This year, for CEDIA Expo 2022 CEDIA’s homepage stated, “The global membership association that serves the smart home technology industry through advocacy, connection, and education.” Last year, during CEDIA Expo 2021, their homepage stated, “Where Home Technology Lives. Get Connected, Educated, and Inspired.” Well, consider me connected, educated, and inspired. CEDIA Expo 2022 did not disappoint; the exposition was full of new technology that consumers will be happy to have. In this article I go over some of the more interesting offerings I came upon while at the show including some video highlights I took while there.
Steven Shulman, President of AWOL Vision has come into the Ultra-Short-Throw/Laser TV market swinging! During my interview with Steven, he said something that stuck with me. Steven told me “I’m not looking at the bottom line, I just want us (AWOL Vision) to make the best UST projector we can make.”
AWOL Vision’s website states, “In March 2022, Incorporated with Ultra Short Throw Triple Laser technology, AWOL Vision launched the 150” 4K UHD 3D laser TV- LTV-3500 and TriChroma UST 4K UHD 3D Laser Projector-LTV-2500. With the color richness, lightweight, smartness and hassle-free set up, LTV-3500 and LTV-2500 make people’s dream of owning a real private movie theater within their budget become true. It brings the true immersive experience to people no matter they watch movie, TV drama, concerts, or sports events".
In August 2022, AWOL Vision launched the 120” rollable 4K UHD 3D Laser TV - AWOL Vision Vanish. Vanish TV can convert any room into a movie theater in minutes. People don’t have to worry about a large screen if they can’t get it into the room or set up on the wall anymore. Ultimately this innovation can help elevate the customer's viewing experience and ultimately, lifestyle, to next level. It should also be noted that CEDIA Expo 2022 was AWOL Vision’s first time as a CEDIA exhibitor.
AWOL Vision had their AWOL Vision Vanish Laser TV on display. The AWOL Vision Vanish Laser TV is a combination of the AWOL Vision LTV-3500 Triple Laser UST projector, AWOL Vision Vanish Laser TV smart cabinet, and your choice of a 100-inch or 120-inch AWOL Vision Vanish ALR screen. Of course, on display, they had their 120-inch screen for all of the CEDIA participants to see. The AWOL Vision Vanish TV with the 120-inch screen option has a $14,999 MSRP.
The AWOL Vision LTV-3500 is a 4K Triple-Laser UST projector with 3,500 ANSI lumens. In addition, the projector has HDR10+, 3D capability, dual integrated 36-watt speakers, eARC, Dolby Atmos, just to name a handful of features. The LTV-3500 is also ready to stream (4K Max Fire TV Stick offered) and has a hidden compartment on the rear for an Amazon Fire Stick or comparable media streaming device.
The AWOL Vision LTV-3500 has an MSRP of $5,499. The LTV-2500 is $2,799 and includes an Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K MAX. Lastly, in addition to online sales, Steven wanted to ensure everybody knew that on June 2022, AWOL Vision opened the first dedicated UST Triple Laser TV store ithe n United States. The store is located in Delray Beach, Florida.
Projector Reviews might be getting a demo sample of the AWOL Vision LTV-3500 in the near future, keep checking back at Projector Reviews for updates. In the meantime, take a look at the video we captured at CEDIA of the AWOL Vision booth:
LG had their CineBeam HU915QB Premium 4K UHD Laser UST and CineBeam HU715QW 4K UHD Laser UST projectors on display and running demos. While LG is a leading manufacturer of flat-panel TVs, they understand that some customers are looking for a bigger and more immersive image than even the largest OLED or LCD TV can provide. The HU915QB is the part of LG CineBeam projector lineup and is the flagship UST model in their assortment. The CineBeam series of projectors are designed to make front projection more accessible and appealing to a wider range of consumers. Both projectors follow HGiG guidelines. HGiG helps gamers enjoy HDR games from gaming consoles like the PlayStation and Xbox.
The HU915QB is a 4K UST projector with a laser light source rated at 3,000 ANSI lumens. The HU915QB has HDR10, HLG and it uses the latest version of LG’s WebOS, which is what is found in their latest flat-panel TVs. This feature makes the projector very smart, so you have all the apps and capabilities also found in a Smart TV. It is nice that WebOS supports Netflix, because the app is not available on many smart projectors.
The HU715QW is a 4K UST projector with 2,500 ANSI lumens. The laser light source is rated to last up to 20,000 hours and it has dual integrated 20-watt speakers and a woofer. The LG HU715Q 4K UST projector was introduced as a more affordable consumer projector. However, the HU715Q still provides vivid imagery within a short projection distance and creates good images from 80-inches up to 120-inches. The HU715Q utilizes many of LG’s popular features and proprietary technologies discussed in detail in our LG HU85LS 4K UHD UST Smart Business Projector and LG HU85LA 4K UHD Smart Home Theater CineBeam Projector reviews.
Take a look at the video of the LG booth at CEDIA.
Epson had several nicely done demo rooms located in the Omni Dallas Hotel Arts District. One room ran demos of the EpiqVision Ultra LS800 and the other ran demos of the Pro Cinema LS12000 4K PRO-UHD Laser Projector. They even had Shaq there to greet anyone who entered the room, sure it was a cardboard cutout of Shaq but hey, it still drew people in who wanted to take pictures with the life-size image of the legendary NBA player.
Philip and I got a great demo of the Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS800 projecting onto an Epson SilverFlex®120-inch Ultra ALR screen. The LS800 is 3-Chip 3LCD Ultra Short Throw Smart Streaming Laser Projector with 4,000 ANSI lumens of color and 4,000 ANSI lumens of white brightness. In addition, the projector has “Sound by Yamaha” via an integrated 2.1 channel audio system. The LS800 has a $3,499 MSRP.
We also saw the LS12000 which is Epson’s most advanced Pro Cinema Series projector to date, and it is designed to deliver the performance and features demanded by the most discerning video enthusiasts. The Epson Pro Cinema LS12000, which retails for $4999, is a 4K HDR-compatible laser home theater. The Pro Cinema LS12000 uses native 1080P 3LCD panels but the projector is equipped with the latest version of Epson’s 4K UHD Pro technology. This feature combines advanced pixel-shifting technology and a new Precision Glass Shift Plate with three individual high-definition LCD chips to produce 4K resolution (3840×2160 pixels) on screen. While native vs pixel-shifted resolution is still a heated debate among home theater enthusiasts, Epson’s proven pixel shift technology does deliver an image that is visibly sharper than a traditional native 1080p projector.
Here is a video we captured while visiting Epson:
Sony had a great demo utilizing their VPL-GTZ380 4K SXRD Laser Projector and a 220-inch Stewart Filmscreen. The VPL-GTZ380 is for those looking for the ultimate home theater experience. The VPL-GTZ380 is a 10,000 ANSI lumen, native 4K SXRD projector with an $80,000 (minus lens) MSRP.
I prepared to gather some photos and videos but was quickly told no photos or videos were allowed. There was a bunch of Top Gun Maverick footage that would get flagged online, so you’ll have to trust me on how good the demo looked. Better yet, check out Philip Jones’ full review on the VPL-GTZ380 4K SXRD Laser Projector since he had it for weeks upon weeks testing it.
Sony displayed their all-new lineup of 4K HDR Laser Home Theater Projectors with Native 4K SXRD Panels. The VPL-XW7000ES has a 3,200 ANSI lumen laser light source with a $28,000 MSRP. The VPL-XW6000ES is a 2,500 ANSI lumen laser projector with an MSRP of $12,000. The VPL-XW5000ES has a 2,000 ANSI lumen laser light source with a $6,000 MSRP.
Along with the all-new Native 4K SXRD panel, which provides full 4K resolution with 3840 x 2160 pixels, all three projectors have Sony’s X1™ Ultimate Processor, which brings the end-user the best of Sony’s image processing.
Sony also had a conference room they loaded up with projectors for a projector shootout. First, Sony ran their XW5000 against Epson’s LS12000 and JVC’s NP5. Next Sony ran their XW6000 against JVC’s NZ7 and NZ8. Lastly, the Sony XW7000 was put up against the JVC NZ8 and NZ9.
Everything was operated out-of-the-box utilizing the manufactures suggested modes. Sony stated no ISF calibrations were used on any projectors in the shootout because over 90% of installers do not have a ISF certified calibrators for calibrating their customer’s projectors. Most installers simply take the projector out of the box, install it, and then set them to the manufacturer’s suggested settings. It was quite interesting to see all these projectors operating side by side.
JVC unveiled a limited-edition projector celebrating the 25th Anniversary of its D-ILA technology. JVC is calling the projector the JVC DLA-25LTD, with the 25LTD obviously representing its 25th Anniversary of its D-ILA technology and the fact that it’s a limited edition. Rob Budde from JVC told me there will only be 25 of these DLA-25LTD projectors available in the United States. The DLA-25LTD’s optics are hand-picked and they will have ISF calibration done by Kris Deering. The DLA-25LTD has a 3,000 ANSI lumen BLU-Escent Laser Light Source and a 100mm 8K resolution all-glass lens. JVC states their projector has 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 cinema color gamut and is ISF certified. Every DLA-25LTD projector even comes with its own 25th Anniversary plaque that is beautiful and worthy to be hung on the wall next to the projector. The JVC DLA-25LTD will cost the first 25 to buy it $29,999.95 and it will be available mid-December 2022.
JVC also displayed their DLA-NZ9 D-ILA Laser Projector, DLA-NZ8 D-ILA Laser Projector, and DLA-NZ7 D-ILA Laser Projectors. The JVC DLA-NZ9 is an HDR home theater projector that delivers true 4K resolution (4096 x 2160). It is the replacement for the award-winning DLA-NX9/RS3000 which we reviewed a while back. These JVC models all utilize their BLU-Escent laser light source, include 8K e-shift technology and they are the world’s first projectors to offer 48Gbps 8K/60p inputs.
With a retail price of $25,999, the DLA-NZ9 sits at the higher end of JVC’s D-ILA FPJ lineup but its high native contrast combined with 4K resolution results in exceptional performance. In addition, since this is a native 4K unit (unlike a 2K pixel shifting projector), it can faithfully reproduce all 8.8 million pixels found in 4K content.
Lastly, JVC stated they are pushing out Firmware 2.0 for all their D-ILA projectors. Part of the update includes a Picture Mode that will auto switch to Filmmaker Mode with a 2.4 gamma level when connected to a Kaleidescape Movie Player. The firmware update will be available mid-November 2022. I’ll be testing this out on my Kaleidescape Strato C Movie Player which is currently attached to a Kaleidescape Compact Terra 6TB Movie Server.
I spoke with Ben Ramos and Jaime Abrego at the EPV Projection Screens booth. Ben showed me a DarkStar® Max UST-FR automated screen. The DarkStar® Max UST-FR is semi portable, once the projection screen retracts back into its casing, it’s relatively easy to move to a new location. The design features motorized scissor-backed cross spring risers that raise and lower the screen. The DarkStar® Max UST-FR FR is a non-invasive motorized free-standing electric UST front projection screen that features Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR) and Ceiling Light Rejecting (CLR) ultra-short-throw projection screen material. During the demo, Ben held up a piece of the matte white projector screen material to illustrate the benefits of ALR/CLR screen made for UST projectors. The matte white screen washed out the projector’s image while the Dark Star® Max UST-FR automated screen stayed vivid under the intense brightness of the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center.
EPV Projection Screens states, “The DarkStar UST material mitigates the washout effects of ambient light while boosting color saturation, contrast, and black/white dynamic range.” The DarkStar® Max UST-FR electric screen looked great even in the high ambient light environment of CEDIA Expo 2022 Dallas, Texas.
Kaleidescape had their new Terra 88TB and compact Terra 22TB at CEDIA paired with a Strato C 4K movie players. The Strato C is a 4K UHD movie player that supports high dynamic range and lossless audio, including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
In as little as 10 minutes, the Terra movie server line can download feature-length 4K movies on a gigabit internet connection. Kaleidescape provides visually lossless 4K Ultra HD (UHD) video and lossless multichannel audio. Kaleidescape’s video compression solution utilizes 4x to 5x the video bit rate of streaming digital video services.
Tired of searching through stacks of your favorite Blu-ray discs at movie time? A Terra movie server is ideal for customers looking to invest in a Kaleidescape system that can instantly play their favorite movies, television shows, and music events; When combined with the Strato C 4K movie player, the Terra movie server provides an unrivaled experience. The Kaleidescape system is absolutely something that must be seen in person to appreciate it fully.
Hisense displayed their 120L9G Laser TV. The 120L9G is Hisense’s L9G smart UST projector that comes with a 120-inch ALR projection screen. The Hisense L9G is a Tricolor laser-equipped smart ultra-short-throw projector with a brightness rated at 3,000 ANSI lumens that comes with an ALR projector screen at $5,999 MSRP (120-inch) and $5,499 MSRP (100-inch). These types of projectors are commonly referred to as “Laser TVs”. They are called Laser TV because these projectors are designed to be a viable replacement for a flat panel television.
For an ultra-short-throw projector to qualify as a TV replacement, they need to offer at least three things. First, it must be able to be used day or night. Second, it must deliver vibrant color regardless of ambient room light. Third, the UST projector must have all the functionality expected to be in a flat-panel TV. The Hisense L9G and L5G Series of UST projectors does all of this and more.
The Samsung Premiere LSP9T 4K Smart Laser Projector and its little brother, the Premiere LSP7T 4K Smart Laser Projector were out on display running demos for Samsung. The Premiere Smart Laser Projectors are Samsung’s first 4K ultra-short-throw smart projectors. Each year Flat-panel TVs get bigger and bigger. For example, Samsung offers several 85″ models starting at $1,800. However, Samsung realizes that some customers desire an even larger more immersive picture. The Premiere Series of Smart Laser Projectors are designed to appeal to those customers.
The Samsung LSP9T which we reviewed originally had a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $6,499 so it sells at a higher price point than many UST projectors. However, its premium features and build quality justify its premium price. For example, the Premiere LS9PT, like the Hisense 100L9G ($5,499 MSRP), utilizes an advanced triple laser light source capable of displaying colors that many flat-panel displays can’t display.
The LSP9T and its little brother, the LSP7T, represent the best of Samsung when it comes to hardware, software, and product design. To quote Samsung, “The Premiere re-imagines the home cinema experience with an all-new compact design, 4K picture quality, and big sound for tight spaces that can be used for any at-home activity and living room arrangements.”
Last year for CEDIA Expo 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana, many companies opted out of physically showing up in Indianapolis and instead only had a virtual presence. For CEDIA Expo 2022 in Dallas, Texas, companies returned to the CEDIA floor, and it was an amazing time. Like last year, I felt inspired by the technology I could see and touch. I also saw some really nice products and demonstrations. CEDIA Expo 2023 is scheduled to be held in Denver, Colorado. I hope to see you all there and for those who can’t make it, I’ll have video coverage for you.