Posted on January 26, 2020 By Phil Jones
LG HU70LA CineBeam ThinQ 4K Projector Review – Summary: Highlights, Value Proposition, Pros and Cons
The HU70LA is a 4K DLP projector that retails for $1,799. It utilizes a single DLP (0.47” DMD) chip to reproduce 4K UHD resolution (3,840 x 2,160). The HU70LA’s 4ch LED light engine is rated to deliver at 1,500 lumens for up to 30,000 hours.
Unlike most LED or Laser DLP projectors, the LG HU70LA does not have a spinning phosphor color wheel. It uses four LEDs to generate red, green and blue, with an addition of the fourth LED to boost brightness, contrast, and generate more vivid colors.
The HU70LA is one of LG’s CineBeam series of projectors which are the Smartest projectors available on the market today. Most other Smart projectors just utilize the widely available Android TV operating system to add popular entertainment apps usually via Android TV HDMI Dongle. LG has equipped the HU70LA with the same ThinQ AI webOS that is offered in their lineup of Smart flat panel TVs. Since the HU70LA was built around LG’s UI, which was developed over several years and is utilized in millions of LG TVs worldwide, the Smart features are incorporated seamlessly, the menus are easy to navigate, and well laid out.
The HU70LA is loaded with all the popular streaming apps like Netflix, HULU, YouTube and Disney+. Looking for access to local broadcast channels with a 3rd party set top box, the HU70LA also has a built-in digital tuner. There is even a built-in web browser.
Also, the HU70LA is the first projector I have ever used or reviewed that included HDMI eARC (audio return channel) which delivers the highest quality immersive sound for the projector’s internal streaming services. You can also wirelessly stream audio via Bluetooth to an external speaker or sound system.
Since the HUL70LA was designed to be a replacement to a Smart flat panel TV, it has all the Smart feature customers have come to expect from a smart TV like voice control. You can use the Smart remote, which has a built-in microphone to not only control basic projector features but also control a wide variety of compatible Smart devices via Google Assistant.
Not only does the HU70LA have a ton of Smart entertainment features, since it utilizes LG’s ThinQ AI webOS it also has Smart video processing to optimize picture quality of HDR content and the projector’s AUTO TONE MAPPING feature. Unlike most HDR compatible projectors in the HU70LA’s price point, I rarely felt the need to make any manual tone mapping adjustments during HDR viewing.
Combine the HU70LA with a good portable screen like an Elite Screen ezCinema or a Screen Innovations Solo to create a great 85” TV replacement which can easily be tucked away when not in use.
Great picture, smart features, and low maintenance make the HU70LA a compelling alternative to a large flat panel TV especially in room where space is at a premium. In fact, I am personally considering this solution for my master bedroom.
The HU70LA offers a lot of performance and features for its price. There are plenty of lamp-based projectors in the HU70LA like the Epson Home Cinema 3,800 that can deliver picture quality equal to this projector. However, you give up the 30,000 hours of maintenance free operation provided by the HU70LA’s LED light engine and most do not offer any Smart features. The Optoma UHD52ALV does offer some Smart capabilities like voice control via an included Wi-Fi dongle but the projector has no built-in streaming apps.
Most other Smart projectors that tout the availability of popular entertainment apps just utilize the widely available Android TV via secondary Android TV HDMI Dongle. Basically, the projector manufacturer is throwing an Amazon Fire Stick or Google Chromecast in the box. The Smart features are not seamlessly incorporated into the projector which results in multiple disjointed menus.
A quick competitive search for 4K LED/Laser smart projectors under $2,000 uncovered just one model, the ViewSonic X10-4k. Both units are DLP units with 4ch LED illumination and retail for around $1,500. While the X10-4K offers 3D, the unit is larger, and its rated ANSI lumens brightness is lower. Also, while many of the HU70LA internal apps can deliver native 4K many of the services on the ViewSonic X10-4K like Netflix are reportedly just HD or 480P. The HU70LA auto tone mapping feature should also give it a picture quality advantage when viewing HDR content.
Overall, I was pleased with the picture the HU70LA delivered in my room.There are few projectors outside of LG’s other CineBeam models that can match the HU70LA unique feature set. If you are looking for a bright, compact 4K Smart projector with the worry-free operation provide by LED illumination, the HU70LA should be on your short list.
LG HU70LA Pros
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