Optoma D2 4K projector review: Short-throw big screen

One of my best experiences in lockdown was the week I spent reviewing the Optoma cinemaX P2 projector, in my books, the best projector money can buy. Now there’s a more affordable option from Optoma, for those who don’t really want to stock up on hogs. The Optoma D2 4K projector is also top of the line but with a little less drama compared to the P2.

The Optoma D2 has a similar design language to the P2 and is also a large box that projects directly onto the wall it’s held up against since it’s an ultra-short throw projector. Installation is easy and once you get the image where you want it – this will depend on how big of a wall you have in your home – you’re good to go. There’s no need for keystone correction or focus adjustments here as the projector takes care of all that. The only setting I needed to use was the wall color because the room I was using it in had a sky blue wall.

The remote control is backlit and very convenient because you don’t have to go near the projector for anything. Even if you did, there are no buttons here to mess with. And while you really don’t need to tweak the settings much, the remote comes with dedicated buttons for most of them.

Unlike the P2, the D2 does not have an operating system with applications. So I took the opportunity to test the new Google Chromecast with 4K using the projector. After almost an hour of what I do best with Netflix – figuring out which movie to watch and not watching anything at the end – I decided to start Saving Private Ryan in UHD. It’s a big screen movie if there ever was one and I was projecting about 80 inches onto a wall between two doors, with a few power outlets and without a photo that had been hastily removed for the show.

The Optoma D2 4K projector is seen here.

The experience was awesome, to put it mildly. Yes, we have the ability to watch movies without too much health concern these days, but still, if I had this projector at home, it would be really hard to get me out for a movie, especially a which might make me unhappy in the end given the prices in theaters now. Image quality is spot on, although you’ll have to move around the projector a bit to get the edges sharper as you want them to be. But what’s even better is that the audio quality is as good as you’ll get from a plugged-in soundbar.

At 3,000 lumens, the laser projector is bright enough to put on a good show even in broad daylight. I preferred cinematic mode for most of what I did with the projector because it offered better colors and clarity, especially when playing titles on apps.

One of the USPs of the Optoma D2 is how it meets the demands of gamers. I’m not one, but I plugged in my son’s Nintendo Switch for a while to see how the experience was. It’s not always that you can play Super Mario on such a big screen. But generally, spotlights are supposed to be slow to be useful to gamers. And that’s something the D2 tries to solve with lower input lag as a function of refresh rate. I’m no expert on whether this was really what I was looking for as a gamer, but as a layman the experience was pretty awesome.

Optoma D2 projector in action at my home. (Image source: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

On the other hand, the Optoma D2 is clearly not for homes like mine. This is the type of projector you will invest in if you have reserved a room just to install a home theater in your new home. Although installation is easy, this needs to be placed somewhere where it can stay for the rest of the time. The angles should be locked so you don’t have to move the projector every time after the housekeeper dusts the house. I’m not a big fan of projector operating systems because the apps are never native and until more projectors ship with Google TV built-in, that doesn’t make much sense. But still shipping a projector that costs so much without any operating system seems like a crime.

At Rs 3.50 lakh, the Optoma D2 may be more affordable than the company’s high-end projectors, but it is still among the most expensive projectors you can buy. So go for this if you really love your movies and have the space for the projector to repay every penny you spent on it.

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