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    Optoma UHD35 projector review: Fabulous 4K picture for the price

    The UHD35 is a 4K projector that prices only some hundred {dollars} greater than many 1080p projectors. It’s brilliant, has pretty correct colours and appears much better than you may anticipate of a “budget 4K projector.” And it serves up eye-watering element on a big display screen, the type of sharpness that no 1080p projector can match. 

    LikeBright with glorious sharpnessAccurate colorCosts solely barely greater than 1080p rivals

    Don’t LikeMediocre distinction ratioLimited zoom and no lens shift

    While total the picture on the UHD35 appears good, it nonetheless has the identical points frequent amongst projectors comparable in worth. There’s no lens shift, the zoom is minimal and the distinction ratio — a side of picture high quality much more essential than element and determination — is pretty common. It’s additionally noisy, which is true of all small projectors, however the sound from the UHD35 is extra wheeze than whirr. And then there’s the HDR image high quality, which is improved over the sooner UHD30 however nonetheless not nice.Overall although, the UHD35 appears actually good: Bright, 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. If you are seeking to step up in sharpness with out going too far into debt, it deserves robust consideration.

    4K4UNative decision: 3,840×2,160 pixelsHDR-compatible: Yes4K-compatible: Yes3D-compatible: YesLumens spec: 3,600Zoom: Manual (1.1x)Lens shift: NoneLamp life (Eco mode): 10,000 hoursThe UHD35 is a 4K projector and, as you’d anticipate, can settle for a 4K sign as much as 60Hz. Interestingly, it will possibly additionally settle for 1080p as much as 240Hz, for those who’ve acquired a gaming rig able to such a framerate.One spec enchancment of the UHD35 over its predecessor is its claimed mild 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 nicely throughout the vary of measurement error and unit-to-unit variation. The level is, they’re brilliant. There’s no lens shift, not an enormous shock for a DLP-based projector on this worth vary. The zoom vary can be fairly meager, at 1.1x. So the vary of distance from the display screen is proscribed, placement-wise.

    Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
    2×2.0 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)Internet: None12v set off: YesRS-232 distant port: YesRemote: BacklitWhile 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 2.0 enter. 
    Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
    Picture high quality comparisons

    The BenQ is our decide for greatest PJ for the cash total. It’s solely 1080p, however its colour and distinction are so good — and I’ve seen how far above its weight it will possibly punch — it appeared like a logical comparability. The UHD30, one in every of our favorites from 2020, is the direct predecessor to the UHD35. I linked the 2 Optomas through a Monoprice 1×4 distribution amplifier. The BenQ, being 1080p, acquired its personal supply. I considered all of them, side-by-side-by-side on a 12-foot-wide 1.0-gain display screen.One of one of the best issues about DLP projectors is, on the whole, how sharp and detailed they’re. They’re the one present show expertise with no semblance of movement blur, so even at 1080p the BenQ may be very sharp, even with movement. However, the Optomas are a lot sharper. Projectors and the massive photos they produce are one of the best ways to see 4K content material. The sharpness does draw the attention, with superb particulars like hair, wrinkles, material textures and so forth far more obvious and lifelike with the Optomas. Neither are fairly as sharp because the far more costly LG HU810P, however higher lens optics is among the belongings you get whenever you spend more cash. Color-wise, the Optomas and the BenQ are fairly comparable, which is to say good. Unlike many DLP projectors, these three have correct colours. So all the pieces from background skies and sea, pores and skin tones and hair, all look life like. I’d give a nod to the UHD35 with HDR content material, however we’ll get to that in a subsequent. 
    Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
    Generally, 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 instances they’re almost equivalent to the UHD30. It appears Optoma has improved its HDR remapping — the method of changing the HDR supply to greatest match the show’s capabilities. This course of is essential with nearly each show, however particularly with projectors since they’ve neither the sunshine output nor dynamic vary to do HDR nicely. 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 must be clean transitions from brilliant to darkish or one shade to a different.A superb scene to point out this off is the opening flying battle from Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The brilliant sky and clouds on the UHD30 present banding unhealthy sufficient that even informal viewers would surprise if there was one thing mistaken with the projector. The UHD35 does not have this difficulty, although on some content material I nonetheless noticed some banding. If you discover it and are bothered by it, you do not lose a lot simply turning off HDR in your supply. Contrast has by no means been a DLP robust swimsuit and the 4K chips appear worse than their 1080p predecessors. The two Optomas have principally the identical distinction ratio, within the mid 600s, which is way lower than the BenQ. It’s nonetheless the crowning champ in that regard at over 2,000:1. As a outcome the BenQ’s picture has extra depth and extra punch to it. That stated, the UHD35’s 649:1 is on par with just about each different 4K projector I’ve reviewed within the final 12 months and better than some far costlier projectors. Which is to say, the BenQ holds its personal in opposition to projectors that price almost twice as a lot and with 4x the decision. That additional decision although — on a 100+ inch display screen and with a distinction ratio that is not unhealthy, plus nice colour — does make the UHD35 eminently watchable.
    Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
    More of the identical is usually a good thingSide by facet, there is not an enormous distinction between the UHD30 and the UHD35. That’s not a foul factor. The UHD30 was one in every of our favourite projectors final 12 months — and one I saved going again to once I was between projector opinions. The new mannequin is a bit more colourful, which is definitely pleasing to the attention, and positively decodes HDR higher, even when there’s little actual efficiency profit to the HDR itself. If you have already got a UHD30, there is no purpose to improve. However, I believe it is secure to imagine the overwhelming majority of you studying this haven’t got a UHD30 and are coming into this simply searching for an affordable 4K projector. In that case, the UHD35 is nice. It is brilliant, has pretty correct colours and creates an total extremely watchable picture. It’s not as brilliant as some, nor does it have as excessive distinction ratio as others, however it does provide 4K decision for $1,300 which is a good deal. If you need the additional element of 4K, with out sacrificing colour, brightness, or your pockets, but can nonetheless afford spending greater than $1,000 on a projector, the UHD35 is a good selection.Geek Box

    Test

    Result

    Score

    Black luminance (0%)

    0.246

    Poor

    Peak white luminance (100%)

    174

    Average

    Derived lumens

    1567

    Good

    Avg. grayscale error (10-100%)

    6.005

    Average

    Dark grey error (20%)

    4.715

    Average

    Bright grey error (70%)

    5.681

    Average

    Avg. colour error

    16.955

    Poor

    Red error

    9.736

    Poor

    Green 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. colour checker error

    8.4

    Poor

    Input lag (Game mode)

    33.6

    Good

    Measurement NotesFor essentially the most correct image I used the Cinema image mode and the D65 colour temperature mode. This resulted in a picture that was just a little too heat, as in barely missing blue, throughout the brightness vary. Light output was strong in each mode. In the Cinema mode I measured 174 nits on a 102-inch 1.0 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 colour and colour temperature accuracy, the Bright image mode bumps that as much as a powerful 308.8 nits, although the general picture is far worse.Color is kind of correct, with pink, inexperienced, blue, cyan and yellow all on or near their Rec 709 targets. Magenta is barely pink.Contrast ratio, as typical with 4K DLP projectors, wasn’t nice however roughly the identical as its rivals. 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 at 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. In this mode, the UHD35 has a dynamic distinction ratio of two,034:1. The Eco+ mode does the identical, however limits the utmost mild output for higher power effectivity. In this mode the dynamic distinction ratio is 1,173:1.

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