LED Light Source
LG rates their LED engine at up to 30,000 hours (in Eco power mode, I would assume). If you use your PH300 for 40 hours a week, you’re talking 15 years and even with a shorter life in the highest power mode (perhaps 10 years), you are still talking about many years of service. As a second benefit, although LED light sources do lose brightness over time, they do so far, far, slower than traditional lamps. One unusual aspect of LED light engines and many hybrid ones is that they are at their brightest the first few seconds after power up. We wait at least 15 or 20 minutes before doing measurements, because the projectors will dim a bit. Perhaps manufacturers do their measurements the first instant after power up, because no matter the brand, we just don’t see many LED projectors measuring more than 75% of claim, and 30% or more below the claimed values seems the norm. See our Performance page for this LG’s brightness measurements.
In additional to operating the PH300 from normal AC line power, with its supplied external power supply, this projector has a built-in battery that LG claims will operate the projector for up to 2.5 hours on battery power. Now this assumes the projector is operated in the low power Eco mode while operating in the middle or highest power mode will reduce the operating time when running on battery power. With a list price of just $449.99 offering a battery powered operating mode is a real plus and this combined with the projector's built-in multimedia capabilities make for a really attractive package for a business traveler needing to make presentations to a small group.
The PH300 has a USB connector on the rear panel that allows you to make multimedia presentations directly form files stored on a USB flash memory drive. Photos (in jpg format), videos (in h.264/AVC, WMV, MKV, DIVX, VOB, etc. file formats), and audio files (in mp3, AAC, MPEG, etc. file formats). Also MS Office files (Office 97 thru Office 2007) in both the older formats (i.e., DOC, XLS, PPT) as well as the newer file formats (i.e., DOCX, XLSX and PPTX) are supported along with pdf and txt files. The projector's remote includes the controls to select and navigate thru slide shows, videos, presentations, etc.
MHL is essentially mobile HDMI. The LG PH300 supports MHL devices on its HDMI port. This allows you to plug in MHL compatible devices such as a Roku stick (however, not tested for this review). MHL is relatively recent, so it may see a lot more capabilities down the road. To be effective, since MHL supports video, audio, and command and control, a projector really should have its own sound system. MHL allows many people to “cut the cord”. Please note, though, that the image quality of Blu-ray is much better than those boxes or MHL, which are much more highly compressed. Some phones and tablets, as well as all kinds of other smart devices are being designed with MHL. The more the merrier, as they essentially all become new sources for this projector.
Seeing a coaxial connector that one might have coming from an outdoor antenna, or an “old school” VHS player or cable box, was a real surprise. LG seems to be offering this input on several of their pico & pocket projectors.
If you are in a location where over-the-air digital TV broadcasts can be received via an antenna, then this pocket projector may be just what you are looking for. I did not test this feature of the PH300.