Projector Reviews

LG PF85U LED Projector Review – Picture Quality 2

PF85U PROJECTOR – PICTURE QUALITY PAGE 2:  HDTV and Sports, Gaming, Overall Picture Quality

HDTV and Sports Viewing

LG’s own Smart store provides apps and access to: Netflix, Vudu, You Tube, Vtuner, Amazon, MLB, Spotify, Googlemap, Facebook, Twitter, Picasa and more!  Just pick up that Smart remote and enjoy.

I could wish for more lumens (always), and faster lag times would be great for those of us into serious gaming, but overall, the PF85U is one impressive projector.  I’m almost amazed by the zillions of menus.  You can do things the easy way (presets) the medium way (wizards) or you can, if so inclined manually calibrate this projector the same way you might calibrate a $5000 one.  It’s got all the needed controls.

The Smart remote is awesome.  As mentioned it seems to be based on the old Gyration momentum oriented operation.   It works just great with the PF85U for navigating the menus, or the content, but it’s even better perhaps if you are running a formal business presentation.  The point being you just won’t find a faster, more responsive “remote mouse.”

If I need one more thing to complain about, it would have to be the fan noise.  It’s not that it screams (it does with Peak boost on Vivid), but rather that it is also high pitched, not just loud.  Fortunately it’s reasonably acceptable when Peak is not used.  Still, most LED projectors and conventional lamp projectors around this price point will be quieter, or at least seem so by being lower pitched.  It’s an issue, but not really a deal breaker unless you intend this LG for serious home theater, and that’s not exactly what it’s designed for.

In fact, what it’s designed for is serious Home Entertainment.  The PF85U projector is small enough to move around, or setup on a minutes notice.  It’s built for the home but makes a first class lightweight portable business projector (with better sound than most), as long as you don’t need far more brightness.  At the minimum this LG projector will be comfortable doing a typical 60″ screen in a typical conference room with lights partially on.

It’s the 1080p!

When all is considered, what really separates the PF85U projector from most of the competition (of LED projectors), is the 1080p resolution.  We’re just starting to see full HD resolution reach these small projectors.  The LG isn’t the only one, but so far, of the ones I am aware of, its certainly the most feature laden, and its almost certainly the easiest to use.

Given that there are lamp based projectors out there, that are much brighter, and some are around the same weight, the LG shines as a projector that is versatile, and portable, and easy to use.

The picture quality (considering I did not do a calibration on it) turned out rather impressive.  The wizard worked well, resulting in a better picture than the Cinema mode, and took but a minute or two to configure.

With all the controls available, I imagine that if fully calibrated, the LG PF85U would rival the color accuracy of any calibrated lamp based projector near its price.

Also of significance, credit LG with providing a 2 year warranty on the projector, when the competition is mostly serving up only a single year.

So, why does the LG PF85U earn one of our Hot Product Awards?  Glad you asked.  For an LED projector, designed primarily for home, it seems to be the complete package.  That’ it’s a capable compact projector that can also be used for business, is a bonus for many.

Still, first of all, it’s true 1080p resolution!  If you are watching movies, etc. at 70 or 100 or even larger, you really don’t want 720p.   And most of the LED competition is 720p, or even lower.

Then it’s easy to use, especially after you realize that while the LG offers almost an infinite number of menus and settings, that you really don’t need to mess with most of them, unless you are the enthusiast type, who lives to “play” with their projectors.  And if you are one of those, the LG’s got all the goodies you want.

And it has as good or better sound quality than any other projector its size.  It won’t replace a surround sound system for watching Star Wars or Divergent, but it will get the job done.

And it’s Smart – it’s got more smarts than any other projector I can think of. LG’s network reminds me of similar capabilities I can access through my PS3 in terms of content, like Netflix, but the beauty is, unless you want to have a Blu-ray player, you don’t need one, two watch those movies.  The LG, in other words, allows you to cut the cord – no Blu-ray, no satellite, no cable, just a wifi connection (and maybe a game console, or computer), just as many of us no longer have land lines, just rely on our “smart” phones.

When all is considered, LG managed to really create a rather complete package, it’s very capable, and about as good as one could hope for in an LED based projector at this time!  Congratulations LG!

Gaming with the PF85U

First things first:

Input lag time (outputting from a new MacBook Pro):  50-53 ms.

Not great as far as input lag goes.  We believe 50ms range input lag is acceptable to most serious gamers, but it could definitely be faster.   That’s too bad, because many of the small LED projectors are much faster.  The 720p NEC I’m also reviewing clocked in at 0 ms.      Excellent lag times are under 17ms, very good, under about 35, and once again – acceptable for most is around 50ms which is still 1/20 of a second.   There will be some serious gamers won’t be all that happy with 50.

PF85U_input-lagNote that the LG PF85U does have some advanced controls such as smooth motion (CFI), Dynamic controls normally have a projector looking at least one frame ahead, so that means adding lag time (at 60fps 1 frame is about 16.7 ms, 2 frames – about 33.3 ms)Still, not bad, but not as fast as the LG is capable of.

I turned off everything I could think of to get the 50ms readings.  When I started out with most things on, the lag was almost 150 ms, which is huge.

As to the rest of the picture while gaming, the various controls as I’ve mentioned are almost too numerous to count, so tweak as you like to get those games looking their best, in terms of sharpness, contrast, shadow detail and more.