Optoma CinemaX P1 Review
For the past year or two we have been talking about removing our projectors and replacing them with very large format TVs. There are a few manufacturers that produce TVs greater than 85” in size and we were stuck in analysis paralysis. There is a video that accompanies this review. Please watch it to help understand the capabilities of this projector.
That is until Optoma announced and shipped the CinemaX P1 Ultra Short Throw Projector (Street Price $3,299.00). This projector can sit as little as 8” away from your screen and project an 85” image. You will need a screen specifically designed for UST use for this review we paired it with a 90” Elite Aeon CLR (Street Price $600). All in the setup cost $3,900.
Let’s compare to what is out there in comparable size:
So yes it does cost a little more, but if you go up those last 5” to 90” you won’t find a TV anywhere close in price. And if you wanted to, for an additional $200, you could slide the projector back a few more inches and have a 100” screen. There is no TV that is 100” anywhere near this price! Plus, this was easier to bring into the house and get setup and that includes assembling the screen!
Setup was a bit more complicated than the typical TV. First you have to assemble the screen which is not terribly difficult. But you do need to be mindful of the screen material so you don’t fold or crease it. The screen attaches to the frame with velcro and must be pulled tight for a clean image. Elite screen has a video that we recommend you watch before assembling the screen. It will make things easier. Once completed the screen is mounted via two clips that our screwed into the wall. Elite provides drywall anchors which are plenty strong for this application. The screen is not very heavy at all.
Positioning the screen is a little tricky because the projector does not have lens shift. What we did was project a 90” inch image on the wall and then mount the screen. That sounds easy but before you do that you have to square up the image. You can’t use the Smartfit on the bare wall because there is no black screen outline, which is required for the SmartFit algorithm to work. Instead we manually used the geometry settings to square the image. We then pulled the projector back on the TV stand until we had about a 91” mage on the wall. We marked the corners and made sure the screen was mounted within that space.
Once the screen was hung will pulled out our phone and used the SmartFIT app and voila! The image got pulled into the screen. It was 99% perfect. There was one corner that need a very slight adjustment. For that we went back to the geometry settings and stretched the image to the corner and we were done! It seems like it was harder to do but I say it was easier than hauling a 85” TV upstairs. Plus there was far less packaging to deal with when it was all done.
As far as the TV settings go we did some very minor tweeks, not a full calibration. The only things that were changes off of the default values were the following: Display was set to HDR, HDR Picture was set to Standard, Brightness was set to -2, Contrast to 13, Sharpness to 9. We also made sure the Pure motion was set to off. I recommend you watch the video to see how good the picture looks. We realize that with proper calibration you will see improvements and we may end up doing a full calibration in the future, but we wanted everyone to know a really good picture can be had without the need to spend and additional $300-$500.
This is the only thing that really matters. Can this projector replace a large format TV in a room with no real light control? Well the answer is yes! The picture is great when watching anything bright like any sporting event. You can even watch movies with some shadow detail. Although it's not the best. But really, what screen can do dark scenes with good shadow detail in full brightness anyway?
We looked at this screen in full daylight viewing and in early evening viewing for the purposes of this review. We recommend watching the video on our youtube channel where you can judge for yourself the quality of the picture.
In full daylight we could easily make out the detail in everything we watched with the exception of a few night scenes in Blackhawk Down. The 3000 lumens of laser light combined with the CLR Elite screen make a huge difference when compared to a typical projector. Colors are accurate and the detail is good. There are no issues with off angle viewing. To sum it up, you can watch this projector in full daylight and not feel like you are missing something.
As good as the daylight viewing is, evening (or blinds closed) is amazing! Everything we liked about the daytime is amplified at night. Colors are richer, detail is more visible, and contrast is enhanced. It's like you are watching a plasma TV. For the first time since the 4K UHD TV craze it felt like all the additional resolution mattered. The blacks look really good in the evening much better than in the daytime. While watching football, hockey, and baseball we did not notice any motion blur. We did not game on this projector but being a 60Hz projector at it's highest refresh rate, we’d say there might be some lag for hard core gamers.
The Optoma CinemaX P1 is the projector/TV we have been looking for. You can watch sports and even movies in full brightness, but it really shows it's stuff in a dark(er) room. It has good blacks that get even better in the evening. The wide viewing angle means you can sit anywhere in the room and enjoy a stunning 4K picture. This projector can truly replace your family room TV with no need to employ expensive lighting control. The Optoma CinemaX P1 is highly recommended by the HT Guys.