Posted on January 12, 2021 By Phil Jones
LG HU85LS 4K UST Business Projector Review – Special Features: Laser Light Engine, 4K DLP, Smart TV Features, HDR10 with Dynamic Tone Mapping, HDMI ARC
LG rated its Laser light engine at 2700 lumens for 20,000 hours, which equates to years of worry-free operation. The HU85LS uses a 3-channel Laser light source where both red and blue primaries are generated by their own independent red and blue Lasers. A third blue Laser with a static phosphor to create green. This system eliminates the need for a sequential color wheel, which dramatically reduces the rainbow effect (color breakup).
It also delivers a wider color gamut. LG’s website does not provide the percentage of DCI (P3) color that the HU85LS can reproduce. Our calibrator, Jason, measured the color coverage of its consumer-focused twin brother, the HU85LA. The red measured past 120% P3 saturation, almost hitting REC2020 – wow! Sometimes more is not better because some of the other colors like green, cyan, and yellow are undersaturated, measuring around 80% total saturation. Only blue and magenta hit 100%. This means some of this extra red will need to be dialed back during calibration.
There are three modes to adjust the brightness output of the laser light source. The lamp power adjustment is called Energy Saving, and the other options are as follows:
The HU85LS utilizes the Texas Instruments larger.66” DMD chip (2,716 x1,528) to reproduce perceived 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160) resolution. I use the term “perceived” because a 4K DLP chip does not actually have 8.3 million mirrors, so the projector utilizes pixel (mirror) shifting to deliver the perceived sharpness of native 4K. The response time of these micromirrors is so fast that each one can be quickly wiggled back and forth to form extral pixels on the screen.
This approach works very well because it is very difficult to see a difference in resolution when comparing a 4K DLP projector to a native 4K LCD/LCoS model for a normal viewing distance.
Since the HU85LS is a single-chip DLP projector, you will never have any convergence issues that could occur with a 3LCD projector, so the image will remain sharp throughout the life of the projector without periodical adjustment. The projector can also accept signals up to [email protected] via two 18Gbps HDMI/HDCP 2.2 Compatible Input (HDMI #1&2). Also, like all other DLP projectors, the LHU85LS has a sealed light path to protect the optics from the dreaded “dust blob.” Having a sealed light path prevents particles of dust from settling inside the light path and obstructing the projected image.
The HU85LS utilizes the same ThinQ AI webOS that is found in LG’s current flat panel lineup. It’s a Smart projector made by a Smart TV manufacturer. LG is way ahead of most manufacturers when it comes to building Smart projectors. LG simply has incorporated everything they have learned over the years building Smart TV elements into this projector.
The HU85LS uses LG’s UI, which was developed over several years and is utilized in millions of LG TVs worldwide and is seamless, easy to navigate, and well laid out. The LG CineBeam lineup of projectors are some of the most capable projectors on the market when it comes to Smart TV and voice control capabilities. It would take a dozen pages to cover all the Smart TV features found in the HU85LS. Below are a few notable features that make the HU85LS a viable solution for a Smart TV.
The HU85LS is one Smart projector. It is equipped with voice control you can use to operate the Smart remote, which has a built-in microphone to control a wide variety of compatible Smart devices via Google Assistant. You just press and hold the mic button in the center of the remote control to activate Google Assistant. You can use your voice to operate the HU85LS. For example, you can ask the projector to “Play the Videos in USB” or “Change Mode to Vivid.”
In addition to the projector, Google Assistant allows voice control for several 3rd party items like a set-top box, lights, door locks, curtains, etc. There are dozens of available commands and you can get more examples of those commands by just holding down the HU85LS remote’s microphone button.
Built-in TV Tuner and Apps
As mentioned earlier the LG HU85LS is designed to be a viable alternate to a flat panel TV so unlike most competitive projectors, LG units have an onboard TV tuner. This is great for customers who are looking to replace their Flat panel TV with a projector. On the back, with the other connectors, you’ll find that old standard 75-ohm coaxial connector used by TV antennas. You can also plug in the coaxial cable signal from a set-top box, although most of today’s boxes will offer the best performance from HDMI.
The HU85LS can access LG’s long-established app store which is loaded with a massive amount of entertainment apps. You can also access many of the other popular streaming services including Netflix, HULU, and the newly introduced Disney+. Since the HU85LS utilizes the same ThinQ Ai WebOS as LG’s TV lineup, the library of services and apps will continue to grow.
Wireless Connectivity and Media Playback
In addition to a wired network connection, the HU85LS allows wireless networking as well. This is great for users who want easily access the unit’s internal apps and services. Since the HU85LS has both streaming services and built-in speakers all you need is a power outlet and a wall/screen for backyard movie night,
The projector has a built-in media player and that can access files via its USB inputs. There are two USB 2.0 inputs that can be used to play all types of media (Videos, MP3, Photos, etc.). You can also use the USB input on the LG projector to connect things like a mouse, keyboard, or game controller.
You can also share content from Android and iOS devices using LG’s TV Plus app and Miracast/WIDI is also supported.
While the HU85LS is focused on business/education applications, they are equipped with video processors similar to those utilized in LG’s 4K HDR TVs. One benefit of using such a powerful processor is the HU85LS can dynamically tone map HDR content.
The HDR provides a significant improvement in dynamic range as well as color. It lets you see more detail in the shadows and the bright areas and delivers more saturated lifelike colors.
HDR consumer content (4K blu-ray and streaming) is mastered for playback on a flat panel not a projector, so it’s produced at a variety of brightness levels ranging from 1,000 nits (292 fL) to 4,000 (1167fL) nits.
Most 4K HDR-capable projectors can only deliver between 100 nits (29fL) and 200 nits (58 fL). This means no HDR-compatible Home Theater projector can reproduce all the brightness found in consumer HDR content.
HDR projectors utilize tone mapping, which compromises maintaining bright highlight details and delivering full-screen brightness. There is a variety of information embedded in HDR content that an HDR display uses to make picture adjustments. There’s an HDR Infoframe that triggers the projector to switch to the appropriate HDR mode.
When the HDR info frame is detected, most HDR projectors switch to HDR mode with a fixed tone map. It is basically one size fits all, which hurts HDR performance.
Since the MaxFALL/MaxCLL metadata is based on the brightest frame’s average brightness and brightest pixel in the movie, certain scenes with lower than average frame levels can still look way too dark.
Higher-end LCD and OLED TVs have been able to measure the HDR content frame-by-frame to generate accurate metadata dynamically for years. Like LG’s Flat panels, the HU85LS can dynamically measure HDR metadata, which further improves the projector’s HDR performance. The goal is to utilize better the HU85LS’s brightness capabilities based on the content being shown.
Even though the LG HU85LS has a good built-in audio system, many users may still want to connect it to an AV Receiver in a conference room to take advantage of the high-quality sound available from many of the projector’s streaming apps. The GRU510N is one of the few projectors on the market equipped with ARC (Audio Return Channel).
If you don’t use ARC or eARC, the only other option would be to connect the optical audio output. Like most TVs/FPJs the optical output cannot pass the latest immersive surround formats to an external sound system, and if you use an optical output, all you are going to provide to your soundbar or receiver is stereo or Dolby Pro Logic information.
HDMI ARC supports multi-channel audio, including Dolby Atmos, but due to bandwidth limitations, it delivers a compressed audio signal, for example Dolby Digital Plus.
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