Projector Reviews

Hisense 100″ Laser TV Review – A 4K UHD, Smart Projector with Screen – Hardware 2

Hisense 100″ Laser TV Review – Hardware 2: Control Panel, Remote Control, The Menus

Control Panel

Don’t lose your remote control. There seems to be no control panel.  Even the setup guide says to start the projector from the remote control.  There is a white power indicator light on the left side of the projector’s front. The indicator stays off when the projector is on.

Remote Control

I like the feel of the remote control.  It’s about seven inches long, and has good weight. It is rounded on the sides making it almost oval.  The power button is at the top, in the fashion of the modern power symbol.  Press once to power on, or once to power off, which LG refers to as standby mode, as the projector/TV always has to be in standby to receive the power on command from the remote.

There is no backlight. That is disappointing.  OK, I get it, LG calls this a laser TV, but, even with the excellent UST advantages paired with a UST light rejecting screen, for best movie viewing folks are going to want to lower the room brightness enough that a backlight would be helpful.  Consider also though, that the remote doesn’t rely on that many buttons so a primary user will learn them over time.

The next four buttons (two rows of two) are for streaming/download services, including Amazon Prime, Netflix, YouTube, and 4K Now.  You can have many apps, but those are the only ones with direct access buttons on the remote.  You’ll choose the rest from the Apps button on the Home screen.

remote control

Next down is the section for navigation, with three buttons right above, and three below the central area which consists of the four arrow keys in a square formation, and an Enter button in the very center.

Those top three buttons from left to right are Menu, Voice, and Keypad button.  The Keypad button brings up a numeric keypad and the red green yellow blue buttons widely used by Blu-ray players cable/satellite remotes and other devices.

The lower left button is the back button for navigating menus. Pressing it moves you back up levels in the menus then exits. To its right, in the center is the raised Home Button, which brings up a series of buttons overlaying whatever’s on the screen.

The button on the right is another menu, this time with transport controls – play, stop, pause fast forward, rewind.

Almost done!  Below left side is a rocker button for Volume, and opposite it, a rocker for Channel Up and Down.

And in between the two is the MTS button for changing audio language, mono, stereo or SAP, when in the appropriate modes.

Below it is the Audio Mute.

All considered a more TV like remote than projector like, and more reliant on navigating menus, as it has fewer shortcuts than some projector remotes that might have 25-30 buttons.

With that in mind, a backlight is less of a benefit, say, compared to a backlight on a Sony or Epson home theater projector’s remotes, which are loaded with buttons  There are 33 and 45 buttons respectively on the Sony and Epson projectors’ remotes that I have here now.

The Menus

I thought originally to try to separate smart features from the usual projector features, but Hisense does a very nice job of integrating them together.

The Photo player here starts with the Home screen buttons that overlay whatever’s on screen.  From there we’ll explore each button – which I consider the major menus.

You will find a number of comments on various menus and options, in the captions in this player.

The Home Screen button itself brings up these main menus:

Notifications, Apps, Live TV, Inputs, Media, Settings, and Edit (which let’s you add additional buttons).

The Apps button starts with 21 Apps, but you can add more, by hitting the App installer button at the bottom.  I notice that just above the App installer is a Game Center.  FYI.

Next is the Live TV button in case you have a TV antenna.  I did not test. I’m almost 60 miles from both LA and San Diego, no watching of broadcasts for me.

Inputs is the next button/main menu. In addition to the Live TV, VGA, and HDMI inputs there is an AnyviewCast – which is geared to allow you to receive and project casts from Android devices and other casting compatible devices.

The Media Menu is the next button.

And last before the edit button, is Settings which bring up nine submenus:

Picture, Screen, Sound, Network, Channel, Accessibility, Parental Control, System, and a Support/Info button

The Picture Submenu is where most of the “projector” control action exists.  And within are even more submenus.  You’ll see most of those in the player.

The Screen menu – Simple enough – a choice of orientation – that is front below the screen or front mounted above the screen.

There’s also geometric correction, which I avoided.  It seems that it is an easy way to fill the screen exactly, but that can normally be done with precise placement of the projector and proper use of the feet.  Using geometric projection may be a faster solution, but it no doubt uses compression technology, which we always recommending avoiding, because compressing some lines to fit exactly eliminates the 1:1 pixel mapping – one pixel of data for each one pixel the device can project.  We always recommend not using anything that compresses unless there are no other, better, options.

It took an extra couple of minutes, but I was able to get the image to completely and properly fill the 100” screen as well as anyone could expect. Then I moved the projector to my theater and was able to accomplish the same even quicker.  There I have a different screen but again, was able to fill it exactly as it should be done.  I highly recommend doing it right!  What’s the point of spending for 4K if you are going to start off by compromising the resolution slightly?  Save geometric correction for if you find you can’t place the projector exactly where it should be placed!

Other comments about the menus are in the form captions below their photos, as you saw above.

That concludes our section on menus, other than to say that some of the menus you can scroll down despite no indication. Best example, the Picture menu.  If you don’t try scrolling down past Picture Mode, Contrast, etc.  You may never see Advanced Picture Options and the Calibration menus.

Overall, I found the smart menus worked well.   The more projector oriented features weren’t laid out like a lot of other projector menus but that didn’t pose any problems.  And note that instead of Lamp or Laser settings such as Full Power, Eco, etc., the Hisense calls their control over how bright the laser engine is:  Light Level: – and it’s the first menu item on the Picture menu.