Optoma CinemaX P2 4K DLP Laser Projector
Projector Central Editor's Choice Award

Editor's Choice Award

Our Editor's Choice award goes to products that dramatically exceed expectations for performance, value, or cutting-edge design.

  • Performance
  • 4.5
  • Features
  • Ease of Use
  • Value
  • Accurate out-of-box image quality
  • Effective HDR and 3D playback
  • Solid on-board audio system compatible with outboard subwoofer
  • Excellent value
  • Ineffective Aptoide-based web-streaming platform
Our Take

Priced $500 less than its predecessor, Optoma's second-generation CinemaX P2 living room laser projector improves on the original while providing even greater value.

As we move into fall 2020, the UST living room projector landscape continues to evolve. Epson's long-awaited release of its LS500 in September ($4,999 with a 100-inch screen) was expected, but Hisense surprised us with a new, more affordable single-laser model for its Laser TV line that sells for $3,999, as did Samsung, with the announcement of two pending USTs including a single-laser model priced at $3,499 and a $6,499 tri-laser flagship.

Optoma CinemaxP2 top angle

Also unexpected was a new offering from Optoma, which successfully launched its CinemaX P1 last year to accolades that included our ProjectorCentral Editor's Choice Award. The CinemaX P2 we're reviewing here is a nearly identical replacement with some key differences I'll describe below. Critically, the biggest of those is a $3,299 street price—$500 less than its predecessor. The P2—like the P1—remains the next step up in the market from VAVA's entry-level $2,799 4K UST projector while carrying the same notable bump in performance. At its lower price, it represents an even better step-up value and stakes a solid claim against the new competition in its price range. Let's have a closer look.


The P2's features are basically a repeat of what we described in our test report of the P1, but let's review them and delineate how the P2 departs. To begin, the high-tech, two-tone cabinet design—with its convex front grille—has a different color scheme. Gone is the jet black/dark gray two-tone for the case and grille, replaced by a white cabinet that matches much of the P1's competition. It's mated here with a light-gray grille. As with the P1 there is just one control on the unit—a power button—and some status LEDs visible on top. All other functions are handled through the compact brushed metal, backlit remote. This modest but efficient mini-wand operates via Bluetooth and has both a conventional navigation pad for menus and an air-mouse function that can be helpful with the built-in web browser and some streaming apps. Its integrated battery requires periodic charging via a USB cable.

Behind the grille is the same NuForce-developed stereo soundbar system found in the P1, with two 2-inch full range aluminum cone drivers and two 2.75-inch paper cone woofers, driven by a total of 40 watts of amplifier power. The woofers are housed in their own ported chambers to improve bass response from the small drivers. In our test of the P1, I found the overall sonics good, but bass noticeably less full and the sound less powerful and detailed than on the VAVA's excellent Harman Kardon-branded sound system. The saving grace with the P1, as well as the P2, is the ability to use the projector's analog audio output to drive a separate powered subwoofer. Adding one takes the audio performance to a whole new level in terms of overall tonal balance, volume/dynamic range, and sheer impact with both action soundtracks and music. I highly recommend putting aside a minimum $100 to $150 extra for a value-priced 10- or 12-inch subwoofer from Dayton Audio or Monoprice.

Optoma CinemaX P2 audio system
The Optoma CinemaX P2 built-in soundbar has four drivers—two 2-inch tweeters and two 2.75-inch woofers.

The same motorized lens optics with manual powered focus developed for the P1 is also found in the P2. The 0.25:1 throw ratio is not as short as on some competitors, which means you'll need more distance from the wall. Image size is specified at 85 to 120 inches diagonal in 16:9 aspect ratio, with throw distances from the back edge of the projector at 5.7 inches for an 85-inch image, 10.1 inches for a 100-inch image, and 14.5 inches out for a 120-inch image. Accounting for the projector's 14.5 inch depth and 5.25 inch height, filling a 100-inch screen puts the front edge of the projector at 25 inches out from the screen while resting on a platform approximately 15 inches below the bottom edge of the screen. (You can visit ProjectorCentral's Optoma CinemaX P2 Throw Calculator for different scenarios.)

Optoma has retained the extensive geometric correction tools found in the P1, as well as compatibility with the clever SmartFit iOS/Android app that uses your smartphone's camera to literally snap the image into place. If you don't mind activating the geometric correction circuitry, it greatly simplifies the tricky one-time maneuvering of the projector that accompanies set-up of any ultra-short-throw projector. On the other hand, you'll want to avoid geometric correction if possible to preserve the best image quality and fastest input lag for gaming. Optoma's new Gaming Mode (see below), virtually a requirement for any game play, defeats the geometric correction in any event.

As also reported for the P1, the combination of the UHD (3840x2160) resolution 0.47-inch DLP XPR micromirror chip, plus the excellent lens optics, results in an exceptionally sharp and detailed image for a UST, with very crisp pixel-level delineation from the center screen out close to the edges with only a slight loss of focus at the corners where it won't usually be noticed. I found my P2 sample to be as good or better in this regard than the P1.

CinemaX P2_side-800

The P2's 3,000 lumen rating for the laser light engine is also unchanged from the P1, and it shares the same 20,000-hour life to half-brightness at full power. Nonetheless, it's a misconception that a laser light engine delivers instant-on performance when you hit the power button. As with any modern TV, you still have to wait for the electronics boot up. With the P2, an Optoma splash screen comes up 18 seconds after hitting the power button, and if you've got a live source connected you'll be watching it in about 36 seconds from turn-on. Shut down is nearly instantaneous and you won't hear the cooling fans run for more than a few seconds after the screen goes dark.

As with the P1, the P2 generates light from a single blue laser that feeds a yellow phosphor wheel and a color wheel to generate the primary colors. In the P1, Optoma used an RGBYRGBY color wheel, adding yellow to the red, green, and blue primaries. This had the effect of stretching the projector's brightness to the full 3,000-lumen spec at the sacrifice of some color accuracy.

Optoma was able to retain the same 3,000 lumens in the P2 while using an RGBRGB color wheel, forgoing a white or yellow segment to boost the brightness. Without that segment, gamut is said to be extended and there's the potential for some colors to appear more saturated, more so when the DLP BrilliantColor control is set to its minimum.

CinemaX P2-lifestyle-main

Color gamut in the older P1 was not officially specified, but for our review I measured 79% of the DCI-P3 gamut that today's 4K content is mastered to, or 117% Rec.709. Color gamut for the P2 is specified at 120% Rec.709, and I measured essentially identical results to the P1, so just a percent or three short of the spec and within range of error of my instruments. But the main thing here is that the extension of gamut beyond Rec.709 is a benefit that is clearly visible in the accuracy and saturation of deep red objects, though not quite as obvious as with projectors that reach closer to the full DCI-P3 space.

Also visible is an improvement in rated dynamic contrast ratio from 1,500,000:1 in the P1 to 2,000,000:1 in the P2, made possible by enhancements to the projector's laser dimming scheme. As you'll see in my image quality observations, the improvement in black level is noticeable in dark room viewing.

Along with retention of the SmartFit app, the CinemaX P2 maintains the P1's list of other smart features, including on-board streaming apps from the Optoma Marketplace driven by the Android-based Aptoide platform, and compatibility with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT automation. Optoma's InfoWall app for customizing your own home screen is still available, though I still find its execution clumsy. There's a new TapCast app for Android and iOS mobile devices that was first added to the P1 in its latest firmware update over the summer and which works well for initiating screen mirroring and casting to the projector, as well as for casting whatever is being projected back to your mobile device.

Another new addition is inclusion of the FRAMED digital art platform. The projector's screen saver, when activated, is now a curated exhibit featuring a dozen rotating works of unique animated digital art by emerging artists.

Unfortunately, my marks for the Aptoide streaming platform remain low. I repeat: no one should purchase this or any projector integrating this platform (including models from Optoma, BenQ, ViewSonic, and VAVA), expecting it to provide the streaming benefits, ease of use, and performance of a name-brand smart TV or a Roku, Amazon Fire, or Apple TV streaming media player. The apps for the major services like Netflix and Amazon are unsophisticated and difficult to use —if they work at all—and some will deliver only standard-definition resolution to your 4K projector. Buy a 4K-resolution streaming dongle for $50.

Optoma took some heat from gamers with the P1 for having noticeably slow input lag, which we measured at 121.8 ms with a 4K UHD signal. The last firmware update for the P1 introduced a Gaming Mode to increase the internal refresh rate and bypass the geometric correction and PureMotion frame interpolation, thus reducing lag to a claimed 66 to 67 ms for both 1080p/60 and 4K/60 signals. This was carried into the P2, where I measured lag at 66.5 ms for 1080p/60 and 69.2 ms for 4K/60 with Gaming Mode on. While this is a vast improvement over the results without Gaming Mode, be advised it's still fairly high and suitable only for casual gaming.

CinemaX P2_front-800

Here's a rundown of the Optoma P2's key features at a glance:

  • 3,000 lumens laser light source with 20,000 hour life (full) or 30,000 hour (Eco)
  • 2,000,000:1 rated dynamic contrast ratio
  • 120% Rec.709 rated color gamut, supports up to Rec.2020
  • 0.47-inch 4K UHD resolution DLP XPR imaging chip
  • Six-segment RGBRGB Color Wheel
  • HDR10, HLG high dynamic range playback
  • 3D playback
  • 67.6ms (4K UHD, 60 Hz) / 67.1ms (1080p, 60Hz) rated input lag (SmartFIT and PureMotion disabled)
  • 40W Dolby Digital 2.0 soundbar with 2 full range speakers and 2 woofers; subwoofer compatible
  • Compact, rechargeable Bluetooth remote
  • Integrated WiFi with Android-based Aptoide streaming platform; built in browser
  • SmartFIT companion app with auto geometry correction system
  • Smart+ technology with Alexa, Google Action & IFTTT integration
  • FRAMED digital art screensaver


Color modes and Calibration. The P2 offers similar color modes as the P1, beginning with six for 1080p/SDR (standard dynamic range) content: Cinema (the out of box default), HDR Sim (for simulating an HDR effect with SDR), Game, Reference, Bright , and User (which starts out mimicking the Cinema mode). The Bright mode comes with the usual green bias that makes it unsuitable for most serious viewing, though the tint was modest enough that it might be helpful for casual daytime viewing in bright rooms with lots of windows. There are dedicated modes that activate for HDR10 or HLG high dynamic range content and for 3D. All the modes provide the same access to picture tuning controls that include both RGB Gain/Bias for grayscale and a full RGBCMY color management system to align the color points. There's also a laser brightness setting that can be adjusted from the default 100% Brightness setting down to 50% brightness in 5% increments, or switched into any of three graduated DynamicBlack settings that deepen the blacks on dark content.

P2 remote1a

Although side-by-side comparisons of like-named modes on the P1 and P2 revealed differences in the each projector's tuning, my pecking order remained the same as with the P1. Reference was the most color accurate but least bright mode out of the box, making it most suitable for serious dark-room movie viewing, even on my 100-inch 0.6 gain UST ALR screen. Cinema mode produced noticeably higher brightness for ambient light viewing with a modest sacrifice in color accuracy, and Game mode provided even more punch for high brightness but with much more saturated color and bluer whites that would be well-suited to games and animation but wiped out fine differences in caucasian skin tones in its default settings. I ended up using Reference and Cinema as my dark- and bright-room SDR modes, adjusting the Brightness (black level) and Color saturation controls as needed to insure the best contrast and skin tones.

I performed measurements on the P2 using Calman software from Portrait Displays, an Xrite i1Pro2 spectrophotometer, and a Murideo Six-G 4K/HDR signal generator. Out of the box, the Reference mode measured close to the industry-standard D65 color point but leaned a little red on its grayscale. Nonetheless, images took on an unexpected modest blue tint that proved to be the result of a well-oversatured and off-hue blue primary. Still, this mode calibrated well in the end and ultimately delivered a very neutral white and excellent color accuracy. With final settings I measured 16.1 foot-Lamberts off my 100-inch, 0.6 gain screen, which would translate to about 27 ft-L on a same size 1.0 gain screen.

The Cinema mode defaults looked fine for bright room viewing where both contrast and color accuracy are less mission-critical. Measurements showed a bluer/cooler color temperature for white—not surprising for its higher brightness—and the same blue color point that needed correction. It too, calibrated up nicely and delivered a great-looking image for moderate to high ambient light. As measured in the dark, it punched out 20.1 ft-L off my 0.6 gain, 100-incher (about 33 ft-L on a 1.0 gain screen).

CinemaX P2 lifestyle 2

The HDR mode looked excellent out of the box, minus a bit of oversaturation of caucasian faces on most content that was tamed with a few clicks down on the Color control, plus the usual content-dependent tuning of Brightness (black level), Contrast (peak white), and the four-position HDR Brightness setting. The HDR Brightness control, which is easily accessible by pressing and holding the Menu button to call up a small slide-out menu, can be set to Detail, Film, Standard, or Bright. Detail provides the dimmest image for the darkest titles and Bright is for the hottest titles or for adding the most punch to bright highlights in HDR titles with average brightness. For most HDR movies I found the Standard setting preferable to the default Film setting; it usually lent more visceral punch while maintaining good contrast and without pushing the whites into blooming and creating a loss of detail in the highlights.

Calibrating HDR on a projector with instrumentation and calibration software is always a challenge because of the low peak-white brightness compared with the flatpanels for which HDR (and the software) was designed—often around a tenth or less. So I wasn't suprised when a couple of attempts to calibrate the HDR mode resulted in a worse-looking image than what I started with. In the end I just left well enough alone and lived happily with the default HDR settings for grayscale and color points. In the default HDR settings, peak brightness measured 23.4 ft-L or 80 nits off the 0.6 gain ALR screen. This would translate to about 39 ft-L or 133 nits on a unity gain screen. Even on the ALR, it was more than enough for some very punchy and satisfying viewing in moderate to bright ambient light, though without much visible benefit from the nuance of HDR.

In side-by-side comparisons of the P2 to the P1, the P2 achieved a deeper native black that was obvious on dark content, though the projectors were a little more evenly matched with DynamicBlack activated. Beyond this, the key differences I saw were in the overall color balance in the default settings, where the P2 tended more toward a cooler blue in my preferred Reference and Cinema modes (perhaps a result of its oversaturated blue color point) and the P1 leaned warmer. Both projectors looked very good, though, and it was mainly in direct comparison that these differences became apparent. Most viewers would be happy watching either one. The P2's color balance and its whites, after calibration, were pretty much spot on. You can find my final settings in the Measurements section at the end of this review.

Note that when I initially reviewed the Optoma P1 with its earliest firmware release I found that most of the out-of-box picture modes, including the Reference and Cinema modes, were oversaturated and red-leaning on flesh tones. This was easily corrected by turning down Color saturation and pushing the Tint control toward green, resulting in a very good subjective image without the requirement for professional calibration. Those errors seem to have been massaged out in the most recent P1 firmware, and these modes in the P2, with its RGBRGB color wheel, did not require any Tint adjustments for flesh tones and only modest tweaks of Color saturation to accommodate different sources.

SDR Viewing. I often go back to the well-saturated Blu-ray transfer of Apollo 13 to check for the neutrality of whites and the authenticity of familiar colors. Following my calibration of the P2's Reference mode, the white spacesuits worn by the astronauts and the lab coats of the technicians in the clean room where they prepared for their flight were superbly neutral and bright, while the metallic red, blue, and orange fasteners on the spacesuits gleamed and popped nicely off the screen. Ditto for the pure white dress worn by astronaut Jim Lovell's wife to the sun-lit launchpad gallery; it was punchy and bright with no noticeable hint of pink or blue, and the red trim around the lapel of her jacket and deep red accent on her white handbag were striking. Green foliage around the launchpad and the familiar red, white, and blue of the famous NASA insignia all rang true.

I also observed that the rippled texture of the fabric of Mrs. Lovell's dress was easily visible through the projector's well-executed scaling and fine optics. Indeed, the cleanliness of images throughout the movie left a very positive impression of how well the P2 can resolve detail with well-photographed content, even when it's only in 1080p resolution (and with the menu's Sharpness control turned down from its default 10 to 3 to avoid obvious distortion). Details from the interiors of the various spacecraft, with their switches, displays, and warning lights were equally engaging.

Apollo 13 capsule
The white of the astronauts space suits in Apollo 13 was neutral and bright. (Photo Credit: Universal Pictures)

Contrast was excellent on the bright and mixed-brightness scenes that make up much of this movie, and as noted above, the P2 showed improved black level compared to the P1 on the movie's few really dark scenes. A shot of a starfield and the tiny, distant moon demonstrated a solid-enough black of outer space to not be distractingly gray or take me out of the moment, and switching in DynamicBlack on this image and others like it greatly improved the low-black—though not without some sacrifice in color accuracy (see below).

Though I tend to be less sensitive to seeing rainbow artifacts than some viewers, I noticed perhaps only one or two on the screen in all of my hours of viewing the P2. That includes rewatching a couple of documentaries—one on Bob Dylan, the other on Frank Sinatra—featuring a lot of black-and-white footage that spawned many rainbows for me when viewed on another single-chip DLP projector I had on hand recently. Nonetheless, our usual advice applies: If you're sensitive to rainbows or don't know if you are, work with a retailer who will accept your return.

HDR Viewing. I sampled a lot of movies in HDR on the P2 and I'm happy to say that, in virtually all instances, I preferred the 4K/HDR versions to the 1080p Blu-ray. That's not always the case because of the limited or poorly executed tone-mapping on many projectors. But the P2's HDR rendering, optimized as needed with adjustments as described above, looked very good on all but the very brightest content. The best example I can cite of the latter is The Meg, a movie which leans so hot that I've yet to find a projector that isn't tripped up by it on the default HDR settings. On the film's brightest scenes shot on the open ocean, most projectors can't even be adjusted to deliver images that aren't blown out to some degree. But HDR movies this challenging are rare, and only the Spears & Munsil UHD HDR Benchmark, which offers a demanding HDR montage that can be set to play with peak brightness at various levels as high as 10,000 nits, is the only other disc currently in my collection that pushes a projector's limits this way. The P2 handled much of The Meg well, but struggled to provide a solid dark floor on its torture test scenes without also burying shadow detail and flattening the highlights. On the other hand, the projector handled some other atypically bright but less demanding titles, such as Aquaman, with better results.

I watched First Man, the Neil Armstrong biopic that tracks his military and NASA career up to his famous moon walk, in both 1080p SDR and 4K HDR. Many of the scenes are moody interior shots that are dark overall, and many other shots feature a mix of bright highlights—such as a white spaceship exterior or the sun-lit lunar surface—against the blackness of space. HDR on the P2 catapulted the highlights off the screen with gusto. The predominantly dark scenes exposed the projector's native black floor, but I found even this to be a reasonably acceptable gray, and the DynamicBlack1 setting for laser brightness noticeably deepened the blacks. Unfortunately, it also tended to add a subtle red tint to faces and to neutral whites and grays—the lunar surface, for example, took on a touch of pink that actually stole some edge off the specular highlights and dulled it, making it feel less dimensional and realistic. So despite the benefit to deep blacks I typically left DynamicBlack off and set the projector power to 100% Brightness. On the vast majority of images with mixed highlights and dark areas, Dynamic Black did little and wasn't missed.

Trolls movie still
The Trolls showed off the beautiful colors of the Optoma CinemaX P2. (Photo Credit: DreamWorks Animation)

Even for family-friendly animated fare, Trolls is a pedestrian and dull movie. But the HDR disc is a nice visual treat, and it showed off what the P2 can do with deeply saturated colors that run from purple to bright green to magenta to bright orange—and that's just the bodies of the living troll dolls themselves. Meanwhile, in 4K, the furry texture of the trolls' felt skin and the fine detail in their spiked hairdos exhibited wonderful dimensionality. Oh, and the well-recorded pop music soundtrack was a foot-stomping hoot played through the projector's integrated soundbar aided by my outboard sub.

3D Viewing. I found the default 3D mode on the P2 improved vs. the P1, with a slightly more neutral white but one that still leaned a smidge toward blue/cyan. I watched parts of Transformers: Age of Extinction and Pixels, two live action movies mixed with CGI. Both movies were sufficiently bright, saturated and punchy on their respective colorful robots or videogame villains, and reasonably color-accurate on real-life objects like fleshtones, green foliage, and the White House (in Pixels). Of course, there's only so much you can expect from 3D given the inherent limitations on brightness and the color shifting that takes place through the glasses, but the 3D mode on the P2 was more than acceptably bright and accurate, so 3D fans need not fear it. It also provides the same adjustments for grayscale and color calibration should you want to take that on.

CinemaX P2 silhouette 800


In moving from the first-generation Cinemax P1 to the Gen-2 Cinemax P2, Optoma has made some modest but valuable performance and feature updates to an already great projector. Moreover, the company has lowered the price by $500 while sacrificing virtually nothing from the original model. While Optoma now has more competition in this price range than it had a year ago with the P1, the CinemaX P2 is an even more extraordinary value than the P1 when it was launched, and a projector well worthy of retaining the ProjectorCentral Editor's Choice honor bestowed on its predecessor.


Brightness. Due to the extreme angle of light coming off the lens, measuring ANSI lumens for a UST projector with a handheld luminance meter facing into the lens yields the potential for errors caused by small misalignments of the meter. The results in our ANSI lumens chart, which shows maximum brightness in the Bright mode at 2,864 lumens (well within the 10% ANSI tolerance), should therefore be taken with some grains of salt.

Accompanying it below are direct measurements taken off my 100-inch, 0.6 gain Elite Aeon CLR UST ALR screen in a dark room showing the brightness in foot-Lamberts and the color temperature of white for each color mode in its default color temperature setting. With this more reliable technique, I determined that the 50% Brightness laser setting reduced the brightness in any mode by 50.1%, and the 75% Brightness setting reduced brightness in any mode by 76.6%.

Optoma CinemaX P2 ANSI Lumens

Picture Mode 100% Brightness
Cinema 1,747
HDR Sim 1,990
Game 1,995
Reference 1,273
Bright 2,864
User 1,730

Optoma CinemaX P1 Brightness (Ft-L)*

Mode/Color Temp Brightness Ft-L (0.6 gain) Brightness Ft-L (1.0 gain) Color Temp (K)
Cinema/Standard 20.3 33.8 7,790
HDR Sim/Cool 23.3 38.8 9,270
Game/Cool 23.2 38.6 9,180
Reference/Standard 14.6 24.3 6,020
Bright/Cold 31.8 53.0 12,020
User/Standard 20.7 34.5 7,730
HDR**/Standard 20.8 34.7 7,690

* Ft-L and Color Temp measurements as taken off a 100-inch diagonal, 16:9, 0.6 gain screen with default projector settings. 1.0 gain brightness figures are calculated estimates. All modes default to 100% Brightness Mode for laser power.

** With Film HDR Brightness mode default.

Frame Interpolation. The CinemaX P2's PureMotion feature appears to be unchanged from what I reported in our review of the P1. There are three active settings besides Off that are labeled 1, 2, and 3 that are available in all modes. It was most effective for smoothing judder on camera pans but didn't do much to reduce the blurring of fast motion on my test clips used to check this. The number 1 setting introduced a modest but noticeable degree of soap opera video effect on 24p film-based content that did not increase noticeably at the higher settings, even though the judder-smoothing effect improved. I did occasionally use the PureMotion 1 setting in the HDR mode to add a touch of shimmer and extra realism, but I'm generally not a fan of introducing SOE to movies and usually left PureMotion in the Off position.

Input Lag. Lag measurements for the P2 were taken with its Gaming Mode turned on; this function is separate from the Game color mode and can be activated with any of the color modes. Flipping this on deactivates and grays out the PureMotion motion interpolation feature in the menus, defeats geometric correction, and speeds the internal refresh rate.

With Gaming Mode on, the lowest input lag measured with a 1080p/60fps signal was 66.5 ms in several color modes (including Game and Cinema). With a 4K/60fps signal in the same conditions, I measured 69.2 ms. The highest lag measured under any conditions was 286.1 ms with 4K/30 fps signals in the Game color mode with the Gaming Mode deactivated and the PureMotion frame interpolation control set to its maximum 3.

Fan Noise. I cited the CinemaX P1 in our review for its clever ventilation design, with two whisper fans on each side panel expelling air brought in from the rear of the projector. Nothing has changed, and the P2 remains remarkably quiet for a 3,000 lumen laser projector. As I reported for the P1, the noise component is a low-pitched hush that is barely audible from six feet in front of the projector. Noise is rated at 24 dB in lab test conditions; my SPL meter measured 33.5 dBA, which is close to the noise floor in my room. The fan was totally inaudible over any kind of soundtrack, and neither changing the picture mode to the brighter options nor adjusting the laser power setting seemed to have any effect. In High Altitude mode, the noise becomes noticeable if you're listening for it, but was exceptionally tame compared to the HA modes in most projectors and was still largely drowned out by any soundtrack.


OptomaCinemaxP2 Connections rear side
  • HDMI 2.0b (x3) with HDCP 2.2, one with ARC
  • S/PDIF optical digital audio out (Toslink)
  • Analog stereo audio out (3.5 mm)
  • Bluetooth wireless in
  • USB Type A 2.0 (4K media player)
  • USB Type A 2.0 (media player, power)
  • USB Type A (firmware and service)
  • Ethernet (RJ-45)

Calibrated Settings

Calibrated image settings from any third-party do not account for the significant potential for sample-to-sample variation, nor the different screen sizes and materials, lighting, lamp usage, or other environmental factors that can affect image quality. Projectors should always be calibrated in the user's own space and tuned for the expected viewing conditions. However, the settings provided here may be a helpful starting point for some. Always record your current settings before making adjustments so you can return to them as desired. Refer to the Performance section of the review for some context for each calibration. As reported, subjective tweaks following calibration sometimes resulted in adjustments to Brightness (black level), Contrast (peak white), and Color saturation to yield the most pleasing results and effect the most natural fleshtones on different content.

The settings below were for a 100-inch diagonal, 16:9, 0.6 gain UST ALR screen with a dark, contrast-enhancing surface.

Dark-Room SDR

Display Mode: Reference
Brightness: -7
Contrast: 9
Sharpness: 3
Color: 0
Tint: 0
Gamma: Film

BrilliantColor: 1
Color Temp: Standard

Color Matching:

H-5, S1, G-3
H-16, S3, G-7
H-15, S2, G-5
H-11, S-5, G-3
H-12, S-5, G-4
H-29, S-7, G7
Red Gain-6, Green Gain -6, Blue Gain -6

RGB Gain/Bias

Red Gain: 0
Green Gain: 0
Blue Gain: -1

Red Bias: 0
Green Bias: 0
Blue Bias: 1

Brightness Mode: Power 100%

PureMotion: Off

Bright-Room SDR

Display Mode: Cinema
Brightness: -14
Contrast: 14
Sharpness: 3
Color: 0
Tint: 0
Gamma: Film

BrilliantColor: 10
Color Temp: Standard

Color Matching:

H-6, S1, G3
H17, S0, G-4
H-17, S2, G0
H-9, S-4, G3
H-20, S-4, G2
H-31, S-9, G8
Red Gain 0, Green Gain -5, Blue Gain -8

RGB Gain/Bias

Red Gain: 0
Green Gain: -1
Blue Gain: -4

Red Bias: -2
Green Bias: -1
Blue Bias: -1

Brightness Mode: Power 100%

PureMotion: Off

Dark-Room HDR

Display mode: HDR
Brightness: -2
Contrast: 11
Sharpness: 3
Color: 10
Tint: 0
Gamma: 2.4

BrilliantColor: 10
Color Temp: Standard

Color Matching:

H0, S5, G20
H0, S5, G20
H-10, S0, G15
H22, S-4, G25
H-31, S-5, G15
H10, S-5, G20
Red Gain 0, Green Gain -4, Blue Gain -8

RGB Gain/Bias

Red Gain: 0
Green Gain: 0
Blue Gain: 0

Red Bias: 0
Green Bias: 0
Blue Bias: 0

Brightness Mode: Power 100%

PureMotion: Off

For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Optoma CinemaX P2 projector page.

Comments (118) Post a Comment
Bjorn Posted Oct 12, 2020 11:13 PM PST
Thanks for the review! 👍

Any word on model name for EU/Europe?

The P1 is marketed as UHZ65UST is Europe.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Oct 12, 2020 11:15 PM PST
Bjorn, Optoma says it is selling this projector under the same name and model number in the EMEA markets.
Mike Posted Oct 13, 2020 4:06 AM PST
Can you be more specific about your screen? Can I assume that you are using a UST ALR lenticular screen for viewing? Also, yo unstated moderate to high ambient light. Did yo take any measurements of the amount of ambient light, or can you provide more detail on what you meant by moderate to high? Also, was the light coming from a particular direction or was it diffuse?

As per some of my prior comments, it would be great for you to standardize the ambient light test conditions, or at least provide more measurable information so that we can compare to our locations that are limited to non-light controlled rooms.

Thanks much, Mike
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Oct 13, 2020 4:10 AM PST
Hi Mike. The Elite Aeon CLR screens use the same sawtooth construction found in most UST ALR screens, as described in this article on UST screens.

I did not measure the ambient light, but by moderate light I mean lighting coming from the side and not directly washing on the screen; in my basement studio I have accent lighting off the left of the screen that is at knee height as well as some downlights well off the left; and also a small table lamp that sits on an end table alongside my viewing couch. The space is fairly well lit with this arrangement; you could sit and read something on the couch while viewing. The projector in its Cinema mode looked great in this environment -- very punchy to the point that no one would not think it was a normal TV.

By bright light I am referring to the overhead lights being on, which includes an overhead can light that sits just three feet in front of the middle of the screen and washes directly on it. It's an absolute torture test, probably equivalent to what most people would have in a family room that's open and connected to the kitchen while preparing dinner. In Cinema mode, the projector still looked plenty bright and the black level/constrast suffered only marginally with the ALR screen; it was noticeably more washed out with my 1.3 gain matte white screen.
John Chesney Posted Oct 13, 2020 4:20 AM PST
Bought P2 and installed a 120” screen. It is impossible to fill the screen with manual adjustments of projector. The adjustments are just not fine enough to fill the screen. You either get a picture that is 1-2” inside the screen boundaries or completely outside of screen. The smart fit app does not work. You cannot manually adjust the screen with app. Optoma tech support is worthless.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Oct 13, 2020 4:25 AM PST
John, setting up a UST projector is definitely more challenging than the manufacturers would like the general public to believe, but it's basically a one time process and well worth the effort. It's not difficult, just more time consuming than it would first appear. Some points that may help clarify:

- with any UST screen, but more so with a 120 inch, any slight movement or misalignment is greatly magnified. If you did not, you should start out making sure that your credenza or cabinet is level (use a bubble level) both left to right and front to back. Also, if your screen wall and the back of the projector are anything less than perfectly parallel to one another you'll run into some keystone issues that will have to be corrected.

- The SmartFit app and the manual geomatric correction is designed so that the image starts out wider than the screen edges; you then use these tools to pull the edges of the image in. You can't push the edges of the image out. So if you are able to place the projector so that the edges of the image exceed the screen, it's a simple matter to pull in the four corners or even some of the other mid points along the edges between the corners to perfectly align it. If SmartFit isn't working for you, you should skip it and just use the manual geometric correction function in the menu. The SmartFit app is not designed for incremental adjustments. If you do it right, and start out with the image outside the screen edge, it just snaps the image back inside the edges of the screen.
Mark Posted Oct 13, 2020 6:02 AM PST
I wish they had stayed with black over white but currently I have an Optoma GT5500+ and recently added an AEON CLR2 screen. I notice a small bright spots in the lower center of my screen that I never noticed before when projecting onto a wall. Do you notice any bright spots with this one?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Oct 13, 2020 7:09 AM PST
Mark, I have observed very uniform brightness across the screen with both the P1 and now the P2. Keep in mind that some degree of hotspotting in the area you speak of closest to the lens is not uncommon with UST projectors, and the CinemaX P series are much more expensive 4K projectors with pretty advanced optics for this category.
Philip McClenaghan Posted Oct 13, 2020 8:57 AM PST
Thanks Rob, you are giving exceptional info in the comments; especially how to tune a screen. Right now I am deciding between a tensioned 120" Silver Ticket thin bezel grey screen, and a Silver Ticket UST screen. The UST screen is X2 the price! It's it really necessary?

In a basement with 2 small Windows round a corner but with cream colored walls - is a grey screen or white screen recommended?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Oct 13, 2020 9:16 AM PST
Phil, for viewing in a dark or mildly lit room you can manage with a high contrast gray material, but some of the brightness of the projector will wash up toward the ceiling without the optical elements in a UST screen that redirect the light from below straight back to the viewer, and which (critically) reject the light from overhead to vastly improve contrast. Even with a non UST gray material I don't know if you'll see the black level and contrast you'll get with a UST screen. After living with a UST screen for a while and seeing several of these UST projectors on it in a variety of viewing conditions, I strongly recommend having one.
Tony Posted Oct 13, 2020 9:19 AM PST
I have the P1 model and very happy with it. However the PS5 and Xbox series X HDMI ports are 2.1 and supports 120HZ. I called Optoma support and asked them to include 2.1 HDMI ports in the next release then I will upgrade from P1 to P3. By the way I gave them a feedback about firmware updates settings and the ability to save calibration settings and not change it when it updates. Also carry over the settings on usb stick for next P2/P3 releases.. If they do it and we shall see!
Gene Posted Oct 13, 2020 10:44 PM PST
How soon will you be able to compare this with the new Samsung Premiere LSP7T?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Oct 13, 2020 10:50 PM PST
No schedule yet on when we'll be able to review the new Samsung projectors.
Haydar Cem Harbiyeli Posted Oct 14, 2020 4:44 AM PST
What I'm curious of is the comparison of brightness of the short throw screens and long throw screens. For example this one has capability of 2000-2500 lumens brightness. Is that value, the brightness on the screen or the brightness on the wall ? Cause long throw projectors usually has >3500 lumens
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Oct 14, 2020 6:40 AM PST
Haydar, projectors of both the UST and long-throw varieties come in a range of brightness ratings. The brightest home theater UST projector right now is the Epson LS500 at 4,000 lumens max. This one goes up to 3,000 lumens. The lumen brightness is independent of the screen or image size; it might be considered the equivalent of the horsepower of an engine that tells you how powerful the vehicle is but not how fast it will accelerate without you defining the terrain. With a projector, once you describe the size of your screen the lumens can be used to determine the brightness of the light that REACHES the screen in a dark room. The amount of light you SEE on the screen-- that is, the light that is reflected back to the viewer -- will be further determined by the screen gain. We go into detail on how to make these calculations in our Home Theater Buyer's Guide. You can also use our projection calculator to estimate the lumens you will see at a particular size and throw distance; the calculator accounts for these parameters as well as your screen gain.
Gary Piazza Posted Oct 14, 2020 1:10 PM PST
Thank you for the wonderful review. Currently have an Optoma HD30 and will be switching to the P2 soon. Glad you covered 3D as we watch a lot of 3D titles at home. I do wish they would offer yet a cheaper version without all of the integrated sound hardware. My home theater is miles above what an integrated speaker setup could offer. Paying for hardware I won't use seems like a waste of money.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Oct 14, 2020 1:15 PM PST
Point well taken, Gary, though I understand that manufacturers are trying to appeal to folks who want an all-in-one solution. But maybe as this projector category matures we'll see units that are more basic and therefore offer higher value for those of use who just want a good picture from a projector that sits at the front of the room.
Tony Posted Oct 14, 2020 1:49 PM PST
The speakers/sub seems like a waste if you already have a sound system.

You guys used to compare projectors to others in the same price range. I would love to know how this compares to the Epson 5050 in multiple categories.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Oct 14, 2020 1:50 PM PST
Tony, although we are planning on some UST comparisons, putting this against an Epson 5050UB long-throw projector wouldn't be very logical as being near in price is the only thing they have in common. The two products are not just in different product classes, but they are designed for entirely different viewing environments and usage patterns. The 5050UB is the better dark-room home theater projector with wider color gamut and more sophisticated HDR tone-mapping. But it won't get quite as bright for ambient light viewing, it doesn't have a sound system, it's a 1080p projector with pixel-shifting and not a true 4K, it uses a lamp that requires replacements instead of a laser, and you have to mount it at the middle or back of the room and run long wires to it. Totally different animal. I hope it's obvious to people that if image quality for dark room viewing is the number one criteria and you're in the position to install a traditional long throw projector, the Epson would be the better choice here.
BTL Posted Oct 14, 2020 2:45 PM PST
I read Tony’s comment about HDMI 2.1 and I’m wondering if it really worth waiting if you plan on purchasing one of the new gaming consoles?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Oct 14, 2020 5:39 PM PST
BTL, if you're a very serious gamer and you wish to take advantage of the next generation of games...when they arrive...then HDMI 2.1 will be an important feature for you. But I don't know how long you'll be waiting for the new games to come out and whether what you'll get will be worth it. Eventually, new projectors will all migrate to 2.1.

David Rivera Posted Oct 14, 2020 6:05 PM PST
Rob, I've been on standby on purchasing a UST projector for a year. I will order the P2 for a bedroom. There will be no ambient light. I want to maximize contrast and brightness in order to extract the best hdr impact possible from the projector. This being my goal, please let me know if I would benefit from a standard 1.0 white screen, or a 1.2 ALR grey green. I believe that either is capable of accurate light reflection, even for a UST. I'm aware that for UST projectors the lower gain dedicated UST screen is recommended, but the .06 or .08 in these screens are designed to reduced the impact of ambient light (I will have no ambient light). Your guidance in these matter is much valued and appreciated. Thank you in advance.
Ray Cherry Posted Oct 16, 2020 5:22 AM PST
Do you have any results/advice if wanting to place the P2 closer to the wall than the suggested minimum? It can fit, but curious what the results are if I want a slightly smaller picture/ less protrusion on its platform.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Oct 16, 2020 5:30 AM PST
Ray, you should have no trouble pushing the projector closer as long as you don't push it so close that the image is less than the specified minimum of 80 inches diagonal. Although I haven't tried it, the image should likely get a bit sharper across the board with a smaller image. You just have to stay within the image size range to insure the ability of the lens to focus sharply.
Rafe Chisolm Posted Oct 19, 2020 2:27 PM PST
Thanks so much for this review. Super thurough! Are there any plans to review the Samsung Premier LSP7T in comparison to the Optoma P2? They seem very comparable!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Oct 19, 2020 4:24 PM PST
We have requested samples of both the LSP7T, which directly competes with both the P2 and the new Hisense model, and the LSP9T, which probably represents the state of the art in the UST arena right now. It remains to be seen what becomes available to us and when.

JGF Posted Oct 19, 2020 6:57 PM PST
Another interesting looking laser projector with some pretty good numbers and performance and....again.... UST only. Fantastic. I just don't get it. It seems like laser UST projectors in that 3-5K sweet spot are coming out of the woodwork and yet not a whisper on standard mounted projectors. Suuuuuper frustrating....
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Oct 20, 2020 7:04 AM PST
JGF, that's a fair observation. The activity you're seeing in UST is recognition by the manufacturers of an opportunity to expand projection's influence beyond the dark room home theater enthusiast, and it's a good instinct. The combination of cheaper laser technology and relatively cheap UST ALR screens makes for a viable replacement for the living room TV. But the long-throw enthusiast projector hasn't been forgotten. Aside from BenQ adding "smarts" to its various existing budget projectors, we have Sony introducing two new high end projectors recently (one laser, one lamp), ViewSonic is out with a long-throw enthusiast LED projector, and LG has a new long throw laser projector coming out. But I think there's recognition that the market opening for UST right now is vast.
USTM Posted Oct 20, 2020 7:51 PM PST
Could you compare this with the LG HU85LA, which you also reviewed recently, please?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Oct 20, 2020 7:52 PM PST
The LG is the better projector image wise, thanks in part to its three laser engine and the 0.66-inch DLP chip, which has higher native resolution before and requires only a two-phase pixel shift to achieve UHD on the screen. But I haven't compared them directly and it's been a while since I've had the LG set up. A comparison between these models is definitely in order.
Tony Posted Oct 22, 2020 8:41 AM PST
"Tony, although we are planning on some UST comparisons, putting this against an Epson 5050UB long-throw projector wouldn't be very logical as being near in price is the only thing they have in common. The two products are not just in different product classes, but they are designed for entirely different viewing environments and usage patterns. The 5050UB is the better dark-room home theater projector with wider color gamut and more sophisticated HDR tone-mapping. But it won't get quite as bright for ambient light viewing, it doesn't have a sound system, it's a 1080p projector with pixel-shifting and not a true 4K, it uses a lamp that requires replacements instead of a laser, and you have to mount it at the middle or back of the room and run long wires to it. Totally different animal. I hope it's obvious to people that if image quality for dark room viewing is the number one criteria and you're in the position to install a traditional long throw projector, the Epson would be the better choice here. "

Yes I hear you, but technology changes. I'm sure many of us are wondering when, if ever, UST projectors will provide an image that is CLOSE ENOUGH to equivalently priced long throw projectors. Providing a sentence or two about a products applicability for various environments, as you did in your reply above would be very helpful. I'm hoping that some day we can do away with the more complex installment and placement requirements of long throw projectors. We might say that physics prevents this or that UST isn't the solution, but I can't believe that we will projectors hanging from ceilings in the home in 2050, other than for nostalgia purposes.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Oct 22, 2020 9:08 AM PST
Yes, great observations Tony. I don't think this new generation of USTs is terribly far off of the performance of a good long-throw dark-room home theater projector, but there would have to be a will to create a product for dedicated theater use rather than a TV-replacement hybrid whose primary design goals are bright images in high ambient light and an ancillary integrated soundbar and streaming platform. Gamut and color accuracy are not issues -- Samsung just released a $6,500 three-laser true RGB UST projector that is claimed to achieve Rec.2020, and there should be no reason it can't be tuned at the factory or calibrated by the user for good color points and grayscale. The potential for high quality UST optics, as witnessed by this Optoma P2 and hopefully by other models we'll be testing shortly, is there. 4K via DLP or pixel-shifted 1080p (as with Epson's new model) is there. Perhaps the only mitigating factor that needs to be worked on is the black levels. Manufacturers appear to be learning more with each generation about how to properly modulate their laser dimming schemes for dark scenes. With a gray UST ALR screen, I found the P2 to be a very acceptable dark room projector, though it remains a long throw (pun intended) from my JVC DLA-X790 reference. I'd really like to see what the manufacturers could do with an affordable, stripped down laser UST (no sound system or "smarts") designed from the ground up to just be a dark-room enthuisast projector. Or...maybe even a lamp-based model if that's what it takes to acheive the design goals.
Sam Posted Oct 22, 2020 1:34 PM PST
Hi Rob, I notice that you used an Xrite i1Pro2 spectrophotometer directly as opposed to using it to correct a i1DisplayPro Plus which is a colorimeter and probably takes readings much faster. However, is the process fairly fast when using the i1Pro2 spectro directly?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Oct 22, 2020 1:40 PM PST
Sam, you need to wait a good bit longer in particular for the low-level readings, though I typically reduce the sampling size for low light readings to 10 from Calman's default 20 to speed that along a bit. And the i1Pro2 isn't as accurate reading black below 20 IRE or so as some colorimeters, including the i1DisplayPro Plus. But as you may already know, a colorimeter needs to be modeled against a more accurate spectrophotometer to provide good accuracy; the i1Pro2 is calibrated with each use against a white chip standard registered with the NIST (National Institute of Standards & Technology).
Felipe Posted Oct 22, 2020 1:45 PM PST
Hi Rob,

Thanks for the review! FYI, all my knowledge for projectors came from Projector Central when I got into projectors in 2015!

I am looking for an upgrade (from my 5 year Acer H5380BD lol). I am trying to decide between the Optoma CinemaX P2 or Epson 5050UB. I am not worried about short throw vs long throw, my top priority is picture quality and color accuracy (even though I do not know much about color calibration) to watch mainly films. I am also interested in 4K quality, HDR capabilities, and I enjoy watching 3D movies (I do find it too dark in my old Acer with the 3D glasses). I'm having a hard time figuring out between these two projectors based on specs alone! I've seen great reviews for each one but never one that compares them both. I know the black levels on the Epson is considered premium but I wonder how it compares with the blacks of the Optoma P2. On the other hand, Optoma has a True 4k vs Epson with native 1080p achieving 4k with pixel shifting (although all the new 4k specs are still confusing to me!). Rainbow effect never bothered me with my Acer which is DLP.

I would really appreciate your advice in regards to Optoma P2 vs the Epson 5050UB!

Thank you! Felipe
IPD Posted Oct 23, 2020 10:51 AM PST

You will almost always get better picture quality out of a long-throw setup vs. a comparable UST. Top-end ALR screens for long-throw can generate black levels that simply cannot be matched by even the best ALR UST screens. This difference may shrink as technology advances, but at least for now, long-throw will give you the best picture.

The Cinemax achieves 4k via pixel shifting. It may list the 4k resolution as "native", but it is not a true 4k chip--just like virtually every other projector in this price segment. The .47 chips give the best "4k" display at the cheapest cost. The .66 chips (like the Samsung LSP9T) are a step up from this, but still use pixel shifting. "TRUE 4k" chips put the price point solidly in the 5-figure range for virtually any projector--as of yet.

I'm a P1 owner, and I swear by it. However, if maximum, bleeding-edge quality is what you are after, I wouldn't recommend any UST. UST is great for what it does best; replacing your existing flat-panel living-room TV without having to mount/plumb anything.

@David Rivera

In my opinion, a UST ALR screen will always be preferable for any UST--regardless of ambient light. This is because the projection angle of a UST tends to cast a LOT of bleed-over light onto the ceiling. By having a sawtooth-style ALR UST screen, this light wash can be cut down on dramatically, thus improving the overall picture AND reducing the ambient light generated by splash.

@John Chensey

I did not have these type of setup issues with my P1. I manually calibrated it. The feet were used to level it to eliminate any keystone issues. I projected a white image on the wall to get an accurate representation of the height I would need to hang my 110" screen. A small bit of tweaking/nudging later...and I have a picture that fills the screen and does not wash over the 1/2" frame. I concede this is probably considerably more involved than calibrating a long-throw, but overall it was about 15 minutes or less--after I'd already hung the screen. I could easily do it again.


Based on specs alone, if the yet to be released LSP7T is worth the price premium over the Cinemax P2--then it would pretty much have to revolve entirely around smart-tv features. Because I do not see how the quality could significantly surpass the Cinemax.


I'm not convinced that a .47 chip will perform 120hz at an acceptably low latency. I could be wrong. I would put dollars to doughnuts that a .66 chip would be a minimum for this purpose. And hang it up if you need 240hz in order to do 3D at 120hz 4k. But that's my $.02

@Gary Piazza

I actually find the integrated soundbar a nice way to convert 2.1 into 3.1 audio. And since a UST should be best thought of as more of a TV replacement, not a home theater projector, this makes it more aligned to the market segment who would traditionally be using a flat-panel and a soundbar--if they were not using a UST. To be fair though, the audio isn't what breaks the bank. You aren't going to move up $1500 in quality at the same price point...simply by dropping off a soundbar. $100? Maybe. But that's niggling when the next cheaper offering is $500 less and the next most expensive offering is $500 more. Only a more cramped market will justify more niche offerings like a UST without onboard audio.


I have no idea what you are talking about. Long-throw has been the market for testing all breakthrough projector technologies for years. The UHZ65 is precisely the projector you lament would be released--and it PREDATED the Cinemax P1. And that's just one example. LG is releasing YET ANOTHER offering soon; the HU810P. Viewsonic LS700-4k. Etc, etc, etc. The market (read: competition) has NEVER had the combination of laser, 4k and UST---EVER--in this price point, prior to 2019. The Dell S718QL was IT--there was nothing else. Plenty of long-throw offerings that were laser and 4k though. You have nothing to complain about. Better still? Apart from the optics & packaging, the guts of a UST and a long throw of this type are fairly similar--meaning that it doesn't cost a manufacturer a whole lot to develop a long-throw variant of an existing UST offering.
Victor Posted Oct 25, 2020 5:46 PM PST
I seen a pro model of this ust projector when is this pro coming out?
Andrew Posted Oct 26, 2020 9:49 PM PST
Thanks for the review Rob. I currently have a Optoma UHD65 and am considering to change it out for the P2, for ease of setup, for a new home. What can you say about the two comparing the image quality? If the UHD65 is on par with the P2, I would prefer to save the money and mount the UHD65. Thoughts? Thanks.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Oct 26, 2020 9:50 PM PST
Andrew, I can't say with certainty without directly comparing these, but I can almost guarantee that the UHD65 is the better projector for a conventional dark room home theater viewing experience. Assuming you have the ability to hang the UHD65 in your new home, the only reason to move tp the much more expensive P2 is because you want to watch in lit rooms and are willing to also purchase a UST ALR screen with it. You will not likely get the same black level/contrast,and although the P2 has an excellent lens among UST projectors, the UHD65 has a very good lens on it and the long throw configuration will likely result in more sharpness at the corners and better uniformity in general. You should consider a UST if you're considering a change in the way you want to watch. But if you're putting aside space for a dedicated dark-room theater, I'd save a bunch of money and remount your UHD65...maybe take a few bucks and indulge in a new lamp to give it a facelift.
Quan Posted Oct 29, 2020 3:47 PM PST
Can this projector be ceiling mounted upside down?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Oct 29, 2020 4:34 PM PST
Yes, it has menu selections for inverted front or rear projection.
Felipe Posted Nov 5, 2020 7:03 PM PST
@IPD Thank you for answering! That definitely makes me feel like going for a long throw projector. Regarding screens, I actually have an old DaLite 89758W Matte screen from 2005. I'm not a screen expert but to the naked eye would you say there is a considerable difference between a white matte screen and a ALR screen? In case I keep my old matte screen, do you think the difference in image quality from these projectors would be noticeable without a ALR screen? However, if I were to upgrade my screen to an ALR screen, are there any that you'd recommend under the $1000 range that would be better than my current screen? I've noticed some Elite screens are popular these days, but again I'm just not familiar with screen specs at all! I'd appreciate some help!

Thank you! Felipe
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 6, 2020 8:23 PM PST
Elite has a number of well-engineered ALR options; I have no specific recommendations to make at your price point, however. I'm just not familiar with all their offerings.
IPD Posted Nov 7, 2020 6:39 AM PST

Unless you only plan on using a projector (any projector) in a pitch-dark room, ALR screen will give you a better picture. Even then, because of reflected light from the projector itself, it will still probably be better with an ALR screen (eg, how a UST has a lot of "light wash" on the ceiling).

I'm also not familiar with long-throw ALR offerings in regards to pricing/size options. That will also vary based on the quality of the ALR (how many layers deep), type of screen (motorized, wall-tensioned, fixed-frame, self-tensioned, etc). Additional layers probably offer diminishing returns at some point--but that's relative to viewer taste.

IIRC, the "best of the best" is Black Diamond from Screen Innovations. I'm also pretty sure it's way outside your budget target.
Felipe Posted Nov 11, 2020 7:43 AM PST
@IPD I have looked at some screen reviews, both Elite Cinegrey 5D and SI Black Diamond screens seem great! Maybe one day I'll have place big enough to have a dedicated home theater room with black walls, red curtains, and a screen bigger than 120"! Unfortunately at my current place I can't have such set up. On the other hand I only use my projector to watch films at night with all lights off, so even though the walls are all white and do reflect the light around the room, it doesn't bother me cuz I'm focused on the film and still allows me to see my drink/pop corn lol. So I decided I will keep my current white matte screen for now but I will upgrade the projector from my Acer 720p to one capable of 4K. I will give both the Optoma P2 and Epson 5050ub a try, compare them on my current screen for some time, an see if there is any noticeable difference in image quality to my eyes and which set up I like best. Thank you for answering!
IPD Posted Nov 12, 2020 11:12 AM PST

Given your description of your current environment a UST would be a solid pick, especially for someone who is migrating from a flat-panel tv. For an existing projector setup (assuming the wiring is already plumbed) a UST may not be as compelling of an option.

I'm currently using an XY Screens PET Grid 110" ALR UST screen for my Cinemax P1. Cannot recommend it highly enough. I'm sure PET Crystal would be even better, but for the cost...it was hard to beat. XY doesn't have a footprint for sellers in the USA, so you'll have to contact their sales department directly if you source from them. I suspect, however, that XY is actually the company that produces (or has the closest ties to) the manufacturing of screen material for a large majority of the industry.

Keep in mind that setup will likely be a tad easier for a long-throw than it will be for a UST, as a UST is quite sensitive to even the most minute of adjustments. I manually was able to do it in about 15 minutes, but that may be far longer than it takes someone experienced to do on a long throw.
Chris Posted Nov 21, 2020 4:09 PM PST
Despite my Panasonic 58” plasma still hanging strong for more than a decade, I really want to go “big screen” but my layout will only permit a UST projector. Why oh why doesn’t anyone offer a bare, single-HDMI video-in-only unit? I have an AV receiver, sound system and AppleTV. I don’t need an integrated sound bar, faux surround sound or subwoofer, garbage Android-based media system, voice control, etc. I just want it to shoot an image onto the wall/screen at the best possible quality for the lowest possible price. Too much to ask?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 22, 2020 10:34 AM PST
These USTs are intended (for the most part) to replace a living room TV, with everything you'd expect from a modern "smart" set, so we've yet to see the kind of stripped down, bare bones, inexpensive projector you're talking about.
Seam Posted Nov 22, 2020 11:42 AM PST
Thanks for these reviews...they are very helpful. I am near completion for a rear projection setup with this unit. I have a cavity behind the screen and want to put the projector there because of small kids and dogs.

Are you aware of a ALR / UST rear projection screen? I would think that with the option for rear projection, that there would be screens available, but I am having a hard time to find one.

There are windows in my viewing room, and I can close them off, but don't want to have to be married to that all the time.

Thank you again.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 22, 2020 12:29 PM PST
Seam, I'm not aware of any sort of UST-specific rear projection screen, but having this in a dark cavity behind the screen should obviouly help deliver a nice bright image. What it can't do is reject the ambient overhead light in the room the way a UST ALR screen will. But I can't say I've seen the result of a rear projection UST set up in a bright enviroment to properly judge this.
Chris Posted Nov 24, 2020 3:26 PM PST
Question about these LED projectors. I know the LEDs have a long (claimed) life of some 20,000 hours, but at that end-of-life point is the entire unit DOA, or can the LEDs be replaced? And at what cost?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 24, 2020 4:39 PM PST
To be clear, Chris -- this is a laser projector, not LED, though both are solid state light sources with a minimum 20,000 hours to their half-life, ie, half brightness.

To ansswer the question, as with a bulb, there will be diminished capacity once the half-life is reached, but I can't say how quickly they die out after that. I do know that although they age and lose some brightness ofer time, they stay much closer to their full brightnes for most of their rated life. So it may be that once they start going, they go fast. But I honestly don't know that information.
Chris Posted Nov 25, 2020 1:27 PM PST
Last question, Rob. (I appreciate your replies.)

Can the onboard audio on the P2 be used exclusively as a center-channel speaker in a 7.1 system?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 25, 2020 2:32 PM PST
Hmmm. I can't think of a way to do that with this projector since there is no audio input that would allow you to route the dedicated center channel signal to the audio system. And the ability to do that would be dependent in any event on your ability to extract a low-level center channel signal from your surround processor -- a simple matter if you have a dedicated preamp/processor and amp combination, but most modern AV receivers lack the jacks to take the separate channel signals off the processor before it is passed to the onboard power amps.

Maybe someone out there has an idea for how to do this and can share.
Seam Posted Nov 25, 2020 5:34 PM PST
So I'm bummed. I read the specs on the previous version of this projector and assumed that because it could do rear projection, that there were screen options. Think that was not a good move as framing, wiring, all that is in place. Shame on me.

Can you recommend a screen manufacturer I can reach out to to discuss?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 25, 2020 8:09 PM PST
Seam, I wouldn’t despair here as I think there’s every opportunity to have an excellent ambient light projection system with a bright projector like this and a good rear projection screen. I would call one of the good screen resellers with access to some of the better brands. I can recommend projectorscreen.com / Nextprojection.com (same company), which sells Stewart, SI, and some good but more moderately priced brands. They’ll have the expertise to talk you through this.
Matt G Posted Nov 28, 2020 11:25 AM PST
I just ordered this based on your review. Did you have any recommendations for a budget friendly 90-110" screen for ultra short throws? I currently have a 110" screen from my previous ceiling mounted projector and would like to get an appropriate screen for this type of projector, but don't want to break the bank
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 28, 2020 11:32 AM PST
Matt, I have successfully used Elite's Aeon CLR material as my reference for a while; it has pretty much the same characteristics as most of the more expensive UST screens out there (0.6 gain gray screen, sawtooth optical construction that reflects light from below directly out at the viewer while rejecting overhead light). Cost for a 100 inch is less than $1,000. Elite also has a new, less expensive option coming out or out already, the CLR 3 material, which also has 0.6 gain but sacrifices some black level compared with the higher grade Aeon CLR. A 105-inch version of that will go for about $700. It's available in a 125 inch for about $1,200.
Tim Posted Dec 1, 2020 3:18 AM PST
Why no eARC? After all, it's supposed to be an updated model. It seems in general that projector companies lag miserably behind the flat panel companies in adding the latest technology to their products. Even new home theater receivers are being released with eARC. Without eARC your not getting the full potential from uncompressed immersive surround sound formats.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Dec 1, 2020 6:39 AM PST
I quite agree, Tim. Since these USTs sit at the front of the room, they are are well-suited to adding your own soundbar if you'd like something more sophisticated than what's offered on the projector, but you can't hook an Atmos bar up and expect to see that signal passed to the bar without eARC. Another example of the projection industry always being one-step behind the flatpanel universe on new implementations of HDMI. Just my conjecture here, but I do believe the delay in these things moving into new HT projectors is related ot the availability of the new chipsets, which always go first to the major volume producers (the TV makers) and then slowly become available to projector manufacturers, who produce a miniscule amount of volume compared with TV manufacturers. There's a reason that LG's upcoming HU810A laser projector is likely to be the first on the market with HDMi 2.1 and an eARC connection -- they have access to the small number of chips required to fulfill a projector manufacturing run.
Timur Posted Dec 6, 2020 4:06 PM PST
I noticed that projector life in the eco mode is 30K hours, but 20K hours in full mode. I didn't see you reference which mode you used in your calibration settings. Is full mode the same as "Brightness Power mode 100%"?

USTM Posted Dec 7, 2020 9:10 PM PST
Please review the two new Samsung UST projectors, and compare with the Optoma.
Steve Posted Dec 9, 2020 1:16 PM PST
I have a 120” screen on my wall that I have had for years. It was a kit called screen goo. It has worked great for many years with several 1080P projectors. The top of my console is 12” below the bottom edge of the screen. I have two questions; 1. Will this setup work placing this projector on top of my console for achieving a 120” image (I can move it away from the wall a bit, but cannot lower the height)? 2. Any thought on how the screen goo screen will work with this projector?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Dec 9, 2020 1:20 PM PST
Steve, your existing painted-on 120-inch screen would not work with this projector unless you changed out your console to have the projector sit much lower than 12 inches from bottom of the screen. As noted in the review a 100 inch image required the projector to sit on a platform 15 inches below the bottom of the screen. A 120-inch screen would require that it sit both at a lower height and further out from the screen. That's just the nature of these projectors -- most have no vertical lens shift to move the image up or down.

As for the Screen Goo painted screen -- assuming you could move the projector to a suitable position there's no reason you couldn't try it. But I assume it's intended to mimic a basic matte-white or gray screen, so it won't have the excellent ambient light rejecting properties of the UST ALR screen materials this projector is designed to best work with, especially for use in bright rooms...which is why most people lean toward one of these USTs. There are higher performing 4K long throw projectors for dark room use, most of them lamp based, at this price, notably the Epson 5050UB at $3,000. We do know of one long 4K throw laser home theater projector coming out shortly in this price range, the LG HU810A, which we expect to review next month.
Mike Posted Dec 16, 2020 11:00 AM PST
Thanks for the review Rob, I'm not clear if this projector can project at 24hz. I think I need a tutorial on how to read Optoma's spec sheet on page 55 of the P2 manual.
Prasad Posted Dec 24, 2020 9:12 AM PST
Rob, Very good review and all good comments from everyone. I am looking at P2 vs Epson 5050UB. This will be installed in bonus room/loft with white walls and couple of big windows. We would like to use it mainly to watch movies as living room TV is big enough to watch other stuff. I am leaning towards P2 just based on form factor (Epson 5050UB is huge and will be an eye-soar seen as a big thing hanging in the ceiling). Do you see 5050 is that good projector that it leaves P2 miles behind or they are close enough. Thoughts ?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Dec 24, 2020 9:15 AM PST
The 5050UB is the better dark-room theater projector in several ways, in terms of overall out of box 3-chip color accuracy (though it's a projector worth spending money to calibrate), wider full DCI-P3 color gamut for 4K HDR content, tone-mapping and rendering of HDR, and especiallty black-level contrast. It's motorized lens is also better, though you're starting with the 5050UB with a 1080p imager that uses Epson's pixel shifting and processing to render 4K content, while the Optoma uses full 4K DLP imagers. You'll see the difference if you're standing close to the screen but not likely from normal 10-12 foot viewing distance. You will get better edge to edge sharpness from the Epson just because the nature of UST lenses for projector like the Optoma tends to mildly distort a 100 or 120 inch image out at the top corners (though this won't likely be distracting in normal viewing).

That said, the Optoma P2 is a pretty respectable dark room projector that will also serve well for ambient light viewing, particularly if you mate it with a UST ALR screen (which you should absolutely account for in your budget). The Epson does have 2,600 lumens max to the Optoma's 3,000, which is still pretty bright for moderate ambient light, but won't have the same punch unless mated with an ALR screen. And keep in mind that you will encounter a couple of lamp replacements with the Epson to keep it tip top over the life of the projector, but none with the laser driven Optoma.

So my advice here is that if you plan to watch primarily in a dark room and consider yourself a purist or feel strongly about having a noticeably better image for movies, the 5050UB is the better choice. But, if you have real concerns about the aesthetics or installation effort involved with the Epson, or concerns about lamp replacements, or plan to do a fair amount of ambient light viewing, the P2 with a UST screen combo will still deliver an engaging, accurate image -- just not with the same dark room impact as the 5050UB (especially with HDR, where the Epson's more advanced HDR tone-mapping and 16-point HDR tone-mapping control really help zero in a great looking image.
Timur Posted Dec 24, 2020 8:16 PM PST
Looks like Eco mode refers to the "off" mode and is unrelated to "Brightness Power Mode 100%"
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Dec 25, 2020 9:54 AM PST
Timur, you make a good point that about something I never noticed: "Eco" mode is mentioned in the specs but there isn't technically an "Eco" setting in the laser brightness controls. That control does let you adjust the light output to a minimum of 50% brightness, which is the same effect as a normal Eco setting on most projectors, which reduces brightness to anywhere from 75% to 50% of full output typically. So I'd say that Eco mode probably represents usage at 50% brightness. Unfortunately, most people aren't likely to use it at that low brightness, particularly for any ambient light viewing. In all of my testing, I never went below 90% power in effecting the dark-room image I wanted.
Ben Schwartz Posted Dec 26, 2020 11:54 AM PST
Terrific review, Rob. One thing I'm unclear on is the "InfoWall app for customizing your own home screen." What does this function allow? I want to project on to a wall with available space roughly a 2:1 aspect ratio. Is the initial setup only 16:9/16:10/4:3, or can I align to a more widescreen aspect ratio and have all 16:9 content be pillarboxed within that?
Timur Posted Dec 26, 2020 12:29 PM PST

I forgot say thank you for the calibration settings. I honestly wouldn't know where to begin without getting a professional calibrator. We just saw the Avatar Blu-ray using the Dark Room SDR settings and it looked phenomenal. We're watching Jesus of Nazareth, the miniseries, using the Bright Room SDR settings in a fairly bright room with sunlight seeping in from outside and while the dark scenes do look washed out, I don't think there's anything to be done in those cases except get black-out curtains. But as the direct sunlight moves away, it looks better and better.

Also, I tested the HDR settings on the first scenes in Superman and they look great! My only question is that the sharpness setting at 3 seems a little low, but maybe that's the way the director intended?

Regards, Timur
Kevin Posted Dec 27, 2020 6:19 AM PST
Can you use motion on the 3D mode please thank you
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Dec 28, 2020 1:45 PM PST
I don't recall checking for this on the P2, but Frame Interpolation controls were active on the P1 (not grayed out) and unless another reader tells us differently I assume the P2 follows suit. Note, however, that I couldn't really see any obvious effect of that control with 3D content on the P1.
Torgrim Posted Jan 11, 2021 5:03 AM PST
Thanks for the review. I recently purchsed this and is happy thus far. I see that some folks are adding a affordable subwoofer to the projector to complement the sound. Im looking at this option as i dont want to add a costly soundbar or other home cinema system. Whats the best way to go about this? Theres a 3.5mm audio out and a s/pdif output, but id like some help in figure out what output to use and what type of sub would i should choose. Thanks
Manuel Salgado Posted Jan 12, 2021 8:21 PM PST
Hi there. I currently own the uhd65 but have a few dead pixels and a weird strobing effects coming from the build from time to time. I’m gonna get it serviced but was thinking of upgrading to the P2. My only concern is that I have a 135” Elite Screens cinegray 3D alr screen to project to and the P2 does a max of 120”. From your experience Mr. Sabin, would you think it would impact the image quality if I were to use the P2 on my screen? I contacted Optoma about this. They said it would work but the issue may be the focusing on the corners. Any help in my upgrading decision would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance Manuel.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 15, 2021 8:58 PM PST
Torgrim, the 3.5 mm analog stereo output is what I used to do this and it works perfectly. Most traditional wired outboard subs have an analog stereo input with left/right RCA connectors. A simple 3.5 mm male to RCA stereo male cable makes the connection; you can get this cheaply at the required length on Amazon. As for recommendations: believe it or not, Monoprice and Parts Express/Dayton Audio have some pretty decent subs for less than $200. If you want much higher performance, you can consider the budget or better options from SVS or Hsu Research, two excellent online companies that made their names on the quality of their subwoofers. When you get the sub, you will use the subwoofer's internal crossover to send only signals below about 100 Hz or so to the sub while the internal soundbar will reach down somewhat below that to hopefully make a good match. Tune this and the independent volume control for the best integration in your room. Once the sub is set up, the volume control on the projector's remote will adjust both the bar and subwoofer together.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 15, 2021 9:14 PM PST
Manuel, at 135 inch you are pushing past the limit of what the lens can do. There's a reason it's rated for 120 inch max. You can go a bit beyond, but at some point the geometry fails in the upper corners. You many not notice it because there isn't always in-focus content in the corners. And if you watch movies with letterbox bars your active content will automatically be away from the top and bottom corners.
Jason Willer Posted Feb 7, 2021 9:22 AM PST
I just set up the Optoma CinemaX P2. For the most part the picture and color looks quite good. Having a bit of an issue with blues looking more purple. Any suggestions on adjusting this?
James Hayes Posted Feb 23, 2021 10:18 PM PST
Has anyone tried to ceiling mount this projector? any idea what mount will work?
Daniel Lee Posted Mar 2, 2021 8:22 PM PST
Thanks for the great review. I am considering to purchase P2 but has anyone tried both LG HU85LA and Optoma p2? Not sure whether it's worth it to compare the two? Thanks in advance
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 3, 2021 5:45 AM PST
Daniel, the LG HU85LA is a considerably more expensive projector but in a different class performance-wise in its rendering of color and HDR. The Optoma does have some nice features,including what might actually be the better lens here (with motorized focus) and by far the better sound system if you don't plan on adding an outboard soundbar or audio system (which is a requirement with the LG on top of its more premium pricing).
Matt Posted Mar 12, 2021 9:12 AM PST
Any recommendations on a guide for placing the ALR screen? I find the included measuring cards with the P2 aren't accurate. Finding the exact placement is extremely difficult. I am hoping to avoid using geometric correction
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 12, 2021 9:27 AM PST
Matt, best way to be exact is to place the projector first. Situate the projector on its final furniture and project the image on the wall. Get it sized and squared off for the precise image size of your screen (use the height and width dimensions of the image/screen surface, which you can take off our calculator or the screen itself -- not the outer dimensions of the screen frame). You mark the top of the image, use a rule or laser level to mark that top of the image across your mounting studs, then calculate where the screw holes go for the screen mounting plates to place the top of the image just where you want it.You just have to put the mounting plate into the slot on the back of screen while it's still off the wall and measure up to find the offset that puts the image in the right spot. Measure to the top of the finished screen frame then back off to account for the frame width.

This all makes more sense when you see it in front of you. Our Epson LS500 Screen Build video shows the process.

Matt Posted Mar 12, 2021 8:50 PM PST
Thanks for the explanation on screen placement Rob. It seems to make sense! So I’m assuming that after putting the screen additional adjustments will be made due to the screen not being flush with the rest of the wall. Would that just be moving the projector away an inch or two? Is it safe to assume when moving it straight back, the center of the projected image will remain in the same spot and it will expand uniformly on all four sides? Thank you!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 13, 2021 8:37 AM PST
That's a good point Matt -- I guess I was too quick to use the word "exact." When you pull the projector back slightly to account for the depth of the screen, the image on a UST climbs up slightly as well, which I accounted for in the final leveling of the projector, but the best approach may be to leave a little room in placement of the screen wall mounts that would allow them to be moved up slightly without drilling new holes. If you've already got a screen you know those brackets typically have a keyhole slot for the top screw and a fixed hole for the bottom screw. If you plan on being able to move the bracket a touch upward by loosening the screw in the slot, you can start by tightening down just the top screw for each and hang the screen to have a look. You can then make some tweaks in the bracket heights if needed before drilling for the fixed hole for the bottom bracket screw.

Incidentally, if the screen you're using doesn't come with a thumbscrew for the bottom of the screen to hold it out from the wall (the way the Epson screens do), you may have to stick a piece of foam or something else behind the two bottom corners to make sure the screen hangs perfectly parallel to the wall and doesn't lean in on the bottom.
Matt Posted Mar 14, 2021 10:17 AM PST
Thanks again Rob. I am using the Grandview Dynamique and it also uses a keyhole type slot to hang the projector from and magnet mounts for the bottom. I think it differs in that the keyhole bracket is on the screen itself vs the Epson the bracket is mounted to the wall.

Ideally I think it would be best for two people to hold the screen while a third stands back and tells them how to made adjustments then marking the screen placement and mounting. I only include this in case others search here for the same answer.

Thanks again, I'm going to give it another try today
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 14, 2021 11:44 AM PST
Gotcha -- sounds a little tricky, but whatever it takes, you should only have to do it once! :) Good luck.

Midhun Sai Posted Mar 21, 2021 10:44 AM PST
Hey Rob, I had bought the P2 and thinking to purchase a matt white screen (Elite Cinewhite 120) as the ALR screens here in India are almost 5-6x times the cost of matt white screens. We have a really dark room with dark walls and almost no ambient lighting, I've also painted 2ft of ceiling from the screen with matt black paint to avoid any reflections, would I be missing any advantages of ALR screen over the matt white in this case and if so are they worth for the price difference?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 21, 2021 10:50 AM PST
Midhun, as long as you're not watching in bright light you'll get by with a matte white screen. It won't perform as well in ambient light as you are guaranteed to get some degree of washout of black and contrast in any kind of light. But I'm not sure if you can justify 6x the cost.
William MOBBERLEY Posted Mar 22, 2021 1:47 PM PST
I am interested in getting this projector to display my digital 3D art which would certainly be spectacular. I have produced 3D art videos in 1080P side by side format. I am aware that the 3D system only displays in 1080P but I read an alarming post somewhere which said that when displaying .mkv files, the 3D options are ghosted out. Is this true?!!!

If it couldn't display .mkv files in 3D, it would not be the end of the world as I could convert them to some other format but it would be very inconvenient.

The only thing stopping me from getting the Epson in this case would be the format of 3D glasses. I have loads of dlp link ones (compatible with the Optoma?) but they would be useless with the Epson as it uses RF glasses.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 22, 2021 2:23 PM PST
William, I have no knowledge of how this projector handles .mkv files, sorry. You are correct that the projector is compatible with dlp-link glasses.
Luis Fonseca Posted Mar 29, 2021 7:37 AM PST
I would like to know which model is better : Optoma P2 or Optoma Cinemax PRO I can not find reviews or comparisons about the pro and a provider offers me both at a similar price. It is for a dedicated room without light.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 29, 2021 8:05 AM PST
Definitely go with the P2. It has better color and more than enough brightness for a dim/dark room environment.
Philip Suarez Posted Apr 6, 2021 11:17 AM PST
Hi I presume the audio out is 3.5 mm. Do I need the same socket on sub woofer or can you use a 3.5 to single RCA/LFE. Not many subs with 3.5 mm input in UK
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Apr 6, 2021 11:28 AM PST
Standard 3.5mm stereo to RCA stereo female adapter is all that's required to connect a regular RCA interconnect cable to the sub. Or, a single long 3.5mm stereo to stereo RCA male cable. Set your subwoofer crossover and gain controls to effect a nice blend with the P2's speakers, then just use the volume control on the P2 remote to adjust the soundbar and sub volume simultaneously.
Gino Petitti Posted Apr 24, 2021 10:26 AM PST
Rob, as always, thank you for your excellent, thorough reviews. I was curious as I am looking for the best UST projector that is most reliable with best picture (I keep hearing many reports of laser speckle and even RBE with the Samsung L9PST.

SO, my question is if you had to choose between the LG HU85LA or the Optoma CinemaX P2, which would you get in terms of picture quality, color, contrast and and why? Especially now that the new retail price of the LG is $4,999, and even better in some street price scenarios.

Thanks again for your expert advice and service you provide to the community.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Apr 24, 2021 2:56 PM PST
Gino, putting aside that you will be doing without any really usable built-in sound system with the LG, it is the better projector for overall color accuracy and image quality. The three laser design is key here, and the dynamic HDR on the LG is also very good and a nice plus. Been a while since I've looked at either projector at this point to comment on speckle with either, but I wasn't looking for it and never spotted any that was bothersome with either of these projectors.
Showtyme Posted Jun 1, 2021 2:37 PM PST
Hi I have a dedicated dark room theatre. I do have black out blinds that I can open if I want a bit of light.

My questions, pardon me if already answered....

I have a HD367 ceiling mounted projector and wish to upgrade to the Optoma Cinemax P2. I have a 92" elite aeon white screen.

Will this screen work with the projector in dark room settings?

I am trying to figure out how many inches the projector must sit below the screen. I think it would be 11 inches below the screen for a 92 inch screen. Please correct me if I am wrong. Because of my studio 100 speakers and the width of the room. I cant lower my screen anymore than it is or the speakers will be in the way of the screen.

So the measurement from the bottom of the screen to the projector. Is this the the top of the projector to get the 11 inches difference or the the actual top of the lease of the projector?

Knowing this will allow me to buy a stand or bookcase to get the projector to the correct height.

Thx in advance
Andy Posted Nov 13, 2021 1:47 PM PST
The recommended max screen size is 120", is the image losing a lot of quality when placing the projector farther from the screen, let's say to get 150" size screen? thanks
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 14, 2021 5:07 AM PST
The optics will not likely support an image of 150 inches and you'll get an image that can't be focused properly and/or distorts noticeably at the edges of the screen. Not to mention that the image will be considerably less bright than the projector is intended to deliver, and that you won't really have the option of using an ALR screen since they don't make then in that size.
Raj Posted Nov 21, 2021 12:33 AM PST
I need help. For the last 10 months I have had an optoma p2 with a 120 " elite clr screen. First of all it was a pain to get the picture to fit on the screen. My question is . Does anyone have a guide on how to calibrate the different display settings?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 26, 2021 8:21 AM PST
Raj, it's always arduous to get one of these USTs set up and aligned the first time, so don't feel alone in this. The trick is to first make sure your projector stand or credenza is perfectly level front to back and left to right. Then, it's critical to have the screen be perfectly level, and to make sure that the back of the screen frame is flush to the wall from top to bottom; you can put spacers like sticky felt pats at the bottom corners of the screen if needed to hold it out some distance from the wall if needed. Once those things are aligned, it makes the alignment a lot easier.

Regarding settings, if you read the review you'll see that our final calibrated settings for my preferred viewing modes are supplied in the appendix at the end.
Matt Posted Nov 28, 2021 7:37 AM PST
Hi Rob,

The information you provide is incredible. Thank you for what you do. I'm looking to get a screen for my Optoma P2 to be used in a dedicated dark room and I'd like the screen to be 120". I'm looking at the Aeon CLR series. Is there a major difference between the CLR2 and CLR3 series? Is there a comparable screen you'd recommend? I'm trying to get the most out of my Optoma without breaking the bank and was hoping I could save some money since ambient light won't be a concern

Thanks in advance!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 29, 2021 10:12 AM PST
Matt, the CLR series is a great option and the link below will take you to a helpful comparison sheet showing all three materials. Bottom line: The original Aeon CLR Starbright material, with a 0.6 gain, provides the deepest blacks and best contrast improvement of the three materials, but at the expense of a bit more peak brightness -- something that wouldn't be a concern for you if you have some degree of ambient light control. It also has the widest viewing angle of the three, though all three have a fairly wide viewing window. But it's probably your best choice for performance. The CLR 2 is a higher 0.9 gain material but one that sacrifices some black level; it's designed not just for USTs but also some short throw projectors because the angle of the serriform ridges is a bit more accommodating to light coming in from distance and less effective at ambient light rejection. Contrast improvement is cited as 50x over standard white screens vs the 100x for the regular CLR. The CLR 3 is rated for 75x contrast improvement, 0.8 gain, but more affordable. If you're looking to save money vs the regular CLR, this is probably your best best.

Abhi Posted Feb 8, 2022 6:38 PM PST
Hi Rob,

Thanks for the review, I ended getting one and am liking it so far. I felt the audio was a bit flat and was curious how do I connect my Polk audio subwoofer to it. Is there a specific wire to connect the audio out to the LFE in?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Feb 8, 2022 7:26 PM PST
Very simple, Abhi. Get a 3.5 mm male-to-RCA male adapter or cable on Amazon or Monoprice and just plug the 3.5 mm plug into the analog audio stereo out port on the back of the projector. The pair of RCA plugs on the other end of the cable go into your subwoofer's stereo RCA inputs if it has one. If it only has a single LFE input, you can also get an RCA Y adapter to combine the pair of plugs on the cable into a single RCA plug you can stick into the LFE port. From there, you need to use the subwoofer's onboard crossover to match it to the projector; I'd recommend crossing over around 100 - 120 Hz or so as you might with a soundbar, but you need to play with it to see what sounds best in your room. Then you need to adjust the sub's volume control to get the right amount of bass. Once the sub is connected, you just use the projector's volume control and the sub will track with the volume of the built-in soundbar.
Kelmin Posted Feb 18, 2022 7:33 PM PST
Thank you for the review. Does this projector support the Samsung HW-Q950T soundbar? I really like the reviews the Benq 7050i received, but it doesn’t appear to support my particular sound bar either.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Feb 19, 2022 10:15 AM PST
Kelmin, either this or the BenQ would send sound to the bar via optical out or their HDMI ARC connections, but it would appear that you are looking for a projector with a more up to date HDMI eARC connection that would properly pass Dolby Atmos to this 11.4 channel soundbar. Those remain rare, but the new LG HU715Q offers it at $2,999 without a screen, and the Hisense L9G ($5,499 with UST screen) or PX1-Pro ($3,499, without screen) all fit that criteria and are very good projectors in the same price range once you factor in the requisite UST screen.
David Partida Posted Mar 2, 2022 4:44 PM PST
Thank you for the awesome review, Rob. I purchased the projector and have been a happy camper since day 1.

2 questions:

1.) what are your suggestions for bright room HDR? 2.).Your Dark Room HDR calibrations do not include HDR picture settings for “Dynamic Range. What do you suggest?

Thanks in advance.

Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 3, 2022 8:27 AM PST
David, with any HDR signal the projector will enter into its HDR10 or HLG mode depending on the content type, and you can't really dedicate separate HDR10 modes for both dark and bright room conditions. I didn't bother experimenting much with bright room HDR because so much of the benefit of HDR is lost when light is present, but I'd say the two key parameters to play with to adjust for brighter ambient light with HDR are the gamma to the extent there are any options in HDR mode (I can't recall, but there may not be), the Brightness (black level) and Contrast (peak white level) controls, and the Dynamic Black setting.

If I'm remembering correctly, Dynamic range in these projectors refers to the digital video level range of the signal; 0-255 is the full range that's used for computer/PC signals, 16-235 is the video range normally mastered into movie and TV content. If you leave it on the Auto setting, which is usually recommended, it will default to 16-235 with most content. You can experiment with forcing the projector into the wide dynamic range setting, which could in some cases make things brighter if there is content in the program in that 236-255 range. But this may not always lead to a desirable result.
Mike Posted May 10, 2022 2:41 PM PST
The comments above seem to be contradictory about whether Optoma CinemaX P2 4K is using pixel-shifting technology or not. Would you please clarify?

My second question is whether CinemaX P2 can project a larger size (e.g. 150") on a wall without blurring images.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted May 10, 2022 3:46 PM PST
The P2 uses Texas Instruments DLP XPR fast pixel-shifting technology to achieve full 4K resolution on screen. It's a native 1080p device that shifts four times in the course of one frame to get all the pixels up. The difference between this and some other pixel-shifting tech used by Epson and formerly by JVC is that they pixel shift only twice, resulting in only 1/2 of the pixel count of a full 4K signal with each frame.

The P2 does not have appropriate optics to project 150 inches without losing sharpness.
John Posted Jun 25, 2022 8:42 AM PST
Am strongly considering this projector. It will be in my living room and with some ambient light present. It will replace my Sony 40inch HDTV, that has 3D, that still works great, but am ready to go big (75-120). Since new sets no longer have 3D, this is the solution. I will need to visit a retailer to determine if I see the 'rainbow effect.' 120 in is my goal, but may settle for 100. The screen set-up seems critical too. I have a cable box and bluray player via HDMI hooked to the Sony It's not uncommon for the Sony to be on for 10-12 hours of viewing. Can the P2 fully replace a HDTV that is in operation that many hours each day? I would guess that any cable programming would be the same excellent image, correct? I 💘 movies, but many are BW films from silent to 50s, in 1:37-1 ratio. Are BW films more susceptible to the 'rainbow effect?'
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jul 1, 2022 7:11 AM PST
Hi John. Rainbow effect can most definitely be more visible with black & white programming, and it really is somewhat dependent on the engineering of the singel-chip DLP projector you're watching (as well as your personal sensitivity to them) as to whether you see them. I would read very carefully all of our UST reviews to get an idea of which perform better with regard to rainbows; I seem to recall that a couple of models we tested recently (I'm thinking of the LG HU715Q (which is in this price range) and the new LG tri-laser HU915QB whose review we're about to publish) were essentially free of rainbows.

Also, keep in mind that an ALR UST screen is really essential to get decent blacks and contrast with any ambient light, not to mention preventing light spill onto the ceiling from the steep angle of the lens. I recommend a high grade lenticular ceiling-light-rejecting screen with a 0.5-0.6 gain like the Elite CLR (not CLR2 or CLR3, which are different gain and a lower grade and therefore sacrifice some black level and light rejection). This will add perhaps $1,000-$1,200 in cost for a 100-inch. There are some similar alternatives out there as well. If you go with a 120 inch, along with the higher cost of the screen you will be looking at having to move the projector further from the wall and placing it lower, to the point where by the time you make room for the larger screen you're also buying a new lowboy table or TV stand to put it on. You should temporarily tape out the dimensions of both sizes on your wall with some paint masking tape to get an idea of how each will look in your room from your seating area, and also calculate where the projector will need to sit for each size since these are all fixed lens projectors with no zoom.

Getting the screen hung straight horizontally and parallel to the wall (perhaps with some felt pads to push it out a touch at the bottom if needed) is a one time thing, as is the messing around with the projector to get the image nicely aligned without the use of keystone correction. Once it's done is done, and then you just get to sit back and enjoy...

As far as I know, there's no reason you can't run these projectors for 10-12 hours daily, many commercial laser projectors are designed for 24/7 operation. Just keep in mind that you have a 20,000 rated life on most of these projectors with no real path to replace the light source. With a 20,000 hour life, at 12 hours a day every day you're looking at 1,666 days, or about 4.5 years before you're looking at replacing the projector. But I wouldn't
Oleg Posted Nov 8, 2022 7:26 PM PST
Hi Rob. I don't really hope you still check the comments on this review but if you do can you give me an advice? I'm facing some problem with my brand new cinemax p2. Whatever display mode (cinema, HDR, user and so on) or whatever signal source and its resolution (YouTube stream, downloaded files and playback from my PC or media player) I use, I get some judder effect on moving objects. Just like frame rate drops. For example if a camera moves along the road the poles on the curbs move with nearly noticeable jerking. That effect becomes more distinguish as poles move closer to the edge of screen. More interesting when I enable gaming mode ( which assumes puremotion and geometric correction are off) the movement becomes perfectly smooth. But I never activate those two functions.So I just don't understand what happens and why gaming mode fixes this problem, but manually turning puremotion and GC off doesn't. So if anyone has faced this problem or has any idea how to fix it- share you thoughts Add Reply to TopicRemove Topic from Watch List
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 9, 2022 7:25 AM PST
Hi Oleg. We no longer have a sample of this projector in house and it's been a while since I was in its menu, but there are two things in most projectors that will affect how much judder you see on pans. Keep in mind that the issues with this usually occur with content shot at 24 frame-per-second content, ie, most movies and TV shows that have a film-like look.

The first thing to check is whether the projector has a Film Mode option and make sure it's turned on. This will usually activate a 3-2 pulldown sequence to match the original content to the projector's native frame rate. If that's off when it should be on, you may see more judder. Try that first without resorting to frame interpolation as described below.

The second thing to check is the frame interpolation feature on projectors that have it, which I gather is the Puremotion feature in the Optoma. Turning it ON (not off) for its lowest setting will hopefully solve some of the issues your seeing without introducing a noticeable amount of soap opera effect that robs the movie of its film-like look.

The game mode on the P2 may eliminate a variety of other processing to get the input lag down, perhaps more than just the frame interpolation and geo correction. But I have no specific info on that.
danny Posted Feb 12, 2023 5:12 PM PST
My P2 takes a goor 4 minutes to boot up ! Totaly unexceptable. Its shows the software is currently up to date. Great picture once it boots up but it takes forever ! Wont buy another one cause the customer service was totaly useless !
Marcin Posted Feb 19, 2023 4:54 AM PST
Just got dead pixel in the second unit after 4 months of sporadical use.

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