Compare Optoma Projectors: GT1080HDR vs. GT1090HDR vs. ZH406ST

Which Optoma projector is best for your golf simulator? Let's compare the color, brightness, cost and more of the GT1080HDR vs. GT1090HDR vs. ZH406ST projectors!

Optoma GT1080HDR vs. GT1090HDR

Two of the top Optoma golf simulator projectors are similar in name, but the price … not so much. 

So, we put them to the test: the Optoma GT1080HDR vs. the Optoma GT1090HDR … or, actually the Optoma ZH406ST. We’ll explain the swap-in of the ZH406ST below.

We compared colors, brightness, throw distance and many other factors to consider when selecting one of these projectors for your golf simulator setup. 

Our research helped determine whether the Optoma GT1090HDR was worth the extra cost than the Optoma GT1080HDR, and why the Optoma GT1080HDR is a commonly used golf simulator projector.

OPTOMA GT1090HDR VS. ZH406ST

First, let’s go through the main specs of the Optoma GT1090HDR and the ZH406ST and highlight any differences.

 

 

GT1090HDR

ZH406ST

Display Technology

DLP

DLP

Resolution

1080p Full HD (1920x1080)

1080p Full HD (1920x1080)

Brightness

4,200 Lumens

4,200 Lumens

Contrast Ratio

300,000:1

300,000:1

Native Aspect Ratio

16:9

16:9

Compatible Aspect Ratio

4:3

4:3

Keystone Correction - Horizontal

+/-30 degrees

+/- 15 degrees

Keystone Correction - Vertical

+/-30 degrees

+/- 15 degrees

Displayable Colors (millions)

1073.4

1073.4

Horizontal Scan Rate

15.375 ~ 91.146 Khz

15.375 ~ 91.146 Khz

Vertical Scan Rate

50 ~ 85 Hz (120Hz for 3D)Hz

50-120HzHz

Uniformity

85%

80%

Screen Size

36.34” ~ 301.4” diagonal

36.4” ~ 300.5” diagonal

Light Source

Laser

Laser

LASER Life

30,000 hours

30,000 hours

Throw Ratio

0.5:1

0.5:1

Projection Distance

15.75” - 130.31”

15.75” - 129.92”

Zoom Type

Fixed

Fixed

Focal Length (mm)

7.51mm/0.296”

7.51mm/0.296”

Native Offset

116%

115%

Dimensions (W x D x H)

13.27” x 10.43” x 4.82”

13.27” x 10.43” x 4.82”

Gross Weight

17.2 lbs

13.71 lbs

Net Weight

12.13 lbs

10.03 lbs

 

Just a couple of things to note: there are not many differences at all, and where there are differences, it’s very minimal. Most of the main specs are exactly the same;  Heck, even the dimensions are exact down to the hundredth of an inch!

They are about as close to being the same projector as Carl is to his next Mario Kart race. So from now on, when we speak about the ZH406ST, just imagine it being the GT1090HDR. 

OPTOMA GT1080HDR VS. ZH406ST (AKA GT1090HDR)

Tag team! The Optoma GT1090HDR needed a break and will take a seat on the bench while the ZH406ST gets tagged in. It’s fair because of, like, the transitive property, or something, right?

Let’s compare the specs between the Optoma GT1080HDR and ZH406ST, and highlight the differences again.

 

 

GT1080HDR

ZH406ST

Display Technology

DLP

DLP

Resolution

1080p Full HD (1920x1080)

1080p Full HD (1920x1080)

Brightness

3,800 Lumens

4,200 Lumens

Contrast Ratio

50,000:1

300,000:1

Native Aspect Ratio

16:9

16:9

Compatible Aspect Ratio

4:3, 16:9

4:3

Keystone Correction - Horizontal

n/a

+/- 15 degrees

Keystone Correction - Vertical

+/- 40 degrees

+/- 15 degrees

Displayable Colors (millions)

n/a

1073.4

Horizontal Scan Rate

15.38 ~ 91.15 Khz

15.375 ~ 91.146 Khz

Vertical Scan Rate

50 ~ 85 Hz (120Hz for 3D)Hz

50-120HzHz

Uniformity

70%

80%

Screen Size

36.2” ~ 307.8” diagonal

36.4” ~ 300.5” diagonal

Light Source

Lamp

Laser

LASER/Lamp Life

4,000 bright, 12,000 dynamic, 10,000 eco, 15,00 eco+

30,000 hours

Throw Ratio

0.49:1

0.5:1

Projection Distance

15.75” - 133.86”

15.75” - 129.92”

Zoom Type

n/a

Fixed

Focal Length (mm)

7.42mm/0.292”

7.51mm/0.296”

Native Offset

116%

115%

Dimensions (W x D x H)

12.44” x 9.61” x 4.25”

13.27” x 10.43” x 4.82”

Gross Weight

8.6 lbs

13.71 lbs

Net Weight

6.61 lbs

10.03 lbs

 

As you can see, the ZH406ST and the GT1080HDR have several significant differences, which led to us a test between the two in a real life golf simulator environment. We figured there would be plenty of differences based on the price points. 

We use the default settings to compare the Optoma projectors side by side. Watch the results of our test below!

We found that some of the key spec differences - lumens, contrast ratio, horizontal keystone correction, light source and dimensions - made a huge difference in the end.

Keep in mind: just because one projector performs better than the other in a certain spec doesn’t mean that the projector is better in all real world situations. 

MORE INFORMATION ON PROJECTOR TERMINOLOGY

LUMENS

How many lumens do you need for a golf simulator? Well, it depends on your setup. 

It was very obvious that the Optoma ZH406ST had significantly more lumens; its picture was much brighter, which means it would work much better in a setup with more ambient light, such as windows in the daytime.

That said, the Optoma GT1080HDR was still very bright and would work great in this aspect with limited ambient light. 

If you’re in a completely dark or light controlled environment, the GT1080HDR would be just fine. 

CONTRAST RATIO

According to the specs, the ZH406ST’s contrast ratio was 6x more than the GT1080HDR. It certainly showed.

You could see the difference in colors on the RGB spectrum, as well as in the shades of black/gray. Check out the video for more of a visual representation.

Better contrast will help with colors and sharpness in golf simulator gameplay. Just imagine all the bright colors on an actual golf course. You’ll enjoy seeing that detail on your virtual golf courses as well with better contrast.

HORIZONTAL KEYSTONE

This is a pretty significant difference. If you need the flexibility to offset your projector placement from the center of the screen, you will have to go with the ZH406. The GT1080HDR does not have horizontal keystone to correct the trapezoidal image created when off center. 

In smaller setups with short throw projectors, sometimes moving the projector off center will help get the projector out of the way of you swinging your club or the ball flying off your club. You would of course want to protect your projector with some form of case, such as Carl’s Floor Mounted Projector Enclosure.

The ZH406ST also comes with a setting where you can manually adjust each corner of your image to fit your impact screen perfectly.

LIGHT SOURCE

The light source could arguably be the biggest difference between the two. The ZH406 has a laser light source, while the GT1080 has a lamp. Laser generally gives off better picture quality, and is why the ZH406 has better contrast ratio, light source life and brightness. 

Keep in mind that laser projectors do not jive well with slow motion swing cameras. If the cameras are capturing super slow motion video of your golf swing, it will also capture the laser projector colors going across the screen. It’s an effect we cannot see with the naked eye, but when slowed down, can be a bit jarring. 

DIMENSIONS

Although both projectors fit inside of a Carl’s Floor Mounted Projector Enclosure or on our mounts, the GT1080HDR’s compact build is the winner here. Easier to move around, easier to fit in tight spaces, easier to mount. Smaller footprints are almost always better!

CONCLUSION

Optoma GT1090HDR (aka ZH406ST) Overall Review

The Optoma ZH406ST provides a significantly better picture, and the option to move your projector away from the center is crucial. If money is not a factor, but a high quality, bright image is, we would suggest going for the ZH406ST.

Optoma GT1080HDR Overall Review

Optoma GT1080HDR review: It’s a heck of an entry level golf simulator projector for the price. If you get the GT1080HDR without seeing other projector options, or comparing them side by side like we did, you will be very happy with your purchase. It does the trick for less than half the price. Feel free to use that money savings elsewhere!

The good news: you’re not going to be disappointed if you purchase one of these projectors. They are both user-friendly and versatile and will provide a great, high-definition image.

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