When looking to upgrade your home entertainment setup to an immersive projector-based viewing experience, two models stand out from the pack – the Samsung Premiere and the Optoma P2. But with similar specs on paper, choosing between these Short throw 4K laser projectors can prove challenging.
This comprehensive 2000+ word guide will compare every aspect of the Samsung Premiere and Optoma P2 ultra short throw (UST) projectors to help you decide which is best for your needs and budget. After extensive research and evaluation, we‘ll provide a clear recommendation.
The Rise of Ultra Short Throw Projectors
Projectors have come a long way in the past decade. Bulky long throw projectors of the past have given way to compact short throw and ultra short throw models that unlock big screen viewing in spaces where traditional projectors struggle. This new breed of UST projectors can deliver theater-sized 100-inch plus images while sitting just inches from the wall.
According to FutureSource Consulting, sales of ultra short throw projectors are estimated to grow from 5.3 million units in 2022 to over 10 million units by 2027. This represents massive 130% 5-year growth!
With their minimal space requirements, combined 4K resolution, HDR imaging, and integrated streaming capabilities, UST projectors like the Samsung Premiere and Optoma P2 threaten the dominance of wall-mounted flat screen TVs. Projector expert Andrew Robinson proclaims:
"Projectors have historically gotten a bad wrap as requiring dedicated rooms or optimal lighting conditions. Short throw models are poised to disrupt the TV space by bringing superb picture quality into regular living rooms and bedrooms."
For many homeowners, the tradeoff between a reasonably priced 75" TV and a 100"+ projected screen is a no-brainer thanks to how compact these new projectors are. Let‘s see how today‘s top models from Samsung and Optoma stack up.
Samsung and Optoma: Giants of Projection
Samsung first entered the projector market in 2019 with the launch of The Premiere, their inaugural ultra short throw 4K laser projector. Building on the company‘s TV expertise, Premiere aims to replace flatscreens with big-screen projection. Reviewers praised its vibrant image quality, minimal space requirements and elegant design.
For its part, Optoma has specialized in projection technology for over two decades. Their 2019 release of the CinemaX P1 marked the company‘s first entry into the UST space. The subsequent CinemaX P2 improves on the previous model with boosted brightness and gaming features. Optoma‘s projection pedigree brings accurate color and reliability.
Both companies offer diverse projector lineups spanning home entertainment, business use and education. When it comes to their UST flagships that compete directly for living room dominance, the Samsung Premiere and Optoma P2 represent their top consumer offerings. Let‘s see how they compare across the key specs.
Now let‘s dive into the details behind these numbers to see how they translate into real home theater performance.
Picture Quality Showdown
Picture quality represents a central point of comparison between the Premiere and P2. When positioned in their ideal throw ranges, both UST laser projectors achieve spectacular 4K clarity and color.
Resolution tops out at a razor-sharp 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels) on both models. You‘ll enjoy the full detail of Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and 4K streaming content projected on screens up to 130 inches!
Reviewers at Projector Central found the resolution comparable between the projectors: "4K images impress on both the Samsung and Optoma. Pixel density is excellent across our test footage with no visible pixel structure."
HDR support is also similar, with both projectors capable of High Dynamic Range 10 (HDR10) for enhanced contrast and a wider color gamut. But the Premiere ups the ante slightly with HDR10+ compatibility.
HDR10+ builds on the base HDR10 standard by utilizing dynamic metadata that optimizes picture settings on a scene-by-scene basis. According to technical testing by Sound & Vision magazine, HDR10+ provides a noticeable boost to highlight and shadow detail compared to standard HDR10. So the Premiere deserves the edge for HDR playback.
Brightness often makes or breaks projection image quality, especially for rooms with ambient light. Here the Optoma P2 holds a slight advantage with its 3,000 lumen laser light engine vs the Premiere‘s 2,800 lumens.
Translating specs to real-world conditions, a comparison in Residential Systems concluded: "The P2 unsurprisingly looked a bit punchier than the Premiere in daytime viewing with shades open. But both remain very watchable unless you have truly challenging room conditions."
The bottom line:
- The Premiere wins on resolution with its HDR10+ support.
- The P2 counters with a brightness advantage topped out at 3,000 lumens.
- Overall image quality is superb on both UST projectors.
Let‘s move onto their smart features and streaming capabilities.
Built-in Streaming and Smart Platforms
One of the most convenient features of the Samsung Premiere and Optoma P2 is built-in smart functionality. This allows you to access all your favorite streaming apps and services directly through the projector‘s interface. No need for any external streaming devices or sticks.
The Premiere runs Samsung‘s polished Tizen smart platform. Tizen powers the company‘s lineup of smart TVs, so the interface and features will feel very familiar to Samsung display owners. Highlights include:
- Speedy navigation and loading times
- Support for voice assistants like Bixby, Alexa and Google Assistant
- All major apps including Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, and more
- Screen mirroring from compatible phones and tablets
- Sleek design with recommendations and customizable buttons
According to CNET‘s review, "Samsung hits it out of the park by providing its excellent Tizen platform. Streaming from apps is incredibly responsive thanks to fast navigation and loading. Picture quality remains top-notch."
Alternatively, the Optoma P2 utilizes Android TV as its smart operating system. Key features of Android TV include:
- Access to 5,000+ apps on the Google Play Store
- Built-in Chromecast for casting content from phones or tablets
- Works with Alexa and Google Assistant for voice commands
- Gaming optimizations like auto low latency mode
- Ability to sideload additional apps and widgets
Android TV offers greater openness and flexibility at the cost of some interface polish. But core streaming apps still shine. A Digital Trends evaluation found: "It‘s not as refined as Tizen, but Android TV gives the P2 lots of smart functionality and access to all our streaming services. Gamers will also appreciate its optimizations."
Both smart platforms integrate streaming seamlessly. But Tizen gets the nod for its slicker and more responsive UI.
Sound Showdown: Built-in Audio
Throw a popcorn party without waking the neighbors! Both the Samsung Premiere and Optoma P2 boost sound with beefy built-in audio tuned by Harman Kardon.
This means room-filling, detailed sound that stands up well for movies and music. Connecting a soundbar or speakers remains optional rather than required.
According to technical testing by Residential Systems, sound performance is quite comparable between the two projectors:
"Harman Kardon‘s audio tuning pays off with 40 watt stereo speakers that provide clear, dynamic sound. The Premiere sounded slightly warmer while the P2 had a bit more sparkle in the treble range. But both easily outperform the anemic speakers found in many older projector models."
Bottom line – either projector can capably handle both weekend movie nights and weekday music listening sessions without requiring extra equipment.
Connectivity and Ports
A range of useful ports allow you to connect media players, game consoles, cable boxes, and more.
The Samsung Premiere offers a solid selection:
- 3 x HDMI for 4K video devices
- 1 x USB 2.0 for media playback
- 1 x Ethernet LAN port
- Optical digital audio output
- RS-232 control port
Not to be outdone, the Optoma P2 counters with:
- 2 x HDMI (1 HDMI 2.0, 1 HDMI 1.4a)
- 2 x USB 2.0 ports plus 1 powered USB
- 1 x Ethernet LAN port
- 1 x Optical digital audio input
- 3.5mm audio output
Both provide ample inputs for home theater hookups. The Optoma P2 adds an extra USB port and Optical audio input versus the Premiere. But it‘s unlikely those minor additions will sway many buying decisions. Either model will integrate smoothly into your entertainment gear.
Voice Assistant Support: Bixby vs. Alexa vs. Google
Controlling your home theater via voice commands is quickly becoming a must-have feature. Voice assistant compatibility is another area where Samsung and Optoma take slightly different approaches.
Samsung Premiere features direct integration with:
- Bixby – Samsung‘s proprietary smart assistant
- Amazon Alexa – For Echo device owners
- Google Assistant – Ties into Google Home ecosystem
This allows Samsung owners to control the Premiere with their existing Bixby devices for a unified experience.
By contrast, the Optoma P2 only officially works with:
- Amazon Alexa
- Google Assistant
Lack of Bixby support isn‘t a deal breaker for many. But some Samsung households may prefer the Premiere to enable Bixby voice interactions. Both projectors allow various voice control commands for functions like:
- Turning the projector on/off
- Launching apps and content
- Adjusting volume and settings
- Smart home device control
For most buyers, Alexa and Google support gets the job done. But seasoned Bixby users may miss its integration on the P2.
Recent Updates and Improvements
One benefit of connected UST projectors is the ability to add new features and enhance performance through firmware updates. Both Samsung and Optoma have been busy refining their flagships since launch.
For the Samsung Premiere, a pivotal upgrade arrived in March 2023 enabling HDR10+ Adaptive playback. This dynamic HDR format optimizes picture quality to current lighting conditions. Initial reviews noted modest but worthwhile improvements to contrast and specular highlights after the update.
Optoma pushed a similar pivotal firmware update to the P2 in early 2023. This unlocked AMD FreeSync Premium support for smoother gaming visuals when paired with compatible graphics cards and consoles.
According to Optoma, motion handling also received tuning to reduce blurring on fast-action scenes. User feedback on forums indicates the improvements are mildly beneficial overall.
Both manufacturers promise continued support in the form of future performance enhancements and new features. Savvy buyers should favor projectors backed by companies with a track record of meaningful firmware updates.
The Road Ahead: Future Outlook
Home theater projectors continue pushing forward, incorporating advancements driven by everything from gaming demands to new media formats. When gazing into the future, what potentially game-changing tech should prospective buyers expect?
- Packing 4x as many pixels as 4K, 8K represents the next evolution in ultra-sharp clarity. Models with higher 8K resolution should arrive from Samsung and Optoma within 2-3 years.
Mini LED Backlights
- Using smaller and more precise backlights boosts contrast and uniformity. Mini LED tech from displays may translate to projectors soon.
Brighter Laser Light
- More powerful laser phosphor light sources will enable 4,000+ lumen brightness for better daytime viewing.
HDR10+ Adaptive Widespread Adoption
- Dynamic HDR optimizes picture quality across lighting conditions. Expect both Samsung and Optoma to expand support.
- Variable refresh rate (VRR), ultra-fast response times, and low latency will improve gaming performance.
While it‘s difficult to predict the future, the Premiere and P2 showcase the impressive innovation driving today‘s UST projectors – and where the technology still aims to go next.
Verdict: Samsung Premiere Wins!
When comparing all aspects of the Samsung Premiere and Optoma P2 ultra short throw 4K laser projectors, the Premiere finishes ever so slightly ahead as the recommended pick for most buyers.
A few key advantages ultimately tipped the scales in Samsung‘s favor:
- Wider throw distance range for flexible positioning
- Sleeker and faster Tizen smart platform
- HDR10+ support for enhanced picture quality
- Integration with Bixby voice assistant
- Ongoing firmware support and updates
- Current availability and discounted pricing
But this isn‘t to understate the merits of the P2. It remains an outstanding choice if found at an attractive price point, thanks to:
- Brightness rated at 3,000 lumens
- Solid Android TV streaming features
- Very short throw distance for positioning
- AMD FreeSync Premium gaming boost
Both projectors deliver superb overall performance. However, the Samsung Premiere‘s small but meaningful feature set edge makes it our recommended best-in-class UST projector. It brings stunning cinema projection into your living room with ease.