UHD51 vs HT3550 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 34 Old 03-16-2019, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
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UHD51 vs HT3550

Hi everyone!

I've tried to hijack a little a thread about HT3550, it didn't work out, so I have to create this one.
Long story short - I almost bought UHD51, but was stopped (literally at the moment of pressing "Buy" button in one of the shops) by sudden onslaught of HT3550 appearances and reviews.

And right now I can't decide - to go forward with UHD51 or wait for HT3550.
And I require some help with this.

Some background on my concerns.
First and foremost - I am a first-time buyer of PJ. I planned it for some time, studied tons of materials, and was mainly considering UHD51 vs HT2550.
Of course I don't have real hands-on experience, but I think I understand what to expect and what might be good and bad and not as desired, so that's totally fine. I am (or was) content with my choice of UHD51.
Enter HT3550.

On paper of course HT3550 looks better - it is new, has new chip (and no or much smaller light border), has DCI-P3... but it will cost 200-300Euro more, and looks like it won't appear here in another month or so.
Without actually trying any of these PJs I am totally unsure if I will be able to appreciate and actually "see" the advantages of HT3550 to justify the price and delay in usage.
I have to note, that I find the price of UHD51 already to be a bit too much for a year-old device (though there's not much choice here in Europe), so adding another 15-20% for some unknown improvements doesn't sound very reasonable... but HT3550 is new, and as a 100%-tech guy I am attracted to new devices...

I understand that probably advising me anything is a bit problematic as much depends on personal tastes and choices, so any idea is appreciated, maybe I need to consider some aspects of usage or something else (which without experience I can't really think of).

Thanks!
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post #2 of 34 Old 03-16-2019, 08:49 AM
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I'm a uhd51 owner, not having seen the W2700/HT3550 in person, I'd still recommend the HT3550. The better DMD (less of a light border) alone would be a big step up. And reading the impressions from the HT3550 thread it seems it has many other things going for it.


If you're still on the fence, I'd recommend at least holding off on buying anything until more reviews are out for the BenQ, and maybe even someone can do a side by side between the UHD51 and the BenQ. Don't jump in on the UHD51 at this time.
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post #3 of 34 Old 03-16-2019, 09:53 AM
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From the first reviews of the HT3550 pre production units it has made many advances over the first 4X XPR DLP's and should be a much better projector. That doesn't mean it's the right projector for you. The room and use are the most critical factors in a projector purchase so describe in detail your room and uses and we could make better suggestions.

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post #4 of 34 Old 03-16-2019, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rekbones View Post
From the first reviews of the HT3550 pre production units it has made many advances over the first 4X XPR DLP's and should be a much better projector. That doesn't mean it's the right projector for you. The room and use are the most critical factors in a projector purchase so describe in detail your room and uses and we could make better suggestions.
May we somehow avoid going too deep into "right"-"not right" territory?
Though I have to note that I fully believe UHD51 is fully "right" for me, so let's work from that.

I have a choice of 2 all-white rooms:
1) Bedroom
2 walls to choose
Throw of 3 meters

2) Living\dining room
1 wall or 1 ceiling-mounted screen
Throw of 3-4 meters

I am not yet decided which one I will choose, though in my "vision" I would like to go with the 2nd+Screen option.

Both rooms are fully light-controlled (though I don't like total darkness, so would prefer some natural light present).


Uses:
1) Formula 1
2) Occasional Movie watching (including 3D)

3) Giant Space Excel Spreadsheets... just joking - don't see myself gaming (I am not into gaming though) or working with that thing, but let's see how it goes... Giant screens are too tempting to pass) Anyway - input lag doesn't bother or affect me.
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post #5 of 34 Old 03-16-2019, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paganmoon View Post
I'm a uhd51 owner, not having seen the W2700/HT3550 in person, I'd still recommend the HT3550. The better DMD (less of a light border) alone would be a big step up.
You sound a little like you don't like something else about UHD51 apart from the light border - anything serious with it? Or just bits here and there?
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post #6 of 34 Old 03-16-2019, 10:54 AM
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I agree with @rekbones 100%.

The most important point you make is you are a first time projector owner. That is fairly evident in your post as you understand projectors as a technological item. The truth is a front projection installation is a combination of a lot of factors working together as one system and the projector is a vital piece of the puzzle. The screen and screen size is a big piece as is the room. Each one affects the other.

As an example in a perfect room with the most perfect screen and projector suppose you could achieve a million to one CR. Just lighting one candle in the room could potentially lower the CR to 5000:1. That’s just a relative example and those numbers are numbers I have read in the past describing ambient light.

Point is you have a long learning curve and sometimes doing is the best teacher.

I wouldn’t mind having 4k I guess but having done this for 15 years and now enjoying 1080p it is fully satisfying to me in my theater with my screen. I don’t have 4k media and the rest of my equipment isn’t 4k yet. So much of what we watch is streaming or OTA and we rent and buy BD.

Please fill us in on the big picture and what you want to achieve.
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post #7 of 34 Old 03-16-2019, 10:59 AM
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I was really hoping Chris Majestic would have done this seeing as he has both. He mentioned the Optoma was a bit sharper (lens? XPR tuning? He didn't say) but claimed the HT3550 had better contrast and color.


Optoma doesn't seem to send out as many review samples as BenQ. The big websites get some samples and just a couple of influencers. I've asked them in the past but been turned down.

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post #8 of 34 Old 03-16-2019, 10:59 AM
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Between these two projectors I would choose 3550.

2550 vs 51 , they would be pretty much identical. They use the same DMD, so basically you will get same resolution, contrast etc. except for some manufacturer improvements. And I am not aware of any improvements, or any other big differences. I compared these two when I was making a choice, I finally decided to go with 2550.

But BenQ 3550 is a new refined projector, which offers a lot of features ( at least on paper and I am yet to see one in person.)
It has some amount of lens shift, an iris which is huge for low ADL scenes. Some support for HDR as 3550 can render wide color gamut on your screen. On top of that there no light box around the frame(or it is really small), no light leaking out to the ceiling etc. So from what I hear and read 3550 is a lot better than 2550.

Both 2550 and 51 claims HDR support, but all they do is accept HDR input and convert it to SDR color space and render. After few hours with 2550 I realized both my Apple TV 4K and Xbox One X does a much better job of converting HDR to SDR. So I eventually decided to set Xbox and Apple TV to SDR since I ended up with much better looking images on the screen this way.

The only word of caution is not many have experienced 3550 hands on, since this is really new. But barring any newly discovered technical/engineering issues or failures that, 3550 would win this match up.
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post #9 of 34 Old 03-16-2019, 11:00 AM
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I haven't seen the 3550, but from what I've read, it's got a lot going for it. Better DCI-P3 coverage, dynamic iris, etc. It's not super bright so you need a dark room. Also, I have read that it's not as sharp as the Optoma, but it has better colors, better blacks, etc. so you have to choose which is more important to you.
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post #10 of 34 Old 03-16-2019, 11:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sage11x View Post
I was really hoping Chris Majestic would have done this seeing as he has both. He mentioned the Optoma was a bit sharper (lens? XPR tuning? He didn't say) but claimed the HT3550 had better contrast and color.


Optoma doesn't seem to send out as many review samples as BenQ. The big websites get some samples and just a couple of influencers. I've asked them in the past but been turned down.

Looks like he just dropped his review yesterday!


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post #11 of 34 Old 03-16-2019, 02:53 PM
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You can achieve a larger picture from the same throw distance using the BenQ HT3550. In that first room with only a 3 meter throw distance you could get roughly 117 inches with the BenQ vs 110 inches with the Optima. That assumes from the lens, not the mount or entire room length. That may or may not be a meaningful difference from that distance to you. I plan to replace my BenQ W1070 with the HT3550 as the throw ratios are almost identical and it meet all of my other requirements as well.
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post #12 of 34 Old 03-17-2019, 04:05 AM
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You made the right choise, UHD51 is not worth it at this point.
I had UHD50 (same thing PQ wise) and absolutely hated it when compared to old W1070, my review here:


https://www.avsforum.com/forum/68-di...l#post55800722
Except resolution, it was worse in every aspect when compared with this 5 years old projector: a washed out, dull mess.


I will be buying HT3550(AKA W2700)as soon as it is generally available, as it promises to be (finally) a worthy successor of W1070 and fixes all problems with UHD40/50.
It just has soooo many good things compared with the older generations of 4K DLP units:

  • shorter throw, equal to the one in W1070 (I really need it in my setup, this is the first 4K DLP projector ever with a short throw like this - finally)
  • new lens design, promising decent black levels and contrast (UHD50 has one of the most horrible bright blacks I have seen in this price bracket)
  • no light border (never bothered me too much, but definitively a big plus in some setups)
  • dynamic iris (!!!!) - fantastic to see in this price bracket, will definitively help with HDR and black level control
  • user upgradable firmware via USB (a bit weird to type this in 2019, but better late than never I guess...) - this is important as projectors in general tend to have some weird bugs (handshake issues, etc) which are fixed by later firmware revisions
  • DCI-P3 gamut (!!!), this will give you beautiful deep, saturated colours previously impossible to do on DLP, although sadly there seems to be a big brightness price to pay when it is enabled
  • HDR support which apparently actually works - it was just pointless in UHD50, it just made image even more washed out
  • hardware motion compensation - useful to have in certain scenarios, where there is a lot of panning involved (sports, etc), not great for gaming though (it adds input lag)
  • good 3D support, if you are into this kind of things

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post #13 of 34 Old 03-17-2019, 04:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for input, really helpful - allows me to think differently about all of this.

2 questions:
1) As I mentioned, my main consumption will be F1, and as such - daytime events, which I would prefer to watch with an open source of aforementioned daylight (maybe not at 100% brightness, but definitely not in the dark room).
Will HT3550 be enough for it? It is not the brightest one... (I do understand that maybe I need to refocus on something with RGBWRGBW wheel instead, but let's for the moment stick to the mentioned models).

2) Does anyone know if Optoma will release something new with this new (light-border-less) TI chip?
I honestly tried to search for it, but found exactly zero info.
I believe Tuan is the one, who can shed some light on this, right? =)
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post #14 of 34 Old 03-17-2019, 05:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAllein View Post
Thanks everyone for input, really helpful - allows me to think differently about all of this.
1) As I mentioned, my main consumption will be F1, and as such - daytime events, which I would prefer to watch with an open source of aforementioned daylight (maybe not at 100% brightness, but definitely not in the dark room).

If you plan to use the projector during the day, in non-light controlled room, then none of these picture quality differences matter, any amount of external light will totally negate them - all these projectors will look like crap.
In such scenario you need RGBW light cannon.
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post #15 of 34 Old 03-17-2019, 06:37 AM
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In rooms with ambient light generally LCD projectors might be preferred. Is F1 even broadcast in anything better then 1080i/720p ? An Epson 3100/3700 may fit more to your liking or Epson 4000/4010 if you really want something that will except 4K/HDR.

"Smart enough to know better, to old to care" ------ Dedicated Bat Cave Home Theater, JVC RS49U/Mitsubishi HC7900DW Projector, 110" 16:9 Jamestown screen with variable power masking for CIW 2.50:1 to 16:9, Marantz 7009 with 7.1.4 Atmos with Ohm mains,3 DIY Subs (2 15" (1 ported, 1 sealed and a 12" 4th order bandpass), 1 DIY butt kicker, Custom Built HTPC, 18TB DroboFS NAS
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Originally Posted by vombat View Post
If you plan to use the projector during the day, in non-light controlled room, then none of these picture quality differences matter, any amount of external light will totally negate them - all these projectors will look like crap.
In such scenario you need RGBW light cannon.
I mentioned above - rooms are fully light-controlled, but personally I don't like complete darkness for F1, movies - totally fine, F1 - not.
I do know that I won't be getting state of the art picture with some amount of daylight, the question is how bad (or good) HT3550 will be? (I believe I didn't see any review showing or mentioning daytime usage... but maybe I just missed that).

In my view UHD51 is not bad, but it is a bit brighter than HT3550... hence my question.
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post #17 of 34 Old 03-17-2019, 07:03 AM
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Only you can determine how much of a washed out picture you can tolerate. F1 and most sports are bright pictures so it's not nearly as much of an issue as in movies. As you stated above the rooms are white so they are far from being fully light controlled as the reflections from the projector alone will have an effect on contrast.

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post #18 of 34 Old 03-17-2019, 11:04 AM
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A few hundred lumens is not going to make a major difference in a room with daytime ambient light. If you want something that works for F1/sports in the daytime you simply have to put the projector on its brightest setting and then adjust the window shades to the point that you have just enough light in the room to suit your preferences without washing out the screen image too badly. For reference movie viewing in the dark you simply put the projector in a less bright, more color accurate mode. From that perspective either the UHD51 or HT3550 could be made to work. But by all early accounts the HT3550 is an overall superior performer even if it measures slightly fewer maximum lumens.
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post #19 of 34 Old 03-17-2019, 03:44 PM
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Be cautious putting much faith into the current crop of YT projector reviews, the 'reviews' are mostly just marketing being directly read from the spec sheet. Instead look to established pro reviewers that do actual in-depth reviews and owner feedback threads for a general consensus on the reality of each unit. As an example, the video that Scott (scottyroo) did is of far more value than the one done by majestech (which is just a basic over-view of the marketing materials). Notice that none of the newer YT projector reviewers will do a pre/post calibration or even measure the real world numbers for their audience (that's their choice to make but it's also very telling... the term 'shill' comes to mind ).

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post #20 of 34 Old 03-18-2019, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAllein View Post
You sound a little like you don't like something else about UHD51 apart from the light border - anything serious with it? Or just bits here and there?

It's nothing big in particular, just bits here and there as you say. It's got a few quirks, like being a bit too dark at times in HDR mode, sometimes messing up the presets (HDR preset gets Cinema preset settings, HDR preset requiring switching to film and back to standard HDR to get proper colors). That could very well be my unit though.


But add to it all, that the BenQ W2700 has almost a year of advances in the DMD tech, has dynamic iris, apparently better HDR implementation, the little flap to prevent light hitting your ceiling and so on, and it to me seems like the correct choice right now. I wouldn't put much stock in the current Euro pricing on the W2700, I'm expecting it to max be a hundred or so over the UHD51, going by the US price comparisons, unless Optoma starts to discount their projector.


So I'd still at the least recommend you holding off on buying anything until the W2700 is out in the wild, with more impressions, and real prices, so you can get a better comparison.
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post #21 of 34 Old 03-19-2019, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Paganmoon View Post
It's nothing big in particular, just bits here and there as you say. It's got a few quirks, like being a bit too dark at times in HDR mode, sometimes messing up the presets (HDR preset gets Cinema preset settings, HDR preset requiring switching to film and back to standard HDR to get proper colors). That could very well be my unit though.

It's not just your unit. It comes down to how many times, at what intervals you switch in and out of HDR and what particular source/app you are using. I say that because apparently some people don't see or report the issue. For me, coming out of HDR, the Color at -19 (default, I think I'm at around -21) will "transfer" to the SDR Cinema settings resulting in muted colors as the setting should be +14 (or about by default, I personally use 0 or close to 0). For example, while watching Aquaman on a Roku Ultra within the VUDU app in 4K HDR everything is fine. Exit out of the movie and the VUDU app and return to the Roku home menu to find the screen and all of the app icon colors muted. I've observed this behavior with the Xbox One X also from time to time. Way back when it first happened I didn't know what was going on of course and would do resets of the projector or picture settings. Now, I know to just go into the picture settings and adjust the Color back. Once corrected, switching between HDR/SDR will be fine again until the next time the issue crops up.

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post #22 of 34 Old 06-07-2019, 08:23 AM
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Rbe

I got the BenQ 2700 in the mail last week but when watching the opening of Batman the Dark Knight I noticed a lot of RBE. I've since read that there is more RBE on the W2700 than previous models. I was wondering if anybody knows wether the RBE is less with the Optoma 51. It's a difficult subject to get any information on because not everybody is equally troubled by RBE.
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post #23 of 34 Old 06-07-2019, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by steven rutten View Post
I got the BenQ 2700 in the mail last week but when watching the opening of Batman the Dark Knight I noticed a lot of RBE. I've since read that there is more RBE on the W2700 than previous models. I was wondering if anybody knows wether the RBE is less with the Optoma 51. It's a difficult subject to get any information on because not everybody is equally troubled by RBE.
It should have less RBE than previous models.
If you can see RBE on the W2700, LCD is recommended ( Epson 4000 or 4100 / 7300 or 7400 EU).
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post #24 of 34 Old 06-07-2019, 10:32 AM
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Rbe

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Originally Posted by noob00224 View Post
It should have less RBE than previous models.
If you can see RBE on the W2700, LCD is recommended ( Epson 4000 or 4100 / 7300 or 7400 EU).
It should but it doesn't and has been discussed here in the owners thread as well. Something to do with the 4K but most of it went over my head to be honest. Anyway I don't have much trouble with the older Optoma models but I haven't seen the Optoma 51 yet so I was wondering if it was the same with the 51.
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post #25 of 34 Old 06-07-2019, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steven rutten View Post
I got the BenQ 2700 in the mail last week but when watching the opening of Batman the Dark Knight I noticed a lot of RBE. I've since read that there is more RBE on the W2700 than previous models. I was wondering if anybody knows wether the RBE is less with the Optoma 51. It's a difficult subject to get any information on because not everybody is equally troubled by RBE.


Try switching your source to output 60Hz. Each manufacturer has a different name for this but you should see something along the lines of enable/disable 24Hz film output. Disable it and then see if the RBE improves.

The Ht3550 is, to my knowledge, the first 4K DLP to natively support 24Hz film content. Without getting too deep in the weeds, prior 4K DLPs did not support native 24Hz due to a need to match the refresh rate of the content with the pixel shift used to produce the image. Essentially locking the projector into 60Hz. Long story short, BenQ found a way to get around this by subtly throttling (reducing the speed) of the colorwheel. Thus, the Ht3550’s color wheel spins a little slower for 24Hz content than it does for 60Hz content. Important note: while the color wheel does spin slower for 24Hz content the relative cycling of RGB is still much faster than competing ‘2X’ DLPs like the UHD60 and all non-RGBRGB HD DLPs. The exact math is 192Hz. Whereas the HT3550 in 60Hz (and every other RGBRGB DLP) operates at 240Hz. ‘2X’ DLPs cycle at 120Hz.

Why did BenQ do this? The ability to display 24Hz natively avoids needing to perform a 3:2 pulldown which can introduce telecine judder. Your UHD51 had to perform a 3:2 pulldown to display 24Hz film. If you didn’t notice judder before on the Optoma I doubt you’ll notice it on the HT3550. For the vast majority of people the slight reduction in color wheel speed is not an issue. But you might be right on that edge.
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post #26 of 34 Old 06-07-2019, 04:58 PM
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As others have said, there are a lot of factors to consider, including how much noise the projector makes. The Optoma is much quieter. I think the Optoma UHD51A is quieter in full lamp mode than the BenQ is in Eco mode, but based on your set up, it seems like your screen will likely be small enough that lumens should not be a big issue. However depending on how close the projector is to you, the noise may bother you.

They both have frame interpolation, 3D, user upgradable firmware, etc.

I watch mostly F1 and sports as well. I am pushing a much bigger screen and want a brighter projector. I was holding out for the bright version of the HT3550 with the newer DMD, but that rumor has gone quiet and I'm a little concerned about the BenQ noise and the very limited lens shift for my setup (note they both have limited shift, but the Optoma has just a little more). For my current BenQ, I had to build a hush box, but I won't have the space for one with the new setup.

So I just pulled the trigger on the Optoma UHD51ALV. I don't think the light border will bother me too much because I will have a black wall behind the screen
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Last edited by jjsaustin; 06-07-2019 at 05:21 PM.
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post #27 of 34 Old 07-12-2019, 07:12 AM
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Hi everyone!

I've tried to hijack a little a thread about HT3550, it didn't work out, so I have to create this one.
Long story short - I almost bought UHD51, but was stopped (literally at the moment of pressing "Buy" button in one of the shops) by sudden onslaught of HT3550 appearances and reviews.

And right now I can't decide - to go forward with UHD51 or wait for HT3550.
And I require some help with this.

Some background on my concerns.
First and foremost - I am a first-time buyer of PJ. I planned it for some time, studied tons of materials, and was mainly considering UHD51 vs HT2550.
Of course I don't have real hands-on experience, but I think I understand what to expect and what might be good and bad and not as desired, so that's totally fine. I am (or was) content with my choice of UHD51.
Enter HT3550.

On paper of course HT3550 looks better - it is new, has new chip (and no or much smaller light border), has DCI-P3... but it will cost 200-300Euro more, and looks like it won't appear here in another month or so.
Without actually trying any of these PJs I am totally unsure if I will be able to appreciate and actually "see" the advantages of HT3550 to justify the price and delay in usage.
I have to note, that I find the price of UHD51 already to be a bit too much for a year-old device (though there's not much choice here in Europe), so adding another 15-20% for some unknown improvements doesn't sound very reasonable... but HT3550 is new, and as a 100%-tech guy I am attracted to new devices...

I understand that probably advising me anything is a bit problematic as much depends on personal tastes and choices, so any idea is appreciated, maybe I need to consider some aspects of usage or something else (which without experience I can't really think of).

Thanks!
i had same dilema, ive watched loads of videos and reviews and in the end chose the uhd51, its on way now. Now i know its only you tube videos and web reviews but it became clear to me the ht3550 or w2700 was a darker image and didnt personally like that, yep blacks great yep mechanical iris but at 2000lumins it was a bit low for my likeing. i prefer a bright image from a projector. But the lumins wasnt the only reason. Acording to many of the reviews the 3550 is louder substantually thean the uhd51, fan noise, add this to many people saying the sharpness wasnt anywhere near the uhd51 level and that sold me. if it was just the lumins i might have gone for the 3550 but when you get people like majestic saying he wanted a little more sharpness and he wasnt the only one then you begin to see the cracks. Truth is any one of these things would have been acceptable but all three. Personally a light border is the last of my concerns, i need a image to pop out and from the several sources i saw, better blacks didnt result in a image poiping out. Wish i could have seen them both in real life but ill have to go with my gut and the reviews. Wish the optoma uhd51 had a mech iris.
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post #28 of 34 Old 07-12-2019, 07:20 AM
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A few hundred lumens is not going to make a major difference in a room with daytime ambient light. If you want something that works for F1/sports in the daytime you simply have to put the projector on its brightest setting and then adjust the window shades to the point that you have just enough light in the room to suit your preferences without washing out the screen image too badly. For reference movie viewing in the dark you simply put the projector in a less bright, more color accurate mode. From that perspective either the UHD51 or HT3550 could be made to work. But by all early accounts the HT3550 is an overall superior performer even if it measures slightly fewer maximum lumens.
i do feel the 400 lumins difference makes a difference even in dark.. at the end of the day looking at the images from both these projectors there is a huge difference, one if=s brighter and colours pop the other colouras pop but cant disquise the darkish looking outside sceens. I feel the w2700 could have been great if brighter and sharper. Brighter offten helps the perseption of sharpness too for me.
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post #29 of 34 Old 07-12-2019, 02:26 PM
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@munchy 22 , if you based your final decision on YouTube videos and web reviews you didn't get the whole picture. Only our own eyes viewing the real thing in our own environment can accurately measure which balance of pros and cons of each projector best suits us, and that can vary greatly from individual depending on our different personal preferences. As long as you're satisfied that the final decision you made is right for you that's all that really matters no matter what conclusions others may have reached.
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post #30 of 34 Old 07-14-2019, 12:36 PM
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I bought a UHD50 and IMHO it seems about as bright as my W1070. I am impressed with it's colour and contrast performance, and Dynamic black seems to work well. This is the quietest projector I've ever used. The UHD50/51/51A and Acer V7850/H7850 share the same case design and they are all praised for their low noise operation.
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