LG AF115 Projector – Image Quality3

Bottom line LG AF115 Blacks and Shadow detail:

The AF115 combines extremely good dark shadow detail with average black levels make this projector a great choice in rooms with lighter colored walls, ambient light, etc., where blacks are already slightly impared.

Overall Color & Picture Quality

Oh boy! I may beat up the LG a bit for its only ok (good) black level performance, but when you look at the whole package, the vibrant and bright colors, with very good skin tones and tons of lumens, make the LG one of the better overall home theater projectors in its price range. Until you hit some of those really dark scenes, the LG definitely produces a picture quality that would be the envy of most of the competition.

I should also point out that the dynamic iris action of the LG in Auto 1, is pretty smooth – one of the best ones around. If you could drop this dynamic iris, say, into the Optoma HD8200, that would turn the HD8200 into some serious competition, but, alas, Optoma has been hurting itself for a few years, with dynamic iris issues.

On a dark scene like the one, right above from Lord of the Rings, the image is all pretty dark, but blacks aren’t critical. Still this LG appeared a little flat on the left side and his shirt.

This LG, like the last one, really looks good doing HDTV sports. And it can tackle some ambient light – always desireable.

Here’s my room with a my the doors and one top window wide open while I tried a baseball game. Too much light, as you can see in the second image, immediately below. You can watch it, but it is significantly washed out. You need a real light cannon of a home theater projector to tackle this much ambient. Let’s say, not the way you want to be watching.

Next, I closed down the doors to “half”, closed the top window and opened the closer picture window about a foot’s worth.

As it turns out, that was enough to do the trick. For sports and other general viewing the projector was able to handle this much window on a sunny day. You can see how the ambient light is lighting the speakers and chairs, and the front wall below the screen. You can see your friends!

You have to admit, the image above looks really good! Yet the ambient light is obvious on the speakers, and you can see I even have some of the windows partially behind the screen, open somewhat.

My only complaints about he AF115 when it comes to handling HDTV and sports include the same one that I had with the CF181D – that the CFI – creative frame interpolation to smooth fast motion doesn’t work with 1080 60 signals, which, of course, is the vast majority of HDTV sports. That’s downright silly, and should be corrected with updated firmware by LG, or at worst, improved for the next model. BTW it’s not uncommon for some projectors with CFI to not support all source types/resolution. The Sanyo PLV-Z series, for example also doesn’t do them all.

The other issue, relates to brightness. While the AF115 produces a very high quality picture for sports and general TV viewing, that’s brighter than most, that makes for a great sports projector if you have good lighting control. The weakness is that the projector in brightest, doesn’t have the muscle of a lot of competitors. That is to say, I really favor the other LG, for the extra brightness for HDTV and sports. Still, say compared to the similarly expensive Epson 8500UB, the AF115 can offer about 50% more “best mode” lumens, but only about 2/3 of the “brightest mode” lumen output.

Since most HDTV sports and significant content on HDTV is all digital these days, you may notice that the AF115, like just about all LCoS and 3LCD projectors, isn’t quite as sharp as the better DLPs. Still, I’ve watched a ton of sports on both LGs and while a touch more sharpness is always welcome, I found them both to be more than satisfactory.

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