Optoma CinemaX P2 Review | PCMag
The Optoma CinemaX P2, widely available for $ 3,299 despite a list price of $ 5,799, is a direct competitor to the $ 3,499 BenQ V7050i reviewed here earlier this month. Both home projectors are in a higher price and performance range than the $ 2,499 Xgimi Aura, winner of our Editors’ Choice award among 4K resolution Ultra Short Throw (UST) laser projectors for casual viewing, and both offer a great improvement in color accuracy. Unfortunately, both exhibit rainbow artifacts (areas of light breaking into red, green, and blue flashes) more frequently than is typical for DLP laser projectors. But for users who don’t see these artifacts or find them boring, the Optoma and the BenQ are both good choices, and the former has enough differences that you might find it a better choice.
Integrated smart TV, but not particularly useful
The P2, which measures 5.1 x 22.1 x 15 inches (HWD) and weighs 24.3 pounds, is available in white or black. Like most of the 4K UST projectors we’ve reviewed, it’s built around a laser-phosphor light source, rated in this case at 30,000 hours in Eco mode or 20,000 hours at full power, with a single DLP of 1,920 x 1,080 pixel chip that uses TI’s fast XPR pixel shift to display 3,840 x 2,160 pixels on the screen. The recommended image size range for the lens is 85 to 120 inches diagonally at a distance of 8 to 16.5 inches from the screen.
Setup is simple: plug in the power cord, optionally establish an HDMI connection to one or more video devices, and connect to a home network via Wi-Fi or Ethernet. Then adjust the position to fill the screen and use the remote control to adjust the motorized focus for a sharp picture. The menu also offers distortion correction, which can help correct distortion if you’re not using a sufficiently flat screen, and an automated screen adjustment feature to adjust the image to your screen size. As always, however, digital correction for image size or geometry is only best used if you can’t avoid it, as it reduces brightness and can introduce artifacts.
Most of the UST 4K smart projectors we tested use Android TV for streaming, either fully integrated, like with the $ 2,699 Xgimi Aura and Wemax Nova, or bundled over an HDMI dongle, like with the BenQ V7050i. The P2 instead uses a fully integrated version of Aptoide. It has the benefit of not requiring any configuration except for individual apps, but it offers fewer apps and many don’t perform as well as their Android TV counterparts. The options for YouTube, for example, include both the 1080p and 4K versions, but the latter wouldn’t upload in my tests.
Optoma says it is aware of these limitations and is exploring ways to improve P2 streaming in a future firmware upgrade. Until that happens, the workaround is to plug in a streaming HDMI dongle, but that requires the use of an HDMI 2.0b port, leaving only one free, and this solution will get you there. allows you to juggle a second remote control. The P2 also has an HDMI 1.4a port, but it doesn’t support 4K HDR, 4K at 60Hz, or ARC to connect to an external audio system. On the other hand, the BenQ V7050i only offers two HDMI ports, one for its Android TV dongle. The Optoma’s additional HDMI port arguably gives it a slight advantage for connecting to video devices, even if you add a dongle.
Optoma rates the P2 at 3000 ANSI lumens, which is more than enough to illuminate the maximum screen size of 120 inches, 16: 9 that the lens is designed for, even in moderate ambient light in a family room. using a 1.0 gain screen.
The stereo sound system is basically an integrated sound bar facing the viewer. Its two 19-watt speakers each offer a full-range speaker and woofer, and they deliver more than enough volume to fill a large room with much higher quality than most projectors or large-sized televisions. screen. Quite simply, the P2 packs one of the best projector audio systems I’ve heard, a system that’s good enough that you might not see the need for anything more. If you want to use external audio, there is an S / PDIF audio output port, and one of the HDMI ports supports ARC.
Impressive color accuracy right out of the box
P2 menus offer five preset modes for 1080p SDR hardware, plus a user mode, with menu settings to let you change or perform a full calibration for any of them. I chose Cinema mode for my viewing tests because it offered accurate colors with default settings as well as good contrast, the darkest black level of all modes, and good shadow detail in a dark room.
Note that there is an option of frame interpolation to smooth motion, which can improve the appearance of live or recorded video. However, most people prefer the look of material filmed with the feature turned off.
With 1080p SDR hardware, the P2 provided good color accuracy, contrast, and a sense of three-dimensionality. It lost some shadow detail in dark scenes, but not enough to reduce the dramatic visual impact of the scenes. It was also bright enough that even dark scenes withstood low levels of ambient light.
For 4K HDR10 input, there is a preset HDR mode and four HDR picture mode settings, which are the equivalent of what many projectors refer to as HDR brightness. Your best setting will vary depending on the brightness of the room or even between discs or HDR sources. In my tests comparing the 1080p SDR and 4K HDR versions of the same movies, the P2 actually provided more shadow detail and better overall brightness for most scenes with the SDR versions. But the HDR versions were quite watchable and showed finer detail, as you’d expect given the 4K resolution. There is similar support for HLG HDR.
The P2 also handled Full HD 3D well. In my testing with DLP-Link glasses, I saw no crosstalk, and the 3D-related motion artifacts were on the lower end of what is typical for current generation projectors. The 3D mode was also brighter than usual compared to the projector’s 2D modes, making it quite usable with the lights on. For gamers, there is a game mode setting (not to be confused with the game picture preset) to shorten the lag time. However, I measured it at 73ms for 1080p and 65ms for 4K (both at 60Hz), which even casual gamers might consider too long a lag.
As already mentioned, I noticed flashing red / green / blue rainbow artifacts more frequently with the CinemaX P2 than with other DLP 4K UST laser projectors. It won’t matter if you’re one of the many spectators who don’t easily see these artifacts or find them bothersome. But if you are bored by them, it could be a deal breaker. Our standard advice for DLP projectors applies: If you find rainbow artifacts to be irritating, buy from a reseller who accepts returns with no restocking charge, so you can test the P2 for yourself – same.
Short 4K Range for Your Short List
The Optoma CinemaX P2 offers a lot to like, including top-notch color accuracy and impressive sound. If your budget is tight or you insist on less rainbow artifacts, consider the Xgimi Aura or Wemax Nova, which won Editors’ Choice. Neither matches the P2 for picture quality, but both show less rainbow artifacts and provide sufficient quality for streaming and live video by UK standards. most viewers. The Aura also handles movies on disc well.
The hardest choice is between the CinemaX P2 and the BenQ V7050i. In between, the BenQ makes better use of HDR, especially in dark scenes, which can tip the scales for some buyers. But the P2 offers better color accuracy, slightly higher brightness for 2D, much higher brightness for 3D, and a much more robust audio system. this is the edge.
The bottom line
For a home projector, the Optoma CinemaX P2 offers exceptional color precision and contrast, as well as exceptionally high sound performance. Just pay attention to the image if you are sensitive to rainbow artifacts.
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