The Ultra Short Throw (UST) laser 4K projector category has recently exploded and the latest entry is The Premiere LSP9T from Samsung. Just a few years ago, you’d have to spend “new car money” to get your hands on a great UST unit, one that can handle 4K HDR content while serving as both a home theater and a giant TV. But now, there’s a variety of 4K laser UST options to choose.

Samsung enters the market with two new models aimed at consumers seeking a premium UST projector. This hands-on focuses on the higher-end of two models, the LSP9T ($6499.99) which is equipped with a three-laser light source and 0.66” DMD (DLP chip) that’s spec’d at 2800 lumens output, along 4K support and HDR10+ compatibility.

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Samsung's triple-laser 4K UST projector, the LSP9T
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Features and Specifications

By opting for a 3-laser light source and 0.66” DMD, Samsung has created a UST projector that can reproduce extremely vivid color. Gamut coverage is spec’d at 146% of DCI/P3, which is what’s used to master Ultra HD Blu-rays. It’s also spec’d at 105% of rec.2020, which is the widest color gamut currently in use and covers practically every color the human eye can see. This projector has familiar Samsung menus and image processing options, allowing experienced calibrators and dedicated enthusiasts many options to teak the image for peak fidelity in a variety of viewing environments.

A key feature of this projector is the extreme 0.189:1 throw ratio. This is the relative distance of the lens versus the screen size. Remarkably, this projector can output a 100-inch picture with the back of the projector only 4.5 inches away from the rear wall, just enough space for fitting the cables. For a 130” image that only increases to 9.4 inches, a remarkable achievement that makes this projector a better “fit” for the living room than other UST projectors I have reviewed. With a throw ratio this aggressive, the Samsung is able to deliver its promised 130” picture size while fitting on top of a 24” deep credenza or TV stand. With other UST projectors I have reviewed, I had to use an extension shelf or pull the credenza away from the wall to make it fit, but with the Samsung that’s not an issue.

The “catch” with the more extreme the projection angle of this UST is you need to pay greater attention to certain issues, like screen geometry and surface texture. You’ll want to project onto a perfectly flat, perfectly smooth surface, no matter what—that means using a screen, not the bare wall. And if you wish to make the most of this projector in a living room environment, as opposed to a darkened home theater or media room, adding a UST compatible ALR screen is a must.

If you must project on a surface that is less than perfectly flat, this projector includes a screen adjustment option with either four-point or 15-point warping. Focus on this projector is motorized and adjustable using the remote.

This is a DLP projector that uses the Texas Instruments UHD DMD, which relies on pixel-shift tech to render 4K pixels on screen. The native resolution of this DMD is 2716 x 1528 pixels, which is half the pixel count of native 4K, but also double the pixel count of the 0.47” UHD DMD used in lower tier UST DLP laser projectors, that are actually only 1080p native. The reason this matters is that while the 0.47” chip units claim to put 8.3 million pixels on screen, the problem is those pixels don’t all fit on screen at once, they are too big! So while there are benefits to pixel-shifting a 1080p DMD (a finer pixel grid, for example) the native resolution of the DMD is a limiting factor. The point is, with the 0.66” DMD you are starting off with more native pixels on screen, before pixel-shifting occurs, the result is a sharper image.

The light source for the LSP9T uses RGB lasers, and there is no color wheel. Each laser is a pure expression of a primary color, this is what allows it to deliver such a wide color gamut. Moreover, the longevity and stability of laser as a light source allows this projector to maintain brightness and color accuracy for years of normal operation, with a 20,000-hour lifespan. Another advantage of the laser light source is that it turn on very quickly, bulb based projectors need about a minute to warm up, whereas this Samsung is projecting a bright image in under 14 seconds.

Samsung equipped this projector with its advanced picture processing technologies. From upscaling to motion to tone mapping, HDR10/HDR10+ and HLG support, this projector works behind the scenes to provide optimal image quality, with plenty of adjustable options to work with for tailoring the output to your needs, environment, and personal taste.

This projector features a Film Maker Mode (FMM) that locks in preferable settings for viewing cinematic content. It maintains a consistent aspect ratio and preserves the original frame rate. The white point is set to D65 and motion interpolation plus noise reduction are turned off, as are other image enhancements.

Samsung’s new projector has a features called DynamicBlack. Here, the projector modulates the laser light source output so that scenes with a large amount of dark/black area such as outer space shots or night scenes maintain contrast. This is achieved by lowering the laser light output, which in turn creates a darker shadows and blacks. With SDR content there’s leeway to use this approach for enhanced perceived contrast, but with HDR it is turned off.

The sound system of this projector is notable, it features Samsung’s Acoustic Beam technology that lets you hear an expansive soundfield without having to space the speakers far apart. The LSP9T has dual acoustic Beam arrays, in addition to a pair of woofers and a pair of tweeters that provide 4.2 channel audio at 40 watts. This is a projector that can create an expansive listening experience ad moderate volume levels, without the need for a separate sound system.

Samsung packed this projector with smart TV apps, so you can stream Netflix and Amazon prime video and Disney plus and Hulu and YouTube with no separate streaming device. You can use Bixby, Alexa and Google Assistant for voice-based control, and supports direct media playback from Galaxy devices, and screen mirroring using AirPlay or Android. Interestingly, remote access features include a Remote PC mode that lets you use Windows and Mac apps without the need to connect to the PC with a cable.

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The LSP9T is a self-contained entertainment center, with sound and built-in smart apps. Just add Wi-Fi.

Gamers get some love with this UST, there’s a Game Enhancer mode that drops the input lag to 53 ms, versus 87 ms for TV mode. Plus, this projector widely supports a wide variety of input resolutions and frame rates, so it does not lock you into just 4K or 1080p. The projector maxes out at 4K/60 Hz input.


Hands-On

In actual use, the Samsung LSP9T proves to be an incredibly capable UST projector. The brightness is highly appreciated and can be leveraged to produce either a theater-like picture when the lights are out, or a TV-like picture during the day, when watching sports or playing games. For the latter, you’ll need a UST-specific ALR screen, and for the best effect some curtains or shades help the picture achieve more “pop”.

Out of the box color for this projector was OK, but I found a quick 2-point calibration, along with some tweaks of the pictures controls, allows me to dial in a picture that best suited my needs and preferences. The adjustments for shadows, and gamma, let you tweak the on-screen image to best suit the screen and lighting conditions of the room. Unlike a TV where the picture “is what it is” projectors need to factor several variables, and that’s why a bit of tweaking is always recommended to get the most from a projector like the LSP9T.

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The Samsung has the brightness needed to work in a living room during the daytime.

Although it’s a DLP projector, the DynamicBlack feature appears to work as advertised. When watching movies in a darkened room, I was surprised at the depth of the black levels it achieved. Elevated black levels never distracted me, and I found that overall, this Samsung delivers a picture with plenty of punch. Of course, once you introduce some ambient light to a room, black levels become less important than peak brightness. This projector handles both bright and dark room viewing environments well.

Color is the strong suit of this projector. It exceeds DCI/P3 gamut, so when you watch UHD HDR movies you are seeing all the colors contained in the film. This is thrilling when watching animated content, Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse as an example was pure eye-candy through this projector.
While not native 4K, a key quality of this projector is how well it renders motion. When things get moving, there's no judder and imagery stays clear and detailed. And unless you are using a projector to view slideshows of still images, there’s going to be motion in your content. And once theres motion, the way the projector handles that motion matters as much as the native pixel count. That's my long-winded way of saying that when you watch a movie on Ultra HD Blu-ray, or high-quality UHD streaming, or play a 4K video game, the on-screen image output by this projector keeps up with native 4K projectors in terms of detail rendition as well as smoothness.

You can use this projector as a display for a PC. Unlike UST projectors with the 1080p native 0.47” DMD, on-screen text looks clear and sharp on this unit. Also notable is its support for a wide variety of resolutions, including 2560 x 1440 at 60 Hz, which is close to the projector’s native resolution and allows a gaming PC to output a higher frame rate with higher-quality graphics settings versus 4K. The truth is, hidden within this lifestyle-friendly, home theater-capable UST projector is a hugely immersive gaming display.

I re-watched AI: Artificial Intelligence on the LSP9T. The AI is now 20 years old, but being a Steven Spielberg film it has aged well. What I found notable is how organic it looked on this Samsung. The film grain was there, and it looked seductively artistic, not distracting. Motion was flawless, to my eyes anyhow. I can honestly say I forgot what projector I was using when watching movies, and for that matter, that there even was a projector in the front of the room.

I was also surprised and pleased by the built-in sound of this projector. Now, I would strongly recommend using an external system with the LSP9T or any other projector. But, if you do use the built-in speakers, the output is surprisingly good, and the Acoustic Beam tech works as advertised, creating a wide soundfield that complements the big picture.


Conclusion

Samsung swings for the fences and scores a home run in the UST projection category. The Premiere LSP9T is a serious, and seriously capable piece of hardware. It’s able to handle the role of “giant living room TV” while offering home theater fans a remarkably vivid viewing experience that—subjectively at least—has the “pop” needed to do justice to 4K HDR content. It handles tonality with easy and its color gamut is beyond what today’s TVs can offer. The result is a picture that pops, regardless of whether the lights are on or off.

With the right screen and a bit of customization, Samsung’s The Premiere LSP9T delivers a TV-like viewing experience at screen sizes normally associated with dedicated home theaters. It’s a Top Choice for anyone seeking a high-performance UST projector.

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