Posted on January 12, 2021 By Phil Jones
LG HU85LS 4K UST Business Projector Review – Performance 2: Video Quality, 4K HDR, Text and Presentation Quality, Sound Quality, Audible Noise
Below are images of a variety of videos and photos in 4K and HD resolution. Like all our photos, they remain unadjusted for color, so they do not look as good as what the projector produced. All the HD and 4K images were taken with the HU85LS set to either EXPERT (DARK ROOM) and EXPERT (BRIGHT ROOM) mode.
Since most TV shows and live broadcasts will continue to be produced in HD for several more years, so good 4K upscaling will continue to be important. The projector’s upscaling is excellent. Whether I was watching 720P sports from ESPN or 1080p Blu-ray content, it all looked very good. Most 4K movies do not have enough fine detail to make the difference between watching 4K SDR and HD noticeable.
While most Blu-ray UHD content is available in HDR10, a lot of 4K streaming material is still only 4K SDR. The HU85LS had no problems delivering sharp detailed 4K imagery.
Since a 4K DLP chip does not actually have 8.3 million mirrors, the HU85LS utilizes pixel (mirror) shifting to deliver the perceived sharpness of 4K resolution. This approach works very well. It is very difficult to see a difference in sharpness when comparing a 4K DLP projector like the HU85LS to a native 4K LCD/LCoS model from a normal viewing distance. Out of the box the 4K picture was good and after calibration the picture would be even better.
I would classify the overall picture quality of the LG HU85LS Laser TV as very good especially for a projector targeted at business and education applications. It delivered an image that would satisfy most of the folks considering it for a conference room, hotel lobby, or museum.
4K HDR content can deliver expanded color space with better highlight and shadow detail, but even the brightest HDR projectors can struggle to faithfully reproduce HDR. The HU85LS can dynamically tone map HDR10 content, and this feature did a good job maintaining highlight detail. However, tone mapping (whether it is dynamic or not) requires the projector to compromise something (highlights, brightness, contrast, color, or black level).
The HU85LS chose to sacrifice some brightness when Dynamic Tone mapping is engaged. Since the HU85L was a brighter projector, overall, I still preferred viewing HDR with the setting switched ON. The images below show the difference when Dynamic Tone Mapping is switched ON and OFF.
Highlights in the actor's hair are blown out.
Highlights in the actor's hair are visible
Bright details outside the window are clipped
Bright detail outside the window are visible
Lab coats are blown out
Details in the lab coats are visible
The LG HU85LS also supports HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) which is the HDR standard developed for live broadcast. While it will be a long time before HDR is used to display a PowerPoint, there are business and education application where good HDR reproduction is beneficial. For many of those use cases, the HU85LS would be a good option.
The HU85LS’s ability to display UHD (3840 x2160) resolution is most concerned over legibility of text and ensures that fine details are visible. Higher resolution does not change the limitations of font sizes and viewing distances for PowerPoint presentations or other infographic-type materials. If you use 8-point or smaller font, you may be able to see it up close, but a viewer in the back of the room may have a suboptimal experience.
I would suggest that if using an UHD image to view 8pt text, the viewer should be sitting close to the screen. However this not a typical use-case scenario for a projector so a larger font size is recommended. Most of my evaluation was based on an HD signal.
While on most Flat Panel TVs sound quality is an afterthought, LG worked hard to provide good sound performance. The front of the HU85LS cabinet holds a dual driver array powered by a total of 10 watts.
The HU85LS does a good job simulating a surround-sound experience using the unit’s integrated speakers, and Volume processing prevents unwanted loudness changes.
The LG HU85LS Laser TV has one of the best sounding videos displays I have ever heard. Yes, you can buy a better 3rd party sound system, but many customers used to the sound provided by most flat panel TVs would be more than satisfied with the HU85LS audio performance.
We do not measure audible noise and LG doesn’t list this info in their specifications. However, the HU85LS is a very quiet projector. Even with the projector set to its highest Light level, I could barely hear the unit’s fan from my sitting position during quiet scenes.
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