I’ve always had a non-inclusive attitude with the entertainment setup that I would regularly use at home. It’s been that way long before we got to this moment of being locked up in our homes because of the Coronavirus pandemic, and suddenly we realized the importance of TV and Netflix. No that’s good for TV, it had to be really good but could never afford a flagship. The best media streaming devices on the market – enjoy watching you, the WD TV family. And a mix of AV receivers and sound bars. Have also worked with projectors, often because reviewing projectors is an important part of what I do professionally. But more often than not, there were real limitations that often prevented me from using one full time. Space requirement, heating issues, lack of proper built-in audio and so on. Yet my opinion about projectors has changed completely. All thanks to the Optoma CinemaX P2.
Keep in mind that you’re paying a hefty helping of cash for the brilliance that is the Optoma CinemaX P2. This is priced at Rs 4,99,999 in India. But if your home needs and deserves a projector, you could very well get a huge smile on your face after spending a lot of your precious money. Anytime you watch sports, you go to a movie or watch your favorite TV shows. Let me start with what is arguably the smartest thing about the Optoma CinemaX P2 4K projector. And that’s the audio. Speakers built into projectors are not exactly known, but it has rarely been done so well. They are very basic at best, and mind you, this is the case with even the most expensive 4K projectors. These built-in speakers sound tinny at best and are completely useless at worst. Still, the Optoma CinemaX P2 is a relief. integrated into the projector, in all respects and purposes, resembles a soundbar. There are two full range audio drivers and two separate woofers to deliver on the video’s promise. The results are simply amazing – this is by far the best sound I’ve ever heard in a projector. And for once, you don’t have to scramble to attach a separate soundbar or AV receiver to the projector to get good sound to match the big and brilliant images.
That’s not all with the audio. The Optoma CinemaX P2 also supports Dolby Audio formats. From my experience with the audio, the integrated speaker system is more than powerful enough to match much of the experience many high-end TVs offer with their built-in audio hardware. Altogether up to 40 watts of audio power. With the projector in place, the speakers face you, behind a nice white fabric grille. When light falls on this at certain angles, you can really see the speakers as they are. The vocals are clear, there’s a discernible movement of the sound when the scene calls for it, although the physical limitations are there, and you also hear just as much bass to match the overall sound signature that movies and TV shows don’t come across as incomplete. Turn up the volume very high and yet it doesn’t get uncomfortably sharp at any point. You might compromise on brightness at high volumes if you’re trying to accommodate a large room, but for most living rooms and home theaters this will be absolutely fantastic at the medium and medium-high volumes you keep it at. Rarely do I start a projector review by praising the sound, and the Optoma CinemaX P2 is one of those rare occasions.
The other really good thing about the Optoma CinemaX P2 4K projector is that in terms of design, this is an ultra-short throw. With the projector just inches from the wall, we got image sizes as big as 90-inches without blocking out much of the room and having a tangled mess of wires and cables. Keep this a few feet away from the wall and you can achieve a projection size of up to 120 inches. Optoma has kept it very simple. In fact a bit too simple. The projector simply requires it to be properly positioned for the images to project properly onto your wall. There is no option for keystone or geometry correction, and what you need to do is align the projector to the right or left, and also the vertical height to get the correct projector size and the correct straight lines for the frame. It really doesn’t get any easier than this, although we would have liked some sort of extra options to manage image line correctness. Simplicity does not stop here. The projector only has the power button you need to worry about. There are no further keys, dials or buttons to bother with. The rest of the controls are on the remote, which is rechargeable by the way – you’ll need a micro USB cable. There are three HDMI inputs and optical audio output if you want to use a different speaker, an Ethernet port and USB ports for external storage devices. I tried the Optoma CinemaX P2 with the Amazon Fire TV Cube, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, and the Tata Sky Binge STB, and the projector played well with all of these sources with no hassle or glitches.
This is also a smart projector. It’s Android at its base, although it has a heavy skin tone. You can get most of the popular video streaming apps right on the projector, but for the best app experience, I’d recommend something like the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K. Not only can you use more up-to-date streaming apps, but you can also take advantage of under-the-hood optimizations for content and HDR, for example. This is a 4K projector, as the name suggests, and it might be expected that this really shows its true strengths with original 4K content. It was in a nascent stage a few years ago, but now Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have a massive amount of 4K content in Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, as well as HDR10. Now even Disney + Hotstar is joining the 4K fun, and the good times will roll even further. The Optoma CinemaX P2 4K projector is essentially a lamp-less laser light implementation, and its benefits are there from the start. This produces really vibrant colors even if you turn off color gain, and they are well separated from each other. This also reproduces fairly deep blacks, which has a positive impact across the spectrum. They are not the deepest, but you will never complain that the blacks don’t look deep enough. The projector also gets detailed picture quality settings, just like you would on a high-end TV, but for some reason, the settings menu is a bit too fragmented. But the detailed options are good as you may feel the need to ramp up the sharpness as it feels a bit softer at the default settings. It’s with HDR content that you wouldn’t notice any unnecessary brightness reduction, something many TVs and projectors still struggle with. I’ve had the pleasure of watching Formula 1 racing and IPL cricket on the Optoma CinemaX P2 4K projector, and I have to say that the fast-moving images look natural and the motion handling is very smooth, with no blurring or fatigue from the eyes, or unnatural softening, visible.
The final word: when a 4K projector is a good deal
It’s not often that I would recommend a home entertainment projector to almost anyone, including those who may not have a separate home theater system to give it a rightful place in the home. And you certainly wouldn’t notice that I recommend a projector without actually saying that you should also get a nice audio system with it. The thing with the Optoma CinemaX P2 4K projector is that despite the price tag, this projector is versatile enough for homes that may not have the luxury of a separate home theater space. This works great where your TV was. And the best part is that you don’t have to clutter the looks with sound bars or speakers that go with them. This is a one-piece experience that meets the full audiovisual requirements. And mind you, for a projection size of about 100 inches you would pay significantly more for a TV of that size. And suddenly the Optoma CinemaX P2 4K projector feels like a great deal. Mind you, the smart projector still works best with an Amazon Fire TV Cube or an Apple TV. For movie buffs and sports fans, who have plenty of clean white walls at home and a big enough budget, that’s certainly the case.
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