Optoma UHD40 Review – Brighter and better-specified than the competition – but also more expensive
The UHD40 boasts some eye-catching on-paper advantages.
For instance, its brightness is rated at 2.400 Lumens – the highest figure in this roundup.
Its claimed dynamic contrast ratio is also a huge 500.000:1.
The UHD40 also carries a stereo 10W audio system (but actually this doesn’t sound as powerful as the BenQ W1700’s 5W ‘resonant chamber’), and slightly more optical zoom than any of its rivals (1.3x vs 1.2x). Even better, it provides a small but very welcome amount of vertical image shifting, reducing the likelihood of you having to use keystone correction during installation.
Both of the UHD40’s HDMI ports support 4K. although only one also supports HDR. Elsewhere there’s an RS-232 control port, a 12V trigger, a powered USB. and a D-Sub PC socket.
The UHD40 isn’t the prettiest model here. Its grilled sides give it a slightly industrial appearance, while the two-tone top panel looks cluttered and bitty.
While largely devoid of video processing options, the UHD40 needs to be handled with a fair bit of setup care. In particular, always have Dynamic Black switched on for HDR: without it black level performance drops dramatically.
I’d also recommend using different HDR settings for different HDR content. ‘HDR Standard’ delivers a fairly high average brightness level well suited to relatively ‘mild’ HDR material mastered to around 1.000 nits. The ‘HDR Detail’ setting, however, takes down the average brightness to make space for more extreme brightness peaks. I’d recommend using that for more aggressive HDR movies.
The green, green grass
As hoped for. the UHD40 delivers excellent levels of detail and sharpness with my Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle 4K Blu-ray. There’s oodles of leaf and grass detail in the jungle’s trees and clearings, plus delicious 4K levels of texturing in faces, hair and clothing.
Motion looks impressively natural, too. suffering minimal judder and no significant blurring even during the high-octane helicopter chase sequence. The image does not need to be static to look 4K.
The UHD40’s HDR pictures are. as its specifications implied, the brightest here.
This helps sell the step up from SDR to HD, and allows the projector to resolve slightly more detail in the brightest HDR areas.
Colours look bolder too. although you should note that the UHD40 can’t really escape its core REC.709 colour palette. As a result, some of Jumanji’s most vibrant footage – especially scenes back in the real world towards the film’s end – can look peaky.
Choosing the best setting between HDR Detail and HDR Standard helps in this regard.
Try toggling between the two if what you’re watching really doesn’t look natural.
Again, the biggest weakness here is black level response. Even if you’re careful with the UHD40’s settings, dark scenes can feel grey and flat, while still retaining shadow detail. Yet the image’s high brightness meant I didn’t feel as badly impacted by its black levels as I was with. say. BenQ’s W1700 – and its black level performance is more assured with standard dynamic range images.
With its fulsome feature count and overall picture prowess. Optoma’s UHD40 is the current leader of the pack with just one contender to go…
Optoma UHD40 Review
3D: No 4K: Yes. 3,840 x 2,160 HDR: Yes.
HDR10 CONNECTIONS: 2 x HDMI inputs (both 4K capable; one HDR); RS-232; D-Sub PC port; powered USB; 12V trigger BRIGHTNESS (CLAIMED): 2,400 Lumens CONTRAST (CLAIMED): 500,000:1 (dynamic) ZOOM: 1.3x DIMENSIONS: 392(w) x 118(h) x 281(d)mm WEIGHT: 5.22kg
Vertical lens shift; various HDR presets; six-speed colour wheel, 15,000-hour claimed lamp life in Dynamic mode and 10,000 hours in Eco mode; colour management system