Optoma PJ says 'bring on the wall'
Home Cinema Choice|Xmas 2020
This second-gen ultra-short-throw PJ doesn't match its predecessor, but still appeals to Steve May
Steve May

AV INFO

PRODUCT: UHD DLP ultrashort-throw projector

POSITION: Above the 1080p laser-based HZ40UST

PEERS: Viewsonic X10-4K; Epson EHLS500W/B

Optoma is back with a new iteration of its ultra-short-throw living room-friendly projector. The CinemaX P2, unlike the original CinemaX P1, aka UHZ65UST, comes in a fresh white livery and offers a £300 saving on its predecessor. However, a cursory glance at the spec reveals there are changes beneath the hood that suggest a somewhat denuded performance.

How so? Perhaps most importantly, brightness is diminished by 500 Lumens, and contrast downgraded from a suggested 2,500,000:1 to 2,000,000:1. The colour gamut has also shrunk in the wash. Optoma claims 85 per cent of DCI-P3 for the P2, compared to 87 per cent on the P1.

One upshot of these revisions is that this model is now closer to the considerably cheaper Viewsonic X10-4K [HCC #299]. It’s also at a spec-sheet disadvantage against the brighter but similarly priced Epson EH-LS500 [HCC #309].

So is this moderated UST projector now too much of a compromise to warrant the saving? Or has Optoma actually found the right balance between performance and price? Time to dim the lights...

Like Ps in a pod

Cosmetically the two CinemaX models have been cut from the same cloth. The chassis on the P2 is exactly the same as its forebear. You still get three HDMI inputs – two on the back, one placed to the side. All are v2.0 and can be renamed to reflect the connected source. HDMI 1 is ARC compatible.

Further connections are two USB ports (one side-mounted), an optical digital audio output, Ethernet LAN and a 3.5mm aux output. A baked-in media player plays picture, music and video files from USB sticks.

The CinemaX P2 is a 4K UHD model built around a single-chip DLP device and laser light engine. It’s HDR compatible, in so much as it will manage light output to best reflect the dynamic range in the source material, but with no pixel-precise light control available, you shouldn't expect a similar performance to a flatscreen TV.

The projector also supports 3D, via DLP’s own 3D Link system. No glasses are supplied in the box, however.

Installation is blissfully stress-free. Achieving an image upwards of 120in is simply a matter of shuffling the CinemaX P2 in front of a wall. For a 100in picture, it needs to be just 25cm (approx) away.

While most users will opt to watch on a white wall, Optoma has its own 100in ambient-light-rejecting fixed screen, the ALR101, for those who’d prefer a rather more formal ‘laser TV’ style arrangement.

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