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LG HU80KA Review – A Laser Powered, Smart, Home Entertainment Projector

Posted on September 29, 2018 by Art Feierman

The LG HU80KA projector is one interesting home entertainment and home theater projector – but more home entertainment – and that’s true on several levels. Consider: At its $2,999 list price, it is the least expensive 4K compatible projector with HDR and a laser light engine that is currently shipping (Sept 2018).

LG Specs
Technology DLP
Native Resolution 3840x2160
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 2500
Contrast 150000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio
Lens Shift No
Lamp Life


This LG projector is certainly one of the most unique projectors to reach the market in recent years. It’s very different from most others, once you get past the basics of “it’s a DLP projector.”

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The  LG HU80KA is a smart projector in the same sense as an LG Smart TV. If you own any LG smart TVs, you’ll immediately recognize the interface, as most of the menus (except for the projector specific controls), are identical to the TV's. So, setting up the Netflix app took only slightly longer than entering my account and password info using the on-screen typing pad. The remote uses gyro type technology, making for a much faster ability to navigate than most remotes.

There’s even a TV tuner, which LG has been also been providing in smaller, less expensive, more pocket-type LED projectors, including several we have reviewed (LG MiniBeam PF1000U Projector Review).

Claiming 2,500 lumens this LG has some good brights, but it is not so bright that you can take on any old room. To handle moderately bright rooms, you will need to pair this projector with a good ALR (ambient light rejecting) screen, or you will suffer too much picture quality loss, say, for daytime viewing. With the right screen, though, life can be great with this projector.

Is this LG Home Entertainment or Home Theater?

I refer to the HU80KA as more of a home entertainment projector for several reasons. Some of that is physical, some visual. It’s designed to be relatively portable – a room to room, room to vacation, room to backyard movie night kind of projector. It’s got especially good speakers for a small box and decent surround sound circuitry, which is real plus, also compared to most other home entertainment projectors.

There are also some limits to the color controls that we’ll discuss. Suffice to say, that if you are a hardcore enthusiast, you won’t end up with as highly accurate colors, or as dark black levels as you would probably want. Both are achievable at the LG’s price, point (although not with a laser engine). Instead, the HU80KA has lots of other things going for it.

This projector could be used in a classic, really dark, home theater/cave, with total light control, but I don’t see most HU80KA owners going that route. This is a fun projector, more for family than the enthusiast.

Projector Reviews Hot Product Award
Our top award given for products we review. Additionally we have Best In Class Awards in our special reports.]
$2500-$5000 Best-in-Class-Most-Innovative-Smart-Projector LG HU80KA
We created a unique Best In Class award for this unique LG HU80KA projector!

With the smarts and the unusual design, this LG should especially have appeal to millennials like my daughter, who previously relied on watching most things on her phone or laptop before getting a pocket projector for occasionally showing a far larger image for the right content.

4K content with HDR from the movie Passengers
4K content with HDR from the movie Passengers

Here are some of the key features/benefits, capabilities. We’ll explore a number of them in our Special Features and other sections of this review.  Enjoy! –art


  • 4K UHD resolution (not native 4K)
  • Laser light engine for more stable brightness, color
  • Support for HDR10, BT.2020/P3 Color
  • Very smart projector, works with Apps (many pre-loaded)
    • Photo, Video and Audio Players, web browser
  • Gyro driven remote control for fast navigating, browsing
  • Impressive on-board sound system for a projector
  • Extensive audio options, including Bluetooth, Digital Optical
  • Unique design allows for some interesting setups
    • Such as projecting onto a ceiling
  • CFI (“smooth motion”) and various other “home” type abilities

Editor's note:  Technical difficulties. The other pages of this review are not attaching correctly. We should have fixed Monday morning. At which time, enjoy the full review.  -art

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