LG CineBeam HU85LA First Look Review – 4K UHD and Ultra Short Throw

The LG is a smaller UST projector
Shown - an LG stock photo. Note how small the HU85LA appears sitting on the low credenza! For a UST home projector it is small.

The LG CineBeam HU85LA made its first appearance at CES 2019, where it won an Innovation Award. LG is known for their smart TVs and smart projectors, the most recently reviewed being their CineBeam HU80KA. LG fans are eagerly waiting for the arrival of this 4K UHD ultra short throw projector, with new comments popping up on LG’s page for the HU85LA every day. I, too, am keen on this projector, as 4K capable UST projectors are a rare breed indeed. The projector is slated to drop “later in 2019,” and we are hoping to see a demonstration at InfoComm 2019.

Before we get into it – what is a First Look Review? Our First Look Reviews are one-page, simple reviews based on the projector’s specs, features, and our thoughts based on those aspects, before we get the projector in for review – these First Looks are a mixture of insight and common sense. We won’t know if the projector lives up to our expectations until we get it in for testing, but we can make assumptions from what we know about similar projectors from the manufacturers, in addition to those specs/features. Now, on with our First Look Review of the LG CineBeam HU85LA!

View Full Specifications Here >>
LG HU85LA Specs
PriceN/A
TechnologyDLP
Native Resolution3840x2160
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)2700
Contrast2,000,000,000:1
Zoom Lens RatioN/A
Lens ShiftNo
Lamp Life20,000
WeightN/A
Warranty1 Year Parts and Labor

Overview

The LG CineBeam HU85LA does not currently have a published MSRP. Looking at the specifications, and the price point of the HU80KA, we’re probably looking at around $3K or higher. This 4K UHD LG can project an image from 90” and up to 120” – not bad. Many UST projectors I’ve seen tend to project up to 100” only.

It’s a laser based DLP projector claiming up to 2,700 lumens. If I recall correctly, the HU80KA didn’t meet its claim, but that doesn’t mean this one won’t! Even if the projector measures under claim, like most projectors do (up to 25% under, in fact), we’re still looking at a projector that is capable of handling a fair about of ambient light.

The LG CineBeam HU85LA comes with built-in, dual 5-watt speakers, with Bluetooth capabilities for connecting external speakers. Nice. This LG is a good size – 26.8” wide, 13.7” deep, and 5.0” tall, weighing in at 26.9 lbs. It has plenty of inputs and connectors, as well as some awesome special features that we’ll get into in the – you guessed it – Special Features section of this First Look Review.

Highlights

  • No Published List Price Yet – Estimated $3K+
  • 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) Resolution
  • 2,700 Lumens – Bright Enough to Handle a Fair Amount of Ambient Light
  • DLP Technology
  • Laser Light Engine – Up to 20,000 Hours
  • 2,000,000:1 Contrast Ratio
  • Supports HDR10
  • LG SmartTV – Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Channel Plus, Accuweather, Hulu
  • Magic Remote
  • App Store
  • LG ThinQ and Google Assistant
  • Bluetooth Speaker Compatibility
  • Wireless Capabilities – Screen Share iOS and Android Devices with Miracast and WiDi Supporting Device
  • Build-in 5 Watt Stereo Speakers
  • Digital TV Tuner
  • HID (Keyboard/Mouse/GamePad Connection via USB)
  • Quick On/Off Function
  • 1 Year Parts and Labor Warranty

Special Features

smart menus
The main Magic menu oof the LG80KA - a "smart" menu system

The LG CineBeam HU85LA brings the best of LG Smart TVs and 4K UHD projectors together to create one awesome machine. This is what immediately attracted me to this projector. I had been researching the newest projectors announced by manufacturers that will be at InfoComm 2019 for another article when I came across the HU85LA. Arriving at LG’s sales page for the projector, I was instantly intrigued by the sleek design, the brightness, and all of its special features.

The first of which to mention is obvious – the 4K UHD resolution and its support for HDR10. I haven’t seen anything about this projector tackling the BT.2020/P3 expanded color space, so I can neither confirm or deny at this time. I already let Art know to ask LG about this at InfoComm this year. Information has also not been released as to whether or not the HU85LA has an 18 Ghz HDMI, so we don’t yet know if the projector is suitable for 4K gaming with HDR.

The LG CineBeam HU85LA has built-in, 5-watt stereo speakers and compatibility with Bluetooth speakers. In addition to your standard Bluetooth speakers, you’ll also have the choice of using a Bluetooth soundbar. The projector also has wireless capabilities! Using Miracast or a WiDi Supporting Device, you can screenshare your iOS or Android devices.

What sets this projector apart from other 4K UHD ultra short throw projectors on the market are the LG Smart TV features. This is something that LG has been including on their projectors for years, and, of course, have been making improvements over time. Netflix, YouTube, Amazon, Channel Plus, Accuweather, and Hulu, all come standard with this feature. LG also has an App Store, as well as LG ThinQ and Google Assistant.

Hardware

LG HU85LA home projector
The HU85LA home projector has a minimalistic design, but there's nothing minimalistic about its picture quality or features. Dual 5 watt speaks are hiding behind the cloth.

The LG CineBeam HU85LA has two HDMI inputs, one regular and at least one HDCP 2.2 for processing 4K signals. There are two USBs – a Type A and a Type C. HID (Keyboard/Mouse/GamePad) can be connected via one of those USB ports. There’s a Digital TV Tuner, as well as an RJ-45 LAN connector. As mentioned, the projector can send Bluetooth audio out, and, if you want to hook up wired external speakers, there’s an Audio Out for that, too.

LG-Cinebeam-HU85LA_Magic-Remote

The projector comes with a Magic Remote, battery included. The Magic Remote is a fan favorite, as it is intuitive and has several options for navigating your content. You can click. You can scroll. And, you can use voice control with LG’s Voice Mate speech recognition technology. If you’re interested in reading more about this remote, Art wrote about it in his full review of the LG HU80KA.

The Bottom Line

I am eager to get more information on the LG HU85LA. As it stands, I think it’s an excellent choice for an ultra short throw, 4K UHD projector. I’d like to see the projector in action, of course, before I decide if this one deserves a place in my home, but as far as specs go – I dig it. Art said the HU80KA didn’t have the best color – it would be great if this projector had improved color.

I do hope Art gets a chance to speak with the representatives at LG about if the HU85LA can tackle the BT.2020/P3 color space, and if it supports 4K gaming with HDR. If so, the projector will definitely make my short list! I’ll update this First Look Review with more information as it comes, so stay tuned.

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