Optoma CinemaX P1: A Cool 4K Projector That Has Terrible Apps

Harin - Feb 03, 2021


Optoma CinemaX P1: A Cool 4K Projector That Has Terrible Apps

At $3,700, the Optoma CinemaX P1 isn’t cheap. But with a price a fraction of a 100-inch TV, you have all the benefits of a projector with fewer drawbacks.

Compared to long-throw laser projectors, short-throw laser models have fewer compromises, and the Optoma CinemaX P1 does just that. The projector delivers extremely high brightness, great contrast levels as well as excellent color accuracy, particularly with HDR content. It offers images with sizes up to 120 inches with a price a fraction of a comparable TV. You can use the projector with an ambient light rejecting screen indoors.

The CinemaX P1 has a built-in soundbar delivering a rich audio experience. You don’t need to install a separate home theater system. However, the biggest problem with the projector is its streaming apps since they don’t work in 4K. To deal with this issue, you will have to buy a 4K Blu-ray player or a 4K streaming stick.

Optoma CinemaX P1 Review

Features

The projector has a squarish design with sharp edges. It looks modern with its black, gold-accented color. With its weight (25 pounds), it is bigger than most projectors. However, it takes up less space than a TV and soundbar.

Optoma Cinemax P1 How To Zoom
Optoma CinemaX P1 takes up less space than a TV and soundbar.

With the CinemaX P1, all you need is a TV stand and a wall space. There is no need for a motorized drop-down screen or a complex ceiling mount.

For the light source, rather than a LED or bulb, the projector uses Texas Instruments 4K DLP tech. You will never need to replace a bulb since the laser units can last up to 30,000 hours or about 10 years of viewing 8 hours per day. That is more than seven times longer than regular projectors. Also, lasers bring more consistent brightness with less of the rainbow effect.

The Optoma CinemaX P1 projector has the XPR DLP chip from Texas Instrument with a native 1080p resolution. It makes use of “pixel shifting” to release that pixel four times. The pixel is moved to the correct position, producing a 4K image.

Optoma Cinemax P1 How To Set Magnification
The Optoma CinemaX P1 has the XPR DLP chip from Texas Instrument with a native 1080p resolution.

At the back of the projector is an ethernet port but you can still connect the device over WiFi. There are aux and S/PDIF ports for audio, two HDMI 2.0 ports, and a USB port. On the side, there is another UBB and HDMI 2.0 connection for convenience. However, the USB port does not support enough power for an Amazon Fire Stick.

Another key component of the projector is its built-in NuForce Dolby Digital 2.0 soundbar which sits right on the front. The soundbar has two woofers, two aluminum drivers, and a 40-watt amp to deliver crips details as well as superior dialogue clarity. Via an Android OS, the CinemaX P1 supports Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, USB, IFTTT media playback as well as smart TV apps.

Installation

Setting up the device is pretty simple. However, there are some important things you should keep in mind. The projector is designed to project videos on to a custom screen or a very flat wall.

Don’t install the screen upside-down or you will have an extremely dim image.

Setup
Setting up the device is pretty simple.

For color settings, the CinemaX P1 turned out to be not quite accurate. Once you have the image where it should be, use the SmartFIT feature. For this mode, you will see four blue dots on the screen. And then the projector will connect to your smartphone. Once you take a photo of the screen, the image will be fit electronically inside the frame.

Performance

Even with a close distance (around 15 feet), the resolution, as well as 4K content, look really sharp. The contrast is punchy as well.

The projector is meant to stream HDR10 content. With HDR and HDR 10 content from Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, the quality improves significantly. Colors are more saturated while the image looks punchier and brighter. The NuForce sound is more than what you would expect. Dialogue is clear and high-end sounds are crystal sharp.

P1
The projector is meant to stream HDR10 content.

With projectors, noise can become an issue. However, noise levels in the CinemaX P1 aren’t bothersome and lower than 30 decibels.

The Google Assistant/Alexa support is handy. But the built-in streaming is definitely the projector’s weak point. The Amazon Prime Video and Netflix apps, for some reason, don’t support 4K HDR. As a result, you can only view content at 1080p. There is, actually, a simple solution for this. Forget about the apps and get a 4K console, dongle, streaming box, or Blu-ray player.

Optoma Cinemax P1
With a price a fraction of a 100-inch TV, you have all the benefits of a projector with fewer drawbacks.

In terms of pure image quality, there are no way projectors can compete with high-end or even mid-range TVs. However, with a price a fraction of a 100-inch TV, you have all the benefits of a projector with fewer drawbacks.

At $3,700, the Optoma CinemaX P1 isn’t cheap. However, it is only half of the $6,000 CineBeam projector of LG. Plus, it is brighter. It emits 3,000 ANSI lumens of brightness. On the cheap side, you have the Mi Laser Projector from Xiaomi which costs $1,470 but emits around half the light (1600).

>>> Best TVs 2020: Options For Every Budget

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