The latest in projection tech, a built in stereo soundbar, and a 4K experience anywhere on a wall near you
Ahome cinema projector is a great way to enjoy the magic of cinema at home — especially these days when going to a movie theatre doesn’t seem like a good idea at all.But not all projectors are born equal. Typically, a home cinema projector would use one of two competing display technologies: DLP or LCD, and have a bright, metal halide light source and a system of lenses to help focus the image a certain distance away. As you move up the price ladder, projectors start to add more resolution, better quality lenses and optics, better digital processing, features like lens shift, more inputs or ports, built-in speakers, a smart interface and WiFi to name a few.
Why the price?
By now, you must have noticed the stratospheric price of this Optoma projector. But why, when you can even get a projector from a known brand for as little as Rs.50,000? You can even get 4K home cinema projectors for less than a third of what this projector costs. Why is this projector so much more expensive? Well first, we do have excessive customs duties, import costs and margins. The US price of the Optoma P2 is about half of the India asking price with a direct currency conversion. But there’s more.The P2 is fundamentally different from most projectors in three significant ways. First, it uses a laser-LED light source that has a much higher lamp life compared to conventional projectors (30,000 hours compared to the usual 4,000 or 5,000 hours). Cost of ownership comes down since there is no lamp to replace. Second, it's an ultra short throw (UST) design, which means it can quite literally be kept under the screen it's projecting on to. This is great for tight spaces and when you want a massive screen. To give you an idea: with the back of the projector just a few inches away from the wall, you can get a display that is 100 inches in size. Move it away just another foot or so and that increases to a massive 120 inches diagonally (a display area that is nearly nine feet wide). And third, this is true 4K resolution instead of being upscaled from 1080p.
The P2 has a smart interface but it’s not Android. While the company may have intended for the projector to be used standalone, we found the interface quite frustrating to use. The Aptoide app store is built in but the selection of available apps is laughable — you won't find anything you normally use. It does have some wireless mirroring options built in but the experience is not great. Thankfully, you can plug in USB drives and hard drives into the USB ports and playback content using the built-in media player.
You’ll have a much better content experience if you plug in a 4K media player, high-end PC or a 4K game console. Happily, you can plug in all three simultaneously since there are three HDMI inputs. Given that the P2 has WiFi and decent sounding speakers, it feels like Optoma really missed a chance here. Android TV would have been great.
Pros - Spectacular brightness and colour, high contrast ratio, 3D support, auto keystone/warping, UST lens/system, built-in speakers, WiFi and Bluetooth, multiple HDMI and USB ports.