One of my best experiences of the lockdown was the week I spent reviewing the Optoma cinemaX P2 projector, in my books the best projector money can buy. Now there is a more affordable option from Optoma, for those who don’t really want to go the full hog. The Optoma D2 4K projector is also top of the line but with a little bit less theatre compared to the P2.
The Optoma D2 has a design language similar to the P2 and is also a big box that projects directly on the wall it is kept against since this is an ultra-short throw projector. Set up is easy and once you get the picture right where you want it — that will be a function of how big a wall you have in your home — you are ready to go. There is no need for any keystone correction or focus settings here as the projector takes care of all of that. The only setting I needed to use was with the wall colour as the room I used it in had a sky blue wall.
The remote is backlit and very handy as you don’t need to go near the projector for anything. Even if you did, there are no buttons here to play with. And even though you really don’t need to tweak the settings much, the remote comes with dedicated buttons for most of these.
Unlike the P2, the D2 does not have an operating system with apps in it. So I used the opportunity to test the new Google Chromecast with 4K using the projector. After almost an hour of what I do best with Netflix — figuring out what movie to watch and not watching anything in the end — I decided to start Saving Private Ryan in UHD. This is a big screen movie if ever there was one and I was projecting at about 80 inches on a wall between two doors, complete with some power plugs and sans a photograph that had been hurriedly removed for the spectacle.
The experience was awesome, and that is putting it mildly. Yes, we have the option to watch movies without much of a health scare these days, but still, if I had this projector at home it would be really hard to make me step out for a movie, especially one which could leave me unhappy at the end given the prices at the cinemas now. The picture quality is perfect, though you will need to move around the projector a bit to get the edges to sharpen up as you want. But even better is the fact that the audio quality is as good as you get with a sound bar plugged in.
At 3,000 Lumens, the laser projector is bright enough to put up a good show even in daylight. I preferred the cinematic mode for most of what I was doing with the projector as it offered better colours and clarity, especially when reading titles on the apps.
One of the USPs of the Optoma D2 is how it caters to the requirements of the gamers. I am not one, but I did plug in my son’s Nintendo Switch for a while to see how the experience was. It is not always that you get to play Super Mario on a screen this big. But usually, projectors are supposed to be sluggish to be useful for gamers. And that is something the D2 tries to fix with lower input lag depending on the refresh rate. I am not an expert to figure out if this was really what I would be looking for as a gamer, but as a layperson the experience was quite awesome.
On the flip side, the Optoma D2 is clearly not for homes like mine. This is the kind of projector you will invest in if you have set up aside a room just for setting up a home theatre in your new home. While the set-up is easy, this needs to be placed somewhere where it can stay for the rest of the time. The angles need to be locked so that you don’t have to move the projector around every time after the maid has dusted the house. I am not a big fan of projector operating systems as the apps are never native and till more projectors come with Google TV inbuilt it does not make much sense. But still to ship a projector that costs this much without an operating system of some kind seems like a crime.
At Rs 3.50 lakh, the Optoma D2 might be more affordable than the top-of-the-line projectors from the company, but it is still among the more expensive projectors you can buy. So go for this if you really love your movies and have the space to make the projector pay back every penny you have spent on it.