Projector Reviews

Hisense PX1 TriChroma Laser Cinema Review – Performance

COLOR REPRODUCTION

The Hisense PX1 TriChroma laser light source is capable of reproducing an extremely wide color gamut. The PX1 can deliver 107% of the BT2020 color space far exceeding a flat-panel TV’s color range. However, most content is still shot in Rec709 or DCI-P3, so Hisense does a good job properly utilizing the projector’s extended color gamut.

The Hisense PX1 has eight preset picture modes for SDR and seven presets for HDR (two THEATER modes in SDR and only one in HDR). The VIVID, GAME and SPORTS modes are the brightest and are designed to fight through high ambient light. These more brilliant modes are cooler in tone but not so much that it becomes problematic. The Theater Day, Theater Night, and Filmmaker modes are very warm, making skin tones slightly reddish.

I found the PX1’s STANDARD mode an excellent option, especially when watching SDR content. Out of the box, its color temperature was only a few hundred degrees off my target of 6500K. The colors are slightly over pronounced, but not so much to be a distraction. This is especially true in rooms with some uncontrolled light sources. In these environments, the increased color saturation was a benefit.

While the color accuracy was just average out of the box, overall, the Hisense PX1 Laser Cinema preset picture modes color reproduction would satisfy most viewers. The PX1 color reproduction would benefit from professional calibration, so we took the time to measure the projector’s picture modes and calibrate its STANDARD Mode.

Since your room and screen material has a major impact on the overall picture, we don’t recommend using someone else calibration adjustments. If your room is brighter/darker or your walls are a different color, copying someone else results can cause more harm than good. However, below are the before and after calibration results in my room.

If you want to make BRIGHTNESS, CONTRAST, and SHARPNESS adjustments to optimize your projector for your room, there are several free test patterns available on Murideo’s website and .YouTube channel. Check out our YouTube video on utilizing several of these test patterns called Optimize The Image of a Projector or TV Using Free Murideo Test Patterns. Murideo also has written instructions located under the resource section of its website.

We used Portrait Displays Calman color calibration software to test, measure, and calibrate the PX1.

Pre-Calibration Color Tracking and Grayscale

In STANDARD mode, the Grayscale out of the box was better than average. When measured, the color temperature was just a few hundred degrees off my target of 6500K. The image was slightly cooler than desired, especially at higher IREs.

In the USER picture preset, the gamma measured lower than my target of 2,2, resulting in a slightly elevated black level in my room on my matte white screen, but this was easily corrected using the GAMMA CORRECTION and BRIGHTNESS adjustments.

Once the Grayscale was adjusted, the color tracking was good, but it can be further improved using the projector CMS adjustments.

  • Picture Mode: STANDARD
  • Gamma: 2.08
  • Color Temperature: 6776K
  • Average Grayscale dE: 2.4
  • Average Color Tracking dE: 3.89

Post-Calibration Color Tracking and Grayscale

We calibrated the STANDARD picture preset. The default COLOR TEMP setting of Medium was fairly close to 6500K, so we just had to make some quick adjustments to the WHITE BALANCE to produce a good Grayscale. I increased the RED GAIN while slightly reducing the BLUE GAIN.

The achieve my gamma target of 2.2 in my room, I set the GAMMA CORRECTION to 2.2 and reduced the BRIGHTNESS setting. The GAMMA CORRECTION adjustment to further adjust the Gamma Curve.

The PX1 offers COLOR TUNER (CMS) adjustments which we utilized to finetune the projector’s color tracking,

  • Picture Mode: STANDARD
  • Gamma: 2.23
  • Color Temperature: 6587K
  • Average Grayscale dE: 1.27
  • Average Color Tracking dE: 1.63

Delta E measurement of 3 or less is considered ‘Excellent’ and imperceptible by the human eye. Even before calibration, the PX1 had an average Grayscale dE of less than 3, which is good. After calibration, the PX1 had a grayscale average dE of 1.27, which is outstanding. An average pre-calibration Color Tracking dE of 3.89 is better than the most Laser TVs we reviewed. It can be quickly improved to below 2 using the projector’s COLOR TUNER (CMS) adjustments.

Pre/Post HDR Two Point White Balance

Like all Hisense Laser TVs equipped with a TriColor laser light source, the PX1 can reproduce about 147% of DCI-P3 color space without the need for a color filter,

While adding a color filter can extend the projector’s color gamut coverage, they reduce the projector’s brightness.

I have never been a fan of using cinema filters when viewing HDR content because colors look more saturated when they are brighter.

When viewing HDR, the color temperature was slightly cool but the 2-point white balance was good. It was quickly improved by reducing the BLUE GAIN by a couple of steps.

BLACK LEVEL AND SHADOW DETAIL

I’ve reviewed the PX1-PRO, rated at 200 lumens brighter than this model. It’s not a huge difference, so I expected that the PX1 would perform similarly to the PRO model. And the PX1 completely met my expectations. The projector’s black level was quite good, but it is still closer to dark gray than deep black to see details and not crush the blacks. 

To compare the contrast, I did some quick tests with the same screen I used on the PX1-PRO. I achieved similar results in a light-controlled setting. So far, no surprises.

The reality is that PX1 Laser Cinema owners will likely place the projector in rooms with higher-than-average ambient light, limiting black levels.

Users who want the deepest blacks possible from the PX1 should consider purchasing an ALR higher-gain screen. This type of screen highlights deep black levels and wider viewing angles over maximum ambient light rejection.

BRIGHTNESS

The PX1 should be paired with an  Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR) screen. Since Hisense does not include a matched ALR screen with their Laser Cinema series projectors, they effectively leave the choice of the screen up to the consumer. Hisense sells its own ALR screens, which I’m sure they would recommend. I’m in the middle of moving my testing lab to a new location, so my Hisense screen is currently unavailable for use. I just finished a review using the Epson SilverFlex Ultra 120-inch ALR screen, so that’s what I paired with the PX1 projector.

The TriChroma triple-laser light engine faithfully recreates a rated 2,000 lumens peak brightness, which is lower than previous Hisense UST models I’ve reviewed. These ratings should still allow users to achieve good highlights with decent black levels and shadow details, especially when viewed in a light-controlled space.

How close did the PX1 come to hitting its manufacturer’s brightness rating? To determine the PX1’s brightness capabilities, I set the projector to SPORTS mode, the brightest picture mode, the light level to 10, and the HDR turned off at my source. I then took three to four readings about 15-20% out from the center of the lens.

The Hisense PX1 measured 2,084 lumens, 84 lumens brighter than Hisense’s brightness claim. I also measured the brightness of several preset picture modes. Please see the chart below.

Preset Picture ModeMeasured Brightness ANSI LumensColor Temperature
VIVID2,0849006K
STANDARD1,7836776K
ENERGY SAVING1,0587379K
GAME1,9436603K
SPORTS1,8776885K
THEATER DAY1,3595431K
THEATER NIGHT1,1155520K
FILMMAKER1,6805632K

4K HDR10/HLG AND SDR VIDEO QUALITY

As time progresses and technology improves, newer projectors can show the value of HDR more and more. Seeing the difference between HDR and SDR on a projector is often challenging. Still, like the PRO version of this projector, HDR content looked better on the Hisense PX1 than many other 4K HDR projectors I have reviewed.

The PX1 supports 4K HDR10/HLG. Each projector’s preset mode is tuned differently depending on the content users view (SDR or HDR). The presets change names depending on whether the content is in 4K HDR or SDR.

There is a clear difference in performance between HDR and SDR, and the PX1 has no problem delivering sharp, detailed 4K imagery.

The Hisense PX1 has yet to receive a firmware update allowing the projector to process Dolby Vision content. Based on the age of this product and the fact that Hisense upgraded the PX1-PRO, L5G, and L9G models months ago, it seems unlikely that the PX1 will be receiving this capability.

To get the best overall results when watching HDR content, turning off the projector’s light sensor produced the best overall results regardless of the lighting conditions. Adjusting the projector’s ACTIVE CONTRAST mode can be very beneficial. Since this mode has multiple settings, I recommend playing around with them depending on the type of content displayed. Or, if you prefer to set it and forget it split the difference and turn ACTIVE CONTRAST to its MEDIUM setting.

Content encoded in SDR still makes up most available movies, television shows, and games. The PX1 displays this type of content extremely well. SDR content color is rich, and brightness levels are higher. There is a lot of SDR content where it’s clear that the engineer mastering the final product did so with skill and care. There is also a lot of content that is just a crappy transfer from a DVD master. The PX1 out-of-the-box picture preset modes do an enviable job handling content on both ends of this spectrum. For most movies, FILMMAKER mode did a great job. Also, as I mentioned in the COLOR section above, the PX1 allows users to fine-tune the projected image in great detail.

HDTV AND SPORTS

Most TV shows and live broadcasts will likely continue to be produced in HD for several years, so good 4K upscaling is a critical feature of any projector. The PX1’s upscaling is excellent. Whether I watched 720p sports from ESPN or 1080p Blu-ray content, it all looked terrific.

Motion Estimation Motion Compensation (MEMC) technology uses an advanced, algorithmic technique to predict where a frame is in video content and, through the algorithm, inserts an additional frame between each original. MEMC is a type of frame interpolation technology designed to smooth out the blur when watching content that requires a clearer image, such as sports and video games,

The PX1 includes six motion compensation presets (FILM, CLEAR, STANDARD, SMOOTH, and OFF). Users also have CUSTOM mode, where they can make manual adjustments.

The FILM mode is designed especially for movies shot in 24p, and it eliminates 3:2 pulldown for more cinematic motion. When I viewed 30p and 60p material, I set the PX1 to CLEAR mode and did not notice too many motion artifacts.

SOUND QUALITY

The sound quality on the Hisense PX1 is excellent.

The PX1 features six out-of-the-box presets: STANDARD, THEATER, SPORTS, MUSIC, SPEECH, and LATE NIGHT.

The PX1, which uses the same sound system as the PX1-PRO, is one of the better-sounding ultra-short-throw projectors I have reviewed. This projector offers audio performance similar to the much more expensive Hisense L9G.

The front of the PX1 cabinet holds a 30-watt amp and speakers. Hisense has, yet again, built an internal sound system with better sound than many stand-alone soundbars.

The PX1 sounds better than many other ultra-short-throw projectors and does so without adding audible distortion at higher volumes. The digital signal processing Hisense uses provides an expansive simulated surround experience rather than sounding as if the audio is coming from the projector’s speaker cabinet.

AUDIBLE NOISE

The PX1 is a very quiet projector. Even set to its highest light level, I could barely hear the unit’s fan from my sitting position during quiet scenes. This low amount of noise from the projector’s cooling system is a testament to Hisense’s design and heat management skills.