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Optoma UHD35 projector evaluation: Fabulous 4K image for the worth


The UHD35 is a 4K projector that prices just a few hundred {dollars} greater than many 1080p projectors. It is brilliant, has pretty correct colours and appears much better than you would possibly anticipate of a “funds 4K projector.” And it serves up eye-watering element on a huge display screen, the sort of sharpness that no 1080p projector can match. 

LikeBright with wonderful sharpnessAccurate colorCosts solely barely greater than 1080p opponents

Do not LikeMediocre distinction ratioLimited zoom and no lens shift

Whereas total the picture on the UHD35 appears good, it nonetheless has the identical points widespread amongst projectors related in value. There isn’t any lens shift, the zoom is minimal and the distinction ratio — a side of picture high quality much more vital than element and determination — is pretty common. It is also noisy, which is true of all small projectors, however the sound from the UHD35 is extra wheeze than whirr. After which there’s the HDR image high quality, which is improved over the sooner UHD30 however nonetheless not nice.

Total although, the UHD35 appears actually good: Vivid, vibrant colours, 4K element, all in a projector that solely prices a couple of hundred greater than some nice 1080p projectors just like the Epson HC2250 or BenQ HT2250A. For those who’re seeking to step up in sharpness with out going too far into debt, it deserves sturdy consideration.

4K4UNative decision: 3,840×2,160 pixelsHDR-compatible: Yes4K-compatible: Yes3D-compatible: YesLumens spec: 3,600Zoom: Handbook (1.1x)Lens shift: NoneLamp life (Eco mode): 10,000 hours

The UHD35 is a 4K projector and, as you’d anticipate, can settle for a 4K sign as much as 60Hz. Apparently, it might additionally settle for 1080p as much as 240Hz, in case you’ve obtained a gaming rig able to such a framerate.

One spec enchancment of the UHD35 over its predecessor is its claimed gentle output, now at 3,600 lumens. The UHD30 was no slouch both, at 3,400. I measured near the identical on each, technically barely much less with the UHD35, however the distinction was properly throughout the vary of measurement error and unit-to-unit variation. The purpose is, they’re brilliant. 

There isn’t any lens shift, not an enormous shock for a DLP-based projector on this value vary. The zoom vary can be reasonably meager, at 1.1x. So the vary of distance from the display screen is restricted, placement-wise.

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
2×2.Zero and moreHDMI inputs: 2 (HDMI 2.0)PC enter: Analog RGBUSB port: 1 (1.5A energy)Audio enter and output: 1 in, 1 out (3.5mm)Digital audio output: 1 (Optical)Web: None12v set off: YesRS-232 distant port: YesRemote: Backlit

Whereas many different projectors have been dropping inputs, the UHD35 retains a number of that appear virtually anachronistic in a house theater projector in 2021. There’s nonetheless an analog RGB enter, as an illustration. 

For the house automation crowd, there are RS-232 and 12v triggers. For the exact opposite of that crowd, if you wish to plug in a speaker on to the UHD35, there are 3.5mm analog outputs and an optical digital output. There’s additionally a USB connection that may energy a streaming stick.

A noticeable change from UHD35’s predecessor is a second HDMI 2.Zero enter. 

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
Image high quality comparisons

The BenQ is our choose for finest PJ for the cash total. It is solely 1080p, however its shade and distinction are so good — and I’ve seen how far above its weight it might punch — it appeared like a logical comparability. The UHD30, certainly one of our favorites from 2020, is the direct predecessor to the UHD35. I related the 2 Optomas by way of a Monoprice 1×4 distribution amplifier. The BenQ, being 1080p, obtained its personal supply. I considered all of them, side-by-side-by-side on a 12-foot-wide 1.0-gain display screen.

The most effective issues about DLP projectors is, typically, how sharp and detailed they’re. They’re the one present show know-how with no semblance of movement blur, so even at 1080p the BenQ may be very sharp, even with movement. Nonetheless, the Optomas are a lot sharper. Projectors and the massive photos they produce are one of the simplest ways to see 4K content material. The sharpness does draw the attention, with high-quality particulars like hair, wrinkles, cloth textures and so forth rather more obvious and lifelike with the Optomas. Neither are fairly as sharp because the rather more costly LG HU810P, however higher lens optics is likely one of the stuff you get whenever you spend more cash. 

Coloration-wise, the Optomas and the BenQ are fairly related, which is to say good. In contrast to many DLP projectors, these three have correct colours. So every part from background skies and sea, pores and skin tones and hair, all look real looking. I might give a nod to the UHD35 with HDR content material, however we’ll get to that in a subsequent. 

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Typically, the UHD35 appears higher than the UHD30 with HDR. This is not as a result of it is brighter, or has a greater dynamic vary. In each circumstances they’re almost an identical to the UHD30. It appears Optoma has improved its HDR remapping — the method of changing the HDR supply to finest match the show’s capabilities. This course of is vital with nearly each show, however particularly with projectors since they’ve neither the sunshine output nor dynamic vary to do HDR properly. So HDR content material must be remapped to be watchable.

The picture on the UHD35 is, on common, brighter (even with the identical settings). It additionally has far much less banding, an artifact that appears like abrupt bands the place there ought to be easy transitions from brilliant to darkish or one shade to a different.

A superb scene to point out this off is the opening flying struggle from Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The intense sky and clouds on the UHD30 present banding unhealthy sufficient that even informal viewers would marvel if there was one thing fallacious with the projector. The UHD35 would not have this problem, although on some content material I nonetheless noticed some banding. For those who discover it and are bothered by it, you do not lose a lot simply turning off HDR in your supply. 

Distinction has by no means been a DLP sturdy swimsuit and the 4K chips appear worse than their 1080p predecessors. The 2 Optomas have mainly the identical distinction ratio, within the mid 600s, which is much lower than the BenQ. It is nonetheless the crowning champ in that regard at over 2,000:1. Consequently the BenQ’s picture has extra depth and extra punch to it. That mentioned, the UHD35’s 649:1 is on par with just about each different 4K projector I’ve reviewed within the final yr and better than some far costlier projectors. 

Which is to say, the BenQ holds its personal in opposition to projectors that value almost twice as a lot and with 4x the decision. That further decision although — on a 100+ inch display screen and with a distinction ratio that is not unhealthy, plus nice shade — does make the UHD35 eminently watchable.

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
Extra of the identical generally is a good factor

Facet by aspect, there is not an enormous distinction between the UHD30 and the UHD35. That is not a foul factor. The UHD30 was certainly one of our favourite projectors final yr — and one I saved going again to once I was between projector opinions. The brand new mannequin is a bit more colourful, which is definitely pleasing to the attention, and undoubtedly decodes HDR higher, even when there’s little actual efficiency profit to the HDR itself. If you have already got a UHD30, there is not any cause to improve. 

Nonetheless, I feel it is secure to imagine the overwhelming majority of you studying this haven’t got a UHD30 and are coming into this simply on the lookout for an affordable 4K projector. In that case, the UHD35 is nice. It’s brilliant, has pretty correct colours and creates an total extremely watchable picture. It isn’t as brilliant as some, nor does it have as excessive distinction ratio as others, however it does supply 4K decision for $1,300 which is a superb deal. If you’d like the additional element of 4K, with out sacrificing shade, brightness, or your pockets, but can nonetheless afford spending greater than $1,000 on a projector, the UHD35 is a superb alternative.

Geek Field

Check

End result

Rating

Black luminance (0%)

0.246

Poor

Peak white luminance (100%)

174

Common

Derived lumens

1567

Good

Avg. grayscale error (10-100%)

6.005

Common

Darkish grey error (20%)

4.715

Common

Vivid grey error (70%)

5.681

Common

Avg. shade error

16.955

Poor

Purple error

9.736

Poor

Inexperienced error

21.186

Poor

Blue error

11.857

Poor

Cyan error

27.595

Poor

Magenta error

14.445

Poor

Yellow error

16.911

Poor

Avg. saturations error

8.90

Poor

Avg. shade checker error

8.4

Poor

Enter lag (Recreation mode)

33.6

Good

Measurement Notes

For essentially the most correct image I used the Cinema image mode and the D65 shade temperature mode. This resulted in a picture that was a bit too heat, as in barely missing blue, throughout the brightness vary. 

Mild output was strong in each mode. Within the Cinema mode I measured 174 nits on a 102-inch 1.Zero acquire display screen, for a lumen equal of 1567, roughly the identical as different 4K DLP projectors in its class. If you wish to sacrifice shade and shade temperature accuracy, the Vivid image mode bumps that as much as a powerful 308.Eight nits, although the general picture is far worse.

Coloration is kind of correct, with pink, inexperienced, blue, cyan and yellow all on or near their Rec 709 targets. Magenta is barely pink.

Distinction ratio, as typical with 4K DLP projectors, wasn’t nice however roughly the identical as its opponents. On common, I measured a local distinction ratio of 649:1. For reference, that is lower than the 1080p Epson 2250 (1,026:1) and BenQ HT2050A (2,094:1, one of the best in school), however larger than the $3,000 4K LG HU810P (490:1). The Dynamic lamp mode tracks the incoming video sign and varies the lamp output accordingly. On this mode, the UHD35 has a dynamic distinction ratio of two,034:1. The Eco+ mode does the identical, however limits the utmost gentle output for higher power effectivity. On this mode the dynamic distinction ratio is 1,173:1.

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