Theatrical blockbusters like Top Gun and Vikram are a clear indication that normal service has resumed in theatres. That’s however unlikely to alter one of the key gadget trends that emerged during the pandemic. Home projectors saw record sales as we ditched crowded bars for live sports action and caught Netflix on the big screen in the comfort of our living rooms. Optoma has been one of the key players in the Indian home projector market. Like most of its rivals, a larger chunk of Optoma’s pre-pandemic sales came from B2B channels; the pandemic changed all that. The UHD55 is the brand’s newest offering and does battle in the sub Rs 3 lakh, Full 4K projector segment. Does it deliver on its entertainment pitch?
The Optoma UHD55 comes with multiple connectivity options; set-up is hassle free. I didn’t take long to get the perfect projection and picture size. I used one of the HDMI ports (HDMI 2.0) to hook up my Apple TV and it was up and running. One thing though, the UHD55 doesn’t offer HDMI 2.1 connectivity. This means the projector does not support the PS5 or Xbox X’s high refresh rate modes. We don’t think this is a deal breaker, given that the projector offers a 240Hz refresh rate. Aside from the HDMI connectivity option, with a casting device you can also lean on the Optoma Marketplace App store to grab all the apps you need as part as your smart TV ecosystem. I’d still recommend sticking with a casting device like an Apple TV for a more smoother navigation experience.
It’s not just live sports or catching your favourite movies, home projectors are also targeting serious gamers as part of their sales pitch. This projector offers an ‘Enhanced Gaming mode’ (on HDMI port 1) that builds on the bright screen and offers a low input lag of 16ms in 4K at 60Hz, and 4ms in 1080p at 240Hz. Gaming is sheer joy on this projector.
Ultimately the true test of any projector is its AV experience. One of our favourite features is the 32:9 Super Ultra-wide screen option that offers a whole new perspective. You get a Full 4K, 8 million pixel display that is bright (3,600 lumens) and achieves a 1,200,000:1 contrast. The UHD55 supports HDR 10 and HLG for deep blacks and vibrant colours. You can create projections from 34.1-inches to 302.4-inches at 4K/60 Hz or 1080p/240 Hz. Durability is a major purchase consideration, Optoma pegs the lamp life of the UHD55 at the maximum brightness or Bright Mode at 4,000 hours and it can be stretched up to 15,000 hours with Dynamic Black Mode. The built-in 10W speaker is reasonably good but you do have the option of adding an external speaker or soundbar.
The Optoma UHD55 does most things right and deserves to be in your consideration set if you’re looking to upgrade from an entry-level projector or switching from a large screen TV. There are useful touches that include support for smart home services like Amazon Alexa and
Google Home. But most of all it is the picture quality and gaming friendly features that make this a solid proposition.
The Optoma UHD55 is priced at Rs 2,95,000/-