Projector Reviews

LG HU85LA CineBeam ThinQ 4K Projector- Special Features 2

LG HU85LA Special Features 2: – Special Features: Connectivity/Media, Setup/Keystone/Warping, UST – Projection Size. Compact Form Factor, Warranty

Connectivity and Media

In addition to wireless networking, which works nicely, the HU85LA has wired networking as well. The projector has a built in media player and accepts files over its USB inputs, it is USB Plug and Play. You can also share contents with Android and iOS devices using LG’s TV Plus app. Miracast/WIDI is also supported.

The USB C handles display and data, while the two USB 2.0 inputs are used for inputting media (MP3, Photos…) Through USB the LG projector works with HID – Mice, Keyboards, GamePad.

And, let’s not forget that other form of connectivity – into the TV tuner.

You will find a lot of nice features in the smart handling of the media player, such as being able to preview a number of items at once. (See some of our menu screenshots)

Setup/Keystone and Warping

LG makes it pretty easy to fill your screen edge to edge. Understand, a major characteristic of UST projectors is that because they are so close to the screen moving them just the slightest – a fraction of an inch dramatically changes how much of the screen it fills or even overshoots.

LG lets you bring up a screen – the one below. Drag the circles to the screen’s edge, and with “12 points”, it fills the screen properly. It really does make it straightforward. Just a few minutes needed, and just once, if you don’t move it.

align to screen
The LG's screen alignment is straightforward. It allows you to quickly fill the screen edge to edge, but precise placement does it without digital compensation

Here’s the thing: LG is correcting digitally, and as is with the case of keystone correction, this slightly degrades the picture sharpness. Like most enthusiasts would, I have no problem spending 10-15 minutes, ultimately moving the projector small fractions of an inch at a time, to avoid needing the digital correction.

It’s up to you. It is a “you might not notice it” if someone could switch back and forth between using it or not.

Ultra Short Throw – Screen Sizes

These Ultra Short Throw projectors all have design limits on the range of sizes. The HU85LA will focus and fill nicely, screens from 90” to 120” diagonal. That makes good sense. If you really need something smaller than 90 inches you are probably destined for a “TV” not a projector. On the high end side – 120” diagonal is a nice, really big screen, but there are some who have the space and want to go larger.

100" screen
A 100" diagonal 16:9 screen is certainly impressively large. The HU85LA will handle up to a 120" screen - which is 44% larger!

If you think about it, trying to create a sharp image across a screen is always a challenge, even for the normal to long throw projector lenses. When you think of the UST design, the wider the working screen size range, the greater the focusing challenge.

Funny thing is I might be one of those with the space to go larger. We pack up the business and the furniture and we’re moving to Florida from California in September. The new living room has a 12-foot wide recess in one living room wall. I was thinking – I could go UST projector in this room. It’s big enough for more than a 120”. Oh well. My previous main screens were 128” (16:9) and 124” (2.40:1). I can live with a 120, I guess.

Still, the number of home theater folks with larger than 120” diagonal screens is relatively small – generally, the sweet spot for the home theater projector screen market is 100” to 110” diagonal. Not a thing small about 110”!.

Compact Form Factor – Dimensions

This LG certainly seems smaller than any of the other 4K UHD ultra-short throw projectors I’ve seen.

It is probably not a lot smaller than, say the Optoma, or Viewsonic. Definitely smaller than the Dell (which is more business-oriented). Its minimalistic look (they tout that), finished in white, (with a light grey “designer” speaker cloth in the front), and low profile may just make it seem a lot smaller than the competition.

The LG is a smaller UST projector
LG HU85LA. Note how small the HU85LA appears sitting on the low credenza! For a UST home projector.

So, how big is it?
The LG HU85LA is 26.8 inches wide, only 5 inches tall, and just 13.7 inches deep.

It weighs 26.9 lbs. (it has an under 34 pound shipping weight)

That also means if you are placing it on a credenza type piece of furniture, it doesn’t have to be deep, as the front of the projector – even when filling a maximum 120” diagonal screen

The Big Screen – 120” diagonal
The back of the projector would only be 7.2 inches from the screen. A nicely placed credenza or other solution, therefore, needs to be no more than 18” wide.
The audience facing the front of the HU85LA projector would only be 20.8 inches away from the bottom of the screen.

Note a dealer advised me that they have been able to pair the HU85LA with a 130″ screen and have good sharpness.  Some of you will want to look into that, if a 120″ doesn’t quite satiate your hunger for size.

The Smallest Screen – 90” diagonal
Back of the Projector: 2.2 inches
Front of the Projector: 15.8 inches

100" screen - could be bigger!
The bigger the screen, the bigger the game seems. Unfortunately the only UST screen I have is this 100"

New Home, New Setup, New Projector, New Screen

I should mention that I’ve been considering one of the new UST home theater projectors for our new home in Florida. This LG should go very nicely in the living room of our new condo.

The Living Room is set up very nicely, with just the place for a 120” motorized screen. If I go that route, I know which screen I need:
Screen Innovations Solo 2, which to my knowledge, is still the only ALR type screen designed for UST projectors, that is not a fixed wall, rigid screen. The wife does not want a blank 120” screen on our wall when the projector is not in use. The motorized Solo 2 therefore is just the ticket. And a great choice for anyone dealing with UST projectors and “partner” considerations, i.e. “you aren’t putting that in my living room!”

LG HU85LA AI CineBeam Warranty

LG provides one year parts and labor on the HU85LA. They do not provide any additional warranty on their laser light engine.  Some laser projectors come with specific warranties on the engine, we’ve seen up to 5 years on the light engine. One year is a surprisingly short warranty for a projector in this price range.  No loaner or replacement program included. Many $2500 – $6000 projectors come with two or three year warranties, and some of those have rapid replacement programs during all or part of their warranty.

Bottom Line on LG’s warranty – shorter than most of the competition and overall disappointing!