An entire wall dedicated to streaming live sporting events, multiplayer gaming sessions, and movie nights is a dream for many. While there are plenty of quality televisions with big screens to indulge in, they can be a hassle when moving houses or if space is limited. Over the years, projectors have evolved to offer a solution for these problems, with their portability and versatility. They are a novel way to transform a wall in your room into a screen, and are now being aimed at users looking for a portable device that delivers a quality viewing experience.
We reviewed the Optoma GT2160HDR 4K UHD short-throw projector, aimed at cinema and gaming enthusiasts, and here are our findings.
In the box
The unboxing experience for the Optoma GT2160HDR is straightforward. In the box, you get the projector, the power cable, the remote, and some documentation.
The projector comes with a clean design oddly reminiscent of projectors in professional or educational settings. The device we received was white in colour, which makes it stand out prominently in a room.
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It feels sturdy and is easy to carry around. With all the control buttons available on the top panel, adjusting settings during setup is easy enough. Buttons for these functions are also available on the remote.
The back panel hosts connectivity ports, including two 4K HDMI ports, one RS-232 port, a 12V port, and a 3.5 mm audio output. The power inlet is also located here.
Setting up the projector takes some time. Despite the device being portable, judging an appropriate distance from the wall, finding a stable resting surface, and locating a compatible power plug point pose unpleasant challenges. For users looking to set it up in a dedicated spot, this is a one-time process; for others, the process may feel irksome.
The projector comes with a big power plug, which did not fit in regular power sockets and required one of the bigger plug points usually reserved for air conditioners and water heaters. This seriously limits the areas where the projector can be set up.
On being powered up, the projector displays the Optoma logo. The device comes with a geometric grid, available in the settings, useful to judge the projected screen’s accuracy. You do not get a detailed instruction manual to guide you through the setup, which would have been helpful. Once switched on, the focus adjustment is easy to master; however, configuring the aspect ratio takes a couple of attempts, which involve moving the projector around to get the desired result.
The projector comes with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity features; however, they are not in-built, and users will have to spend extra on a dongle to use them. Even the remote feels basic at best, it lacks the bearings of a peripheral designed with care and user experience in mind.
The entire setup takes a good 10-15 minutes; however, the labour is well-rewarded.
The projector has great picture quality. It comes with 4,000 lumens and a 1,200,000:1 contrast ratio, providing clear and crisp viewing. Additionally, it gets HDR 10 & HLG support. The projector uses a short-throw lens with 0.496 throw ratio that allows it to be placed as close as four feet from the screen.
We used the device to project on different surfaces and found the colours to be vivid, accurate, and sharp. The addition of colour calibration based on the wall colour was also helpful.
The short-throw projector did not show any lags, even with long hours of use, and performed consistently while watching movies and streaming online content using a laptop. Even when used during the day, in a room with blackout curtains, the picture quality was good, without any compromise on details and colour accuracy.
The projector exceeded our expectations when viewing documentaries on space exploration and wildlife. Black spaces in the picture are well represented, with no dearth of details. The picture quality is immersive, and the projection quality is a treat.
We used the Optoma GT2160HDR 4K projector with a gaming console and the results were amazing. The projector comes with a low 4ms input lag and in its Enhanced Gaming Mode, automatically switches to HDR display mode upon detecting an HDR-encoded game. This lets you transform your wall into whichever world you chose to explore.
We indulged in prolonged gaming sessions, where it did not show any input lag. The projector maintained its colour accuracy with good image details. However, when projecting darker spaces, it struggled to come close to the level of accuracy gamers may be used to on their television or monitor setups.
Despite this, we found the gaming performance to be good, and we suspect that, with some tweaks in the settings of the game, projection quality can be improved further.
This is one area where the projector struggles. The device comes with in-built speakers which can, at best, be described as adequate. While they are usable, the lack of surround sound, good bass and clarity make them the weakest points of the device.
The device does allow for the connection of external speakers through the audio jack, but built-in Bluetooth connectivity to connect to speakers and soundbars is sorely missed.
The Optoma GT2160HDR 4K projector makes a great case for itself with its immersive picture quality, colour accuracy and sharp details. However, priced at ₹2,50,000, the projector loses out on some important connectivity and ease-of-use features that sabotage the overall experience of living with it. The projector leaves the user wanting more, especially considering its competition in the home entertainment market.