Optoma UHL55 4K UHD Home Entertainment LED Projector Review-Picture Quality

Posted on October 7, 2019 by Dave Duncan

Optoma UHL55 Home Entertainment LED Projector Review – Picture Quality: Color Modes,Video Image Quality,Text and Presentation Quality,Audio Quality

Color Modes

The Optoma UHL55 was not short on performance or options by any means. There were 7 different color/performance modes to choose from. 8 if you count 3d. I add an individual picture of each in the player above for you to browse at your leisure. The 7 modes were Cinema, HDR, HDR SIM, Game, Reference, Bright, and User.

The best looking mode was HDR. The colors were so brilliant and the images were spectacular. Of course, you needed content that supported HDR. HDR SIM did a great job of simulating HDR content and working to display a great image. I was impressed with how well it looked. Out of the 6 modes HDR SIM was my favorite for general content. It looked really good. Was slightly brighter and on the cooler side then the Cinema setting. Game delivered a good image, this mode was on the warm side and was bright. It delivered a good image for dark games, especially if you want to make sure you can see the opponents lurking in the shadows. Reference was a close second for image quality. It was a very nice image and delivered a stunning experience. Bright was just that bright. While it is a totally usable setting, everything was green. This is the setting that was used to achieve the brightness setting of the projector. I could only see using it if it was very very bright in your room and you needed to throw as much light as possible at the screen.

Jumanji Valley Scene on UHL55

Video Image Quality

The UHL55 has a great image. I was so pleased with how great it looked. Many LED projectors get lost in the saturation and boost the red and green to hit a brightness level. This causes the image to suffer from low contrast and black level performance. This is not the case with the UHL55. The image was great!

One of the movies I like to run through when evaluating an LED projector is Baywatch. There are a couple of good reasons for this. The movie contains a lot of bright red objects, from bathing suits to lifeguard gear there is no shortage of red. The second reason is there is a huge variety of skin tones mixed in to the beach scenes. This makes it a very good watch to see how a projector handles the balance between color saturation while delivering natural-looking skin tones.

picture from baywatch

Good colors, whites and smooth skin tones

The UHL55 did outstanding! I was so pleased with how well the Optoma UHL55 provided great greens and reds without losing it on the skin tones. The Lifeguard rescue buoys were a vibrant red. Yet no one looked sunburnt. The Rocks lips were not red and no one had glowing red ear lobes. The image looked well balanced.

The Contrast ratio really allowed the UHL55 to provide great black level detail. While viewing the Earth Documentary on Netflix, oftentimes details in the black feathers of the birds can get lost or even just become a black shape. The UHL55 did great. As you can see in the pictures above you can see the feathers on the bird's neck. All the black strands and that picture does it rough justice on how nice it really looked.

Picture of bird on UHL55

Great detail in the neck feathers, Earth 4K on Netflix

The UHL55 also has a good performing Motion Smoothing feature with PureMotion. You can select 3 levels of performance, or shut it off altogether. I really enjoyed the low setting. The UHL55 did a great job of smoothing the image. The Dejudder / Deblur really makes the image come to life and seem very real. The higher settings performed OK. My only issue with the higher level is the speed artifacts. When hands move quickly or there is a fast change there are artifacts that arise. When It comes to motion smoothing, I believe less is more.

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Picture of Text on Optoma UHL55

Text and Presentation Quality

The quality of the UHL55 is fantastic. As it stands a 4K 1500 Ansi lumen projector for $999. It is a great product for that price. I like to use an excel sheet to view the different color modes. As I displayed above. In every mode while the color points shifted, the text and detail was still 4k sharp. There is no pixelation around the letters, or flare showing around each black pixel. The text at all sizes is displayed clear. The colors look great and the whites are white.

The Optoma UHL55 is geared towards the home entertainment enthusiast. However, I this projector would make a fine addition to any classroom anywhere. It could deliver bright images as well as crystal clear text.
Then fill the room with sound while the class enjoys some streaming content with audio.

Audio Quality

More often than not the speakers in a projector are an afterthought. They are usually 1 w mono if they are even present at all when it comes to a home entertainment product. The Optoma UHL55 has 2 8W stereo speakers and is equipped with Dolby Digital Decoding.

The sound performance of the UHL55 is great. Having Dolby Digital Decoding allows you to use a bunch of different streaming services and devices without trouble or changing settings. I am a fan of my Amazon FireTV. Often times I have to change the audio settings to hear sound through the projector's speakers. That was not that case with the UHL55, it decoded it and played through without a hitch.

Not only did it decode the audio without a hitch, but it also sounded great. The 2 8W speakers on the UHL55 are more than enough to enjoy a movie in your bonus room or even outside on the deck. There was plenty of volume left while I had it set on a comfortable level.

The sound was clear, the speakers were not struggling to provide the volume I had it set to. Even as I approached 90% volume, it was loud, but not distorted. If you were in a large room or outside and needed the extra volume, the UHL55 will bring it.

I was very pleased with the speakers. Having 2 8W speakers, they were placed well enough that you could hear the left channel from the right while playing games. It's always nice to get some directional feedback from footsteps and other noise.

The experience with the UHL55 was great with the internal speakers. They provided a great amount of clear well-formed sound. If you wanted to, there was an option to turn off the internal speakers. Yet.. they sounded pretty good why would you want to? Perhaps in an install with your own 7.2 surround that would be ok.

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