Optoma UHD30 4K projector: Element, brightness and colours galore

Optoma’s UHD30 is a 4K projector with HDR compatibility and spectacular gentle output. Element is pretty much as good as you’d anticipate from 4K on an enormous display, with each wrinkle in each face greater than life. This projector additionally does a superb job creating correct colours, with inexperienced grass and blue skies much more practical than many cheaper projectors. Thus far, so good, however a few points make it robust to suggest spending further to get this projector’s further pixels.

Like4K resolutionAccurate colorBlisteringly brilliant

Do not LikeBanding and noise with HDRMediocre distinction ratio

First off the UHD30 has a mediocre distinction ratio, which is much lower than the perfect sub-$1,000 projectors like my Editors’ Alternative BenQ HT2050A. Its picture lacks the punch you’d hope for given the remainder of its efficiency. There’s additionally noticeable banding with HDR video, which is not a deal-breaker however does detract from the general image high quality.

Does the UHD30 look good? Sure. The true query is whether or not it appears adequate to be price the additional cash over the HT2050A. To that I might say no. Do not get me fallacious, the 4K decision is superior, however past that the HT2050A appears very comparable, provides comparable brightness, and has higher distinction. 

In case you’re a real 4K junkie and need an ultrabright projector with correct colours, the UHD30 suits that invoice. In any case, screens 100 inches and bigger is precisely what 4K decision is for. That mentioned, it isn’t the perfect worth. You may spend far much less with the HT2050A and nonetheless get a superb picture, only a barely softer one — a distinction you most likely would not discover until you noticed them side-by-side.

Primary specsNative decision: 3,840×2,160 pixelsHDR-compatible: Yes4K-compatible: Yes3D-compatible: YesLumens spec: 3,400 ANSIZoom: Guide (1.1)Lens shift: NoneLamp life (Vivid mode): 4,000 hours

The UHD30’s largest declare to fame is that 4K decision. On a 100-inch display you will see each texture, wrinkle, hair and whisker. Facet-by-side with a 1080p projector, quadrupling the pixels is kind of apparent. As you will examine beneath, that does not make the UHD30 a shoe-in for a picture-quality win.

There’s additionally HDR compatibility, however like all projectors, this comes with a giant asterisk. No client projector can precisely reproduce HDR as a result of they lack the brightness and dynamic vary delivered by TV show applied sciences like full-array native dimming and OLED. For projectors, the HDR sign have to be transformed to be used on a show with far decrease dynamic vary. Optoma did a fairly good job with this conversion on the HD28HDR ($649 at Amazon) I reviewed earlier, however, as you will additionally examine beneath, not on the UHD30.

The UHD30 is nearly obscenely brilliant. Even on the dimmer Eco mode, it is brighter than many projectors I’ve reviewed. Since all projectors get dimmer over time as their lamps age, this brightness out of the field is total factor. It additionally permits for an exceptionally giant display, if that is your factor.

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Like most DLP-based projectors this dimension, there is not any lens shift. The zoom vary can also be pretty mediocre, at 1.1x. This implies you do not have a lot vary during which to position or mount the projector for a given display dimension.

Lamp life is a claimed 4,000 hours in its brightest mode. Dial it again to Eco, which is what you will most likely use more often than not, that goes as much as 10,000. The Dynamic Black mode, which varies the lamp energy primarily based on the brightness of the content material, will increase this additional to 15,000 hours. I observed the brightness ramping up and down whereas watching, nonetheless. It is not overly distracting and I did not thoughts it, however I do know some folks discover and are irritated by it.

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
Connectivity and convenienceHDMI inputs: HDMI 2.0 (1), HDMI 1.4 (1)PC enter: Analog RGBUSB port: 1 (1.5-amp energy)Audio enter and output: 3.5mm in (1), and out (1)Digital audio output: Optical (1)LAN port: No12-volt set off: YesRS-232 distant port: YesMHL: YesRemote: Backlit

In case you plan on utilizing this projector with HDR content material, there’s technically just one enter. Not an enormous deal as I might assume most individuals utilizing this could have some type of house theater setup, and will likely be working all their sources by means of an AV receiver that passes them alongside to the projector.

The USB enter is highly effective sufficient to run a streaming stick if that is the way you wish to go, and there is a 10-watt speaker built-in for sound. Not essentially the most very best option to watch a film, however definitely attainable. There’s additionally a 3.5mm audio output to hook up with an exterior speaker.

The distant is backlit, and in true Optoma trend, brilliant sufficient for use as a flashlight or to prime up your suntan.

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
Image high quality comparisons

The HT2050A shouldn’t be 4K, and is half the value of the Optoma, nevertheless it’s our present decide for greatest projector. I figured it could be fascinating to see the way it fares towards a 4K projector at twice its worth. The 3550i is a direct competitor to the Optoma each in worth and backbone, which I have not but absolutely reviewed. 

For my comparability I related the 2 4K projectors through a Monoprice 1×4 4K HDR distribution amplifier, and related the HT2050A to its personal streaming stick. This setup is critical as a result of distribution amplifiers (“splitters”) do not change resolutions, so a single supply would ship the bottom frequent denominator (1080p) to all three. I then considered all of them on a 102-inch 1.0-gain display.

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

At first look, these three projectors appeared fairly comparable. All create a brilliant picture with correct shade. Upon nearer inspection, nonetheless, the 2 4K projectors are noticeably extra detailed. One impact is that folks look, effectively, older. Wrinkles are extra apparent, as are particular person hairs, whiskers and particularly textures in materials. The HT2050A, a minimum of side-by-side on an enormous display, appears nearly gentle as compared.

Each the Optoma and the HT2050A are very brilliant, far brighter than the 3550i. That projector would not look dim by itself, however it’s noticeably dimmer in comparison with the opposite two. Having the ability to produce that a lot gentle, whereas nonetheless having correct colours, is nice. Many projectors sacrifice shade accuracy for gentle output, and the result’s a far much less pleasing picture. So grass appears like grass, tomatoes seem like tomatoes, and so forth. 

Distinction ratio, nonetheless, is the place the 4K projectors come up brief. The black ranges on the UHD30 are so brilliant you’ll be able to hardly name them black, extra of a lightweight grey, even when the Dynamic Black characteristic and Dynamic lamp modes are engaged. The picture would not look washed out, nevertheless it has far much less punch than the equally brilliant HT2050A. 

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

I measured a distinction ratio of round 859:1 on the UHD30. To place it in perspective that is about what I measured with Optoma’s personal HD28HDR, which prices lower than half the value. The 2050A measures greater than twice that. General, and particularly by way of distinction, the HT2050A holds its personal towards projectors which can be twice its worth and 4 occasions its decision. 

Whereas the distinction ratio is disappointing in that it is so-so, HDR efficiency was flat-out poor. No reasonably priced house theater projector can actually show HDR content material. They’re all too dim, and lack the distinction ratio of one thing like OLED, or native dimming, to offset this. So all projectors that settle for HDR need to course of the HDR in a method that compresses down the excessive dynamic vary to a normal-looking customary dynamic vary. 

Whereas the Optoma HD28HDR did this processing fairly effectively, oddly the corporate’s costlier UHD30 would not. No matter HDR mode, there was noticeable banding and noise in any brilliant gradations, nearly wanting like a price range flat-panel TV circa 2004. Moreover, there was numerous random noise within the shadows. From a video purist perspective, this might be a dealbreaker. Nevertheless, since there’s little actual profit to utilizing HDR on a projector anyway, you could possibly all the time simply flip it off within the menu and never have to fret about this in any respect.

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

There’s so much to love concerning the UHD30. Exceptionally brilliant pictures with correct colours are the constructing blocks of a terrific projector. The 4K decision, particularly with the dearth of movement blur afforded by the UHD30’s DLP gentle engine, is kind of welcome. It makes 1080p projectors look gentle as compared. 

The place the UHD30 stumbles is in elements of image high quality that do not make headlines or spec sheets. The banding with HDR, and the grainy noise within the shadows, detract from an in any other case nice picture.

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
Measurement notes

I spent far longer adjusting the settings of the UHD30 than I did with any projector I’ve reviewed. Most projectors are set-it-and-forget-it, however the UHD30 wanted changes typically on a per-movie or per-show foundation. Hold that distant useful.

Due to this, I can not even let you know what settings I used to get the best-looking image, as I needed to change them relying on the particular content material I used to be watching. Usually talking, Cinema mode was place to begin, and Dynamic Black considerably helped masks the projector’s mediocre black degree. Element HDR setting often appeared the perfect, minimizing the banding seen with HDR content material. In some instances this mode was dim, so Vivid appeared higher. Switching between them typically required adjusting the brightness and, surprisingly, the gamma settings as effectively.

You may keep away from the additional noise and hassles with HDR by turning it off. Simply be sure you restart your content material (again to the present’s menu, then resume) so that you get the non-HDR feed.

The D65 shade temperature mode was barely heat throughout the grayscale vary, however pretty shut, by no means greater than 500 kelvin off, and often lower than 250. 

With that shade temperature and with correct colours, the UHD30 I measured roughly 1,634 lumens which is successfully tied with the brightest projector I’ve measured, nevertheless it does so with extra correct shade than that projector.

General colours are fairly correct, for a projector on this worth vary anyway. Crimson, inexperienced and blue are all just about spot on, although blue could be very barely undersaturated. Cyan and yellow are additionally correct, although magenta is a barely undersaturated and considerably purple.

Distinction ratio is pretty midpack for a projector, coming in at a median of 859:1. For comparability, the BenQ HT2050A is 2,094:1 whereas the $600 Optoma HD28HDR is principally the identical because the UHD30 at 716:1. The Dynamic Black mode, which varies the lamp brightness relying on the content material, produces a dynamic distinction ratio of 1,396:1.

Geek Field




Black luminance (0%)



Peak white luminance (100%)



Derived lumens



Avg. grayscale error (10-100%)



Darkish grey error (20%)



Vivid grey error (70%)



Avg. shade error



Crimson error



Inexperienced error



Blue error



Cyan error



Magenta error



Yellow error



Avg. saturations error



Avg. shade checker error



Enter lag (Sport mode)



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