4k projectors are finally becoming affordable. Optoma today announced the pricing for its first line of 4k projectors. The UHD60 is $1,999 and the UHD65 is $2,499, making these two models the least expensive 4k projectors available. You can send thank you notes to Texas Instruments.
Optoma unveiled this line of 4k projectors earlier this year at CES. These projectors use a new 4k UHD DLP chip from Texas Instruments. Video nerds will be quick to point out that this DLP chip uses a bit of trickery to display the 4k UHD picture. And they’re not wrong. This 0.67 DLP chip employs 4 million mirrors, yet displays 8 million pixels thanks to the mirror’s ability to create two distinct and unique pixels by switching over 9,000 times a second.
This system is different from other low-cost 4K-enhanced projectors. In projectors that use 3LCD technology a 4k resolution is achieved through taking a 1080p chip and displaying two 1080p images in rapid succession, with the second slightly off-shifted to double the resolution. The result is good, but not great.
Early reports state that DLP’s new system produces impressive results. Apparently the eye cannot discern differences between this type of 4k image and a projector using a full resolution 4k system. Projector Central goes as far as saying this DLP can produce a clean 1-pixel line test pattern, saying “no native 4k projector can do better.”
The Optoma UHD60 and UHD65 are similar but aimed at different markets. The UHD60 sports a brightness of 3,000 lumens and a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1. This model will cost $1,999 and be sold through consumer home cinema retailers like Amazon and Best Buy. The UHD65 has a brightness of 2,200 lumens and a contrast ratio of 1,200,000:1 and features an enhanced RGBRGB color wheel. This model will be sold through dedicated home theater dealers.
Both models were announced at CES with a higher price.
This is the first projector line that uses TI’s 0.67 DLP chip but it likely will not be the last. Like with 1080p projectors, more manufacturers will start to implement the technology and drive down the prices.