LG’s latest CineBeam ultra short-throw projector is a dream — if you can afford it

While my setup wasn’t perfect, the CineBeam HU915QE nonetheless delivered most of what I wished: A big and luscious dose of cinema in my basement screening room. Almost instantly, I seen that it produced richer and extra vibrant colours than the CineBeam HU85L. Colorful movies like Thor Ragnarok appeared simply fantastic on the earlier projector, however the brand new mannequin delivered a far bolder dose of cosmic psychedelia. The improved distinction additionally made the HU915QE higher fitted to darkish scenes, just like the spooky nighttime sequences in Nope the place you’re making an attempt to make out one thing floating by means of the clouds.

The HU915QE is a triple laser projector, counting on pink and blue lasers for his or her respective major colours, in addition to one other blue laser shining by means of a phosphor to create inexperienced. That setup works nicely, however it can solely attain 94 p.c of the DCI-P3 colour gamut. Newer UST projectors with three distinct RGB lasers, just like the HiSense PX1-Pro, can attain a wider 107 p.c of the BT.2020 gamut. Like many different UST models, the HU915QE depends on pixel shifting to realize a seen 4K decision. It has a native decision of two,716 x 1,528, which is shifted twice to hit 4K. The end result is a picture that is sharper than cheaper projectors, which generally have 1080p native resolutions with four-phase shifting.

After spending a few hundred hours watching all the things from streaming exhibits like Midnight Massto blockbuster motion movies like Top Gun: Maverick, I discovered myself preferring the expertise of utilizing the HU915QE in comparison with trekking out to the theater for a lot of movies. And, to be clear, that is a fairly massive deal for a film lover like me. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic threatening the viability of theaters, I’ve held out hope for a comeback. The robust field workplace efficiency of the Top Gun sequel and Avatar: The Way of Water makes me assume that there is nonetheless room for the true cinematic expertise (though as I write this, Regal is shuttering extra areas within the US after its father or mother firm Cineworld declared chapter final September). Those movies, in addition to the latest ones Dune adaptation, are so giant and bombastic that even a 120-inch residence projector can’t absolutely seize their grandeur. But the HU915QE certain comes shut.

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

Like most projectors, the CineBeam HU915QE is not perfect for gaming due to its noticeable enter lag. Still, I had a nice time taking part in PS5 titles like God of War Ragnarok, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart and even the fast-paced Returnal on my large display screen. LG has not issued any latency figures, however some opinions peg the projector’s enter lag between 50ms and 67ms. There’s an auto low-latency mode that cuts off additional processing to hurry issues up, however you clearly will not be utilizing this factor for lightning-fast aggressive gaming. Based on my expertise with the 55-inch Samsung Odyssey Ark, although, that is not one thing you’d need to do on a gigantic show anyway. Twitch gaming requires smaller screens so you can truly deal with the entire super-fast motion.

When it involves sound, I can’t think about that anybody shopping for a $5,000 projector could be counting on built-in audio system, however it might make sense if you simply need to keep away from additional litter in your front room. The CineBeam’s 40-watt 2.2 speaker setup sounds adequate for informal viewing – it’s actually much better than what you’d get on fashionable TVs. It’s principally a pretty easy soundbar sitting beneath the projector, however it delivers clear dialogue and a few surprisingly boomy bass. Seriously although, look into encompass sound methods if you’re truly shopping for this factor. You deserve it.

LG CineBeam HU915QE displaying Apple TV 4K home screen

Devindra Hardawar/Engadget

While I spent most of my time utilizing an Apple TV 4K, the HU915QE is additionally powered by LG’s WebOS platform, which presents the entire good TV apps you’d count on. That’s good to have, particularly if you do not need to juggle a number of remotes, however I’d wager most residence theater followers will keep on with their set-top field platform of alternative. If you’re used to WebOS from LG’s OLED TVs, you’ll really feel proper at residence with this projector. It even makes use of the identical Magic Remote discovered on LG’s TVs, which has voice controls and (so-so) movement controls.

As a lot as I cherished the CineBeam HU915QE, it’s not precisely competitively priced in opposition to newer entries just like the $3,000 Formovie Theater. Sure, that is not as vibrant, however at half the value of the CineBeam, that projector delivers Dolby Vision, nice sound and glorious picture high quality due to a fashionable triple-laser setup. You can simply add in a superb $2,000 encompass sound system to match the CineBeam’s worth. As for different high-end rivals, the HU915QE competes immediately with Hisense’s much-lauded L9G, which presently sells for $4,500 to $5,000 relying on the display screen you get. Samsung’s Premiere LSP9T triple-laser UST additionally retailed for $6,500 when it debuted, though it can now be discovered for round $3,500 at on-line sellers.

If you’re an LG loyalist, the CineBeam HU915QE is nonetheless a very compelling UST projector. It presents sufficient brightness to make use of in the course of the day, and it’s vibrant sufficient in darker rooms to ship a really cinematic expertise. But it’ll be a fair higher purchase as soon as it comes down in worth.

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