As anyone who has recently shopped for a TV knows, screens are getting bigger. Once upon a time, 32 inches was considered huge, but now, 50 inches is the norm, and the trend is continuing upward. However, as screen size increases, so does the price—if you want a 100-inch flat panel, be prepared to spend well into five figures.
Fortunately, LG offers a cost-effective alternative—its new Laser TV, which was first introduced at CES 2013. This unique display consists of a projector and a separate 100-inch screen, but whereas most projector-based systems require careful and complicated installation, the Laser TV is designed for simple and unobtrusive setup. Its "ultra-short throw" technology with 13-element lens and aspheric concave mirror lets you place the front of the projector a mere six inches from the wall and below the screen, not clear across the room where people can walk through the light beam, leading to cries of "down in front!" from those trying to watch the big game or latest blockbuster.
Even better, the Laser TV's light source is—you guessed it—lasers, which produce rich, vibrant colors and have an expected lifespan of nearly 25,000 hours; that's 13 years if you watch five hours a day, seven days a week. And those lasers illuminate a Full HD 1080p image that measures 100 inches diagonally. By contrast, other short-throw projectors max out at around 80 inches with WXGA (1280x768) resolution, and their white incandescent lamps last roughly 3500 hours before needing an expensive replacement.
The projector has all the latest connections—three HDMI 1.4 inputs (one of which supports Audio Return Channel) along with component, composite, and RGB inputs, each with corresponding stereo audio inputs. That's right, the Laser TV includes its own speakers as well as an optical digital-audio output and a headphone output. It also provides an RF input and built-in ATSC/QAM tuner for over-the-air and unencrypted cable HDTV signals as well as LG's Smart TV online-streaming platform, making the system a complete television rather than simply a projector and screen. Rounding out the connections are two USB ports and an Ethernet port as well as built-in WiFi.
The screen itself is no less amazing. Its six layers are designed to deflect ambient light away from the viewing area while directing the light from the projector back toward the viewers' eyes rather than willy-nilly in all directions. A black-tint layer helps improve the contrast, even in a well-lit room, by lowering black levels and increasing the perceived brightness beyond the system's 150-nit spec.
The best news of all—the LG Laser TV lists for only $8999, way less than any other 100-inch TV. So tell us, what do you think of this technology?