 of 39 Old 01-17-2020, 09:49 AM
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Does this have any light borders around the image? Also is there absolutely no lens / shift or keystone correction at all?
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post #23 of 39 Old 01-17-2020, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Does this have any light borders around the image? Also is there absolutely no lens / shift or keystone correction at all?
From the reviews it has the reduced light border of the 2nd gen .47 chip and it has auto keystoning.
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post #24 of 39 Old 01-17-2020, 11:41 AM
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I’m very tempted to get this to replace my Epson 2150, but then I would have to move the mount completely. Which in my setup would be a huge pain.
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post #25 of 39 Old 01-17-2020, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I’m very tempted to get this to replace my Epson 2150, but then I would have to move the mount completely. Which in my setup would be a huge pain.
Hopefully some owners will chime in. This is from a review:

Quote:
There are four screw-adjustable feet to correct any tilt of your mounting surface. The UHL55 can also be ceiling mounted (the four feet can be taken off and those points used for a mount with M4 screws), but there's an extra concern to be aware of. The projector has an external power brick that weighs 1.2 pounds and the cable from plug to brick is only 5 feet, 7 inches long, so you'll need to find a way to mount the power brick either on the ceiling with the projector or somewhere nearby.

https://www.projectorcentral.com/Opt...tor-Review.htm
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post #26 of 39 Old 01-17-2020, 12:21 PM
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I have been projector researching for couple month not and I thought I had settled on the Optoma UHD51A but wondering if I should go with this instead? 3D is the most important then 4K so if this one does it better than the UHD51A, I would rather buy this one. Please let me know if anyone compared the two or even the Benq HT3550. HTCrazy, did you think this one was better than the Benq you tried? I also bought the Benq and return it because I was not impressed. If you are telling me that you liked this one more, then I might just buy it myself and give it a shot.

Last edited by cky2354; 01-17-2020 at 08:27 PM.
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post #27 of 39 Old 01-18-2020, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by cky2354 View Post
I have been projector researching for couple month not and I thought I had settled on the Optoma UHD51A but wondering if I should go with this instead? 3D is the most important then 4K so if this one does it better than the UHD51A, I would rather buy this one. Please let me know if anyone compared the two or even the Benq HT3550. HTCrazy, did you think this one was better than the Benq you tried? I also bought the Benq and return it because I was not impressed. If you are telling me that you liked this one more, then I might just buy it myself and give it a shot.
Cky - As far as picture quality, this was dramatically better than the HT3550. HDR works seamlessly and perfectly. Color was disappointing with the 3550, amazing with the UHL55. Contrasts and black levels very disappointing with the Benq, but vastly better and not bothersome with the Optoma. Sharpness not uniform with the Benq even though it has a glass lens where the 55 is sharp as a tack edge to edge. Also the motion is excellent on the Optoma. I usually turn any kind of motion boost off because it looks unnatural, but at the lowest setting, it just looks right totally eliminating judder with seldom any noticeable artifact.

The Benq was MUCH more versatile with placement, but for the difference in picture quality and price it's more than worth taking the time to figure out placement for the Optima. I currently have mine on a coffee table (because I use it in multiple rooms) but it can be ceiling mounted as well. Incredible value.
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Last edited by HTCrazy2; 01-18-2020 at 09:49 AM.
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post #28 of 39 Old 01-18-2020, 09:42 AM
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From the reviews it has the reduced light border of the 2nd gen .47 chip and it has auto keystoning.
The light border IS only slightly noticeable (and never bothersome) at times. Other times it's simply not there at all as hard as I look. A total non-issue for me.
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post #29 of 39 Old 01-18-2020, 11:34 AM
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Cky - As far as picture quality, this was dramatically better than the HT3550. HDR works seamlessly and perfectly. Color was disappointing with the 3550, amazing with the UHL55. Contrasts and black levels very disappointing with the Benq, but vastly better and not bothersome with the Optoma. Sharpness not uniform with the Benq even though it has a glass lens where the 55 is sharp as a tack edge to edge. Also the motion is excellent on the Optoma. I usually turn any kind of motion boost off because it looks unnatural, but at the lowest setting, it just looks right totally eliminating judder with seldom any noticeable artifact.

The Benq was MUCH more versatile with placement, but for the difference in picture quality and price it's more than worth taking the time to figure out placement for the Optima. I currently have mine on a coffee table (because I use it in multiple rooms) but it can be ceiling mounted as well. Incredible value.
Thank you so much for the feedback! This is what I needed to make a decision for me. I just bought it and it will be here tomorrow and will order high contrast gray screen to go with it. Thank you HTCrazy… if I didn't try the Benq, I would be more hesitant but I know what that was like and if you think this is better (and cheaper) this is no brainer for me. I figured out I can ceiling mount it still and it will work in my home theater.
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post #30 of 39 Old 01-19-2020, 12:53 AM
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Thank you so much for the feedback! This is what I needed to make a decision for me. I just bought it and it will be here tomorrow and will order high contrast gray screen to go with it. Thank you HTCrazy… if I didn't try the Benq, I would be more hesitant but I know what that was like and if you think this is better (and cheaper) this is no brainer for me. I figured out I can ceiling mount it still and it will work in my home theater.
With free returns on Amazon, the price and reviews like ours it’s as close to risk free as you get. Definitely wait until you play with it before deciding which kind of screen to get. I’ve been lazy about reinstalling my screen, using the wall in two different rooms. One is white and the other is very light gray. Most often I like the better contrast on the gray but sometimes prefer the white (especially with sports).

Good it will work as a ceiling mount. I hope and expect you’ll enjoy yours.
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