LG CineBeam 4K UHD Laser UST Projector

LG CineBeam 4K UHD Laser UST Projector

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Thoughts on this deal?

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Just FYI, my experience is more with traditional TV calibration, and home theatres with larger, overhead projector systems (JVC and Sony, primarily), as an amateur builder - I have only ever used a couple of the ultra-short throw models. So, take this as you will…

Intro:
If you have the right type of room for this (enough space up front to accommodate the projector low, and minimal ambient light), the right type of screen (ultra-short throw have the ability to combat light slightly better than others, and at 2500 lumens, this is decent), if you like the LG WebOS system (or plan to use an external streaming source à la Roku, Apple, etc.), this is already off to a decent start.

Analysis:
Spec-wise, this is a potentially compelling offer, at over $1000 off of retail. It does feature a single HDMI 2.1 port, as well as two 2.0 ports. That would kind of dampen the gaming options if you want to utilize eARC through the 2.1 port, in case the 40W built-in audio is insufficient (or the AV-sync Bluetooth option). Regardless, most gamers would also note that while a projector system of any type may be acceptable, they are not an ideal fit for competitive gaming in most scenarios. But your taste and needs may vary.

Similarly, the built-in WebOS operating system uses a similar motion remote to LG TVs, which can be intuitive and nice, but has its own limitations: Iit is reported that many users have stated that the version of WebOS on this projector is lacking some apps (Hulu, Paramount, and YouTube were among the common ones mentioned), so a separate streamer would be advisable. Same thing goes for anyone looking to use casting, as the official specs and user reviews clash on whether or not Airplay and casting work well natively.

The Ethernet is limited to Fast Ethernet, or 100 Mbps, which really shouldn’t matter for most folks since most 4K HDR streams won’t even approach that bandwidth. But lack of an F-type coax connector or ATSC tuner means that if you want broadcast TV, it may need to be done through a third party streamer, or app-based solution. Not unusual for this class of projector though.

All in all, this seems to be on par with many similar units, and I would highly recommend cross-shopping this with Hisense Laser TVs (misleading name for their ultra-short throw offerings).

Conclusion:
As I see it, the strengths of this particular model are that it has plenty of smarts for picture processing, warping to match a screen that is slightly askew, good picture calibration, and ongoing support. Port selection is reasonable for a smaller and more friendly projector packages, so just add a good streaming box and away you go. Options for built-in sound, Bluetooth speakers (and time sync), or eARC to a larger sound bar or otherwise are also nice. As long as this sounds good to you, this looks a really appealing value.

Caveats include need for a good screen to maximize contrast, lack of HDR10+ (not a huge deal for most folks, since HDR10 and DolbyVision are more common), no easy solution for broadcast TV… And as a big fan of OLED, I will point out that no projector achieves the same black levels, and therefore the contrast and HDR impact, as the best of the OLED or miniLED backlit TVs. But those also don’t get to 120” sizes without price tags that exceed those of new cars, so that becomes a mixed bag of what best suits your space. Normal trade-offs. But nothing stands out in my cursory search for this being anything bad - so those caveats are just normal for many projectors.

Hope that helps!

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This is an awesome write up, thanks!
I have been considering going to UST to replace my ceiling mount 1080P but it seems some or all are inflexible about the location of the projector and screen, unlike standard projectors I am used to.
I would assume I could do a ceiling mount but I think there needs to be some vertical distance and a ceiling mount would make that difficult.
Any thoughts?

Thanks again.

LG doesn’t say “no” to the ceiling mount, but they do suggest professional install for it. From where I am sitting, I do seem some challenges with that though…

Firstly, for the positive, the keystone and smart anti-warp would still work fine. And it looks to be software-friendly to the option.

If you want to use any sort of traditional ambient light rejection screen, the configuration would be all wrong for it - Most screens are made with a level of polarization, which tries to only accept the light from one source, and reject any light from other directions, specifically overhead lights. If you now have a source which projects almost straight down, I do not know of any screen that would be great for that.

Next limitation would be the same for most projectors, which is connectivity. The projector may have ports, but do you have everything that you want to plug in there, available? But at the front of the room? If you have power right above things, and you run a small streaming device separately, and that’s it, then it may work. But many places are not equipped to pass cables to that location.

Not trying to say that this isn’t a good projector - But the on-ceiling thing does present extra challenges.

Again, I hope that helps!