As many of our readers understand, it has been a while since a remarkable technological breakthrough has been seen in the world of home projectors. Notwithstanding the introduction of 4K resolutions in March of 2016, it has been a very long time since technology has enabled a new set of features that fundamentally changes the way that consumer-grade projectors are viewed. Believe it or not, Optoma, a relatively small yet well-known Taiwan-based electronics company for the production of affordable audiovisual solutions for the better part of two decades, may have just changed the projector game for good.
As the first projector to support voice assistant technology with the introduction of Amazon Alexa as a standard feature, the Optoma UHD51A projector could very well set a new bar for what we expect from the home theatre experience. While the addition of voice-activated controls for a home theatre projector may seem to be overkill to some at first pass, we assure you that this addition will provide a vastly improved viewing experience for our readers.
For a moment, consider the situations in which an average projector viewing session, whether it be a professional slideshow or a casual movie screening, takes place in. In this context, the addition of a voice assistant starts to make a bit more sense. After all, who wants to be stumbling around for a specific button or two in a dark room when you can just say, “Alexa, play the movie” or “Alexa, dim the projector’s brightness.” Furthermore, the convenience of voice interactions can be especially beneficial for those of you who typically like to hang your projector from the ceiling or place the unit in a similarly hard-to-reach spot.
For those who have been patiently waiting for the next generation of smart home devices, the Optoma UHD51A projector is a great place to start, and while it has yet to offer a perfect experience, it is hard to argue against the inclusion of such an innovative feature, especially when one considers that the vast majority of today’s manufacturers tend to play it safe when selecting features for their projectors.
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Who is the Optoma UHD51A projector for?
Thanks to a very reasonable price point, it could be argued that the Optoma UHD51A is an excellent projector for anyone, whether they be a seasoned home theatre veteran or a new enthusiast looking to create their first setup. From our research, we have found this to be true. However, this doesn’t mean that the UHD51A is right for everyone.
We feel that the Optoma UHD51A is a great option for first-time projector buyers who may not be as knowledgeable when it comes to these devices, and for those who are looking to integrate a projector within their existing smart home setup seamlessly. Our reasoning for this verdict is mostly based on the user-friendly features and Amazon Alexa integration offered by this projector.
Furthermore, this projector can serve as a great tool in professional environments, thanks in large part to its sleek, modern design and long-term durability. When investing in a projector for the office or board room, factors like design tend to play more of a role, as using ugly and outdated equipment can sometimes be off-putting for clients and collaborators.
Overall, the Optoma UHD51A is an extremely versatile projector that can satisfy the needs of first-time projector users, smart home enthusiasts, and driven professionals alike. If you happen to fall into any one of these categories, we strongly encourage you to read on. Even seasoned projector users might find this unique device to be an attractive option, especially when one considers the numerous cutting-edge features that are packed into this affordable sub-$2,000 projector.
What unique features does the Optoma UHD51A offer?
When it comes to features, we have come to expect the best from the team at Optoma. We have had the opportunity to review some of their offerings on this site, and these projectors never fail to disappoint even the pickiest of our readers. Unless you are just not starting to shop for a projector, you are likely aware of the fact that almost no devices available on the market today can be easily integrated within a smart home setup via a digital assistant like Amazon Alexa. This is indeed a notable addition to the Optoma UHD51A that helps to set it apart, but it is far from the only significant feature available. Some of the best features that we have come across throughout our review process include:
- Seamless integration of Amazon Alexa: Bear with us on this one, as we must admit that we are huge geeks when it comes to smart home technology. As we have already said a couple of times before (and will likely mention again – we can’t help but nerd out, after all), the inclusion of Amazon Alexa support is what sets this projector apart from the pack. While there are many solid projectors at this price point, both in terms of functionality and usability, we are aware of few other projectors (if any, at the time of writing) that offer an artificial intelligence-powered digital assistant as a standard feature. While some may feel that Alexa is just included as a feature of the Optoma UHD51A for the sake of a marketing gimmick, we strongly disagree with this viewpoint. While it is important to note that there is not a microphone onboard the projector, after linking the UHD51A to your existing smart home setup you can fire up the projector, dim the lights, switch input sources, and ever adjust the volume with just your voice.
- Support for full 3D content: With everything else this projector has to offer, the inclusion of 3D capabilities just makes sense. After all, what good is a futuristic, voice-activated projector if it can’t play your favourite content in stunning 3D formats? Access to this feature is easy enough to set up from the Settings menu and can be paired with a couple of other setting modifications to provide specialized viewing experiences. Just fire up your Optoma UHD51A projector, turn on the 3D settings to your liking, throw on your DLP Link glasses, and then you’re ready to go!
- Stunning visuals thanks to 4K resolutions: Okay, so at this point in time, we can all agree that 4K resolution support should probably just be considered as a standard feature across most projectors. Unfortunately, too many of today’s manufacturers choose to cheap out on 4K, either utilizing buggy chips to mimic the effect or not even including near 4K resolutions at all. Thankfully, the team at Optoma has done its best to source quality components for this projector, and we feel that the Optoma UHD51A provides one of the best 4K viewing experiences available at this extremely affordable sub-$2,000 price point.
What are some benefits and drawbacks for this projector?
As the saying goes, love can be blinding. While we absolutely love the fact that the Optoma UHD51A can be seamlessly integrated into our existing smart home setups, we realize that such features don’t make or break a projector. At the end of the day, projector enthusiasts are all about video resolution, performance, and the overall viewing quality that a particular device is able to provide. We understand this fact, so we wanted to take the time to note some benefits and drawbacks provided by the Optoma UHD51A.
To give our readers the best possible understanding of just what this projector has to offer, let’s cover some pros and cons associated with the Optoma UHD51A. To keep our spirits high, let’s first cover some of the benefits associated with this device:
- Excellent 4K UHD HDR pictures and video: As we said earlier, when it comes to projectors, the major facet that many of our readers care about the most is the viewing quality provided by their device. When it comes to stunning 4K UHD HDR resolutions, the Optoma UHD51A both meets and exceeds our expectations. With crisp, vivid whites and deep, dark blacks, this projector affords users some of the best pictures and video that can be found from a unit within this price range.
- Super quiet while running: There is nothing worse than having to blare the volume of your favourite show or movie just to drown out that annoying whirring sound created by an internal projector fan. Thankfully, Optoma kept this in mind during the design and development of the UHD51A, and boy does it show. Even after running for extended periods at the highest brightness settings, the fan noise emitted from this unit is barely noticeable. Surely we can all agree that less fan noise means a better overall user experience.
- Amazon Alexa support: Okay, this is the last time we will mention this awesome feature (we promise). But really, what is not to love about the fact that we can now talk to our projectors and tell these devices to adjust their own settings? If you haven’t tried experienced such convenience yet, we highly suggest it. It’s pretty great!
- Quick switching between source inputs: This is something that we have yet to see on some many otherwise great projectors on the market today. When the Optoma UHD51A recognized the fact that a video signal is being inputted from a particular source, it will automatically switch over to the correct source. Needless to say, this is a great feature to have at your disposal.
- Amazing value for the price: We really cannot overstate this fact enough. The Optoma UHD51A packs a nearly unbelievable amount of cutting-edge and convenient features into a sleek and stylish housing. Did we mention that this all comes included for a price that is well below $2,000? Save money and enjoy better content with this great device.
As we have seen, there are numerous great benefits provided by this great little projector. Whether it be for home use or a professional setting, it appears that the Optoma UHD51A could make for a great purchase. However, we believe that it is essential for our readers to have a clear, strong understanding of everything a projector has to offer before rushing into a decision. With this in mind, let’s take some time to highlight some of the negatives that we found to be associated with this otherwise strong projector offering:
- Low brightness uniformity: Strangely one of the areas where the Optoma UHD51A falls a bit short is in the area of brightness uniformity. In simple terms, this is a way to measure how bright a video or picture is projected throughout the entire screen. While the issues that are associated with this aren’t too distracting, this flaw is still somewhat disappointing from a projector of this quality.
- No support for Hybrid Log Gamma: The term “Hybrid Log Gamma” probably sounds like meaningless nonsense, but we assure you there is meaning behind the phrase. In short, Hybrid Log Gamma is the emerging HDR standard for broadcast television. No support for this quickly growing standard could limit the lifetime of the Optoma UHD51A projector for many of our readers. After all, what good is a 4K UHD projector if it is not able to receive your favourite shows in UHD format?
- Very noticeable input lag: Dedicated gamers are likely not the target audience for the Optoma UHD51A, as this projector carries with it an input lag of 68 milliseconds, which is very high even for an affordable projector. Unless you are looking to use your projector for competitive gaming, this flaw shouldn’t really be a cause of much concern. However, it is worth noting for those of our readers who list gaming performance near the top of their priority list.
- Requires external Wi-Fi dongle: Once again, when one considers all of the great features offered by this projector, the lack of internal Wi-Fi capabilities isn’t that big of a drawback. Still, it is worth noting, as it could be a cause of inconvenience for those who are unaware of this fact.
All in all, the downsides associated with the Optoma UHD51A are manageable when compared to the vast number of benefits and impressive features included as a part of this innovative yet affordable unit. Regardless of the high value offered by this projector, we understand that many of our readers might want to look elsewhere for their next projector. Knowing this, we would like to take the time to suggest some alternatives to the Optoma UHD51A that may prove to be better options for some of our readers.
What is a good alternative to the Optoma UHD51A?
After numerous in-depth reviews, we have come to trust the quality provided by Optoma. Regardless of the price point of a given device, there always seems to be a great deal of value packed into relatively attractive packaging.
With this in mind, we are keeping our suggestions for alternative projectors in the Optoma family. More specifically, we would like to suggest either the Optoma UHD60 or the Optoma UHD50 to our readers who might not be sold on the Optoma UHD51A. Both the UHD50 and the UHD60 offer features and functionalities that are different than those seen within the UHD51A. Furthermore, both of these projectors come in at vastly different price points, with the UHD60 being the more expensive of the two.
If you are looking for a new projector and are not satisfied with either the UHD51A or these alternative products from Optoma, we strongly encourage you to branch out and explore some of the other great 4K options. When making a significant investment in a projector, it is important to know that you will look forward to using it for years to come. We encourage our readers to take their time, keep an open mind, and keep looking until you come across the projector of your dreams.
The Optoma UHD51A Projector: Cutting edge features at an affordable price
The addition of Amazon Alexa may seem like an unneeded addition to those who are unfamiliar with smart home technology, but everything else about the Optoma UHD51A appears to have been crafted with the preferences of projector enthusiasts in mind. Boasting many innovative features, including support for 3D content formats and great 4K resolution visuals, the UHD51A offers more than enough to satisfy even the pickiest of consumers. Overall, the Optoma UHD51A represents a notable shift in the world of projectors.
From the improvement of 4K projection quality to the addition of novel features like digital assistants, there are a ton of great things packed into this affordable device. Thanks to one of the more affordable price points found throughout today’s high-end projector market, the stunning and beautiful imagery of 4K video can now be had on almost any budget. Furthermore, with a compact form factor, the Optoma UHD51A represents an especially attractive option for those who may live in smaller spaces (think dorm rooms or studio apartments) but still want to get a taste of the high life offered by a great home cinema setup.