Optoma UHD52ALV Projector Page 2

The UHD52ALV holds on to the bold hues of Jojo's house in Jojo Rabbit (4K Blu-ray) better than I expected. Skin tones fare well throughout Jojo Rabbit's varied lighting conditions, and there are no serious yellow or green undertones to have to calibrate away.

Yet bright, heavily saturated colours in aggressive HDR content can clip (lose subtle toning) – so much so that they end up standing out very starkly against the more refined images around them. I found white clouds, red explosions and artificial lights particularly prone to this, especially if the PJ is being run in either the HDR Film or Detail modes.

The UHD52ALV brings out the crispness and detail of Dark Fate's clean, sharp visuals. Not as definitively as (more expensive) true 4K projectors, but certainly enough to deliver a cut above HD.

Motion in 2D is handled effectively with both 24p and 50/60Hz content, even without the PureMotion processing. This processor is actually cleverer than most, but the only time I wanted to use it was with 3D playback. During which, ironically, it's not available.

Happily, 3D still looks good overall. Using some old BenQ-branded 3D DLP Link glasses I had lying around (Optoma no longer makes its own) and the 3D Blu-ray of Pacific Rim, the UHD52ALV throws out sharp, detailed pictures largely free of crosstalk ghosting noise and flicker. These immersive visuals appear sufficiently bright, getting good value out of the 3,500 Lumens on tap.

During 3D (and HDR viewing), the UHD52ALV runs impressively quietly.

It's creditable with HD standard dynamic range content, too, and using the HDR Sim mode gives such images a boost for bright-room viewing without leaving colours or contrast feeling off-kilter. The Cinema preset creates a fairly natural, balanced but still dynamic image in a dark room.

Black levels are only fair to middling. This isn't a disaster for such a bright projector, and the UHD52ALV's improved brightness actually creates the illusion that black levels are good during shots showing a mix of dark and light content. With dark sequences viewed in a dark room, though, there's no ignoring the grey pall that hangs over the action.

Other niggles are some fleeting instances of rainbow effect over small, standout bright areas, and noise in HDR sources tending to look exaggerated. The Optoma's built-in 2 x 5W audio system is also rather weedy, and doesn't project its output far enough from the cabinet to stop it feeling dislocated from the events onscreen.

Sensible Compromise
This projector isn't the perfect all-rounder. As we've come to expect from models around this price point, the aim of high-brightness delivery has a knock-on effect to other image areas. But for the most part the UHD52ALV picks its compromises sensibly, and its feature specification and setup flexibility are above-par.

HCC Verdict

Optoma UHD52ALV

Price: £1,600

We say: The UHD52ALV is bright, colourful, sharp, quiet – and even lets you talk to it. Devoted home cinephiles may want more black level and HDR colour control.

Overall: 4/5


3D: Yes. DLP Link active shutter
4K: Yes. 3,840 x 2,160
HDR: Yes. HDR10; HLG
Connections: 4 x USBs (one USB Wi-Fi dongle included); 2 x HDMI 2.0 inputs; 12V trigger; RS232-C; optical digital audio output; 3.5mm audio output; 3.5mm audio input; VGA input
Brightness (claimed): 3,500 Lumens
Contrast (claimed): 500,000:1
Zoom: 1.3x
Dimensions: 392(w) x 118(h) x 281(d)mm
Weight: 5.22kg

Features: Single-chip DLP projector; built-in 2 x 5W audio; Amazon Alexa/Google Assistant voice control support via external listening devices; 4,000 (Bright), 15,000 (Dynamic), 10,000 (Eco) hours claimed lamp life; 25dB claimed fan noise; HDR Bright, Standard, Film and Detail picture presets; 1.21:1-1.59:1 throw ratio; PureMotion processing; ISF modes and calibration support