9.6
Expert Rating

If you’re an A/V pro, a school administrator, a procurement manager for a business, or simply somebody who’s extremely serious about their home theater, and you’re seeking a professional grade DLP projector, then you have some tough choices to make. One of the first fundamental decisions concerns the light source, whether to go with a lamp/LED or Laser. The Optoma UHZ65 should be on your radar as a contender in the laser light source category, and for the overall value it delivers generally. The Optoma UHZ65 is a monster. You can interpret that statement in any number of ways –the physical size, the spectacular picture quality, the wide color gamut, the suite of professional features and advanced calibration capabilities, and of course the sticker price (although any pro category DLP projector is a significant capital expenditure). When considering the Optoma UHZ65 be sure to consult GR’s Best Laser Projector buyer’s guide for comparison with other laser projector specs and performance.

Why We Like It – Optoma UHZ65

The Optoma UHZ65 is a professional grade 4K UHD projector that delivers absolutely stunning picture quality. It’s perfectly suited for commercial, academic, or business settings, or for truly high-end home cinema installations.

Pros
  • Outstanding 4K image
  • Super bright / super big image sizes
  • Extensive picture / color management
Cons
  • Weak internal audio speakers
  • No powered auto focus or zoom
  • Expensive

Performance / Resolution, Etc.

Another tough choice when shopping for professional grade DLP projectors (and a source of debate in pro A/V circles) is whether to invest the capital for 4K native resolution, a decision linked to the budget for your project (native 4K resolution sends projector prices even higher, 5 figures for some). The Optoma UHZ65 is not technically native 4K, instead using pixel shifting to double the 2716 x 1528 resolution of its single TI UHD 0.66 DLP chip to 4K’s full 3840 x 2160 pixels. Some purists call this ‘faux 4K,’ but nevertheless the image quality and viewing experience of the Optoma UHZ65 is impressive, with eye-popping brightness, rich color, fine detail, and high contrast ratio. No matter that it’s not native 4K. Viewers will be unable to tell the difference. With support for HDR and HDR10 ultra HD content, the color gamut coverage of the UHZ65 is 99% of Rec.709 (Recommendation ITU-R BT.709) with support (via mapping) for Rec.2020 as well as 80+% DCI-P3 vibrancy. When HDR input is detected, the UHZ65 automatically switches to HDR mode (one of several preset modes) and Rec.2020 color gamut (a.k.a., Wide Color Gamut or WCG). There is also an HDR Sim mode giving SDR content an HDR look, however the UHZ65 has no HLG support. Any of the color modes can be customized. The color modes menu includes 3D, but the UHZ65 doesn’t support Blu-ray 3D, only PC 3D. The color management system on the UHZ65 is extensive, and the UHZ65 is ISF certified if you’re a ISF-certified calibration tech (or you hire one). Image enhancing features that work across all modes include Dynamic Black combined with PureContrast delivering a 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and PureMotion (frame interpolation software) aimed at viewing sports, with each enhancement feature having multi-level settings. There’s even a Wall Color setting if you’re projecting onto a wall as opposed to a screen. There are 2 HDMI inputs –one is HDMI 1.4, with the other HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 copy protection needed to play 4K Blu-ray UHD input. Other connectivity includes two USB ports, RJ-45 Ethernet adapter, some legacy analog PC interfaces (VGA and an RS232 serial port for a wired remote), two 3.5mm stereo audio jacks (in and out), digital audio and optical audio outputs. There are two 5” speakers in the UHZ65, but the built-in audio system is weak and unsuitable for any real viewing session. If you are considering a projector with a built-in DVD player, the BIGASUO Projector will come in handy.

Brightness / Lumens

The Optoma UHZ65 is rated at 3,000 ANSI lumens. The Optoma UHZ65 can throw a massive image size, up to 240” diagonal in a darkened room, and with sufficient brightness to handle anything from a big screen in an auditorium, to certainly most any home cinema installation.The throw ratio for a 150” 16:9 diagonal is anywhere from 15 to 24 feet. With Cinema mode enabled, which optimizes both lumens and color accuracy, there’s enough brightness for a 185” diagonal image in a darkened room, and a 115” diagonal when moderate ambient light is present. The UHZ65 has 11 laser brightness settings that reduce light output all the way down to 50% brightness in 5% increments with no visible change in black level. The higher the power the better the contrast, or use any of three Dynamic Black settings to deepen black colors.

Adjustability / Viewing Angle

Although the Optoma UHZ65 will likely be installed in a fixed location, setting it up is easy enough that it is relocatable (although not portable). It features a 1.6x zoom lens, and vertical lens shift (modest), and the front feet are adjustable, but there is no horizontal lens shift so midline placement will be needed to prevent geometric distortion. Focus and zoom of the lens are manual, i.e., not motorized. There is also no keystone correction capability. A bright backlit remote control provides all essential adjustment functions. Every picture and color adjustment you can think of is available, but the onboard software menus are not sexy. Basic rudimentary character based menus and settings. This is not a so-called smart projector such as the other Optoma 4K Projector (CinemaX P2 Smart 4K Projector).

Durability

The Optoma UHZ65 is called “medium sized” but it’s still quite big and bulky, about 20” wide, a foot deep, and 6” tall. It’s heavy, too (20+lbs.), so when ceiling mounting the mounts will need to be strong. The UHZ65’s laser phosphor light has a rated life of 20,000 hours (not the time until failure, but rather the time until laser brightness is 50% reduced). Although not IP5X certified for dust resistance, Optoma claims the UHZ65 is IP5X compliant (IEC International standards classify various degrees of protection provided by electronic enclosures). What this all really means bottom-line is that the UHZ65 requires zero maintenance.Optoma includes a 3-year warranty with the UHZ65. There is noticeable fan noise from the UHZ65, especially with the fan in “High Altitude Mode” that’s recommended when operating at 5,000 feet and above, and quite a bit louder than the fan noise of other laser projectors such as LG HU85LA.

Value

Here’s where all the tough choices add up. If you’re buying pro-level gear, prices are not cheap generally. The value proposition of the Optoma UHZ65 is that it’s an excellent choice with respect to picture quality, and its up-front cost is less than a native 4K projector. However, it’s a far bigger purchase than for a lamp-based DLP projector. However, even with a higher up-front cost, over time the UHZ65 can wind-up being a less expensive alternative than a lamp-based DLP projector, which will need a lamp replacement every few thousand hours. The laser should last the life of the UHZ65 projector, so total cost of ownership (acquisition + operating expense) may be the better comparison metric.

Optoma UHZ65 Wrap Up

The Optoma UHZ65 delivers a stunning life-like viewing experience, with rich color and fine detail. It can handle the biggest of screens in large room environments, and is probably more appropriate for larger audience venues than for smaller rooms (where a UST projector such as the VAVA 4K Projector might be more suitable). The UHZ65 has extensive calibration capabilities.

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Expert Rating
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Brady Meyers

Brady Klinger-Meyers is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He regularly contributes to websites such as Hardcore Droid, Gamepur, and Homebli. His work remains primarily in technology, from video game journalism to consumer technology.

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