None really except that you have to change your mindset because this is a very elegant solution to the ‘size matters’ debate (TV buyers rate this as the most important factor) and is based on a new laser display projection unit and a special black screen to provide full 1080p, crisp, clear images and vibrant colours in daylight viewing conditions.
No it is not a data projector – it has some substantial differences and advantages.
- Most data projectors use expensive halogen lamps lasting around 3,000 hours which is a definite turn off for buyers. LG uses a blue laser diode light source instead that has a rated life of over 25,000 hours or as LG likes to express it ‘13.7 years of quality viewing at an average of 5 hours per day’. Laser has a broader light spectrum and wider colour range than halogen or LED and the images I saw were spectacular. 10 out of 10 for laser (in comparison to most current 1080p LED/LCD/Plasma TV).
- The laser unit has 2 x 10 watt virtual surround stereo speakers with Dolby Digital and DTS sound processing. Sound signal would normally come via the HDMI audio return channel. 5 out of 10 for hi-fidelity (buy a higher end 5.1 or 7.1 sound bar and wireless sub-woofer).
- The Laser projector has HDMI, LAN, VGA, USB, WiDi, DLNA inputs. 10 out of 10 for being device agnostic (this will even play HD movies from a smartphone).
- It has a special 100”, 16:9 smart screen that is equivalent in real estate to four x 50” screens. It’s best described as a black, non-reflective, glass screen but it uses several layers of substrate to ensure that it has a wide viewing angle and eliminates glare – more than comparable to a similar LCD screen. Contrast ratio (FOFO) is 1,000,000:1 and Brightness (ANSI) is 150 nit. 9 out of 10 for screen (only because 1080p is going to eventually be superseded by 4K Ultra HD OLED but expect the cost to be enormously more expensive than this unit)
- The screen is usually wall mounted (bracket included) at normal viewing height and the projector sits directly below it on any typical TV cabinet so you can use existing furniture. LG also make an optional cabinet with a pedestal mount. In both cases the laser only needs 55cm clearance from the wall to its front – the major difference between it and data projectors. And remember there are no cables required to connect to the screen so it opens up possibilities in designing innovative home cinemas and for commercial display and business presentation use. 10 out of 10 for convenience and mounting choices.
- It is pretty well future proof as the ‘smarts’ are contained in a dual HD tuner, Blu-ray/DVD, 1TB HDD PVR (inc time shift) that has 3 x HDMI inputs, 1 x HDMI output 2 USB 2.0, AV, Composite, Digital and 3.5mm audio and a LAN port. The unit has Wi-Fi (N), DLNA and WiDi and remote control. It also supports LG Smart TV features and integration with LG and other smartphones. In all this control unit is a competent all in one home theatre AV receiver but the nice thing is that you could also use a Media Centre or AV receiver or any other control device. 9 out of 10 for 3 to 5 year future proof (as previously mentioned 4K Ultra HD will probably gain traction by the end of its useful life).
- There are a lot of tech features that I won’t go into but suffice to say you get a good kit for the price which includes delivery and installation. 10 out of 10 for features (as a TV it offers much more than a smart TV).
Who would buy this?
I see three main markets.
Home users with an innate need to own the biggest screen they can fit into the lounge room. Said room needs to be a little bigger than usual – sitting within 3 metres of a 100” screen is probably not recommended. It would be awesome for gaming, movies and sports or the man cave. Hook up a Kinnect or Wii...
Boardroom use where traditional data projectors need a 3 metre or more throw to obtain a 100” image. The whole concept of a separate screen and projection unit underneath gets over the issue of objects in front of the lens interfering with the projection image. The unit also works in daylight so there is no need to dim the lights during a presentation.
Commercial displays at trade shows – it is portable (screen weighs 34kg and the projector 14kg) and robust enough to be ‘walked’ to an exhibition booth and run off a tablet. Sodium vapour lighting in exhibition halls should not impact on image colour. I also see a great potential for commercial signage use.
The RRP is $8,999 and will be initially sold exclusively via Harvey Norman stores. It has a 12 months warranty.