April 16, 2024

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Optoma Unveils New 4K Laser Home Entertainment And Gaming Projector With 240Hz Support

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While there’s been lots of talk recently about the threat to projectors from a new generation of eye-catchingly affordable king-sized TVs, Optoma’s newly unveiled UHZ55 4K laser projector is keen to remind us that 98 and 100-inch TVs are actually pretty puny. Thanks to a laser lighting engine capable of pumping out as much as 3000 lumens of light, the UHZ55 is rated as being capable of producing images up to a humungous 300 inches across. Now THAT’S a big screen.

The UHZ55 also reminds us of the screen size advantage such “regular” projectors have over ultra-convenient Ultra Short Throw models, which typically top out at 100-120 inches.

Of course, though, even in the projection world size isn’t everything. So it’s good to find the UHZ55 also boasting plenty of other attractions for both movie and gaming fans.

For starters, Optoma claims to have enough control over the light output by the UHZ55’s laser lighting system to deliver a huge contrast ratio of 2,500,000:1 alongside its high 3000 lumens of claimed brightness. Experience suggests this sort of contrast won’t actually crop up outside of laboratory conditions, but it’s at least indicative of the presence of an ambitious light control system.

The 3000 Lumens figure raises the possibility of the UHZ55 being able to deliver watchable pictures even if there’s ambient light in the room – but at the same, time the fact that it’s actually a little less bright than some laser rivals raises hopes that it might deliver slightly better black levels than many of those brighter models.

The UHZ55’s DLP optical system and built-in HDMIs can play 4K sources at frame rates of up to 60Hz or 1080p sources at up to 240Hz, making them as potentially interesting to gamers as movie fans. Optoma claims ultra-fast gaming response times, too, of 16.9ms with 4K/60Hz feeds and just 4ms with 1080p/240Hz feeds.

The UHZ55’s DuraCore laser lighting system is rated by Optoma as capable of delivering up to 30,000 hours of uninterrupted use, while only putting out a reasonably low (for such a bright projector) 27dB of running noise from its cooling fans. Though both these laser life and running noise extremes depend on you sticking permanently with the relatively dark Eco Mode preset, which anyone wanting to experience high dynamic range (the HDR10 and HLG HDR formats are both supported) looking as it should won’t want to do.

To save you having to always find an external sound system to connect the UHZ55 to, it carries a built in 2 x 10W speaker system. Unusually for a projector, though, it’s also WiSA HT certified, enabling it to deliver audio wirelessly to WiSA-certified speakers right out of the box.

Connections include three HDMI ports, three USB ports (two for media drives and Wi-Fi dongles, one to power streaming sticks), 3.5mm and S/PDIF audio outputs, an Ethernet network port, a 12V trigger output and a 3D Sync jack.

This latter jack, of course, reveals that the UHZ55 is the latest projector to keep the 3D video flag flying. Something no TVs still do.

While the UHZ55 is targeted predominantly at movie and gaming fans, it also equipped with a Creative Cast app that enables users to seamlessly mirror content from their smartphones, tablets or laptops for big-screen sharing of presentations, spreadsheets, photographs and so on. The potential for the projector to be used in a wide variety of locations and situations is enhanced, too, by a simple set up system that includes vertical lens shifting, four corner correction, and both horizontal and vertical keystone correction.

The UHZ55 also follows the projector trend, finally, of incorporating a built-in ‘smart’ system so that you can watch streamed shows from some of the world’s major video streaming services without needing an external physical connection. Experience suggests that the included Optoma Marketplace system won’t be as fully equipped with apps as the smart systems you get with most TVs these days, but it does open up voice control courtesy of embedded support for Alexa and Google Assistant.

The Optoma UHZ55 is available already for £1,999 in the UK and $2,499 in the US.

Related Reading

BenQ Launches Three New 4K Gaming And Home Entertainment Projectors

Optoma Launches New Ultra-Portable Triple Laser Home Entertainment Projectors

Dolby Vision Projection Gains Ground With New UST Laser Models From AWOL Vision

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