Optoma UHD51 vs UHD51ALVe

RTF99

Novice Member
I've increasingly been having more and more trouble looking at screens for any substantial amount of time over the last few years without feeling unwell, so I'm making the switch to a projector for my eye health ( and a massive image \o/ ). I've narrowed my choice down to the Optoma UHD51 and UHD51ALVe (for image quality and noise level), which I can both get for roughly the same price (the 51a and 51ALV are not options for me).

The 51 has a brightness rating at 2400 lumens (RGBRGB color wheel) and the 51ALVe is rated at 3200 lumens (possibly RGBWRGBW color wheel). My room is roughly square and there will be a maximum ~8 feet distance between lens and wall (possibly a couple of inches less with a screen). According to the Optoma distance calculator for those models I could project ~90 inch image (with the 1.3 zoom set to max) which I'd be really happy with.

The 51ALVe adds a few extra features like Alexa support and media player but my question here is specifically about image quality and in particular brightness, contrast and black levels. My room has a fairly large window on one wall and the sunlight does occasionally hit the room directly depending on the time of year, but even if that doesn't happen it can be a warm and bright room (but regularly dull outside). I can obviously close the curtains to control that somewhat. I will be using the PJ during the day and night. The 3 sources that I'll be feeding the PJ will be a PC at 4K resolution (some daytime work plus Netflix, YouTube through browser etc.), PS4 for casual gaming at 4K possibly with HDR (if the game supports it) and the odd 4K blu-ray. I will not be watching sports or 3D. Night time viewing will probably never be a completely darkened room but have some ambient low light.

The 3200 lumens on the 51ALVe is a big jump in brightness compared to the 51, and it seems to be targeted at very bright rooms and maybe for sports where good blacks aren't a big issue. Clearly I do want something that can hold its own against some daytime light, but I also don't want milky blacks with no depth. I understand that the PJ world is not on par with TVs (in the same price range) with regard to blacks and contrast and I understand that there will have to be some compromise between good brightness and black levels.

This is my first PJ and I know that it's impossible to give a conclusive answer, but can anyone (owners of these models or otherwise) advice me on which of these 2 models would be more suitable for the room, viewing conditions and sources that I've mentioned? Would the UHD51 be bright enough? Would the UHD51ALVe sacrifice too much picture depth during non-daylight viewing?

projectorcentral.com did a pseudo-review (Optoma UHD51ALV vs UHD51A Review) of the UHD51ALV (3000 lumens) which is basically a comparison with the UHD51A (2400 lumens, same spec as UHD51 but with Alexa, media player etc.). That's useful, although the ALVe is even brighter so I don't know what to make of it.
 

noob0101

Active Member
I've increasingly been having more and more trouble looking at screens for any substantial amount of time over the last few years without feeling unwell, so I'm making the switch to a projector for my eye health ( and a massive image \o/ ). I've narrowed my choice down to the Optoma UHD51 and UHD51ALVe (for image quality and noise level), which I can both get for roughly the same price (the 51a and 51ALV are not options for me).

The 51 has a brightness rating at 2400 lumens (RGBRGB color wheel) and the 51ALVe is rated at 3200 lumens (possibly RGBWRGBW color wheel). My room is roughly square and there will be a maximum ~8 feet distance between lens and wall (possibly a couple of inches less with a screen). According to the Optoma distance calculator for those models I could project ~90 inch image (with the 1.3 zoom set to max) which I'd be really happy with.

The 51ALVe adds a few extra features like Alexa support and media player but my question here is specifically about image quality and in particular brightness, contrast and black levels. My room has a fairly large window on one wall and the sunlight does occasionally hit the room directly depending on the time of year, but even if that doesn't happen it can be a warm and bright room (but regularly dull outside). I can obviously close the curtains to control that somewhat. I will be using the PJ during the day and night. The 3 sources that I'll be feeding the PJ will be a PC at 4K resolution (some daytime work plus Netflix, YouTube through browser etc.), PS4 for casual gaming at 4K possibly with HDR (if the game supports it) and the odd 4K blu-ray. I will not be watching sports or 3D. Night time viewing will probably never be a completely darkened room but have some ambient low light.

The 3200 lumens on the 51ALVe is a big jump in brightness compared to the 51, and it seems to be targeted at very bright rooms and maybe for sports where good blacks aren't a big issue. Clearly I do want something that can hold its own against some daytime light, but I also don't want milky blacks with no depth. I understand that the PJ world is not on par with TVs (in the same price range) with regard to blacks and contrast and I understand that there will have to be some compromise between good brightness and black levels.

This is my first PJ and I know that it's impossible to give a conclusive answer, but can anyone (owners of these models or otherwise) advice me on which of these 2 models would be more suitable for the room, viewing conditions and sources that I've mentioned? Would the UHD51 be bright enough? Would the UHD51ALVe sacrifice too much picture depth during non-daylight viewing?

projectorcentral.com did a pseudo-review (Optoma UHD51ALV vs UHD51A Review) of the UHD51ALV (3000 lumens) which is basically a comparison with the UHD51A (2400 lumens, same spec as UHD51 but with Alexa, media player etc.). That's useful, although the ALVe is even brighter so I don't know what to make of it.

You can't have everything, bright for daytime use, good blacks, and on a budget. You have to compromise.

No projectors in this price range have good blacks. Some models with an iris (W2700, TW7000/7100) are better, but still don't produce good blacks.
The starting point for those are PJ's like TW9300/9400, used JVC and Sony (and the two Epsons).

Having good blacks is conditional on treating the room walls for reflections.
What color are the walls?

As for projector viewing in daytime it's a more nuanced issue:
 

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