Posted on August 13, 2019 By Art Feierman
The LG HU85LA is the 2nd home laser projector of theirs we have now reviewed. Let me start by saying that the HU85LA is a $4999 list price 4K UHD, DLP projector. It comes finished in white, and most notably will sit directly below your screen, with the back of the projector only inches out from that screen. We’ll also talk about special screens for this type of projector, a bit further into this review.
I would consider the HU85LA to be a Laser TV. I think that is the right term for this class of display. At least one other brand’s laser TV comes bundled with the screen. The HU85LA, instead, will work with screens from 90″ up to 120” diagonal, so you can choose the size that best works for you.
Most UST – ultra-short throw projectors that we have reviewed, have been targeting the business and education market primarily. Because some of the newer ones are 4K UHD projectors, there has been a real interest in the home theater community, however, most we reviewed, were definitely rough around the edges for home use. LG, on the other hand, has designed the HU85LA with home use as its primary market.
The first big advantage of going UST: A much easier setup. Place your projector just below the screen (or wall, but if you are spending for this LG – get a proper screen for the room!)
A 2nd big advantage can be esthetics. Pair the LG with a motorized ALR (light rejecting) motorized screen for a minimalistic impact on your living / family room, with the screen rolling up, instead of having a large black LCD TV staring at you when not in use.
We have reviewed many UST projectors for schools, etc. Now we are looking at the launch of a number of these 4K UHD projectors for the home, all sharing the ultra short throw design. Back at CES in January where this HU85LA AI CineBeam ThinQ 4K projector was announced, similar designs were also shown by Optoma – with their P1 which should also ship shortly, as well as VAVA a company not known in home theater space, but entering it now, and Viewsonic. More to come. We previously reviewed the $25,000+ Sony VPL-VZ1000ES – a genuine native 4K laser projector, as well as a number of 4K UHD projectors geared for business/education not home, including Dell, Optoma…
We’re getting good at these UST projector reviews, although measuring their brightness accurately is always a challenge.
Now that pricey Sony proved to be an extremely serious, native 4K UST home theater projector. This CineBeam won’t come close to that projector – and it isn’t native 4K, but then it is about 1/5 the price. And, overall, the LG projector performs very well. We are expecting to review the Optoma P1 shortly after this LG, and no doubt will bring in at least one other of these new 4K UHD UST models. We also reviewed last year one of the HiSense Laser TVs (the model we reviewed has since been replaced. We’ll discuss more in the Competition section on the Summary page.
A year before we received this HU85LA, we reviewed their HU80KA, a very different projector. While I definitely count this LG as a serious home projector, the first model was better known for its innovative design, then its picture quality. (We gave it a Special Interest Award). We were never able to get really great color out of that LG, but impressively good color was not a problem with this HU85LA.
The HU85LA CineBeam Laser should stand out from other similar designed UST projectors in one particular area: Smarts.
LG builds in essentially the same very smart interface for this projector, that is used on their premium LCD and OLED TVs. Sure there are some minor differences due to the technology differences, but LG’s smart interface is considered one of the best around, and as far as I’m concerned, works great. Previous “smart” projectors from other companies, tend to have a more basic set of smarts. With this LG, you can adjust the projector from its “gyro” based remote control (great remote, more later), or, you can activate the voice control features and even do some controlling by voice!
In this review we’ll look at some of those special features – such as the LG”s smart controls, on the next two pages, then take a close look at the hardware of the HU85LA, followed by a pair of Picture Quality pages, that discuss both 4K content (with, without, HDR, black levels, skin tones, black levels, sports viewing, movie viewing, and more. Our performance page will go over all the measurements Eric, our calibrator took, while that is followed by Eric’s two Calibration pages.
This LG doesn’t have great color out of the box – too cool (blue-ish whites), but Eric provides all his calibration settings, and they turn the HU85LA into a projector with some really good looking color, and skin tones. Finally, we provide a summary page with Pros and Cons, and our thoughts on LG’s HU85LA CineBeam 4K vs the competition! Enjoy. Let’s start with a list of highlights – some already mentioned.
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