Optoma UHD55 in Review: Good 4k projector with Gaming Mode & many Features | Tech Reviews
Optoma calls around 1500 euros* (1576.82 USD) for the UHD55. In return, you get a 4K projector that can also be used during the day and, with a dedicated gaming mode and a refresh rate of up to 240 Hz, not only serves up film but also gaming fun. There are also many connections to integrate the projector perfectly into your own home and apps to integrate it into the smart home.
You can see the exact technical data of the Optoma UHD55 in the fold-out table before the test.
I’ll keep the optics short. A projector looks like a projector. In this case, that means the rear is full of ports, the front is dominated by the lens, and there are large air inlets and outlets on the sides. Incidentally, the waste heat is emitted to the right. The upper side is divided into a matte and a smooth surface. Unfortunately, the latter is very susceptible to fingerprints and dust.
By the way, on the right there is also a Phillips screw under a small guarantee seal. you can loosen it and then pull the top of the projector a little to the right and then up.
The lamp is underneath. If you want to exchange them, you can get hold of them relatively easily. But be careful: the lamp gets very hot during operation. So be sure to let them cool down properly before touching them. If you dare to change it yourself, there are instructions in the manual. If not: Let the exchange be carried out by specialists.
Connection selection, scope of delivery & first commissioning
All: How many connections? Optima: Yes. Optoma is not stingy with the connections on the UHD55. Specifically, you get 3x USB-A (2x for data/WLAN, 1x power supply), 2x HDMI (4K 60Hz), VGA, RJ-45, S/PDIF connection, 12 V output, audio-in, audio- Out. A lot can be done with this. Although I can only explain the existence of the VGA connection with nostalgic impulses.
You should be careful with the HDMI connections. The one on the left is designed for low-latency gaming, the second for Optoma Pure Motion. This is an interframe calculation that adds frames to content that has less than 60Hz so that playback at 60Hz doesn’t stutter, but everything looks nice and smooth. That works fine so far.
In addition to the projector, the scope of delivery includes the power cable, the remote control and a WLAN USB stick. Unfortunately, an HDMI cable is not included.
The first start-up was quick. Connect power, connect source, get started. When you start it for the first time, the projector tells you to please plug in a LAN cable or the WLAN stick. You can safely skip that at this point and catch up later – if you want to. Then all you have to do is adjust the image to your liking with the lens shift, the offset control on the top and the zoom and you’re good to go.
If you connect your UHD55 to the network, you can later control it via Alexa or the Google Assistant. Depending on how well the respective language assistant understands you, this works properly.
Bright lamp with DLP technology
The lamp of the Optoma UHD55 produces 3600 ANSI lumens. That’s easily enough to conjure up a clearly visible image on the screen even during the day. However, the following also applies here: the darker the environment, the better contrasts you ultimately have with the picture on the wall.
The midday sun is only conditionally suitable for films. The projector can outshine this, but the colors are often washed out and pale. So broadcasting sports in the garden will be difficult. But viewing a presentation is not a problem.
The gif shows you how the DLP technology works. The light is split into its red, green and blue components and thrown onto the wall one after the other. But you won’t notice any of that when using the Optoma UHD55.
Clear menu with a well-designed remote control
With monitors, you usually don’t have to fiddle around with the menu that often. This can happen more often with projectors. It is therefore very welcome that Optoma has given the UHD55 a very clear and intuitively designed remote control that also feels good in the hand.
What’s even nicer is that Optoma has mustered the same brainpower for the menu. Unfortunately, that is not a matter of course. The menu is well structured and gives you quick access to all the functions you need.
Listing all functions here would lead too far. I recommend you take a look at the manual. All menu paths are clearly displayed there.
If your cat thinks using a remote control is overrated and won’t give it out, your second option is to use the buttons on the top of the projector. They are analogous to the buttons on the remote control.
Image Quality & Gaming: Sharp image, great colors
But now enough of the analysis of the technical clutter. How does the projector fare in everyday life? The short version is: Really good.
When it comes to films, the projector is really fun. Colors and contrasts really come into their own in the evenings. According to Optoma, the UHD55 covers 97% of the DCI-P3 color space. This is important for the correct display of colors in films. I can’t measure that here. But it creates a wonderful cinematic impression.
HDR is automatically detected and rendered. If you want to see SDR content with a touch of HDR, you need to choose the “HDR Simulation” mode. This provides a small boost in terms of contrast and saturation. But of course it doesn’t come close to real HDR.
For the film purist in you, Reference mode is for you. It reproduces the colors as the director intended.
Gaming is fun too. Here you should activate the “Enhanced Gaming” mode. This reduces the response time to 4.5 ms. Normally it is 16 ms. In addition, 240 Hz is then also supported for 1080p content. This makes even fast shooters fun.
Due to the lack of 3D glasses, I could not test how well Optoma manages the 3D implementation. But basically playing 3D content is not a problem either.
When it comes to sharpness and contrast, the UHD55 leaves nothing to be desired. The picture is really fun, no matter what size. The fact that the picture loses some of its sharpness in the corners is no big deal when it comes to movies. However, if there is a static element there, it can be distracting. But normally you don’t notice it.
The minimum distance is 1.2 meters. This gives a diagonal of almost 90 centimeters. With a distance of 8.1 meters, a screen diagonal of 7.68 meters is possible.
If you have a smooth wall, then you can throw the picture directly onto the wall. If not, then I recommend that you buy an appropriate screen.
The sound is quite okay for these speakers
Optoma has given the UHD55 two small speakers with 5 watts. As far as possible, they deliver a usable sound. Of course, the depths are missing, but that’s to be expected. The speakers are loud enough to drown out the projector without overdriving it.
For the right sound, however, you should connect the projector to your system at home.
Operating noise and consumption: The UHD55 can be quite quiet
The brightness mode allows you to control the volume of the UHD55. There are four modes available to you: Hell, Dynamic, Eco+ and Eco.
With “Bright” the fans can be heard continuously. This can be annoying in quiet scenes. However, normal film scenes easily drown out the projector at the preset volume. With “Dynamic” the brightness adapts to the environment. This enables quieter operation, the fans are not in continuous operation. With “Eco” and “Eco+” the projector can only be heard very rarely. “Eco” can almost always be selected in the evening or in dark rooms. The brightness is sufficient for most movie scenes.
A word about power consumption. A topic that is becoming more important in view of rising energy prices. The UHD55 consumes 0.5 watts in standby. The power consumption is 240 watts in eco mode and 320 watts in normal mode.
Conclusion: Versatile 4K projector for film fans and gamers
In case it didn’t sound between the lines in the previous text: The Optoma UHD55 is fun. The picture is colorful and sharp. Films and games just seem much more impressive and immersive if you can offer them a real stage.
Fortunately, the menu is really well structured so that you can quickly find all the settings that are relevant for you. I also think it’s great that the UHD55 comes with a lot of connections and can therefore flexibly fulfill almost any use case. Transfer data via USB stick and view photos and videos via the integrated media player? No problem. Integration into the smart home? Runs. Or would you rather attach a dongle like a Chromecast? works too.
The quick display of photos and videos on a USB stick is particularly useful. Who does not know the family celebration or the birthday at which a beamer was set up and the “technical experts” of the group first despaired of that very thing? With the Optoma UHD55, on the other hand, it’s child’s play.
The biggest issue – but this is ultimately a luxury issue – is space. You need distance from the wall or screen to conjure up a really large picture. If you don’t have that much space between walls, then check out a short-throw projector like the Optoma HD29HST. With this you get a large picture thrown on the wall even at short distances.
I haven’t found anything in the test that really speaks against the UHD55. At around 1500 euros, the projector is not a bargain. But the price is okay for what is offered.