The Hisense Laser TV has been demonstrated at CES for the last couple of years, but it finally started shipping in November 2017. The idea is to package an ultra short-throw (UST) projector with an ambient light-rejecting (ALR) screen and a sound system and sell it as an alternative to a large flat-panel TV.
The shipping model is the 100L8D, which is based on a 4K/UHD DLP imager and laser-phosphor light engine with a lifespan of 25,000 hours. It’s spec’d to produce 3000 lumens or 350 nits on the included 100″ Screen Innovations Short Throw ALR screen. The color gamut is said to be 80% of NTSC, and it can display HDR10 content, though Hisense calls it “HDR-enabled,” since it can’t compete with HDR-capable flat panels. The Harman Kardon sound system consists of speakers in the projector chassis and a separate wireless sub. It also includes an ATSC 1.0 tuner and provides integrated Alexa voice control. All this can be yours for $10,000.
Two other Hisense Laser TV models were on display at CES; the main difference was screen size. As the model numbers suggest, the 88L6 comes with an 88″ screen, while the 80L5, seen in the photo above, comes with an 80″ screen. Both have the same specs as the 100L8D, except that the 80L5 has no built-in audio. They are expected to ship in the last quarter of 2018, but no pricing was revealed; presumably, they will be less than $10,000.
A fourth 4K/UHD DLP-based model was being demonstrated in a separate blacked-out room. The HE150LN60D uses two lasers—one blue with a yellow phosphor wheel and the other red. I assume they derive green from the yellow phosphor wheel, but no one has been able to confirm that for me. The lifespan is spec’d at 25,000 hours to half brightness, and it is said to reproduce 100% of the DCI/P3 color gamut or 110% of NTSC. This Hisense Laser TV will come with a 150″ screen and reach a peak brightness of only 200 nits.
Like the others, it is “HDR-enabled,” but don’t expect an HDR image like you get with many flat panels. It also has a Harman-Kardon audio system with a separate wireless sub, and it includes an ATSC 1.0 tuner and the Hisense Smart OS with a variety of streaming apps. The HE150LN60D is expected to be released in the last quarter of this year. Of course, no pricing was mentioned.
The demo unit was placed about 14″ from the wall. Unfortunately, the blacks were poor, and the colors were pretty whacked out. In fact, I was underwhelmed with the image produced by all the Hisense Laser TVs. It’s an interesting concept—especially the dual-laser design of the HE150LN60D—but based on what I saw, the execution still needs some work.