Theater projectors are often considered to be bulky and highly technical pieces of equipment, and that used to be true. To make one work, you needed a lot of space and a decent screen to project your video on. And often that meant sacrificing video quality for the sake of size.
But short throw projectors are making the notion of projecting video easier than it’s ever been. Even by these new standards, the LG Cinebeam is revelatory. This simple little box looks like a gaming console but offers high-quality video projected against a wall, screen, or practically any surface. But is it the right choice for your home? Let’s find out.
Crystal Clear Images
Let’s talk about that video quality. 4K is rapidly becoming the new standard for home theater systems. The ability to deliver four times the quality of traditional 1080p HD is a big step up, but while 4K TVs are becoming more affordable, quality projector options are a little harder to find, and those that are available tend to be bigger and bulkier.
This new LG model makes use of two separate lasers to accurately simulate 4K UHD resolution. It also comes with a brightness level of 20,000 lumens, a respectable maximum that can maintain high-quality pictures even when you’re not in an ideal viewing environment. The HU85LA additionally supports HDR for richer and more mature color quality.
ULTRA Short Throw Range
Short throw projectors have become incredibly popular because of their ability to project high-quality images even in smaller rooms and because they’re often small enough to be used as relatively portable devices. But the HU85LA puts even the best short throw projectors to shame.
The “Ultra Short Throw” technology that this projector employs can provide you with a quality 90 inch screen while placed a mere two inches from the wall and offer a massive 120 inch screen if moved back to seven inches from the wall. The days of having to mount your projector from the far side of the ceiling are long gone, but the HU85LA takes things to a whole new level.
A Smarter Home Theater Projector
This projector uses LG’s proprietary ThinQ technology. That may not be a household name, but it’s an inclusion you should pay attention to. This A.I. technology ensures that it can work with other LG smart devices. But more importantly it allows you to control the projector with either Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. Voice activation is a relative rarity in the TV projector market, but it goes a long way towards transforming your projector into a dedicated daily viewing device rather than a gadget you drag out for special events.
Whether you’re looking for something to replace your gaming TV’s role or a secondary theater system, the smart capabilities can help with that. Major streaming providers like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and Accuweather are all supported by this model, and it even comes with a magic remote if you don’t want to control everything with your voice. It even supports its own app store so you can download new services.
Impressive Audio Built Right In
If you already have a dedicated stereo system for your home theater, chances are that this projector isn’t going to replace them. But if you’re looking for a device that you can bring over to a friend or family member’s place or use all on its own, the speakers built in are actually pretty respectable. The dual five watt speakers are far from the most powerful built-in components you’ll find, but they’re of a high enough quality to deliver a decent blockbuster auditory experience.
A Wealth of Connectivity Options
Fortunately, you don’t have to rely on this LG projector’s speakers if you don’t want to. Both an optical and a 3.5 mm output are included, but if you’re looking to get truly modern with your setup, this model also offers Bluetooth output for audio. AV sync adjustment is also included so you can easily swap back and forth between wireless speaker outputs.
There are also a ton of connectivity options that go beyond the Wi-Fi streaming choices and allow you to either project TV and film directly through the projector or through other sources. A digital TV tuner allows you to receive broadcasts from all of your local stations, while a pair of HDMI inputs let you receive output from two separate 4K sources. There are also two traditional USB and one USB-C input. An RJ45 port lets you wire this projector directly to your modem, and keyboard, mouse, and gamepad support is also included.
A Great Choice For Gaming
If you’re a gamer looking for a projector that will suit your needs, you’ll probably have noticed a few things here salient to your needs. The portability of this device makes it a great choice for hosting multiplayer parties on the lawn, in another room, or at a friend’s house, and the extensive variety of ports mean you could hypothetically set up two gaming rigs or consoles at the same time. As far as gaming projectors are concerned, this is one of the better options to use as a reliable and dedicated device.
But one thing that any good gaming screen needs is a decent refresh rate. Fortunately, this is projector that excels in this regard. The supported rate of 50 – 60 Hz isn’t as good as what you’d find on a truly high-end gaming monitor, but it’s more than enough for single player gaming and should suit your needs for a Mario Kart or Call of Duty party. All but the most serious esports pros should find this accommodating to their demands.
The HU85LA doesn’t come cheap, but it’s offered at a relatively decent price considering everything it packs in. This projector represents the next generation of home theater technology, and if you decide to make the investment, it’s sure to stay a relevant piece of gear for a long time to come.