Posted on November 14, 2020 By Phil Jones
Hisense 100L5F Laser TV Review – Special Features: Laser Light Engine, 4K DLP, Ambient Light Rejecting Screen, Smart TV Features, Sound System, HDMI ARC
Hisense rated its Laser light engine at 3,000 lumens for 25,000 hours which equates to years of worry-free operation. The 100L5F uses Hisense’s EX-Fusion™ laser system which utilizes a blue laser with a phosphor wheel.
The 100L10E I reviewed last year utilized a dual laser light source where both red and blue primaries are generated by lasers which delivered a wider color gamut. The 100L10E could deliver more than 95% of DCI/P3 color gamut, but it retailed for around double the price of the 1005F. The single laser light engine of the 100L5F can still reproduce 83% of DCI/P3 color gamut which enough for good HDR performance.
Hisense claims a peak light output of 2,700 lumens and a native contrast ratio is not listed. While many projectors offer preset lamp/laser brightness modes, the unit’s Laser Light Level setting can be adjusted independently for each picture preset mode.
While the previous Hisense Laser TV models, like the 100L10E, used Texas Instruments larger .66” DMD (2,716 x1,528) chip, the 100L5F utilizes a DLP (0.47” DMD) chip to reproduce perceived 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160) resolution. I use the term “perceived” because a 4K DLP chip does not actually have 8.3 million mirrors. Hence, the projector utilizes pixel (mirror) shifting to deliver the perceived sharpness of native 4K.
The TI DLP XPR chip is a 0.47” DMD (1,920 x 1,080p) that delivers 4K onscreen by shifting the 1080p pixels both horizontally and vertically. These micromirrors’ response time is so fast that each one can be quickly wiggled back and forth to form 4 separate pixels on the screen. This approach works very well because it is challenging to see a difference in resolution when comparing a 4K DLP projector to a native 4K LCD/LCoS model for a normal viewing distance.
Since the 100L5F is a single-chip DLP projector, you will never have any convergence issues that could occur with a 3LCD projector so that the image will remain sharp throughout the projector’s life without periodical adjustment. The projector can also accept signals up to 4K@60P via two 18Gbps HDMI/HDCP 2.2 Compatible Input (HDMI #1&2).
Like all other DLP projectors, the L100L5F has a sealed light path to protect the optics from the dreaded “dust blob.” Having a sealed light path prevents dust particles from settling inside the light path and obstructing the projected image.
The 100L5F, like most Hisense Laser TV models, is bundled with an ambient light rejecting screen designed specifically for ultra-short throw projectors. The screen is 100” and uses StarBright CLR material which allows viewing during the day or in higher ambient light. The ALR screen is a real plus because it helps maintain good contrast and rich saturated colors under less than optimal lighting conditions.
Unlike earlier ALR UST screens which were fixed, the included screen is shipped disassembled. One of the benefits of a Hisense Laser TV is that it is much easier for someone to maneuver it into an upstairs apartment than it would be for an 85” or 100″ flat panel.
Since I already had several compatible screens on hand to simplify shipping, Hisense sent the model minus the screen. For this review, I utilized the two different screens installed in my office/lab. At night I used my Elite Screen CineWhite Starling tab-tensioned 100” screen (gain 1.1).
During the day, and in higher ambient light, I used a 100” Screen Innovation Solo Pro 2 ultra-short throw screen (gain 0.6).
While I did not get the opportunity to test the Hisense ALR screen in my home, I have seen it at various tradeshows. It appears to do a great job improving black level and contrast in rooms with moderate ambient light.
The 100L5F utilizes the same Android TV smart platform found in Hisense’s newest flat panel TVs. The settings menus and smart apps are seamlessly integrated together. Overall, the new interface is smooth and well thought out. Below are a few notable features that make a Hisense Laser TV, like the 100L5F, a viable solution for a large Smart TV.
It is equipped with voice control remote which has a built-in microphone to control a wide variety of compatible Smart devices via Google Assistant. You just press the mic button in the center of the remote control to activate the voice assistant. You can use your voice to operate the 100L5F. In addition to the projector, Google Assistant also allows voice control for several 3rd party items like a set-top box, lights, door locks, curtains, etc.
Also, while the 100L5F uses an Android TV operating system for enhanced flexibility, it is also compatible with Amazon Alexa.
Built-in TV Tuner
As mentioned earlier the Hisense 100L5F is designed to be a viable alternative to a flat panel TV, so Hisense Laser TV units have an onboard TV tuner. This is great for customers who are looking to replace their flat panel TV with a projector. On the back, with the other connectors, you’ll find the standard 75-ohm coaxial connector used by TV antennas. You can also plug in the coaxial cable signal from a set-top box, although most of today’s boxes will offer the best performance from HDMI.
You can also access many of the other popular streaming services including YouTube, Netflix, Vudu, Disney+, Fandango Now, and Amazon Prime Video. Since the 100L5F has an Android TV operating system, you can also download a variety of additional apps and games from the Google Play store.
Wireless Connectivity and Media Playback
In addition to a wired network connection, the L100L5F allows wireless networking as well. This is great for users who want to move the projector from room to room while still accessing the unit’s internal apps and services.
The projector has a built-in media player that can access files via its USB inputs. There are two USB inputs that can be used to play all types of media (Videos, MP3, Photos, etc.).
You can also wirelessly stream videos, photos, and music from a compatible Android mobile device using Chromecast.
While not as good as the previous subwoofer equipped models, the 100L5F still includes a better sound system than most TVs or projectors that I have encountered. When reviewing a projector, I usually utilize my own surround sound system. This is because most sound systems built into projectors are substandard. For a truly immersive theater experience, you need big sound to go with the big picture.
Built into the cabinet of the 100L5F is a dual-channel sound system powered by a total of 30 watts. While the 100L5F is no match for a good soundbar or component system, I found the projector had just enough volume and punch to be a satisfying listening experience.
Hisense 100L5F also has dbx-tv® sound processing which includes three audio features:
To try to maximize the sound quality of different types of content and in different situations, the 100L5F also has 8 preset audio modes: Standard, Theater, Sports, Concert Hall, Music, Speech, Late Night, and User.
Even though the Hisense 100L5F has a good built-in audio system, many consumers may still want to connect it to an AV Receiver to take advantage of the high-quality immersive sound available from many of the projector’s streaming apps.
While the 100L5F doesn’t support eARC (enhanced audio return), it supports ARC and can still pass compressed (lossy) multi-channel audio, including Dolby Atmos, to a connected receiver or soundbar via HDMI.
If you do not use ARC, the only other option would be to connect an external sound system to the 100L5F’s optical audio output. Like most Smart TV/FPJs, this optical output usually cannot pass multi-channel surround formats. Apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime are loaded with multi-channel content. If you use an optical output, all you are going to provide to your external sound system is stereo or Dolby Pro Logic information.
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