Posted on February 15, 2021 By Phil Jones
LG AU810PB 4K CineBeam Projector Review – Special Features: Dual-Channel Laser Light Engine, Brightness Optimizer, HDR Pro, HDMI 2.1 Features, WiSA, Smart TV Features, Calman Auto Calibration
LG rated the AU810PB’s Laser-light engine at 2700 lumens for 20,000 hours, which means it offers several years of worry-free operation. The AU810PB uses a 2-channel Laser-light source with both red and blue lasers, and a static phosphor wheel is used to generate green. This laser light source is more sophisticated than the blue laser phosphor systems utilize in many home theater projectors that cost significantly more.
This system eliminates the need for a sequential color wheel, which can dramatically reduce the breakup of color or rainbow effect. It also delivers a wider color gamut. The AU810PB can reproduce 97% of the DCI-P3 color space without the need for a cinema filter.
There are three modes to adjust the brightness output of the laser light source. The lamp power adjustment is called ENERGY SAVING, and the other options are:
To help maximize the AU810PB in different light conditions, the projector has an adjustable iris. The projector can adjust its light output by changing the size of the iris opening. In addition to the three preset levels (BRIGHTROOM, MEDIUM, DARKROOM), there is a USER mode which gives you the ability to manually adjust the iris size. The DARKROOM setting reduces the size of the iris opening to improve black levels in a darkened environment. In BRIGHTROOM mode the iris opens fully which allows the maximum amount to reach the screen.
LG AU810PB has a feature called Adaptive Contrast, which adjusts the Laser output to increase the dynamic contrast ratio and produce the best on the image. This feature makes bright scenes appear brighter, while dark scenes remain highly detailed with deep blacks and shade detail still visible. The ability to modulate the laser’s light output combined with an adjustable iris really improves the AU810PB’s black level performance in a darker environment.
Dynamic Tone Mapping
Just like LG’s 4K HDR TVs, the AU810PB is equipped with similar video processors. One of the biggest benefits of using such a powerful processor is that the AU810PB can dynamically tone map HDR content which offers a significant improvement in dynamic range as well as color. What it does is lets you see more detail in the darker images and shadows and in the bright areas it delivers more vibrant lifelike colors.
Due to their limited brightness, HDR projectors utilize tone mapping, which often compromises the bright highlight details as well as delivering full-screen brightness. There is metadata embedded in HDR content that this HDR projector utilizes to make tone mapping adjustments for the best picture.
Since the MaxFALL/MaxCLL metadata found in HDR10 content is static, it only provides information about the brightest frame’s average brightness and brightest pixel in the movie. This results in many lower brightness scenes using the static metadata and then the image the looks way too dark.
Higher-end LCD and OLED TVs have been able to measure the HDR content frame-by-frame to generate accurate metadata dynamically for years. Again, like their flat panel TVs, the LG AU810PB can dynamically measure HDR metadata, which improves the projector’s HDR performance and utilizes the AU810PB’s brightness capabilities based on the content being shown for better results.
The images above show the difference when Dynamic Tone Mapping is switched ON and OFF. In order to maintain most of the highlight details and vibrant colors, the AU810PB chose to sacrifice some brightness when Dynamic Tonemapping is engaged. Overall, I still preferred viewing HDR with the setting switched ON.
HGiG (HDR Gaming Interest Group)
LG is a member of the HGiG (HDR Gaming Interest Group) so the AU810PB includes HGiG which is designed to improve the HDR gaming experience.
Once the AU810PB identifies itself to an HGiG compatible game console or computer, the game system uses the information provided by the projector to look up unit in the database. The console then shares the exact values for the display or its assigned category with the game software.
The gaming console and the game software then use the projector’s properties when rendering images to optimize the picture quality during HDR gameplay. In case the player wants to adjust their gaming experience, the game console offers a simple calibration process that overrides the information provided by the projector.
The AU810PB does not support 8K or 4K at 120 frame per second however, its HDMI inputs support several HDMI 2.1 features which will enhance the audio quality and the gaming experience.
HDMI eARC (AUDIO RETURN CHANNEL)
The AU810PB is one of the first projectors on the market equipped with eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel).
If you don’t use ARC or eARC, the only other option would be to connect the optical audio output. Like most TVs/FPJs, the optical output is not able to pass the latest immersive surround formats to an external sound system. Ifyou use an optical output, all you are going to provide to your soundbar, or receiver is stereo or Dolby Pro Logic information.
HDMI ARC (Audio Return Channel) supports multi-channel audio, which includes Dolby Atmos. Due to bandwidth limitations, it delivers a compressed audio signal, for example Dolby Digital Plus.
The latest version of HDMI audio return is eARC which can transfer a much higher bandwidth and also supports uncompressed audio surround formats like Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio. This ensures the A/V receiver or soundbar receives the maximum quality audio signal from the projector’s internal apps or any directly connected source.
The AU810PS is also one of the first projectors with Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM). When you play a game on a compatible gaming console or PC, this feature automatically switches into its “Game Mode” for smooth, lag-free game play. Most other projectors require you to do this manually by going through menus and/or settings to change to this mode. You would then have to switch back to the desired video mode if you wanted to watch a movie or broadcasted content.
ALLM doesn’t just switch the AU180PB into Game mode every time you turn on your gaming system it is intelligent enough to tell if you are actually using the console to play a game, watch a streaming movie, or play a Blu-ray disc and switches to the most appropriate mode automatically to optimize your experience.
The AU810PB is WiSA ready. If you plug an optional third-party WiSA transmitter into one of the projector’s USB ports, the projector can wirelessly transmit 7.1-channel audio to a compatible set of speakers via the high-resolution WiSA. This is again a feature often found in LG’s line-up of TVs and I am glad to see it added to this projector as well.
The WiSA (Wireless Speaker and Audio) is a hardware and software specification which allows wireless the transfer of up to eight (8) channels of uncompressed 24-bit, 96KHz audio. Extremely low 5.2ms of latency along with less than 1 microsecond of synchronization between speakers provides for a high-quality surround sound experience.
Also, removing the need for speaker wires eliminates one of the biggest hassels in installation hassles and can significantly reduce labor cost if you are having your system installed professionally. In this application as long as the speaker can be plugged into a wall outlet, you can place them anywhere in the room you like. This makes it much easier for anyone to setup a complete home entertainment solution without a tremendous amount of effort, whether it is simple stereo system or a robust 5.1, 7.1 surround. It also supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X systems.
The AU810PB utilizes the same ThinQ AI webOS that is found in LG’s current flat panel lineup. It’s a Smart projector made by a Smart TV manufacturer. LG has been a leader in building Smart projectors as they have simply incorporated everything they have know from years of building Smart TVs into this projector.
The AU810PB uses LG’s User Interface, which was developed over many years and has been market tested by the millions of LG TVs being used worldwide to ensure a seamless, easy-to-navigate, and well laid out system. The LG CineBeam lineup of projectors are some of the “Smartest” and most capable projectors on the market for voice control capabilities. It would take a dozen pages to cover all the Smart TV features found in the AU810PB. However, below are some of the more notable features that make the AU810PB an outstanding solution for a Smart TV replacement.
The AU810PB is one incredibly Smart projector, equipped with voice used to operate the Smart remote with its built-in microphone to control a wide variety of compatible Smart devices via Google Assistant. Just press and hold the mic button in the center of the remote control to activate Google Assistant and you are ready to operate the AU810PB. Some of the things you can use voice control for would be to ask the projector to “Play the Videos in USB” or “Change Mode to Vivid.”
Google Assistant allows voice control for several 3rd party items like a set-top box, lights, door locks, curtains, etc. There are dozens of available commands and you can get more details of all the different commands by just holding down the AU810PB remote’s microphone button.
For you amazon fans, don’t worry, LG has you covered becausease the AU810PB also has Alexa Built-in
LG Content Store
LG has a long-established app store that is loaded with a massive amount of entertainment apps which can all be accessed directly from this projector. You can also access many of the other popular streaming services including Amazon Prime, HULU, and Disney+ to name a few. Since the AU810PB utilizes the same ThinQ Ai WebOS as LG’s TV lineup, I expect the library of services and apps available will continue to grow.
Wireless Connectivity and Media Playback
The AU810PB allows for both wired and wireless networking. This is great for users who want to access the unit’s internal apps and services easily. The AU810PB has both streaming services and built-in speakers, so if you want to take your entertainment with you for backyard movie night, for example, all you need is a power outlet and a wall or screen to project onto,
The projector also has a built-in media player, and that can access files via its USB inputs. The two USB 2.0 inputs can be used to playback many different types of media (Videos, MP3, Photos, etc.). You can also use the USB input on the LG projector to connect other tools such as a mouse, keyboard, or game controller.
You can also share content from Android and iOS devices using LG’s TV Plus app and Miracast/WIDI, which is also supported.
RGB Balance Before Auto-Calibration
RGB Balance After Auto-Calibration
Color Sweeps Before Auto-Calibration
Color Sweeps After Auto-Calibration
Calibrating a projector optimizes its performance for your screen and room; however, it can take a professional calibrator several hours. The AU801PB, just like LG high-end flat-panel TV, can communicate directly with the Calman calibration software to auto-calibrate itself. The software takes reading and adjusts the projector’s menu settings to fine-tune the onscreen image quickly. This feature can be used to calibrate the projector for both SDR and HDR.
Using the CALMAN software along with my Klein K10 meter and Murideo Seven 7G test pattern generator, it took me less than an hour to do both an SDR and HDR calibration. All I had to do, is press start and wait. While you still need all the equipment, including the CALMAN software, a test pattern generator, and a meter, this feature dramatically reduces the time required to precisely calibrate the AU810PB.
While auto-calibration does reduce the time required to adjust RGB white balance, when calibrating HDR, like most projectors, it is still best to fine-tune brightness and highlight detail using your eyes.
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