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LG CF181D Projector: Pros, Cons, and Typical Capabilities

Posted on February 20, 2010 by Art Feierman

LG CF181D Projector: Pros, Cons, and Typical Capabilities

LG CF181D Projector: Pros

  • A dazzling 900 lumens in "best" mode, makes handling larger screens easy, and dynamic
  • Almost 1400 "brightest" mode lumens, and pretty good color to boot - great for sports viewing or fighting some ambient light.
  • Excellent color, post calibration, especially skin tones which really do look a touch better than some very good projectors
  • Reasonably good "enough" black levels, though not great
  • Better than average placement flexibility with 1.8:1 zoom and lens shift
  • Dynamic iris, though not producing the blackest blacks, does offer pretty smooth operation
  • Iris can be put in manual mode, if projector too bright, but iris can not perform dynamically, so black levels not as good.
  • Offers creative frame interpolation (some limits)
  • Takes 24fps film to 48fps (2:2 pull-down)
  • Excellent remote control
  • Overall, a most impressive picture, plus all those lumens make for the CF181D's superior price performance

LG CF181D Projector: Cons

  • CFI has some jerky artifacts when using with 24fps film content. Not recommended for movie viewing
  • Black level performance, while pretty good, would need to be better still to compete with the best in the LG's price range
  • Documentation - pretty basic, though generally helpful, but lacks good descriptions of many features. For example, Real Cinema On, 24fps 1080 becomes 48fps. Set it Off and it uses 3:2 pull-down. It's not explained in the manual.
  • No anamorphic lens support
  • Menus, otherwise logical, pack too many items per menu, requiring scrolling, and making it harder to find features
  • Changing out the lamp requires unmounting from a ceiling mount
  • Overscan not operational with 1080 source material, and no edge masking either (bummer)
  • Could be a little quieter (23 db in eco-mode, probably about 27-28 at full power?)
  • Despite 1920x1080 native resolution, does not support data resolutions of 1600x1200 UXGA, or 1920x1200 WUXGA.

LG CF181D Projector: Typical Capabilities

  • Documentation - overall
  • Just average lamp life - 2000 hours in High lamp power mode, 3000 in low (eco) power
  • Styling: Black, boxy, some minor nice touches - not bad, not impressive
  • Overall size and weight - a medium large projector typical in size for an LCoS projector
  • Shadow detail performance
  • Cost of operation

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