CEDIA 2019 – First Day Wrap-up– Projectors and More

Greetings From CEDIA in Denver. I’ll be heading to the convention center for Day 2, soon as I finish this quick blog.

The first day had me meeting with LG and Epson, also Stewart Filmscreen, and the Legrand booth. Legrand, for those not familiar, is a company that owns a lot of AV and home automation brands, for yesterday, I was talking to their Da-Lite screen company, about some of the new products. More on that post-show.

Let’s start with LG. As many of you know we just posted our review of the LG HU85LA, which I have to say, is hands down the best overall ultra short throw (UST), laser TV, as the projectors in the category are now being called.

The LG HU85LA was of course on display and being demoed no surprise there at all.

Instead of a show floor photo, I thought I’d show you this LG created image, because, well, it’s pretty cool looking.
Instead of a show floor photo, I thought I’d show you this LG created image, because, well, it’s pretty cool looking.

But to my surprise, LG launched another 4K UHD projector at the show. That is the HU70LA. It is a compact DLP projector boasting 1500 lumens, for a list price of $1799. This new HU70LA puts LG squarely in direct competition with a host of other 4K UHD projectors from the likes of BenQ, Optoma, Viewsonic… Unlike most of those, however, it offers voice control, which so far, only Optoma is providing on some of their 4K UHDs. LG, though has a well established “smart TV” capability that most projector companies have to catch up to.

HU70LA

If I recall correctly the HU70LA will be shipping next month. I will double-check, and update if I’m wrong on that. LG will be shipping us a HU70LA review unit when they first become available.

Epson has three new projectors at CEDIA. I already put up an article on their Laser TV, the LS500 based on the provided press release and fact sheets. Yesterday I got to see it in action. First, the L500 is a $4999 MSRP projector including a 100 inch light rejecting screen (ALR). This is a 4000 lumen Laser TV, a 4K capable pixel shifter, and a smart one with the Android TV op system to support smart features, and voice control.

This LG has a LED light engine. Right now, that means its primary competitor is the Optoma UHL55 (see our review posting the week after CEDIA) which is also smart, and also LED-based. The rest of the serious competition is still lamp-based!

Ok, that’s the basics check the full blog for more details. (BTW, missing from that blog – two 10 watt speakers in the front, facing the audience.)

That’s all great, but what does it look like in action? I have to say, my first impression both surprised me, and impressed me.

My first look was while approaching the booth. There were two L500s on the outside of the booth – under full trade show floor lighting. One was running sports (four football games at once, so probably DirectTV GameMix/Sunday ticket?) The thing is, the games looked spectacular on the 120” screen that is one of the screen choices. I never expected it to look that bright and dynamic under that much light.

Professional edited image provided by Epson.

The second one was rotating between gaming, smart functions and movie clips. Only on the few pretty dark scenes, did the image take any serious hit due to the ambient light. When I consider how much brighter that show floor is than most people’s living, family and other rooms, I was truly heartened that there is a UST 4K capable projector that really has the horsepower to do great in most rooms, thanks to the 4000 lumens combined with 3LCD (which tends to look brighter – at best color – than similarly bright DLP projectors. (in fairness, on a lumen basis, DLP projectors generally are less expensive. That means I’m not talking necessarily more brightness for the money, just more brightness. And compared to some of the others, a lot brighter. The LG I just reviewed, is great, but definitely not near as bright. The Optoma P1 which is arriving for review next week is another 3000 lumen or less DLP based Laser TV.

The laser TV market is heating up. We just learned we’ll be receiving the new VAVA, another DLP based laser TV for review arriving early October. I’m going to be busy!

Epson’s two other projectors being launched are their Home Cinema 3200 and 3800 replacing their last 3000 series projectors.

The big news – the new 3000 series is now 4K capable (with HDR, of course). Like all of Epson’s other 4K capable projectors including their legendary UB series, the Home Cinema 3200 (HC3200), and Home Cinema 3800 (HC3800) are pixel shifters will be doing a separate blog on these two in the next few days, going into more detail. I didn’t see those in action at the show, but stopping back today, when I have more time.

Wow, even on these, there’s full HDMI 18ghz speed, allowing 4K HDR 60fps support for high res gaming. I expect the same roughly 27ms input lag, which will make these two projectors serious gaming projectors. Not the fastest, but “close enough” to satisfy just about every serious gamer.

Image of Home Cinema 3800 w/caption: 3000 lumens 4K capable pixel shifting projector with 20 watts of sound, with a list price of $1699, shipping October.

Epson has upgraded the lens for these two 3000 lumen projectors, which makes sense, since the older models didn’t have to tackle 4K content. Both have Bluetooth support for audio, while the HC3800 has a pair of 10 watt rear facing speakers, at a list price of $1699 The HC3200 will list for $1499, essentially identical but without the built in sound system, so should be a better deal for those planning to hook it up to an external surround sound system. On the downside, without speakers, you can’t just take it outside for a summer movie night – at least without taking out a speaker system to connect.

3000 lumens 4K capable pixel shifting projector with 20 watts of sound, with a list price of $1699, shipping October.
3000 lumens 4K capable pixel shifting projector with 20 watts of sound, with a list price of $1699, shipping October.

Essentially Epson is now pretty price competitive with all the 4K UHD DLP projectors out there.

One thing of note, unlike all of Epson’s more expensive 4K capable projectors, these only tackle the usual REC709 color while the others support full P3 color. Now some of the DLP projectors in the price claim P3 color, not one has come close to achieving it when we’ve calibrated them, so I don’t see either these two Epsons, or any of the 4K UHDs doing P3.

We will review one of the two, since both are so similar, most likely the HC3800 so we can comment on the sound quality.

OK that’s probably too much info on those two.

I’m off to the show now, will be stopping at Sony (they have some updates but not new models), missing from the show this year – BenQ and Optoma. Optoma is demoing their P1 in a partner booth I’ll be seeing that there.

I’ll try to surprise you with some other interesting tidbits and products from the show. Stay tuned, and thanks for “stopping by.” -art

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