The LG HU915QB flagship ultra-short throw laser TV projector and a trio of JVC's native 4K long-throw projectors including the DLA-NP5, DLA-NZ8 and DLA-NZ9 took top honors last weekend at the Value Electronics 2022 Projector Shootout.
Value Electronics, the suburban New York City retailer that has conducted its annual TV Shootout events since 2004, gathered up five UST laser TV projectors and nine premium long-throw projectors for the event, held at The Company building in Manhattan over two days on Saturday, December 10th and Sunday, December 12th. To create an even playing field for all contenders, Jason Dustal, an engineer with Murideo and AVPro Edge and an accomplished ISF instructor, led a team who optimized all 14 projectors for their best image on 120-inch diagonal Seymour AV screens using the company's reference Radiant White material. All projectors, including the USTs, were set up and evaluated in dark-room, controlled-light conditions. The projectors were judged by a committee comprised of video and movie production industry professionals and reviewers from the consumer electronics press.
On Saturday, the five top-line USTs faced-off including (alphabetically) the AWOL Vision LTV-3500 ($4,399), Epson LS800B ($3,499), Hisense PX1-PRO ($2,999), LG HU915QB ($6,499), and Samsung LSP9T ($6,499).
All the projectors except for the Epson were triple-laser models, and all except for the Epson also previously competed in the ProjectorCentral/ProjectorScreen.com Laser TV Showdown held last summer. Among the tri-laser units, all except the LG boast a discrete RGB laser design that offers wide color gamut in excess of Rec.2020, though even the LG, with its RBB+phosphor architecture, achieves the full DCI-P3 gamut that's currently the production limit for virtually all HDR content.
Per the scorecard below, the projectors were evaluated across various criteria for both SDR and 4K/HDR performance, including near-black level/shadow detail, color accuracy/skin tone, motion resolution, and others that also included a Bright Content category (not to mistaken for bright-room viewing). The LG enjoyed a commanding victory, winning nine of the 15 categories, and was declared the 2022 "King of UST Projectors."
The standard-throw projectors, meanwhile, competed on Sunday and were segregated by price in three different segments, each with its own winner. The $4,000-$7000 category included (alphabetically), the Epson LS12000 ($4,999), the LG AU810B ($3,999, pro version of the HU810PW), the JVC DLA-NP5 ($6,999), and the Sony VPL-XW5000ES ($5,998). Among these, all are laser projectors except for the JVC, which is the entry-level lamp model in JVC's native 4K family. The Sony and JVC, both featuring LcoS imaging technology known for superior blacks and high contrast, were very nearly tied but the averaged result gave the DLA-NP5 the top spot.
The $11,000 to $16,000 segment included the JVC DLA-NZ7 ($10,999), JVC DLA-NZ8 ($15,999), and Sony VPL-VW6000ES ($11,998). The Sony and JVC DLA-NZ8 competed closely for the top spot, but here again it was the JVC that prevailed when the scores were averaged, primarily on the strength of its near-black and HDR performance.
Two competitors, the JVC DLA-NZ9 ($25,999) and Sony VPL-XW7000ES ($27,999) went head-to-head for the $25,000-$30,000 shoot-out. The Sony excelled with Bright Content and its sophisticated scaling with SDR but the JVC's strength in blacks and image sharpness gave it a considerable edge to take the segment.
Below are the Shootout UST and Long-Throw scorecards for SDR, HDR, and overall ranking. All projectors were scored on a scale of 1 to 10.