Posted on January 26, 2020 By Phil Jones
LG HU70LA CineBeam ThinQ 4K Projector Review – Hardware: Overview, Control Panel, Inputs and Connectors
The LG HU70LA is a very compact home theater projector measuring approximately 12 ½ inches wide x 8” deep x 3.7” high and weighing just 7 pounds.
The front of the HU70LA is very clean with just the lens positioned on the left. On the top is a simple control panel. Just above the lens is a lever to adjust the lens zoom ring. Next is a very simple control panel that contains four arrow buttons with the POWER button located in the center. Finally, there is a focus adjustment button which is used in conjunction with the left and right buttons to focus the image.
There are two stereo speakers, one located on each side of the projector. The air intake vent is located on the left side of the projector, while the outlet vent is located on the right side. All the inputs and connections are located on the rear of the chassis.
The inputs and connections are all located on the rear of the HU70LA. Starting from the top section on the left is a DC input port where you plug in the unit’s external power supply. To reduce the HU70LA overall size and weight to its absolute minimum, the projector utilizes an external power supply. While using an external power supply does reduce the size of the chassis, the power supply is rather bulky so I would have preferred if it had been built in. Next to the power input is an IR receiver, optical digital audio output, and a LAN port.
The section below contains a coaxial antenna port which can be connected to a cable /satellite Set Top Box (STB). While the best way to connect a 4K display to a STB is via HDMI, this input is still great for those customers who want to connect the HU70LA to an external antenna and utilize the unit’s built-in digital TV tuner to receive over the air local TV channels.
Next is a headphone port which could be useful for viewing late at night without disturbing others. Note: the HU70LA also has a Bluetooth transmitter so you can wirelessly connect the projector to a pair of Bluetooth audio device or set of Bluetooth headphones.
There are two USB-B 2.0 ports which can be used to playback music and video content from a USB drive. It can also be used to connect USB accessories like a mouse, keyboard, or game controller. The HU70LA also has a single USB-C port which can be used to playback content from a USB drive but can also display content from a PC/laptop or smartphone via their USB-C output terminal.
There are two HDMI inputs that are 18Gbps/HDCP 2.2 compatible and allows playback of [email protected] HDR content. The HDMI #2 input also supports e-ARC allows the transfer of uncompressed multi-channel audio for the highest sound quality for the HU70LA’s built-in streaming apps.
The HU70LA does not offer any horizontal or vertical lens shift which limits its placement flexibility. The projector does offer a small amount of zoom (1.25:1) but you will probably still have to move the projector back and forth to fit the screen.
Here’s the throw distances for the HU70LA for filling a 100” 16:9 screen (measured from the front of the lens to the screen):
The good news is that the HU70LA is incredibly compact and lightweight, so it is a breeze to move the unit from room to room and most users probably will not permanently mount the projector. There is a good chance it would just be placed on a coffee table when it is time to watch something and put away when done.
The control panel located on top of the HU70LA is very simple so most people will only use the control panel for initial setup, then rely on the remote control. It is located behind the lens zoom lever. There are four arrow buttons normally used for adjusting volume (Left/Right), and changing TV channels (Up/Down), with the POWER button located in the center. You press the power button once to power the projector on. To power the unit off you press and hold the Power button for at least 3 seconds. Once you have adjusted the image size with the focus lever, there is focus adjustment button which is used in conjunction with the left and right buttons to focus the image.
LG’s been utilizing versions of a Magic Remote on their TV’s and FPJ models for years and the LG remote is a gyro type device. While the HU70LA remote is packed with buttons, most adjustments are done with just the flick of your wrist utilizing the gyro mouse technology. The internal gyro creates a faster, more precise remote-control system than traditional remotes that rely on arrow keys or a joystick for navigation.
The remote itself, is about six inches long, slightly tapered and deeper at the bottom. The gyro aspects kick in when you flick your wrist to the (left or right) which puts the remote’s cursor up on the screen. While the remote has the traditional 4-way arrow buttons it is much fast to navigate the menu using gyro control
As I mentioned earlier the LG Magic Remote, like most remotes has lots of buttons. Most are there to control the projector’s internal TV tuner or a connected third-party source. The LG Magic remote can control your set top box, or blu-ray player, etc, including powering it on, and off. While you may still need to grab the set top box or video player factory remote to access a 3rd party unit’s setup menu, the Magic Remote has all the buttons needed for day-to-day operation including power, channel, and playback control.
While I am not going to cover each button on the remote in detail, I do want to point out a few notable ones. The button that looks like a gear takes you to the HU70LA setting menu. To access apps and entertainment you need to press the button that looks like a house which takes you to the projector app menu.
First, in the middle of the remote is a Microphone button for voice control of the projector or compatible 3rd Internet of Things (IoT) device via LG ThinQ and/or Google Assistant.
In between the four navigation buttons is a scrolling wheel which allows quicker up/down navigation of the menu. To make a selection, it also acts as the Enter button when pressed. There is a button labeled Guide which brings up a generic TV guide which you can provide the HU70LA with geographic info to improve it.
Another convenient button is the Streaming Service button which takes you directly to the HU70LA library of streaming services.
There is also a row of four small colored buttons – red, green, yellow, and blue which you normally see on many video sources like a Blu-ray player. Depending on the 3rd party device being controlled, they may be used for different purposes, for example, adding, deleting bookmarks, advancing, or going back 12 hours in the channel guide. Lastly, while zoom is done manually via the zoom lever on the top of the projector, the HU70LA focus is motorized so there is a Focus Adjustment button.
The HU70LA is a Smart projector so it has a complex menu system, but it is well organized and easy to navigate. There are two different menus – one is for making picture adjustments and the other is for accessing content, apps, and services.
The button that looks like a gear is the Quick Setting button which takes you directly to the HU70LA basic settings menu. Pressing and holding the button will take you directly to the projector’s advanced picture settings.
To access apps and other entertaining services, you need to press the HOME button which literally looks like a house. Once in the projector app menu, you can select a specific input, a streaming app, the web browser, media player, or explore the LG Content store.
Since the HU70LA is a Smart projector, there are dozens and dozens of menu/entertainment options. The images of the menu shown in this section represent only a small number of all the sub-menus available. I tried to show a couple more notable sections found in the most used sub-menus (app store, image adjustments, networking, etc.).
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