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Optoma UHD38x 4k projector: test / review

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On this page:
Video test
Price Optoma UHD38x
Why this projector?
Operating system
Projection room
Battery autonomy
Power consumption
Operating noise
Image quality
Image size and projection distance
Audio quality
Video games
Test / Review conclusion
Projectors Tests Reviews

Optoma UHD38x 4k projector: test / review

Published on: 06-12-2023 / Modified: 30-01-2024
After the busy Black Friday period, I was looking for a new projector to test and preferably a brand I don't usually test. I hesitated between several models and finally decided to buy the Optoma UHD38x from Coolblue. On paper, this projector has all the qualities required to meet the expectations of a very wide audience, but what about in real life? That's what I'd like you to find out in my unbiased test. Don't hesitate to ask your questions before you buy, in the comments section at the bottom of the page

If you appreciate my work, don't forget to buy your products from my links, I'm not paid to do these tests and your contribution is the only thing that keeps me going. Thank you!

Video test

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If the video is blocked due to copyright, you can watch it directly on YouTube:

Optoma UHD38x video test / review

Manufacturer web site:
Site where I have bought or received the Optoma UHD38x: https://prf.hn/click...

Price Optoma UHD38x

The list below shows the prices for the Optoma UHD38x from more than 50 sites around the world. If you are not satisfied with any price, you can subscribe to a price alert to be the first to be notified when the price drops.

The above links are affiliate links from companies such as Amazon, Gearbest, Aliexpress,... If you appreciate my work, I would be grateful if you could purchase these products through these links. It costs you absolutely nothing but I get a small commission that allows me to buy the material I test. Thank you very much!


December 05, 2023: ordered the Optoma UHD38x projector from Coolblue.be

December 06, 2023: fast delivery, I ordered the projector around 11pm and received it at noon the next day, great performance from Coolblue

Why this projector?

I don't test many projectors of this type, and it's not for lack of interest or desire, it's just lack of time. I don't have the capacity to test more than fifteen projectors a year, so I have to make choices. At the end of the year, I had a hole in my test schedule for the first time in 12 months, so I took the opportunity to buy a projector with a lamp.

Obviously, I didn't choose this projector at random, and I have to do more research than the average customer, because testing a projector takes time, and if the projector isn't good, I get nothing out of it. What motivated me to choose this one over another? First of all, there's the price criterion, because like everyone else, it's an important factor in my choices. This projector is available for around €1,000 at the time of writing, and in this price range, the market is flooded with DLP projectors with fairly low contrast. Contrast is the second reason for this purchase, as in principle it should be far superior to the contrast obtained on a DLP projector like the XGIMI Horizon, for example.

I tested another Optoma last year and it made a good impression on me, so I'm hoping to rediscover what impressed me about this new model and share my experience with you.


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The box for the Optoma UHD38x is very plain, and I'm actually quite surprised that a brand of this type hasn't put more effort into the aesthetics of the box. This obviously has no impact on the product, but the packaging represents the first contact with the buyer and this packaging is clearly not representative of the projector's quality

The box contains the projector, a power cable, the remote control, two batteries, a manual and a lens cleaning cloth

Operating system

This projector is not equipped with an operating system, so you need to use it in combination with an external source for your films and series. You can easily combine it with a solution such as GoogleChromecast TV or Apple TV; in fact, I did this test with a Google ChromeCastTV and an Nvidia Shield for the gaming part.

The projector has a native adjustment layer that lets you adjust the image when using an external source, but this adjustment layer can in no way play the role of a media player.


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The Optoma UHD38x projector is a traditional format projector, and by traditional I don't mean that it's not good, it's just that you need to be aware of it to make sure it matches your expectations. I'll come back to this point later, as the placement of this type of projector is a little different. This projector is quite massive, weighing around 4 kg and measuring 31 cm by 27 cm with a height of around 12 cm.

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At the front, there's a large optical unit that has the particularity of being equipped with an optical zoom (1.1) that you have to adjust manually, and I insist on the fact that this is an optical zoom and not a digital one. Digital zooms don't alter the actual projection size, they simply reduce the size of the image inside the projection cone. This creates a gray area around the image, and can have an impact on image quality. This is not the case with this projector: the optical unit is of excellent quality, and the zoom allows the projection cone to be changed without loss of quality. Focusing is also done manually directly on the optical unit, which works very well and has the advantage of not being modified by the projector, so it's stable.

The projection ratio is quite long, between 1.5 and 1.66, which means that this is a video projector that needs more distance to produce a large image. This is an important consideration for your projection room.

At every meter of distance from the screen, you get an image about 60 cm wide with a gray border. So, at 3 meters, you'll get an image about 180 cm wide. If you use the zoom, you'll get a width of 67 cm per meter of distance from your screen.

The bottom of the image corresponds more or less to the bottom of the optical compartment, there's just a small offset, so it's designed to be used in a low position or upside down with a wall or ceiling mount.

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Behind the optical compartment, there's a light source like all projectors, but this one has a few special features. The light source is a lamp, probably a metal-halide one, which has the particularity of being able to produce very bright images, but generates excess heat that has to be evacuated by fans. The lamp is used in combination with a DLP DMD 0.65 chip, which I had already tested in the BenQ TH575. This chip is physically larger than the usual DMD 0.47 used in many projectors. Why is this important? The reasoning is quite simple. The DM D0.47 chip measures 1.19 cm, the DMD 0.65 chip measures 1.651 cm, and these two chips need to be able to generate a large image. It's a bit like enlarging a photo: if the base photo is bigger, the quality will be better. The same applies here. The difference between 1.19 and 1.651 may seem ridiculous, but we're talking here about an increase of almost 40%, so the 0.65 DMD chip will bring a potential gain in quality that's not to be underestimated.

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On the sides there are huge grilles to evacuate heat, and this is unfortunately quite necessary as projectors of this type emit a lot of heat, and the fans need to be able to evacuate it as quickly as possible. This isn't a problem specific to this projector, it's the case for all lamp projectors.

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On the underside of the projector are 3 small adjustable feet that allow you to adjust the height of the projector to suit your needs. You can also mount the projector on a ceiling bracket.

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On the upper front panel, you'll find a series of buttons for controlling the projector. You can, of course, switch it on and off, but you can also adjust the image. The position of these buttons doesn't allow the projector to be used on its back, as I'm often used to doing, so you need to use a wall or ceiling mount to use it in the upright position. I don't think this type of button makes much sense nowadays, as the average consumer isn't going to spend time making adjustments, and all the functions are on the remote control anyway. I suppose it could be useful for nomadic use, but that's not the main purpose of this projector

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I don't usually dwell on the remote control because I don't usually have anything interesting to say. This projector's remote control is from another era. I'd already been confronted with this remote control with the Optoma CinemaX D2 and obviously nothing has changed. This remote control is very recalcitrant, and has really annoyed me on numerous occasions because you sometimes have to press the buttons several times before something happens. It's backlit, which is a good thing, but it's full of buttons that will be useless to most consumers, which makes it harder to find the buttons. This is clearly one of the negative points of this projector, but it's one you can get rid of fairly quickly. You'll need it on first start-up to make the right settings, but as you'll be using an external solution to play back your films, it's the external solution's remote control that will control the projector, and with that, you're saved...phew!

Projection room

My projection room is rectangular, 4.6m by 2.9m (height 2.2m). I have two projection walls, one white wall 2.9m wide with just white paint with a possible 4m setback. I then have a 133 inch ALR screen on another wall with a possible setback of 2.8m. I mainly use the ALR screen except when the layout or type of projector is not suitable for this situation.

Battery autonomy

This projector is not equipped with a battery.

Power consumption

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I know that this kind of projector consumes a lot of power, so I wasn't surprised to see that, out of the box, consumption was just under 300W. Clearly too much even for such a bright projector. Fortunately, it's possible to play with the brightness, and in ECO mode, the projector's consumption drops to around 200W.

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Operating noise

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This type of projector is noisier than those using LED or laser sources, because the heat produced by the lamp has to be dissipated. At maximum brightness, the Optoma UHD38x is still quite noisy and impossible to ignore. However, by switching to eco mode, the fan noise is greatly reduced, and I measured 45 dB on the projector. At one meter from the projector, it's still audible, but in a more acceptable way. It's noisier than an LED projector, but if it's placed in the back of your room you won't hear it once it emits sound.


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The connectivity of the Optoma UHD38x is quite comprehensive, with 2 HDMI 2.0 inputs, a 3.5mm audio output, a SPDIF digital audio output, and a USB output for powering an external solution (1.5A). There's also an RS232C controller and a 12V relay

In principle, 2 HDMI outputs should be enough, but if you use an external solution such as Google Chromecast TV in combination with a BluRay player, for example, you'll have nothing left. This projector is neither Wifi nor Bluetooth, so you'll have to run everything through the connector.

Image settings
This projector offers an extensive range of settings, so you can adjust the image down to the smallest detail, but you have to do it manually. There's no automatic image correction, and although several basic configurations are available, you'll have to dive into the menus to make changes. The Optoma UHD38x has a real CMS for adjusting the image, allowing the projector to be calibrated much more precisely than a projector running Android TV. I've tested all the image modes available in combination with the many settings to make your job easier, because without a probe, you can get lost in the impact of settings on image quality

There are several basic configurations: cinema, hdr sim, game, reference, bright and user. These configurations have their own settings, but can be modified as you wish too. Think of them as a starting point, so don't necessarily use the "user" mode to start from scratch. I took longer to find the right settings because there are simply so many more possibilities.

As with every test, I take the configurations one by one in the order in which they are offered, and I confess I was rather surprised by the poor quality of the first configurations. I knew that this projector had all the qualities to produce a superb image and yet I found myself with colorimetric deviations far too high for my expectations. It wasn't until I started testing the "reference" mode that everything changed, and I'm going to share my findings so that you don't have to pull your hair out to get a good image

Optoma UHD38x calibration

If you're looking for the easy way out, choose the "reference" mode and leave it at that. With this mode, you'll get an average dE of 4.8, with white a little too cool at 5.8. This is already much better than the basic configuration of the projectors I test, where I'm often at a dE of 7 or 8

If you want to go a little further, I've got just what you need. I did a calibration on a white screen and a gray screen to find something that should work for most of you. Obviously, my values are valid for my environment, but in principle they should help you get closer to my results

On a white screen:

In the end, I obtained an average dE of 3.53 with a perfect white at 0.9 with a white temperature of 6603k. For grays, I obtained a gamma of 2.25 with an average dE of 1.74

To obtain these values, here are the settings to use:

On my ALR NothingProjector screen:

I obtained an average dE of 3.56 with a white at 2.7 and a temperatura at 6805 with exactly the same settings as for the white.
You can do a little better, however, by decreasing the blue gain by 1 and increasing the red gain by 1. This will give you a dE of less than 3.
Then you have to play with the gamma between 2.2 and 2.4 to bring the grays down to a good level. I arrived right at 2.2

Gray screens affect color and brightness, so my settings may be unsuitable for your screen

Image quality

I always use the same videos to illustrate the image quality of video projectors, so you can compare models. For this projector, I compared image quality on my two screens. The first is a white screen with a brightness gain of 1.2, the second is an ALR NothingProjector screen. I filmed these videos after calibrating the projector to get the best result:

You'll see that the screen on the left is brighter than the one on the right, and that's normal because it offers brightness gain, whereas the ALR screen lowers brightness. I had to increase the video's ISO value to achieve something more or less equivalent. The screen on the right produces deeper blacks and more saturated colors. So you can see what kind of image you can get with a good ALR screen

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I was also positively surprised by the HDR, as it's particularly bright.


I measured the colorimetry on all the proposed configurations and didn't get good results on most of them except the "reference" mode. I therefore advise you to use the "reference" mode and if you want to get a little better, use the settings proposed in the settings section of this test.

optoma uhd38x test review avis recensione prueba opinion beoordeling color space

The colorimetry test shows that this projector is limited to the REC709 color space, which is nothing out of the ordinary - it's the same for all projectors of this type. This shouldn't affect image quality for all SDR content, but it's not the best solution for all content requiring more color, such as Dolby Vision. This is a limitation to be aware of


I measured the brightness for each configuration in "bright" mode to obtain the following values:

Cinema mode: 1747 lumens

HDR sim mode: 1702 lumens

Game mode: 1958 lumens

Reference mode: 936 lumens

Bright mode: 3792 lumens

This projector is therefore capable of producing high brightness, but "bright" mode is completely unusable as the image takes on a green tint. If you switch to "eco" mode, all these values will obviously have to be lowered.

Brightness is very important in determining how far you can place this projector, but fortunately this projector is very bright and its projection ratio is quite long. If you place it at 3 meters, you get a diagonal of 200 cm, and with this size, the image will be bright enough. At 5 meters, on the other hand, you'll reach the limit for the "reference" mode

This Optoma UHD38x therefore lives up to all its brightness promises. This brightness is also very uniform, I measured a loss of less than 20% between the center and periphery of the image.

Despite the high brightness of this projector, daylight use is not yet possible. I made a video comparison in daylight and in the dark, and the video is quite watchable in daylight, but at the cost of a great loss of contrast

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The sharpness of this projector is excellent. The various lines of my test pattern are all visible, even those where there's only a single pixel difference, and apart from adjusting the sharpness at the optical unit, I didn't have to do a thing. The projector's default configuration is sufficient to obtain this kind of sharpness.


In theory, this type of projector can produce images with good contrast, but this depends above all on the configuration used. The three light modes will play a big role in contrast, and it's by changing the type of light that contrast will evolve the most, even if you can adapt contrast locally in each configuration. I obtained the best results using the "dynamic" mode, with results sometimes differing slightly depending on the image configuration. I obtained an on/off contrast of around 1400:1 in cinema mode and with brightness in "dynamic" mode, the other modes offer less contrast (

With an on/off contrast of 1400:1, we're already well ahead of LED projectors in the same price range, but the story doesn't end there. I've already tested projectors with a high on/off contrast but with a contrast gap, in which case I use ANSI contrast to obtain a reliable measurement. I did this with this projector too, and obtained an ANSI contrast of over 200:1, one of the highest scores I've achieved. Dynamic contrast no doubt plays a part, as I could see the screen brightness adapting with a little latency in my tests

So this projector produces images with excellent contrast in this price range where most of the LED projectors I tested had much lower contrast, and this is especially noticeable in dark scenes. If you use a gray screen to accentuate the contrast, you'll enjoy it even more. I tested this projector on a neutral white canvas and on an ALR NothingProjector screen, and although the result is good on both screens, the rendering on the ALR screen is much better. I've included a link to the NothingProjector screen test at the bottom of this article if you're interested.

Motion compensation

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Like many other projectors, this projector broadcasts its images at 60Hz, and unfortunately it's not equipped with a motion compensation system. As a result, there is some image tearing when the image moves quickly, as you can see in this video by observing the white rectangle at the top of the screen. The speed at which the rectangle moves causes it to lose a few frames, resulting in visible tearing.

Image size and projection distance

The Optoma UHD38x projector has a projection ratio of between 1.5 and 1.66. For every meter of distance from the screen, the screen width will increase by 60 cm, for example, to obtain a 180 cm image at a distance of 3 meters. The projector's optical zoom allows you to gain around 10%, and when used, you get a width of 67 cm per meter of distance from the projection screen. This projector therefore needs to be placed at the back of a room, and requires more depth than most LED projectors, which have a projection ratio of 1.2.

Audio quality

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This projector is equipped with an internal speaker, but the sound quality is frankly not up to the standard of projectors like the XGIMI Horizon. The sound is muffled and lacks relief, it's a bit like sound being diffused in a tin can. This was totally to be expected, as is almost always the case with projectors of this type, so you'll need to pair it with a sound bar or amp to enjoy good-quality sound

This video will no doubt be blocked due to copyright, but you can watch it directly on YouTube.

Video games

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To be able to play games in good conditions on a projector, latency needs to be as low as possible. This projector features a gaming mode to lower latency below the 30 ms threshold, so you can play any game, even fast FPS. As usual, I used ShadowRunner to illustrate the projector's fluidity with this type of game. I should just point out that by activating gaming mode, you'll override all other settings in use to switch to gaming mode. The image will be colder than with my calibration settings, but for gaming this is much less of a problem than for movies.

Encoutered bugs

Not yet available / tested

ALR/CLR Projection screen

Are you looking for a good ALR/CLR screen for your projector? I may have what you need:
ALR/CLR NothingProjector Screen

Test / Review conclusion

I could almost have written the conclusion of this test without testing the projector, because I knew what this type of projector was capable of, and in the end I had no surprises during the test. I knew the image was going to be good, I knew the sound was going to be average, I knew the projector was going to be noisier than average,... You might almost wonder why I tested it!

I tested this projector because it has an interesting price positioning in relation to what it can offer. As I receive a lot of requests for advice on buying a projector, I wanted to find a good lamp projector in the €1,000 range. The Optoma UHD38x offers image quality far superior to most LED projectors in the same price range. The only things that might discourage you from buying it are operating noise, power consumption, sound quality and perhaps the projection ratio.

The great strength of this projector is its image quality. Colorimetry in "reference" mode is quite good, but you can still improve it with a calibration like the one I suggest in this article. Colors are accurate and natural, and the image is bright. Contrast is far superior to most LED projectors in this price range. Sharpness is perfect and stable. The use of the DMD 0.65 chip takes quality up a notch compared to the DMD 0.47 chip used in most projectors today.
It obviously lacks a few elements to be perfect, and you need to be aware of this before you buy. Its projection ratio means you'll have to place it quite a distance from the screen, and that's just as well, because as the projector is noisy, it's best to keep it away from your ears. The sound is clearly not up to the level of an XGIMI Horizon, so you'll need a sound bar or an external solution (cable, as this projector is not wifi compatible). The same goes for the operating system - there isn't one, so you'll also need to opt for an external solution. If these elements aren't a problem for you, you've got an excellent projector here


Color fidelity




Adjustment possibilities

Very low input lag

Very bright HDR


Fan noise

Power consumption

No motion compensation

Archaic remote control

Sound quality

Gamut limited to REC709

Head of myself on this blog

I share my passions on my blog in my free time since 2006, I prefer that to watching nonsense on TV or on social networks. I work alone, I am undoubtedly one of the last survivors of the world of blogs and personal sites.

My speciality? Digital in all its forms. I have spent the last 25 years working for multinationals where I managed digital teams and generated revenues of over €500 million per year. I have expertise in telecoms, media, aviation, travel and tourism.
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