Posted on December 4, 2021 By Jennifer Mash
As mentioned, we organized this guide by price point, to make it easer for you to find a projector that fits your budget.. In this section, we look at the higher price-point projectors, which will give you more premium features including multichannel laser light sources and better optics – for an outstanding viewing experience.
The LS500 is a laser powered, 4000 lumen, 3LCD projector with an ultra-short throw design, and it is bundled with either a 100” or 120” screen. It’s built for your living, family, or other common rooms, and will make sure they remain common, no more. At 4000 lumens, this Laser TV is definitely bright enough to utilize day or night just like a flat panel TV.
The Epson LS500 is a great TV replacement option and offers, essentially, unlimited content from streaming services. Plus, you have inputs for your cable/satellite box, game console, or 4K Blu-ray player.
It has audio that’s better than most flat panel TVs and, most importantly, it produces a massive sharp image, one that makes a 65” LCD TV look like something that’s more suitable for a spare bedroom.
If you’re a gamer, you probably use your existing flat panel TV for gaming. The LS500 ultra-low game lag also makes it an excellent option for your epic gaming sessions. Its rated input lag of 16.7 ms input lag is a lot faster/better than most home projectors and many flat panel displays.
The LS500 is bundled with an Epson SilverFlex™ Ultra AR screen (100-inch or 120-inch). This high-resolution screen is designed for 4K content. It has a super wide 178-degree viewing angle – so everyone in the living room gets a great seat, even your cousin you make sit on the old beanbag chair. The bezel has a modern thin form factor that was designed to look beautiful in any room.
It comes with the familiar Smart TV functionality of Android, it is easy to install, the laser is rated for a whopping 20,000 hours (eco mode) and the unit comes with a 2-year warranty. At around $5,000 (including the 100-inch screen), the Epson LS500 Laser Projection TV is a real alternative for customers who crave the big screen experience in their living room.
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The Hisense L9G is a Tricolor laser-equipped smart ultra-short-throw projector with a brightness rated at 3,000 ANSI lumens. Color performance is one of the best examples of how the Hisense L9G ultra-short-throw projector sets itself apart from other displays. Specifically, the TriChroma RGB 3 Laser light engine enables the L9G to achieve an astounding 107% of the BT.2020 color space resulting in images that are more realistic with improved color accuracy, depth, and brilliance. To be clear no existing flat panel television, either OLED or LCD is capable of displaying this much of the BT.2020 color gamut.
When designing the L9G Hisense placed a heavy emphasis on accurate color reproduction. The unit includes several picture presets that deliver a good-looking image right out of the box including Filmmaker Mode. Filmmaker Mode was created by the collaboration of filmmakers, Hollywood studios, consumer electronics companies, and the UHD Alliance. Hisense can offer Filmmaker mode on the L9G because they have agreed that the mode will abide by specific industry standards. The goal of Filmmaker Mode is to display SDR and HDR content exactly as the creator intended by switching off all post-processing for a more cinematic experience on a projector or flat-panel TV.
To further optimize the picture quality in any room environment, the L9G is available in three different options each paired with a Hisense Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR) screen. The projector is packaged with a fully assembled 100″ ALR Daylight screen with a gain of 1.2 designed to maximize brightness and ambient light rejection capabilities in a room with higher ambient light. The L9G is also available; with 100″ or 120″ ALR Cinema Screen designed for use in a dedicated media rooms, man caves, and light-controlled spaces. The ALR Cinema Screen provides exceptional color accuracy with a wide viewing angle.
For a truly immersive theater experience, you need big sound to go with the big picture. The built-in 40W Dolby Atmos sound system gives the L9G is a significant soundstage upgrade over the typical speakers found in most televisions.
For the true audiophile, high-speed HDMI with Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC) allows for pass-thru of high-bitrate audio to your surround sound system. HDMI eARC supports multichannel audio, including Dolby Atmos. If you do not use eARC, the only other option would be to connect the optical audio output. Like most smart flat-panel televisions, the optical output cannot pass the latest immersive surround formats to an external sound system. Apps like Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime are loaded with multichannel content. eARC is very important because the alternative, using the optical output, will only provide your external sound system stereo or Dolby Pro Logic information.
The Hisense L9G includes a nice sound system but for those interested in even higher performance the projector is WiSA ready. Products bearing the WiSA Ready logo are “ready” to transmit hi-resolution audio to WiSA Certified speakers when an optional third-party WiSA transmitter into one of the projector’s USB ports. Because every WiSA Certified component is engineered to work together seamlessly, the setup couldn’t be more straightforward. Unpack, plug-in power, and enjoy. Forget the speaker wires and confusing setup.
WiSA transmits 24 bits at 48 kHz/96 kHz. That’s twice the quality of CD audio. It does all this at less than 1/10th the latency of a Bluetooth audio device which means no visible audio sync issues will occur. All speakers used in the WiSA system are certified to be synchronized within 1/1,000,000 of a second even when using all eight channels. The system also automatically recognizes audio configurations from 2.0 to 7.1 and even 5.1.2.
Removing the need for speaker wires eliminates one of the biggest hassles in installation hassles and can significantly reduce labor costs if you are having your system installed professionally. In this application as long as the speaker can be plugged into a wall outlet, you can place them anywhere in the room you like. This makes it much easier for anyone to set up a complete home entertainment solution without a tremendous amount of effort, whether it is a simple stereo system or a robust 5.1, 7.1 surround. It also supports Dolby Atmos and DTS:X systems.
The Hisense L9G is designed to be a viable alternative to a flat-panel TV, so Hisense Laser TV units have an onboard TV tuner which is a must-have if you want to replace your flat-panel TV with a projector. On the back, with the other connectors, you’ll find the 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 LG HU85LA is a 4K DLP projector that retails for $5,999. It utilizes a single DLP (0.66″ DMD) chip to reproduce a perceived 4K UHD resolution. Its dual-channel Laser engine is rated to deliver at 2,700 lumens for up to 20,000 hours.
The HU85LA sports a dual Laser light engine using both a red and blue Laser. This increases the projector’s color gamut coverage and eliminates the need for a spinning phosphor wheel, which reduces the rainbow effect common on many DLP projectors.
Since the HU85LA is designed to serve as a TV replacement, it includes most of the features you would find in a Smart flat panel TV including a TV tuner, internal speakers, and of course Smart features. To make the HU85LS as Smart as possible, LG utilizes the same ThinQ AI webOS that is offered in their lineup of Smart flat panel TVs. Like their Smart TVs, the HU85LS can be voice controlled and offers a wide variety of apps.
The HU85LA is loaded with all the popular streaming apps like Netflix, HULU, Disney+, YouTube, and Fandango Now. Looking for access to local broadcast channels without a 3rd party set top box, the HU85LS also has a built-in digital tuner.
The HU85LA is compatible with both HDR10 and HLG content and it is even equipped with Dynamic HDR Tone Mapping. The LG HU85LA Laser TV combines all the Smart capabilities of flat panel TVs with the long life of a high-quality Laser light engine and 4K resolution to create a true flat panel TV replacement.
You might be asking yourself why spendy ultra short throw projector is in our Laser TV buyer’s guide. It doesn’t have smart features, onboard sound, a TV tuner, and it’s not as bright as some of the other units in this guide. What it does have is stunning, luxurious, outstanding picture quality.
Sony was the first company to introduce a 4K projector and they still offer the widest product selection. All Sony 4K projectors including the VZ1000ES use a three-chip native 4K SXRD imaging system which is derived from the same technology used in Sony 4K cinema projectors found in some of the world’s best movie theaters. The SXRD acronym stands for Silicon X-tal Reflective Display, where X-tal is a common abbreviation for crystal.
These three SXRD panels deliver true 4K resolution (4096 x 2160) and represent Sony’s version of LCoS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon). There are three SXRD panels, one for each of the primary colors (red, green, and blue). Each panel has a full 8.8 million pixels (4096 x 2160) which is the same resolution as your favorite 4K movie theater projector.
Because LCoS imagers have a higher pixel density than their DLP or LCD counterparts, a smaller LCoS chip can produce more resolution. This is why most native 4K Home Theater projectors utilize LCoS chips. LCoS panels like Sony’s SXRD or JVC’s DiLA have a higher cost compared to other imaging solutions such as DLP, they are not as commonly used. LCoS panels are typically found on premium models like Sony and JVC which tend to cost more. It is highly unlikely that any time in the near future you will be able to find a 4K SXRD laser home theater projector for under $5,000.
But if you are a true videophile and committed to the highest level of picture quality, an LCoS imaging system like a Sony SXRD is the ultimate solution. With the VZ1000ES, you’re going to get the highest quality black levels and highest native resolution but you have to be willing to give up some of the “extras” like smart features (or get them another way like through an Apple TV or Roku device).
Inside the VZ1000ES is an ultra-pure, reliable Z-Phosphor laser light source. You’ll enjoy perfectly clear 4K pictures plus up to 20,000 hours of uninterrupted operation, with no lamp replacement and virtually zero maintenance.
Your momma always said – you get what you pay for. With a current retail price of $24,999, the VZ1000ES is significantly more expensive than other Laser TV models but its image-first feature set makes it a great option for movie enthusiasts who crave outstanding picture quality.
When designing and building a projector, there are a lot of ways a manufacturer can allocate resources. Every manufacturer makes budgetary decisions based on what they think will give their customers the best experience and will make their projectors more attractive to buy. Sony invests dollars primarily in picture quality – eschewing other potential extras like audio or smart features.
So, for example, on Sony’s $24,995 VW1000ES the money went into the imager, the light source, and processing because those components deliver the best picture quality. If you put the VZ1000ES side by side with a less expensive competitor model, you are going to see the difference.
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