LG AF115 – Performance

LG AF115 Brightness

The LG AF115 is above average in brightness. It definitely is not as bright as the more expensive CF181D, measuring about 30% lower in brightness overall. That’s a much bigger difference than the 1500 vs. 1800 lumens of the AF115 vs. CF181D, based on claims. However, keep in mind that the AF115 is pre-production, and those typically measure a bit light. Also remember, we measure with the lens at mid-zoom point, that just about guarantees that our measurements will be below factory claim, if a projector has a fair amount of zoom range. Manufacturers measure their lumens with the lens at wide angle when it’s brightest. That can be more than 20% brighter than the mid-point measurement we get. Mike did quick measurements, but only Vivid mode uncalibrated, and fast “quick calibrate” bright mode, that’s better, but not as bright as Vivid. The Vivid mode measured 976 lumens The “Brightest” mode (placed in Expert 2) measured 801 lumens. Please remember that the goal of a “brightest mode” quick-cal is to maintain as much brightness as possible, while improving the color accuracy and picture overall. In this case, the improvement is slight so the Vivid mode would probably be what most would watch when lumens are needed. It does look pretty good for a bright mode.

The LG CF181D measured Vivid at 1380 vs. 976 for the AF115 (that makes the AF115 29.3% less bright). Using the same percentages for both projectors we would expect a “Best mode” with iris on Auto 1, to measure in at 635 lumens! That’s still very respectable, brighter than any of the 3LCD competition (Sanyo, Mitsubishi, Epson, Panasonic) in their best modes. The Effect of zoom lens positioning on brightness: Our standard measurements reported for the LG AF115 are done with the zoom at its mid-point as with all reviews. Wide angle is about 5% brighter than mid-point on the zoom Telephoto is approximately 13% dimmer than mid point. The roughly 18% drop from wide angle to telephoto lens settings should be the same, regardles of what mode you choose.

The Effect of low lamp (eco) mode on brightness: Switching to Low lamp power results in a measured reduction in brightness of approximately 28.6 percent. Bottom line: Definitely brighter than average in “best mode”, but strictly average in “brightest mode”. That said, this isn’t a full production projector, so production projectors may well be a bit brighter. One thing that’s excellent; like the CF181D, this AF115 looks good. Somehow it seems to have more lumens than we measure. That’s a good thing!

Sharpness

The LG AF115 is an LCoS projector. However, it’s more like an LCD projector in one regard, and that is, it lacks the digital pixel alignment feature found on JVC and Sony (and even Cinetron) LCoS projectors. Most 3LCD projectors could also sport this feature, but generally, the LCD crowd hasn’t added it – yet. Pixel alignment was pretty good for pre-production. None of the colors, (R,G,B) were off a full pixel, vertically or horizontally, with two off over a half pixel. I expected no difference in sharpness between this LG, and the CF181D, while I’ve viewed them months apart. The image was every bit as sharp as the other LCoS projectors that have been though here, and for that matter, the Epson 8500UB. The Mitsubishi HC6800 (3LCD) that was recently reviewed, I’d have to give the slightest advantage in sharpness, but then Mitsubishi projectors are usually very good. You can see the LG is softer than the DLP’s around here, when you put on nice pure digital 1080p content. On movies the difference is slight enough that the average viewer wouldn’t notice at all, but we “enthusiasts” study everything.

LG_CF181D
LG_CF181D
DLA-RS25
HC7000
PT-AE4000
8500UB
HD8200
IN83

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