Real world Optoma UHD51 input lag testing

justin8571

Active Member
Hello everyone,

basically this post relates to my observations with input lag although I do briefly mention picture quality too.

I've just added this post on a thread titled "Optoma UHD51A: 4K HDR 3D DLP Projector... w/ Alexa" on the US forum AVSforum. Although I'm from the UK I've been following that thread in the hope of learning about the input lag for the UHD51A/UHD51. Anyway, I decided to post it here too as I'm sure some of you will be considering the UHD51 as a gaming projector. For any of you wondering about the difference between the 51 and 51A, well the 51A has Amazon's Alexa integrated within it and I'm not sure if there are plans to launch it here in the UK or not. Other than that they're the same.

I'm hoping to replace my existing and very capable Optoma HD151X projector with a budget 4K projector. A huge consideration for me however is input lag as although the projector's predominantly used for watching TV and films, I do still use it for gaming; Mario Kart 64 via an emulator on a PC using controllers and PC first-person shooters (CoD) using a mouse and keyboard.

As the UHD51A/UHD51 are new models there aren't too many reviews out there so far where input lag has been measured. However, having scoured the internet for days, including reading every single post on this thread, this is what I've found out so far;-

68-70ms Projector Central
41ms Nerdy Tech (I think he guessed it)
60.7ms Passion Home Cinema (French site)
64-69ms Mistawankaz (post #1013 from the AVSforum thread I'm following)
51ms (didn't make a note of where I found this reading)

Looking at the figures above I think it's fair to say the input lag for the UHD51A/UHD51 is somewhere between 60 and 70ms.

Now it's all very well reading figures from synthetic tests but I needed to know how that actually felt in the real world. Luckily Sevenoaks HiFi in Tunbridge Wells got a UHD51 in this week and very kindly let me take my PC along yesterday so I could connect it up and decide for myself. They were extremely helpful and I can't recommend them enough.

Firstly they showed me some 4K content and then Guardians of the Galaxy on blu-ray (which I'd taken with me) so I could see the upscaling from 1080P. The 4K content was very impressive, better blacks and contrast to what I'm used to, a clear/sharp image. The upscaling from 1080P was good too, subtle differences but definitely an improvement in perceivable fine detail (I double-checked this when I got home by watching the same scene again). So, if you're not remotely interested in input lag for gaming, have a full HD projector that you're looking to upgrade and you still want to watch 3D films then this could well be the one for you. I really liked it, it's a great machine for the money.

Right, for games testing the UHD51 was put into game mode and the guy setting it up adjusted all the settings to give the projector its best chance at displaying its lowest possible input lag.

The first game we put on was Mario Kart 64 on my PC via Project64 emulator. Me and my group of friends have been playing this game for over 20 years now and if you know it, we only ever play Koopa Troopa Beach as it's the perfect track. You need to press a button on the controller to hop, which has to be done a few times as part of the process to getting power-slides, and also to hop at the end of a jump into a tunnel. I sat the kart stationary and just kept hitting the hop button to get a feel. I could tell it was fractionally slower than normal, but less of a difference than what I was expecting, but then we are only talking milliseconds. In fact it was so close that I thought it might not make a difference to the game.

Going around the track and getting power-slides felt pretty good, not 100% perfect, but if you didn't know the game inside-out you wouldn't notice. Jumping into the tunnel using the hop button was more of an issue. Using my usual timing the kart jumped too late and didn't make it into the tunnel. I did this a number of times and got the same result. However, with a small adjustment on my part I quickly adapted and by pressing the hop button what must have only been a couple of frames earlier I was able to make it into the jump. If this was the only game I was going to play on the projector I think I could have lived with it and got used to it.

However, where the input lag really showed itself was when using a mouse to aim on Call of Duty (and even moving the mouse on the desktop to be fair). My current projector (HD151X) has an input lag of 33ms. Now 33ms isn't perfect but it's not that far off and when I move the mouse quickly the cursor on the screen is pretty much where it should be to the point I don't notice any lag, it's fractionally there but you really have to look for it and it doesn't (at least for me) detract from the gameplay.

With the UHD51 I tested yesterday I could clearly see the cursor trying to catch up after I'd moved the mouse. I could move the mouse very quickly from one side of the screen to the other for example and the cursor would start catching up by the time I'd almost stopped the mouse at the other side. It made aiming hard as I'd tend to overshoot the target area and would then spend a good couple of seconds chasing-my-tail trying to zero in on the target. The game just didn't feel right and was harder to play. It's not unplayable if you really don't care but if you don't like losing in multiplayer then this definitely isn't the projector for you!! I was gutted as I really like the projector in every way other than the input lag, which is only a problem if you're going to play certain types of games.

So, for me for now I'm stuck with 1080P even though I'm desperate to upgrade. I'm not sure how aware these projector manufacturers are of just how many people there are like me out there for whom input lag is a major priority. I think if a budget 4K projector is released with a sub 30ms input lag it'll be a huge seller. Now I love 3D movies but I could live without 3D if someone can produce a budget 4K projector with low (ish) lag, but if they can do it with 3D too then all the better!!!

Hope that's of help to anyone with the same considerations as me.

Thanks

Justin
 

brave

Active Member
Hello everyone,

basically this post relates to my observations with input lag although I do briefly mention picture quality too.

I've just added this post on a thread titled "Optoma UHD51A: 4K HDR 3D DLP Projector... w/ Alexa" on the US forum AVSforum. Although I'm from the UK I've been following that thread in the hope of learning about the input lag for the UHD51A/UHD51. Anyway, I decided to post it here too as I'm sure some of you will be considering the UHD51 as a gaming projector. For any of you wondering about the difference between the 51 and 51A, well the 51A has Amazon's Alexa integrated within it and I'm not sure if there are plans to launch it here in the UK or not. Other than that they're the same.

I'm hoping to replace my existing and very capable Optoma HD151X projector with a budget 4K projector. A huge consideration for me however is input lag as although the projector's predominantly used for watching TV and films, I do still use it for gaming; Mario Kart 64 via an emulator on a PC using controllers and PC first-person shooters (CoD) using a mouse and keyboard.

As the UHD51A/UHD51 are new models there aren't too many reviews out there so far where input lag has been measured. However, having scoured the internet for days, including reading every single post on this thread, this is what I've found out so far;-

68-70ms Projector Central
41ms Nerdy Tech (I think he guessed it)
60.7ms Passion Home Cinema (French site)
64-69ms Mistawankaz (post #1013 from the AVSforum thread I'm following)
51ms (didn't make a note of where I found this reading)

Looking at the figures above I think it's fair to say the input lag for the UHD51A/UHD51 is somewhere between 60 and 70ms.

Now it's all very well reading figures from synthetic tests but I needed to know how that actually felt in the real world. Luckily Sevenoaks HiFi in Tunbridge Wells got a UHD51 in this week and very kindly let me take my PC along yesterday so I could connect it up and decide for myself. They were extremely helpful and I can't recommend them enough.

Firstly they showed me some 4K content and then Guardians of the Galaxy on blu-ray (which I'd taken with me) so I could see the upscaling from 1080P. The 4K content was very impressive, better blacks and contrast to what I'm used to, a clear/sharp image. The upscaling from 1080P was good too, subtle differences but definitely an improvement in perceivable fine detail (I double-checked this when I got home by watching the same scene again). So, if you're not remotely interested in input lag for gaming, have a full HD projector that you're looking to upgrade and you still want to watch 3D films then this could well be the one for you. I really liked it, it's a great machine for the money.

Right, for games testing the UHD51 was put into game mode and the guy setting it up adjusted all the settings to give the projector its best chance at displaying its lowest possible input lag.

The first game we put on was Mario Kart 64 on my PC via Project64 emulator. Me and my group of friends have been playing this game for over 20 years now and if you know it, we only ever play Koopa Troopa Beach as it's the perfect track. You need to press a button on the controller to hop, which has to be done a few times as part of the process to getting power-slides, and also to hop at the end of a jump into a tunnel. I sat the kart stationary and just kept hitting the hop button to get a feel. I could tell it was fractionally slower than normal, but less of a difference than what I was expecting, but then we are only talking milliseconds. In fact it was so close that I thought it might not make a difference to the game.

Going around the track and getting power-slides felt pretty good, not 100% perfect, but if you didn't know the game inside-out you wouldn't notice. Jumping into the tunnel using the hop button was more of an issue. Using my usual timing the kart jumped too late and didn't make it into the tunnel. I did this a number of times and got the same result. However, with a small adjustment on my part I quickly adapted and by pressing the hop button what must have only been a couple of frames earlier I was able to make it into the jump. If this was the only game I was going to play on the projector I think I could have lived with it and got used to it.

However, where the input lag really showed itself was when using a mouse to aim on Call of Duty (and even moving the mouse on the desktop to be fair). My current projector (HD151X) has an input lag of 33ms. Now 33ms isn't perfect but it's not that far off and when I move the mouse quickly the cursor on the screen is pretty much where it should be to the point I don't notice any lag, it's fractionally there but you really have to look for it and it doesn't (at least for me) detract from the gameplay.

With the UHD51 I tested yesterday I could clearly see the cursor trying to catch up after I'd moved the mouse. I could move the mouse very quickly from one side of the screen to the other for example and the cursor would start catching up by the time I'd almost stopped the mouse at the other side. It made aiming hard as I'd tend to overshoot the target area and would then spend a good couple of seconds chasing-my-tail trying to zero in on the target. The game just didn't feel right and was harder to play. It's not unplayable if you really don't care but if you don't like losing in multiplayer then this definitely isn't the projector for you!! I was gutted as I really like the projector in every way other than the input lag, which is only a problem if you're going to play certain types of games.

So, for me for now I'm stuck with 1080P even though I'm desperate to upgrade. I'm not sure how aware these projector manufacturers are of just how many people there are like me out there for whom input lag is a major priority. I think if a budget 4K projector is released with a sub 30ms input lag it'll be a huge seller. Now I love 3D movies but I could live without 3D if someone can produce a budget 4K projector with low (ish) lag, but if they can do it with 3D too then all the better!!!

Hope that's of help to anyone with the same considerations as me.

Thanks

Justin
I don't play games. so the 4k 1080p and 3D is very impressive now that's looking good thankyou for your review :smashin:
 

davetong

Standard Member
I thought this thread would help as the video is almost a second out of sync with the sound. The sound is ahead so the video lags. It seems to vary too and is worse playing 4k Blu-ray.

I have Sony UPBX700 4k player, Bose lifestyle connected via digital coaxial lead and HDMI to PJ.

Previsously I had exact same setup with Epson EH-TW6000w. Same connections but just playing Blu-ray films. Anyone help with audio and video sync?
 

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