A Smart Projector… what the hell is that? How can a device be smart at all? Well, uh… in this case, it’s explainable. Because the new Optoma UHL55 has done a few things just a little differently… smart business. What cleverness do you get for 1699 euros?
Smart really is a buzzzword now. What the industry – and marketing – actually means is that a device is connected to a (data) network. And that he can get commands from a controller over that network. Think about turning it on and off. Or it will be recorded in a scene ‘watching a movie’ where the lights dim, curtains close and the projector is switched on.
Is that really “smart”… no, of course not. In fact, as a user, you program the scenes. Or you can have it done. But what’s nice is that it works better and better and it saves you a lot of remotes. Especially with voice-control. By the way, the Optoma UHL55 is also Alexa compatible. So you can talk to your projector… …even if it does feel a little out of the ordinary.
Installing the Optoma UHL55 is really very easy. Basically it’s a matter of plug – or adapter in this case – into it, network connect (cable or wifi, but we strongly recommend cable, in connection with streaming video) and you can get started. Please note that this projector has no zoom. So you will need to fill the screen by varying the distance to the screen. And that’s unusual and can be very clumsy. Focus can be automatic or manual. Auto-focus works fine on its own. Sometimes he misses it for a moment, but it can be adjusted with the buttons on top of the unit itself.
If you need to adjust the height / tilt, you can do so with the feet under the projector. Considering the price of 1699 we can’t expect motorized feet. But it can take a while to neatly align and straighten everything.
In the menu you can adjust a few things. Think of language, network, color (basic settings), color temperature, brightness, gamma and finally you can install a number of apps. Although that offer is still very limited. We’re curious to see what’s coming. And exactly what the point is.
We don’t have any calibration equipment, so we choose a booth that seems neutral and pleasant to us: film booth. The rest is either too bright, too contrasting, too sharp… Film, however, comes across as good.
The box itself
Optoma’s box itself is remarkably compact. On the back we find a lot of connections: twice hdmi, usb, ethernet, optical and analog from… and, of course, an input for the adapter. Now this projector is in fact a video-streamer, so external devices are not really needed. It’s nice that Optoma did add them, because sometimes people just want to watch a DVD or blu-ray from a player.