Optoma’s Newest 4K HDR Projector Let’s You Control Content & Home With Amazon Alexa

by on January 13, 2018
Stephan Jukic – January 13, 2018

As we’ve already mentioned repeatedly, voice assistant systems are becoming one of the major new technologies for a wide range of consumer entertainment gadgets in 2018. They’re obviously being packed into 4K TVs, where you’d most expect them, but now devices such as laptops, cars, routers and even projectors are getting some sort of voice command system, be it Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa or something else.

In the case of projector maker Optoma, their newly unveiled UHD51A 4K HDR projector is the company’s first ever recipient of the Amazon Alexa assistant platform as part of Optoma’s effort to make “accessible, mainstream” tech products for their customers.

With Alexa Smart Home integration, the UHD51 can be used to smoothly coordinate speakers, screen, lighting and other technologies with the projector itself. Users of Alexa Smart Home in the UHD51A can even control other aspects of their home through the projector according to Optoma, even if they don’t happen to own an Amazon Echo device as well.

The Alexa support aside, the UHD51A also comes with some very strong specs and display features while being priced pretty reasonably. Starting with its specs, this particular device offers  a 4K UHD media player, Android OS smart interface, access to a range of streaming content apps such as Netflix and others, and full HDR support for wide color gamut and high contrast due to its high luminosity of 2,400 lumens and a “dynamic contrast” ratio of 500,000:1 (this is a largely made up number, expect real native contrast of well below 5000:1).

Optoma has given the UHD51A dual HDMI 2.0a ports for 60FPS console gaming in 4K with HDR or gaming in lower resolutions at different color and frame rate settings.

UHD51A 4K HDR projector

As for the UHD51A’s resolution, it’s not true native 4K of the type you’d get from one of Sony’s much more expensive models, but the UHD51A does deliver a high quality pixel shift upscaling engine for taking native 4K video inputs from any source (or video in lesser resolutions) and upscaling them to a simulated ultra HD resolution that does look sharper than native 1080p HD. We saw this technology at work in other Optoma projectors we’ve reviewed and we can safely say that it works exceptionally at simulating 4K video quality. This aside, the HDR support for high dynamic range movies or programming is what will really deliver the goods, more than a minor difference between native 4K and upscaled 4K picture resolution.

The Optoma UHD51A goes on sale by the end of March and will be priced at $1,699. Not such a bad price compared to the average for this market.

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