Is front projection poised to make a comeback? If it does, it will be because of products like the LG ProBeam projector ($1499) that was first teased at CES 2017 and is now shipping. With a long lasting laser light source and the ability to turn on in 10 seconds and turn off in two seconds, it’s a lot more lifestyle friendly than projectors of the past.
This compact unit, officially known as model number HF80JA, offers 1080p resolution, 2000-lumen light output and illuminates screens as large as 120″ diagonal. It’s based on DLP technology and weighs only 4.6 pounds, making it one of the lightest projectors capable of outputting so much light. Plus, the light source is rated at 20,000 hours lamp life.
An automatic vertical Keystone alignment feature performs detection and correction of screen image distortion and can be fine-tuned manually. Bluetooth audio out allows it to be paired with any speaker or headphones that support that kind of wireless connection.
The LG ProBeam has Wireless mirroring (courtesy of Miracast) built in, so you can easily project what’s showing on your smart device on a big screen. It includes two HDMI inputs, plus it comes equipped with RGB, 2X USB, Ethernet and S/PDIF (optical) inputs. Furthermore, this projector includes a built-in TV tuner!
“As an industry leader in LED projectors, LG continually pushes the boundaries of innovation to provide consumers with affordable, high performing, and artfully designed home entertainment products,” said Tim Alessi, head of Home Entertainment product marketing at LG Electronics USA. “With the ability to project up to 2,000 lumens of brightness and a picture as big as 120 inches, the lightweight and versatile LG ProBeam can transform any living space into your very own home theater.”
Additional specifications and features include 1.1X zoom, low noise (26/28/30dB) and built-in Smart TV functionality like streaming Netflix, VuDu, Hulu Plus and Youtube thanks to webOS; it even has a web browser. Power consumption maxes out at 150 watts while standby mode only consumes half a watt. LG claims a contrast ratio of 150,000:1, but does not specify under what conditions that’s measured. And given its capabilities, it truly is compact, measuring only 4.25″ x 9.93 x 5.51″.
LG’s shipping these projectors now, some AVS Forum members have already received their units. I’m curious to read feedback on image quality and usability. Given the combination of compact size, low price, lifestyle friendly features, and the long-lasting light source, I’m optimistic.