Optoma’s UHZ65LV – Brighter Version of UHZ65?
Recently, we’ve had a lot of people asking about Optoma’s UHZ65LV. It is touted as a new high brightness 4k laser projector, and it shares the same form factor as the UHZ65 – although the case is white, not black like the UHZ65. We had high hopes, being it shares the name UHZ65, that it was simply a brighter version. Well, unfortunately it’s not. We have been anxiously awaiting a replacement to the UHZ65, and when the UHZ65LV started shipping in March, we were excited to see if this laser projector, rated at 5,000 lumens, might be a good option for some home theaters or media rooms that needed more brightness due to ambient light, size, or another reason.
When I first got it, I fired it up and one of the first things I immediately noticed was that the contrast and black levels were definitely not as good as the UHZ65, let alone the Theo-Z65. I did a multitude of tests straight out of the box measuring brightness, black levels, etc. for reference. Then we did our Theo modifications and continued testing, calibrating, etc. It was tough – In my mind I thought it shouldn’t be too different from the UHZ65 and I was excited to see the results. But as time went on, I was getting more and more frustrated that I just couldn’t get the color to look as good as the UHZ65, nor get the contrast or black levels where I felt they needed to be. By the time I got the projector looking the best it possibly could, it was not only not as bright as the Theo-Z65 lite, but definitely didn’t have the contrast, and the black levels looked milky in comparison. The reality was the Theo was blowing it away in terms of perceived brightness (I didn’t actually do any brightness measurements because I was so disappointed in the image). Looking back, I wish I had recorded a video, taken measurements, and snapped some more pictures, but hindsight is 20/20, right? Not only did the Theo-Z65 Lite look brighter, but the contrast was significantly better, black levels were no comparison, and the color was so much richer on the Theo compared to the modified UHZ65LV. You can’t tell all of that from the quick pictures I took, but they give you some kind of an idea.
After days and weeks of testing, we determined that the UHZ65LV just wouldn’t be a good option for home theater, and a modified, calibrated version wouldn’t offer worthwhile improvements.
After further investigating, we found that the UHZ65LV is essentially the same guts, the difference is that it is electronically processing things differently than the UHZ65, in order to achieve a higher rated brightness. That is, however, at the sacrifice of color quality and accuracy.
Although this projector might work well in a conference room where you can’t control the light, are looking at PowerPoint presentations and slides, or the occasional video or photos, the brightness could prove useful, and more beneficial than better black levels or contrast. However, we do not recommend it for most home theater use, and therefore will not be offering a calibrated, or modified version.