In March we held a UST Showcase with ProjectorScreen.com and compared 17 USTs. Universally the Hisense L9G was held in high regard by everyone who visited. We even tested our beta version of Dolby Vision via a firmware upgrade at the show. The unit gained a lot of attention and was easily one of the top units at the event. So when I left I asked Hisense for a review sample and it was at my house within 72 hours.

SETUP

USTs are a combination of absolute simplicity and absurd meticulousness to install. You don’t need to get an electrical outlet installed in your ceiling. You don’t have to have long runs of cables.

In this case the unit came with a 100 inch diagonal Cinema screen. Hisense offers two screen options: cinema or daylight. Daylight is meant for rooms with a lot of ambient light while the Cinema screen is meant for light controlled environments.

I had a very interesting room to put this in. The bedroom. My wife and I share a bedroom with only one large window. This window was 8 feet long and 4 feet tall. The screen would fit right over it.

This would solve multiple issues we had: sunlight coming through in the morning and not being able to test display product in the room we spend the most amount of time in. So we decided this was a good solution.

The screen has to be built and in this case that took a couple hours and two people. This is a serious screen. It’s not the easiest or the hardest to build but it’s incredibly solid and nice looking when finished. It’s a very nice ALR screen with a .4 gain.

We put insulation fiber paneling in the window to block out all light and handle any warmth issues. Then after building the screen we covered the window and it looked perfect. We got out the level and determined it was perfect. We then moved on to setting the UST up itself.

To set up a UST the majority of it is positioning the unit correctly for the image to display properly. If the geometry is off you may have to move the device slightly clockwise or vice versa. This process can be annoying, because of this Hisense created an auto calibration app that combined with your phones camera figured out how to alter the picture to better fit the screen. Because of this combination the unit was relatively easy if time consuming to set up.

After that connecting wires was easy. Since the UST (Ultra Short Throw) sits 10 inches or so from the wall on a 100 inch screen the run from the part of the credenza that holds my gear to the projector was less than 3 feet. I hooked everything up with Blue Jeans Cable and Monolith HDMI to a NAD T778 receiver.

The Hisense L9G comes with built in speakers. I gave those a quick test and it works better than most TVs and not as good as some sound bars. I prefer a full on sound system so we hooked everything up for a 5.1.2 system.

Calibration was relatively easy. I found the presets to actually have a good out of the box picture considering. However tweaking and calibration is beneficial on all displays and this was no different. I dialed it in the best I could in about 20 minutes and was ready to play.

FEATURES

The Hisense L9G is a 4K HDR UST. This particular unit uses 3 lasers: RGB so no color wheel is needed. The UST is thus capable of producing over 100% of the BT 2020 color specifications. It is also bright at 3,000 lumens (unlike normal projectors this is shooting 3000 lumens from a foot away vs 12+ feet on average of most projectors).

The L9G TriChroma LaserTV is fully capable of HDR thanks to the brightness and short throw of the projector. Proof of this is in the Dolby Vision capability of this projector. I don’t know of another projector that DV is putting their stamp of approval on (yet).

The L9G comes with either a 100 or 120 inch screen. The Daylight screen comes pre-assembled and is only available at 100 inches. The Cinema like I received comes in 100 or 120 inches and must be assembled. The Daylight is a 1.2 gain screen with mediocre viewing angles (you must sit right in front for a good picture) while the Cinema screen is a .4 gain screen with decent viewing angles (you don’t have to be exactly in front of it).

Finally the LaserTV comes with Android TV as it’s Operating System and works with Google Assistant and Alexa voice controls.

PERFORMANCE

Immediately when setting up the L9G you notice the colors in the menu push blue (this is partly due to the ALR screen) but also just how the colors seem more full and have a pop to them. It’s hard to be impressed with set up menus but they got my attention. You also notice just how sharp it is thanks to the 4K DLP chip they use.

I use Kaleidescape as my reference source for video in all of my reviews. The great thing about Kaleidescape for me personally is the script feature. A script is a user made set of chapters that can be created by a user from anything on the Kaleidescape. So I can click “display script” and bam I’m watching scenes that test the displays from multiple movies.

I was excited to start the display script on the Kaleidescape. Even the menu system of the Kaleidescape had a vibrancy to it that was borderline over saturation of colors it seemed to my eyes. The colors might have seemed slightly more extreme but it was gorgeous eye candy. So I truly wanted to see what movies look like.
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WOW. My script starts with Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 at the opening. It starts with Ego and Peter Quill’s mother on Earth in the 80s. They’re driving a Pontiac in the country and this is an HDR candy fest. Details in the clouds can look very different on different displays. For a projector…. this is GTZ380 HDR type of performance. It’s more comparable to a TV than a normal projector.

The scene moves to the Guardians fighting an alien while Baby Groot dances to music. The space scene moving into the planet and the area where they fight the monster is full of HDR goodness. Details in this scene are abundant. Everything from skin tones to texture of aliens to details on a hand held remote look incredibly sharp and hyper realistic.

I’ve mentioned the giant batteries in this scene before in other reviews. It’s part of the plot but these batteries are big and have giant orange glowing parts. Different TVs and projectors show different levels of detail and color in the batteries. The L9G excelled at it.

What I want to talk about is the alien. This giant alien breathes some kind of rainbow breath attack. The L9G showed this better than anything I could compare it to. I ran back and forth from the RS2100 in one room to this one. I went and set up an LG OLED right next to it. The wife agreed: we could see colors on the L9G that we couldn’t on others with this rainbow breath.

The Kaleidescape script then moves on to Ready Player One and the race scene. This is another HDR demo that is stunning on any display but jaw dropping on the right ones. Consider my jaw dropped. Holy “bleep” Batman, this UST has gorgeous HDR abilities.

Let’s get some things out of the way. Contrast on this is not OLED only black. It isn’t MiniLED black either. You know it’s DLP from its dark grey blacks. Once calibrated though blacks look black enough and I didn’t find myself pulled from a space scene and going “ugh space doesn’t look dark enough…”

In the race you have the main character ogling over a female on a motorcycle and the bike is a brilliant red and her outfit is a combination of red and black leather. The colors and details were sick. The colors are so saturated but not in a bad way. They pop off the screen in a hyper realistic way vs a “that’s so fake looking way”

Certain parts of the race looked 3 dimensional and the detail on Kong and the T Rex was eye opening. This projector won a shootout at another event. I can see why.

The script then moved on to Blade Runner 2049 and the Vegas scene. This is normally almost a dull scene. There are colors to the sand but this isn’t something that normally makes you go “wow, check out the colors”. It did this time. Yes, the statues had detail and all of the stuff most great displays excel at in the scene, but it also had more colors in the sand than I normally notice. Once more I compared to the OLED. Yep, this 107% of the BT 2020 does show a difference compared to those that don’t.

MEG is not a theatrical masterpiece. What it does have is a scene that really shows good HDR from the bad. In this particular scene the main character is underwater and the details of the light from above highlighting things in the water is tough on most systems with normally a lot of black crush. The L9G did a good job handling the scene but examples of poor processing were apparent in the scene. This isn’t a bad thing as most displays have this problem.

Last the script went to Aquaman another theatrical dud with some great HDR scenes. This particular scene finds our hero chained up by his brother and under trial in a giant underwater palace. Most displays do a mediocre job of displaying the spires in the background. For a projector this may be the best HDR performance on this scene outside the GTZ380 from Sony (a $85,000 projector).

I lived with this in my bedroom for weeks. I LOVE this UST. It was better than the others that went in the room to be reviewed. I kept replacing it and using it as a reference to compare the other USTs to.

DOLBY VISION

Kaleidescape currently doesn’t offer DV. However, it doesn’t matter. The firmware beta I tested wouldn’t accept DV over HDMI. It would display DV content on internal apps though. Netflix is the best DV content provider with streaming. Sadly Hisense doesn’t have an agreement with Netflix. In my experience I have found Disney+ to be second best at streaming DV so I used that.

I watched Avengers Infinity War in DV on the L9G. It had a more three dimensional look with slightly better HDR handling than normal. I compared to the Kaleidescape version and saw improvements. It’s not enough to only watch DV but it’s noticeable.

If there is one complaint I heard about the Hisense L9G TriChroma LaserTV it would be it’s not “cinematic”. I heard that from a few observers of the UST. I personally like what HDR provides and cinematic usually means grainy with 24fps issues that people just accept. I think the hyper realistic look is awesome. You can watch old films like The Godfather though and be immersed and never think “it’s not cinematic enough” it just looks better than Francis intended.

MADVR

Last I hooked up a MadVR Envy to the unit and rewatched the Kaleidescape script. This UST provides a fabulous picture with the Envy that is gorgeous, stunning, phenomenal and perhaps the best picture for the money possible at 100 inches (or 120). I’m not sure how many people will hook up a 5 figure video processor to this UST but it brings out the best of this UST.
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GAMING

I spent time playing the new Guardians of the Galaxy game as well as MS Flight Simulator for hours on the L9G. It’s not like playing on an LG C2 or the Samsung QN90B that I love to use as my gaming display but it’s more than acceptable. This is a good unit for gaming.

COMPETITION

The Hisense PX-1 Pro may be better. I’m going to find out. The AWOL from the UST Showcase also shows a lot of promise. To be honest I like aspects of this better than the JVC RS2100. TVs will have better PQ but be 83 inches at the largest for the same price.

BOTTOMLINE

This is a $5,499 set up complete with screen. A 100 inch setup at $5,499 or $5,999 for the 120 inch is great performance and immersion for the money. I prefer this over the laser front projectors that are less than $10K. You need to buy a screen with those too.

I don’t know yet if this is the best UST for the money but it’s darn close. UST can go in more places than a projector and provide a more immersive experience than TVs.

In a world where going to the Cinema is dying down USTs and this Hisense in particular can provide that immersive experience in your home with a picture that is much better than even Dolby Cinema. To me this is the future.

The Hisense L9G TriChroma LaserTV is another worthy AVS Forum Top Choice Award winner. I can’t recommend demonstrating this amazing product enough. If you were waiting for UST to get good enough to consider for Home Theater use the time has come.