If you’re looking to permanently replace a TV with a projector in a room with lots of foot traffic, there are two important things you should look for: lots of lumens, and a short-throw design. LG’s new HU915QE 4K CineBeam laser projector delivers both, with a design that can be positioned almost right up against a wall.
Projectors have long been a staple of decadent home theatre setups, delivering a picture larger than any TV can provide. But they’ve always worked best in dedicated rooms where ambient light is completely eliminated and the projector can be mounted to the ceiling to minimise the number of times someone walks past and blocks the beam.
As the cost of the technology has dropped dramatically in recent years, more and more consumers are opting for projectors over TVs in multi-purpose rooms, which is where a short-throw design is the better way to go. Placed right up against the wall they’re projecting on, there’s zero risk of someone walking through the room, blocking the beam, and interrupting the action on screen. The closer you can get the projector to the wall, the less obtrusive it is and the easier it is to fit on a piece of furniture, and LG promises the HU915QE can produce a 120-inch image at just 7.2-inches from a wall, or a 90-inch image at a mere 2.2-inches away, thanks to an impressive 0.19 throw ratio.
Moving a projector from a dedicated home theatre in the basement to an upstairs room filled with windows also introduces ambient light, which can easily wash out the projected image. Almost any projector looks decent in a room that’s completely dark, but to make a projector as useable in the day as it is at night requires lots of brightness, and the HU915QE delivers 3,700 ANSI lumens through the use of a laser light source. LG also promises a 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio, but don’t expect to see that kind of performance without pairing this projector with a proper screen to help bounce unwanted ambient light away, even with LG’s “Brightness Optimizer II” tech that self adjusts brightness levels to compensate for ambient light conditions while maximizing lamp life.
Like many projectors targeted at consumers who don’t live in multi-million dollar mansions, the new LG HU915QE also features a built-in 2.2 channel 40W speaker system with the ability to pair two LG wireless speakers over Bluetooth for a rudimentary surround sound setup, and runs LG’s webOS smart TV platform that provides native access to streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and Apple TV+, as well as screen mirroring from supported devices. You can also always connect your own streaming box to one of the projector’s three HDMI inputs if, for example, you prefer the Google TV user experience instead.
Although more affordable than most pro-grade home theatre projectors, the 4K HU915QE is still going to cost you close to $US6,000 ($8,329) if this listing on B&H is accurate. A bit of an investment, without a doubt, especially when you factor in the cost of a proper screen. But when you compare it to LG’s monstrous 97-inch OLED that will supposedly cost around $US28,000 ($38,870), suddenly this projector seems like a real bargain.