LG's second generation CineBeam Projector is a 4K DLP design that features a ultra-short throw lens, allowing it to be placed mere inches from a wall.
Is there still a space for projection in the living room? With today's 4K TVs available at approachable prices and sizes up to 85 inches, the days of setting up a projector on a coffee table to get a big picture up on the wall are of a bygone era. Projection has retreated to dedicated home theater rooms, or more casual gaming applications. But now, thanks to multiple offerings in the UST (ultra short throw) category, projection appears to be making a bid to reenter the living room. For example, the new LG HU85L that will make an appearance at CES 2019 sporting a 2500-lumen laser light source and 4K resolution.
The main selling point of this new model is the UST capability, which allows it to project a 90-inch (diagonal) image while sitting only 2 inches away from the wall. If you give it 7 inches of space, the maximum image size increases to 120 inches.
“The new CineBeam Laser projector marries spectacular 4K viewing experience with the convenience of AI technology,” said Jang Ik-hwan, head of LG’s IT business division. “There is no other product like this on the market, illustrating how LG continues to deliver unique value to consumers.”
Unlike some projectors, this consumer friendly device is loaded with smart features, including voice recognition using LG ThinQ AI. You'll be able to control functions, such as powering the unit down, as well as request content such as videos on YouTube.
I took a good look at this new projector while at CES 2019 and what I saw was encouraging. This is a DLP projector, which means its black levels are not as deep as a dedicated home cinema unit. But, the demo was held in a fairly bright area adjacent to the show floor in LG's booth and the light pollution would render a home theater projector useless. What you get instead is a lot of brightness at 2500 lumens, enough to create a 120" 16:9 image that can overcome typical living room lighting.
This projector is fairly compact and quiet. Here's a video of it running at the show:
Pricing has not been announced, but 4K UST projectors with laser light sources have thus far been a fairly expensive proposition. Hopefully LG changes that.