Projector Reviews

LG HU85LS 4K UST SMART BUSINESS PROJECTOR REVIEW- PERFORMANCE

LG HU85LS 4K UST Business Projector Review – Picture Quality: Color Reproduction, Brightness, Contrast and Black Level

COLOR REPRODUCTION

The HU85LS’s color reproduction is good but not highly accurate. The LG HU85LS has a total of seven preset picture modes.

The above screen shots give a rough idea of the color accuracy for each picture mode. However, when viewed in person, the colors will look better than shown in these photos.

  • PRESENTATION: This is the brightest but least accurate picture mode. This mode would be most appropriate for displaying presentation materials where color accuracy was not of great concern, and the room has a large amount of ambient light.
  • STANDARD: This mode provides a balance between brightness and accuracy with nominal video settings.
  • CINEMA: This setting is designed for viewing movies in a darkened room. One of the most accurate picture modes but brightness is greatly reduced.
  • DICOM: This setting is for displaying images used in medical imaging such as x-rays. The DICOM standard is an extensive set of performance requirements for accurate diagnosis of medical imaging, not likely to be used by a home theater user.
  • GAME: This mode optimizes the settings for gameplay.
  • HDR EFFECT: Creates a more dynamic-looking picture by enhancing the light and dark areas of the image.
  • EXPERT (BRIGHT ROOM): This preset disables all video enhancements. It is designed for viewing content in a brighter room.
  • EXPERT (DARK ROOM): This preset disables all video enhancements. It is designed for viewing content in a darker environment. The most accurate picture mode, but brightness is limited.

The STANDARD mode which is the default picture preset was cooler with slightly boosted contrast.

The picture modes that are the most accurate out of the box are EXPERT (DARK ROOM) and EXPERT (BRIGHT ROOM) which were the closest to the D65 rec709 standard. Prior to calibration, to achieve the best SDR picture I choose EXPERT (DARK ROOM) with Color Temperature set to WARM. While this mode delivered most accurate colors, it was also the least bright.

The VIVID mode and SPORTS modes are the brightest and are designed to fight through high ambient light. The EXPERT (BRIGHT ROOM) mode delivered the best balance of brightness and color reproduction.

Below is a variety of screenshots showing color reproduction. The overall color balance is reasonably good.

BRIGHTNESS

The LG HU85LS Laser TV has a rated brightness of 2,700 ANSI lumens. Just how close did the HU85LS come to hitting its target of 2,700 ANSI lumens? I set the projector to VIVID Mode, which is the brightest picture mode, and set Energy Savings to minimum (brightest lamp setting). I then took 3-4 readings about 15-20% out from the center of the screen.

LG HU85LS Brightness (Vivid Mode, Maximum Light Level): 2,741 lumens

The HU85LA beat its brightness claim. This is still more than enough brightness for viewing both SDR and HDR content on a UST 100″ screen in a room with some ambient light.

I also measured the brightness of several preset picture modes. Four of the brighter modes measured almost identically in brightness and color temp. They do vary though in terms of saturation and other areas, so that they look very different, but not in color balance.

Color Mode Lumens
Vivid 2741
Standard 2725
Cinema 1980
Sports 2741
Game 2627
HDR Effect 2745
Expert (Bright Room) 1992
Expert (Dark Room) 1981

As mentioned, VIVID is pretty over the top, in a darker room, but works well to cut through “too much” ambient light. STANDARD is more moderate, while EXPERT (BRIGHT ROOM) is pushed just slightly. Most folks will find EXPERT (DARK ROOM), looks will still work on most environment even through it is the darkest setting.

Contrast and Black Level

The HU85LS blacks were closer to dark gray then deep black. This was obvious when watching darker scenes at night in my room. There are home projectors in the HU85LS price point that can provide better black level and shadow detail, but they are not nearly as bright nor are they ultra-short throw units. While we have reviewed several home theater projectors many have much better black levels and higher contrast, but these are only beneficial in a darkened theater or room with lots of light control.

LG Laser TVs are designed to be a good home entertainment projector. They are not intended to compete against a serious home theater projector in a dark room. This UST laser projector when paired with an ALR type screen is geared toward conference rooms, hotel lobbies and museums – not a serious home theater/cave.

Whenever I evaluate a projector’s picture, I also try to consider the unit’s likely use case. Even though the projector’s black level could be better, the HU85LS will probably be used in a room with some ambient light so the ability to reproduce ultra-deep blacks is not critical.

In those environments, the extra brightness, longer-life, and lower maintenance provided by a DLP based Laser projector would likely be more beneficial.

My Elite Screen Aeon CLR3 UST screen which has a gain of 0.8 did improve the black level when viewing content in ambient light and in a darker room but it was at the expense of some screen brightness.

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