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Optoma Unveils Smart UST Laser Projector

Rob Sabin, January 9, 2019
Optoma is here in Las Vegas at the 2019 CES with a new ultra short throw projector intended to challenge conventional flatpanel TVs for a place in your living room. The new model P1, demonstrated in an early prototype and expected to be released by summer, is a 4K DLP-driven UST with a 0.25 lens that can throw up to a 120-inch image from just a few inches from the screen. It offers a laser light engine with a rated 3,000 ANSI lumens of brightness, and integrates a high quality soundbar audio system.

Optoma Laser UST

In keeping with the living room theme, the projector also includes integrated WiFi and an Android-based smart TV platform that supports popular streaming apps for content. Once attached to the network, the projector will also respond to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice commands for basic functions, and it's compatible with IFTTT automation. The sample shown at CES, for example, was able to mute its soundbar when it sensed a doorbell ringing.

The blue-laser light engine is rated for 20,000 hours of life, and the projector is said to deliver 2,000,000:1 dynamic contrast. It is compatible with both HDR10 and HLG high dynamic range (HDR) 4K content.

The soundbar, meanwhile, designed by Optoma's sister company NuForce, features a 2-way stereo configuration with each channel offering a full range aluminum driver and a dedicated woofer. The drivers face toward the viewing space and are in isolated enclosures designed to allow high volume while absorbing any detrimental vibrations that could affect the image.

The P1 should be available by summer, with street pricing was expected to be around $2,999.

Also being featured at CES was Optoma's UHL55, a compact, 4K lifestyle projector intended for simple set-up and offering a long life (30,000 hours) LED light source. Rated at 1,500 ANSI lumens with 250,000:1 contrast, it is also compatible with HDR10 content. It further offers a similar Android-based smart TV platform for streaming content, and includes Bluetooth to allow the onboard stereo sound system to play back music from any Bluetooth compliant source. Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT compatibility are features as well.

Optoma-UHL55

Convenient setup features include auto focus and auto keystone, and an automatic lens cover protects the optics when the projector is turned off. The UHL55 includes a convenient carry handle for transport when needed.

Available now, the UHL55 carries a street price of $1,599.

Reader Comments(3 comments)

Posted Jan 10, 2019 12:44 AM PST

By JCB

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Really looking forward to your review of this Optoma P1, as well as the inevitable comparison with LG's upcoming HU85L :)

Keep up the great work!

Posted Jan 11, 2019 6:33 AM PST

By Brandon

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The P1 is a native 1080p projector that supposedly doesn't use pixel shifting to display 4k. It upscales to 4k. What? Someone please explain how Is shows 8.3 million pixels and qualifies as a 4k projector but only upscales from 1080 to 4k?

Posted Jan 11, 2019 1:50 PM PST

By Rob Sabin, Editor

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Not sure where you are getting your info from, Brandon, or whether you're merely confused a bit about what the DLP 4K XPR chipsets deliver to the screen. The P1 is a full UHD model using a 1080p DLP micromirror device that flashes up the all pixels in a frame of 3840 x 2160 UHD video in the same time period in which a native 4K imager would present that frame. No scaling is done on 4K signals, which are simply broken into separate subframes if you will (either two or four of them depending on the XPR chip used) and flashed up in rapid succession. No pixels are sacrificed.

Our tests have long concluded that the apparent resolution is largely indistinguishable on these chips from that of native 4K imagers and much more affected by the quality of the optic elements (ie the lens) and the signal processing than by the display technology.

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