LG CineBeam HU810PW 4K DLP Laser Projector
Projector Central Editor's Choice Award

Editor's Choice Award

Our Editor's Choice award goes to products that dramatically exceed expectations for performance, value, or cutting-edge design.

  • Performance
  • 4.5
  • Features
  • Ease of Use
  • Value
Pros
  • Long-life laser light source
  • Accurate out-of-box color
  • Effective dynamic HDR
  • Sophisticated webOS smart platform
  • HDMI 2.1 eARC port
Cons
  • No 3D playback
  • Netflix and some other key services not supported
  • Middling input lag for gaming
  • Limited low-level contrast
Our Take

With their attractive pricing and overall excellent performance, LG's HU810PW and sister AU810PB could usher in the laser revolution for a legion of videophiles hungering to leave aging lamps behind.

Editor's Note: This review was originally published January 15, 2021 and updated with additional details March 30, 2021.

The dropping cost of laser technology among commercial projectors in the last two years has relegated conventional lamp-based models to only the most cost-sensitive installations. Nonetheless, laser has seen a much slower uptake in the performance-sensitive home theater segment. While laser projectors have been an option among Sony's top-of-the-line models for several years now (at prices starting well over $10,000), it wasn't until the latest crop of UST living room projectors that we began to see laser applied in a meaningful way to consumer projectors at lower price points. LG was one of the first on that front with its $5,999 HU85LA that we reviewed favorably in 2019.

LG HU810PW LeftFacing

Now comes LG's CineBeam AU810PB with an $3,999 list price, and its sister CineBeam HU810PW at an eyebrow-raising $2,999—LG's first attempt at a serious, laser-driven, long-throw theater projector. At this writing, these are being promoted on the LG website at $3,599 and $2,699 respectively. The models should be identical in performance, but vary based on cosmetics, distribution channel, and inclusion of a few features.

Features

The AU810PB, which was actually provided for this review, is designated for the custom installation and professional integrator channel and comes in black, while the HU810PW, targeted for direct-to-consumer sales, comes in white. Of the two, only the AU810PB comes WiSA ready; as with compatible LG TVs, plugging in a third-party WiSA transmitter to one of the projector's USB ports allows it to throw up to 5.1-channel audio wirelessly via the high-resolution WiSA standard to compatible powered speakers. It also adds an auto-calibration function compatible with some versions of the popular Calman calibration software from Portrait Displays, similar to what's offered on LG's better panel televisions.

LG AU910PB FrontTop 800
LG's new home theater laser projector comes in white as the HU810PW, intended for direct sales to consumers, or in black as the nearly identical AU810PB that's targeted at audiovideo integrators and installers.

Beyond this, the AU810PB comes with some extra control options: an RS-232C port, a 12V trigger jack, and IP control via its wired RJ45 network connection. It also boasts a two-year parts/labor warranty vs. the one-year warranty offered on the HU810PW. We've tagged our review under the HU810PW banner on the thinking that most readers are interested in this lower-priced model, but you can assume my comments apply to both models except where noted.

The HU810 is rated for 2,700 ANSI lumens and offers full 3840x2160 UHD resolution via TI's popular 0.47-inch DLP XPR chip, which takes a native 1920x1080-pixel digital micromirror device and applies super-fast, four-phase pixel-shifting to render all 8 million pixels of a UHD signal in the time period of a single frame of video. Unlike LG's HU85LA UST projector, which uses a red laser and two blue lasers (one with a filter on it) to deliver the red, green, and blue primary colors, the HU810 has a dual-laser configuration with red and blue lasers plus a phosphor wheel. Gamut is rated at 97% DCI-P3; I measured three dimensional color volume as 143% Rec. 709, 96% DCI-P3, and 65% Rec.2020. Contrast is rated at 2,000,000:1 dynamic with the projector's Adaptive Contrast feature active. The projector also has a mechanical iris that is pre-tuned for each of the various picture modes but can be adjusted for taste or to best accommodate dark or bright viewing environments. It does not react automatically to content in the manner of a true dynamic iris. The laser is rated for 20,000 hours of life, and the light engine started up very quickly, going from full off to a live source appearing on screen in just 12 or 13 seconds. It powers down and goes dark instantly; I never even heard the fan running more than a second or two after hitting the Off button.

LG HU810PW lifestyle

The LG handles high dynamic range content in HDR10 and HLG, plus the HGiG gaming format with compatible consoles and games. As with the HU85LA UST projector, it applies frame-by-frame dynamic tone-mapping, which assuming it works well—as it does here—is a desirable feature that eliminates the need to tune the image separately for different HDR titles mastered at different brightness levels. It's a strictly on or off affair that lacks any dedicated control to hone the HDR image to accommodate taste or extremely bright or dark outlier titles. But it is a highly effective execution I'll say more about later. Furthermore, the projector supports Filmmaker Mode, which means it'll recognize the flag in compatible content that tells the projector to turn off frame interpolation and other default processing that messes with the picture and causes movie directors to lose sleep.

Along with supporting HGiG HDR, the AU810 and HU810 have a Game picture mode that performs some optimization to reduce input lag compared with the other modes. An "Instant Game Response" menu setting allows the projector to automatically detect when you've selected your game console for viewing and switch to Game mode. With Game mode active, I measured a low of 47.9 milliseconds lag time with 2160p/60 Hz signals, and 52.8 ms with 1080p/60. This mediocre lag time may be sufficient for casual gaming or games that don't require fast response time, but will be insufficient for serious gaming where lag times under 20 ms are a requirement.

The appearance on the HU810/AU810 of a modern HDMI 2.1 port would normally also be cause for celebration among gamers awaiting a projector that can support 4K/120 Hz games from the new Sony and Xbox consoles. Unfortunately, that requires a port with minimum 32 Gbps bandwidth and the LG's is limited to 24 Gbps. However, it should support uncompressed 4K/60 up to 12-bit color depth.

Furthermore, the HDMI 2.1 port is equipped with an up-to-date-eARC connection—perhaps the first we've seen on a projector—so you should be able to extract Atmos soundtracks from the projector's internal webOS 5.0 streaming platform for an external sound system or pass through Atmos from another connected source.

And speaking of webOS: borrowed from LG's panel TVs, this is by far the most polished and sophisticated on-board streaming platform we've seen in any projector to date except for LG's own models. As seen in LG's TVs, and even its high-end HU85LA UST projector, webOS provides a well built-out app store that supports most of the major streaming services and a nice library of other engaging content. However, at the time of the projector's release the webOS execution in this projector came without apps for Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and others; only Amazon Prime was supported among the majors. Disney+ has since been added, and LG reports that Netflix may be added this summer. A built-in web browser is part of the platform, and although I was able to use it to sign into my Netflix account, it did not support Netflix's requirements for browser streaming. Voice searches are supported by Google Assistant, Alexa, and LG's ThinQ technology with the projector's microphone-equipped remote. You can connect the projector to your network via WiFi or a wired link to its RJ45 jack. A WiFi connection supports sharing from a DLNA supported device, screen mirroring via Miracast, and Apple AirPlay.

This is a friendly projector when it comes to setup, though with a couple of minor caveats I'll mention. Both versions accommodate front or rear projection from a flat surface or inverted ceiling mount. The chassis is relatively compact, especially compared with some of the behemoths from Epson, JVC, and Sony, though it still weighs in around 24 pounds. At 13.3 x 5.7 x 16.1 inches (WHD), it is slightly less deep and tall and considerably less wide than, say, an Epson 5050UB. The trade-off: it doesn't have a particularly large lens that would have required that bigger chassis, though I found its UHD images at least comparable in sharpness to a 5050UB (a native 1080p pixel-shifter) that I directly A/B'd it with. Nor does the LG have any motorization for zoom, shift, or focus, which eliminates its use for a constant image height (CIH) installation on a 2.35:1 wide screen.

The 1.6x optical zoom (1.3-2.08 throw ratio) throws a 100-inch, 16:9 image in a range from 9 feet- 5 inches to 15 feet- 1 inch from lens to screen. You can see the throw distance for your particular screen size with the ProjectorCentral LG HU810PW throw calculator. The zoom is accompanied by a fairly generous ±60% vertical and ±24% horizontal lens shift, but therein lies one of the issues. Despite the wide range the specs suggest, a number of users have reported on the hobbyist forums that, with an inverted ceiling mount at some unspecified throw distances, the vertical shift fails to bring the image low enough to align with a previously mounted screen. Regretfully, with my studio's tall shelf mount (for which the vertical shift seems better suited), I failed to notice any limitation and report it in my initial review. Be advised that depending on your situation you may require a pole extension to drop the projector a little off the ceiling.

Another thing I initially missed on my first go-around, again due to my use of a shelf mount, was a noticeable degree of light spill off the lens that becomes visible on the ceiling when the projector is situated in an inverted mount. You can see what this looks like in our video review of the LG HU810PW/AU810PB. If it's bothersome due to the projector living between the seating and the screen, the problem is easily solved without affecting the onscreen image by taping a piece of cardboard in front of part of the recessed lens to act as a light barrier. This functions much like the barriers we see across the lenses of projectors from other manufacturers. But there's no doubt that in an otherwise excellent projector like this it should have been anticipated and resolved in the design.

LG HU810PW RightSide LensShift
On the right side of the HU810PW are a pair of rings to adjust the lens shift.

The zoom and focus are accomplished with a pair of fairly firm and sure-feeling levers below the lens, while the shift is adjusted with a knob-and-ring arrangement on the right side panel (as you're facing the front). These had a bit of loose play in them and consequently required a couple of tries to zero in, but once they were set they stayed put. Should you need it, there's electronic vertical keystone and some sophisticated multi-point geometric correction, but as always we recommend you avoid these to retain full image quality.

Connections for both projectors include the three HDMI (one version 2.1 with HDCP 2.2/2.3, two version 2.0b with HDCP 2.2, one with eARC); a pair of USB 2.0 inputs (Type A) that can play media from a flash drive via the integrated player or accept connection of a keyboard, mouse, or gamepad; a Toslink optical audio out; and an RJ45 port. Both versions also have Bluetooth output to a speaker or headphones, supported by an AV Sync adjustment to hopefully resolve any latency issues. As noted earlier, the AU810PB adds RS-232C and a 3.5 mm 12V screen trigger output, plus the ability to add the WiSA speaker transmitter.

LG HU810PW remote final

There are a pair of small utility speakers built into the two side panels of the projector, driven by 5 watts each. They might come in handy for dialogue-heavy content in a business setting, but as with most home theater projectors you should plan on an outboard audio system.

LG supplies the backlit Magic Remote shipped with its better TVs, which functions via both keypad and air mouse. It takes some getting used to, and offers some direct button access to select picture adjustments (picture mode and aspect ratio, and via a small Quick Access menu you can easily reach the settings for the mechanical Iris Mode and Adaptive Contrast mode). You can also press and hold the Settings button to directly access the All-Settings menu, which puts you right at the Picture settings. There's a direct access button on the remote for Amazon Prime, and a Home button brings up the webOS interface, which allows horizontal scrolling to your preferred apps or active HDMI sources.

Unfortunately, there's no support for 3D in either the AU810PB or HU810PW, which is a disappointment considering this projector's considerable brightness and how well-equipped it is otherwise. LG dropped 3D from its flatpanels years ago along with the rest of the TV industry, but I guess they didn't get the memo that it's still alive and well in the projection world.

Performance

Color Modes. The AU810 and HU810 have a total of 10 picture modes for SDR: Bright, Vivid, Standard (the default out of box mode), Expert (Bright Room), Expert (Dark Room), Filmmaker, Cinema, Game, Sports, and HDR Effect. Bright mode has the expected heavy green bias that allows the projector to make its ANSI spec.

The rest of the modes are also mostly garish-looking throwaways that are excessively bright or oversaturated at the expense of contrast and color accuracy. But the Expert (Dark Room) and Expert (Bright Room) modes, though not perfectly accurate out of the box, were both subjectively very good and measured as such. These were the modes I ultimately used for dark-room and bright room SDR viewing. For these modes in SDR, LG provides a full set of multipoint grayscale adjustments for white balance (with options for 2-, 10-, or 22-point calibration) and a full color management system for adjusting hue, gain, and brightness for the six color points. Several selections for gamma are also provided.

For HDR signals, there are seven modes including Standard, Cinema Home, Cinema, Filmmaker, Game, Brightest, and Vivid. Of these, Cinema Home looked best to my eye in its out-of-box settings but too dark for punchy HDR even in a dark room on my 1.3 gain screen. Boosting its Iris Mode from Medium to Bright Room brought it up to the more-satisfying subjective brightness of the default Standard mode with a color temperature for white that looked just a touch warm in its default Warm setting. With further experimentation, the Standard mode, with its Color Temp shifted from Medium to Warm, provided a more neutral white than I got with the Warm setting in Cinema Home, without it leaning too far toward red. I ended up doing most of my HDR viewing in Cinema Home, but Standard with that Warm color temp selected is a good choice as well.

LG HU810PW RightFacing

The Cinema Home mode does not provide the advanced White Balance and CMS controls for tuning grayscale and color points described above, which are restricted among the HDR modes to the Cinema, Game, and Filmmaker modes, though following the subjective adjustments described above the white balance and colors looked good enough that I'd have probably have skipped a full HDR calibration anyway. As noted, LG provides nothing more than an On/Off switch for its Dynamic Tone-Mapping feature—there is no "HDR Brightness" control to make modest tweaks to the tone-map (i.e., the gamma curve) to account for different content or personal taste. Most projectors have such an adjustment—even JVC's NX series projectors that currently offer the most advanced dynamic tone-mapping scheme we've seen. This allows the viewer to, for example, raise up the HDR control to boost peak highlights and gain a little more visceral impact at the expense of blowing out a bit more detail in the bright areas. Or, to turn the control the other way in order to darken the highlights slightly to prevent any modest washing out of the image.

LG's lack of any tone-map trim adjustment here means you're ultimately stuck with whatever their algorithm delivers. Fortunately, as described below, it mostly works very well, and there were only rare moments where I yearned for a slider that would allow some modest tweaks. The only alternative was to attempt adjustments with the Contrast and Brightness controls, which had either too little or too much effect. The regular Gamma setting is also fixed by the mode and cannot be adjusted with HDR signals.

SDR Dark-Room Viewing. After a few hours of casual viewing, I set up the Epson HC5050UB on my projector rack right above the LG to provide a point of reference and do some rapid A/B comparisons during evaluation. The Epson, priced at $2,999, is a highly regarded lamp-based competitor that we've reviewed quite favorably. It comes out of the box with accurate color and an overall great-looking picture, particularly in its default Natural mode intended for Rec. 709 SDR high definition content.

Pre-calibration, the LG's Expert (Dark Room) mode also comes out of the box looking very good indeed. It proved a little too dark for my taste and was much less bright than the Epson. I boosted the Iris mode from its default Medium position (which equates with 5 on the customizable 0-10 slider that's provided) to a setting of 7. This has the effect of boosting the peak whites while also raising up the black level, but that wasn't detrimental on most content of average brightness or even noticeable except occasionally in black letterbox bars.

With that adjustment, I was impressed with how similar the projectors looked on most of my go-to test clips from a variety of 1080p Blu-rays. The LG's images were sharp and bright, and showed excellent contrast that revealed subtle depth around bright highlights that most projectors miss. Consequently, the picture had excellent dimensionality that even the Epson didn't always exhibit on the same shots. Colors were virtually the same on both projectors, including skin tones, which were natural and well-delineated from one another. An early shot in Oblivion of Jack Harper, played by Tom Cruise, shows a tight close-up of his face bathed in morning sunlight. The actor has a mild application of rouge on his cheeks, and the light coming in from the window adds a touch of extra warmth, but when properly displayed his skin has a natural look that's not overtly red or rosy. Many displays show some oversaturation on this shot or otherwise make him look too ruddy, but the LG nailed it. The follow-up shot of his fair-skinned partner Vika as she lay in bed was also beautifully rendered.

A short while later, there's an overhead aerial shot of Jack walking on the connecting catwalk to his Bubble Ship's heliport. The flat roof of his floating Sky Tower residence is a darkish gray, the trim around it a lighter gray, the walkway an off-white, and the hovercraft shell a pure white. An inaccurate grayscale will almost always be revealed with obvious tinting in one of these shades. The LG showed an exceptionally neutral white that was cooler and less warm (pink) than the Epson's out of box color temp, but they were hair-splitting close. Measurements using Calman color calibration software from Portrait Displays, an X-Rite i1Pro2 spectrophotometer, and a Murideo Six-G signal generator showed the HU810 was up around 7,800K, which is slightly bluer than the the 6,500K target to which most content is mastered. But it didn't look noticeably blue and I could have easily lived with it. In fact, I'm starting to prefer the greater neutrality and crispness of a very slightly cool white, which I think often mimic's real life better than a perfectly calibrated D65 white point.

Oblivion Helipad2
An aerial shot of the floating air-station in Oblivion helped reveal the LG's ability to delineate among whites, off-whites, and gray tones without introducing unwanted tinting. (Photo: Universal Pictures)

Still, the grayscale readings for the out-of-box Expert (Dark Room) setting showed the RGB balance to have an excess of blue and an equal deficiency in red as the image got brighter. This was easily tamed with the HU810's very extensive White Balance controls. I started with 2-point calibration but ultimately turned to the projector's 10-point controls, which allows fine-tuning of both the color balance and the overall luminance at 10% steps from 10 to 100 percent brightness. These tools allowed for a near-perfect result well below the 3 DeltaE error level that's considered undetectable. Post calibration, peak white brightness off the 1.3 gain screen measured a very punchy 47.7 foot-Lamberts, equivalent to about 33 ft-L on a 1.0 gain screen. It sounds like it should be too bright for dark-room viewing, though I never experienced any viewing fatigue that this number might imply.

The color points for the red, green, and blue primaries and cyan, magenta, and yellow secondaries were almost all essentially accurate in the default settings except for blue and cyan. The blue point was above 3 DeltaE but below 5, which is still very good. The cyan point was the worst offender at DeltaE 9.3. The red, green, and blue color points all sat beyond the Rec. 709 gamut limits—that is, at wider-than-specified gamut—but pulling them in to the 100% saturation points that define the boundaries of the Rec. 709 space resulted in poor accuracy at less saturated shades of each color. So I ultimately used the color management system (CMS) adjustments to target the 80% points just to insure better accuracy where most of the content lies. As I've seen on other laser projectors I've calibrated recently, the blue point ended up being the worst of the primary colors and the least responsive to the controls. My calibration resulted in a good measurement but an obviously poor onscreen result that exaggerated video noise in some scenes, so I reverted to the default CMS settings for blue and satisfied myself with tidying up the other colors a bit. Here again, I could have gone without the color point calibration and been very happy with the picture. Except for my calibration obviously altering the white balance to make it a bit warmer, all the adjustments had relatively small overall effect.

LG HU810PW FrontTop

Even with the calibration, the LG and Epson tracked very closely on most content, including the extremely colorful wardrobe and set design in La La Land. Aspiring actress Mia's outfits in a montage of audition snippets showed beautifully saturated and natural looking red, blue, yellow, and green, and perhaps thanks in part to the slightly extended red color point, the red velvet pillow she lays upon in another scene looked a touch more accurate and less orange than on the Epson (which also delivers full DCI-P3 gamut, but not in the Natural mode). The water in a swimming pool on a sunny day had the appropriate greenish blue tone. Going back to Oblivion, the foliage surrounding Jack's mountain hideaway, which appears in a variety of green shades, was convincingly natural and closely matched on both projectors, as were the granite rock walls surrounding the meadow and the sand-colored linen curtains that marked the entryway to his cabin.

Meanwhile, the stubble on Jack's face in the opening shot of the movie had all the engaging detail I expected to see. On this and many scenes, including close-ups in Apollo 13 of the capsule controls and space suit details, the HU810's UHD resolution and lens provided excellent sharpness—not quite as tack sharp as I've seen on some native 4K projectors with big lenses like the JVCs and better Sonys, but as good or better than other projectors in this price class and with good uniformity across the screen.

About the only place I could complain about the HU810's picture was in its contrast, which was very good on bright and mixed brightness scenes but ultimately limited on darker content. To be clear, it rarely became a distraction, but on the most challenging dark scenes my trained eye found me yearning for deeper blacks and better shadow details out of the clips I knew well. While I could adjust the LG's Iris Mode to make the overall black level very deep, that understandably always came at the expense of losing punch on the highlights, and ultimately only shifted the projector's dynamic range without improving it. The HU810 has a couple of other settings to improve apparent contrast (besides its Gamma and Brightness controls), including the Adaptive Contrast control associated with the Iris Mode in the "Brightness Optimizer" submenu, and a traditional Dynamic Contrast control that brightens up highlights without deepening the blacks. Adaptive Contrast was on its default High setting for all of my viewing, and it was helpful to engage Dynamic Contrast on some scenes. But on very dark content, such as the opening of Chapter 12 in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 where the Death Eaters assemble atop a moonlit rock before attacking Hogwarts, a projector like the Epson 5050UB—with its Ultra Black "UB" technology and better native contrast—could ultimately deliver much better dimensionality thanks to a deeper black, better rendering of near-black details, and less visible haze that made the moonlit faces stand out more.

On a more positive note, I saw virtually no rainbows in live content over many hours of watching the HU810, even on some black and white material I use to help reveal these. The only time I did see them was occasionally at the edges of white credits on a black background. I feel pretty good saying this projector is among the better single-chip DLP models I've seen in this regard, but I should qualify that I'm not particularly sensitive to rainbow artifacts. If you are or don't know if you are, our usual caveat applies: buy from a retailer who will accept a return or exchange as needed.

On the other hand, I should point out that I did observe some laser speckle. Speckle is a well known and common phenomenon with laser projectors that's caused by laser light being scattered randomly by the textured screen surface. It manifests as a kind of subtle, stationary haze that almost seems to sit in its own layer on the surface of bright objects of certain colors. In this case, it was visible in pure red and magenta objects and test patterns. It was subtle enough that I didn't even notice it at all during my initial evaluation, even in direct comparisons with the Epson 5050UB lamp projector. But after seeing complaints from some LG810 users on the forums I went back and looked again, and sure enough, I could see a degree of speckle that just wasn't there with my lamp projectors. Just like with rainbows, speckle is more bothersome to some people, and it'll be more detectable with certain projectors on certain screens and potentially at different viewing distances. Content also has an effect; besides speckle often being most noticeable on a specific bright color, it's harder to spot it on moving objects. You should just be aware that it exists, and that your choice of screen can have an effect. I wasn't bothered by the speckle I saw on my matte-white 92-inch Stewart Studiotek 130 1.3 gain screen or the 110-inch Elite Cinewhite UHD-B or Cinegrey 3D screens we have at our test studio (with an approximately 14 foot throw and 10 foot viewing distance in each case). But that's just my personal experience. In any event, I wouldn't let the potential of observing some speckle deter you from the LG810.

Finally, as mentioned in the Measurements appendix at the end of the review, the HU810PW/AU810PB is specified as having very low noise (under 28 dBA in lab conditions with the High Altitude mode inactive) and only about a 1 dBA difference between its three Energy Saver modes. This was borne out in my own casual measurements with an SPL meter, suggesting you're free to use the full available brightness of the projector as needed without penalty, and most of the picture modes do use the Minimum Energy Saving mode to optimize brightness. But the projector does emit a level of what seems like electronics-related noise that seems independent of any fan noise caused by rushing air. It's noticeable in a quiet room particularly if you're right next to the projector, but of a pitch that faded into the background in my space with any soundtrack playing, even something as barren as a news broadcast, and it became less detectable from just a few feet in front of the projector.

SDR Bright-Room Viewing. The Expert (Bright Room) mode, with minor subjective adjustments as needed to its Iris Mode, Brightness, Contrast, and Color saturation controls, looked essentially accurate out of the box and provided more than enough brightness to stand up well to my overhead can lights during news and sports viewing. Whites leaned more toward blue but served well in the ambient light, and this mode suffered from a touch of oversaturation on newscasts that was easily tamed by backing down on the Color control, resulting in nice delineation of skin tones and no egregious exaggeration of any colors. A full set of calibration adjustments are available for this mode, though I saw little point in spending time on it, both because the image was more than acceptable for casual viewing and because the combination of varying intensities and color temperatures of the different lighting conditions in my space would have undermined any fine differences. Contrast was somewhat washed out with the overhead lights beaming down on the matte white screen, but more moderate lighting from the sides made for a much better image. Have no doubt that mating the HU810PW with a decent ALR screen would allow its function for a dual dark-room/bright room set-up. You can see the results with a modestly priced Elite Cinegrey 3D in our video review.

HDR Dark-Room Viewing. As good as the HU810 was for SDR, it was even better on HDR and on most scenes was equal to and often superior to the Epson 5050UB—and that's saying a lot since the Epson, in its preferred wide-gamut Digital Cinema mode, does better with HDR than most projectors I've seen and has a 16-step HDR brightness control that accommodates a wide range of content. Typically, the LG's Dynamic Tone-Mapping feature managed to extract wider dynamic range overall, pushing the highlights to what I felt was the perfect amount of peak brightness to extract a visceral response but with minimal or no obvious blowing out of detail, while also maintaining good contrast throughout the rest of the image.

For example, there's a scene in Aquaman that shows the redhead Princess Mera—okay, she's really orange-haired—talking with Aquaman outside a bar on a pier at night. The lighted clock behind her glows with satisfying punch on the LG and while the Epson does render an impactful HDR image, the clock doesn't get quite as bright. Cranking up the Epson's HDR control bumps up the highlight, but at the expense of brightening up the overall image. As another example, a shot earlier in the movie when the pregnant Queen Atlanna is lying in bed with her husband Tom, the highlights where the sunlight is streaming in from the window and hitting the bedsheets had more pop and the darker pattern in the fabric areas around those highlights were better revealed—there was just more contrast in the areas immediately surrounding the highlights, which resulted in a more realistic and dimensional image.

The HU810's Dynamic Tone Mapping also showed an exceptionally wide range of flexibility, even handling The Meg, a 4,000-nit HDR torture test, with aplomb. Bright scenes of the research vessel Charlotte on the open seas that normally wash out on most HDR projectors looked sensational, with great punch on the sunny highlights and solid, dimensional contrast in the darker areas. One particular scene that features a side view of the full boat has a patch of extremely bright reflection of sun on water behind the ship while the side of the boat is cast in the sun's shadow; I was pleased to see that the the LG retained the detail of rippled water in the reflection without excessively brightening the hull.

TheMeg SonyPictures
Thanks to its many sunny scenes shot on the open water, The Meg is a super-bright HDR torture test for most projectors. (Photo: Warner Bros.)

On the other hand, the LG's algorithm does have its limits. I ran the montage in the Spears & Musil HDR Benchmark test disc, which allows the content to be set at varying levels of peak brightness. The most challenging shot—of horses standing in a snow-covered meadow during a snow storm—was too much for the HU810 at any brightness level at 1,000 nits or above, where all texture in the snow on the ground was blown out and the hills in the background behind the meadow were lost in the storm. The Epson, by comparison was easily adjusted with its HDR control to deliver the perfect balance of brightness and contrast. But this is a really extreme scene and the LG did much better with more mixed content.

Furthermore, the same lack of native contrast with dark material seen in SDR movies was evident with HDR as well. The opening scene of Darkest Hour, for instance, begins with a rousing debate in the British House of Commons in which members are bringing Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain to task for his weak response the Nazi's invasion of Europe. With the LG's Dynamic Contrast set to High, the beam of sunlight firing through the skylight on the speaker at the lectern leaps off the screen, as do the highlights on his face and the white pocket square emerging from his dark suit. But the other members in the shadowed gallery opposite him are blurry figures with little or no detail. By comparison, the Epson's deeper black and better low-level contrast brings out their faces and some details in their clothing. A moment later, a shot of one of Chamberlain's associates peering over the rail from the dark second-floor gallery makes the rail and wood fencing appear as almost solid black, while the Epson reveals all manner of decorative scrollwork in the dark stained wood.

All of that said, there's no denying that despite its limitations, the HU810 provided one of the most consistently pleasing HDR viewing experiences I've had with any projector beyond JVC's superb DLA-NX7 with its Frame Adapt tone-mapping, and one that was completely free of the constant tweaking that often takes place when trying to optimize HDR mastered for flatpanels on projectors not bright enough for the task.

LG HU810PW Front

Conclusion

In my opinion, the LG CineBeam HU810PW and AU810PB represent a significant step forward for home theater projection—one that I and many other enthusiasts have been awaiting. There are indeed better projectors out there, including some impressive lamp and laser-driven models at much higher prices that can deliver much or all of what the HU810PW does while improving on its low-level contrast. But what we haven't seen to date is such an overall high-performing UHD laser projector for under $4,000, much less under $3,000. This is the first such projector I can recommend as a potential alternative to the better lamp-driven models in this price range for serious enthusiasts who might accept its modest performance trade-offs in return for the benefits of a solid-state light source that never needs replacing. Even beyond its laser engine and excellent out-of-box image quality, the HU810PW/AU810PB remains one of a very few HDR home theater projectors with truly effective dynamic tone-mapping, allowing viewers to better enjoy this emerging format with zero hassle and minimum compromise.

It's rare that I get a projector in my studio that brings a constant smile to my face for the whole time it's here, but this is one such occasion where I found myself steadily impressed with the image quality and engineering design of the test sample. The HU810PW/AU810PB is a welcome new standout in the mid-priced home theater category that I hope will be a harbinger of more things to come, and a projector that rightfully deserves our Editor's Choice Award.

Measurements

Brightness. The HU810PW/AU810PB is rated for 2,700 ANSI lumens. In its Bright color mode with default settings (Energy Saver Mode set to Minimum) and its zoom lens set to its widest position, it measured 2,548 lumens. This is 94% of its specified brightness and well within the 10% ANSI tolerance.

Changing the Energy Saver Mode from Minimum (maximum laser power) to Medium results in a nearly exact 20% reduction in light output. Changing from Minimum to Maximum (minimum laser power) results in a 40% reduction in light output.

Below are the lumen measurements for all the available color modes.

LG HU810PW/AU810PB ANSI Lumens

Energy Saver Mode
SDR Modes Minimum Medium Maximum
Brightest 2,548 2,041 1,521
Expert (Bright Room) 1,426 1,142 851
Expert (Dark Room) 986 790 589
Vivid 1,845 1,478 1,101
Standard 1,898 1,520 1,133
Cinema 713 571 426
Sports 1,934 1,549 1,155
Game 1,845 1,478 1,101
Filmmaker Mode 1,012 811 604
HDR Effect 1,181 946 705
HDR Modes
HDR Brightest 2,538 2,033 1,515
HDR Vivid 1,940 1,554 1,158
HDR Standard 1,938 1,558 1,159
HDR Cinema Home 1,177 943 703
HDR Cinema 943 755 563
HDR Game 1,950 1,562 1,164
HDR Filmmaker Mode 1,196 958 714

Zoom Lens Light Loss. Shifting the zoom lens from its widest position to its longest telephoto position resulted in an 11% decrease in brightness.

Brightness Uniformity. Brightness uniformity measured 80.2% at the widest zoom position, and 82.7% at the longest zoom position. I saw no evidence of any visible hotspotting or shading with test patterns or live content.

Frame Interpolation. The HU810/AU810 has a TruMotion frame interpolation feature that offers four settings beside Off: Cinema Clear, Natural, Smooth, and User, the latter of which exposes a De-Judder slider with positions from 0-10. The Cinema Clear, Natural, and Smooth presets each provide gradually more effective blur and judder reduction. Cinema Clear (which seems to equate to a setting of 2 on the De-Judder slider) provides very little blur reduction but also does not introduce any noticeable "soap opera" video effect to 24-frame content. Natural (equivalent to De-Judder 8) and Smooth (De-Judder 10) were much more effective but both did introduce detectable video effect. Settings of 3 or 4 on the De-Judder control provided a nice compromise that added modest video effect while also noticeably reducing judder on camera pans and providing some modest reduction of motion blur.

Input Lag. As noted in the review, switching the projector to its Game picture mode provided the lowest input lag measurements, about half or less of what was measured in the other modes with 2160p/60 Hz and 1080p/60 signals. The lowest measured lag time was 47.9 for 2160p/60 and 52.8 ms for 1080p/60. This may be sufficient for casual gaming, but likely noticeable with first-person shooters and other competitive games that require fast response time.

Fan Noise. The HU810PW/AU810PB has at least four small visible fans mounted along its side panels that help move air through it. LG rates noise in lab conditions as a fairly quiet 26 dbA in Eco mode (Energy Saver set to Maximum), 27 dBA in Normal mode (Energy Saver Medium), and 28 dBA in High mode (Energy Saver Minimum). Casual measurements taken at a distance of 5 feet and slightly below the front of the projector (as might be experienced with a nearby ceiling mount), in a room with 30.7 dB background noise, registered at 32.1 dBA (Energy Saver Maximum), 32.4 dBA (Energy Saver Medium), and 33.5 dBA (Energy Saver Minimum). What these numbers don't reflect, however, is the relatively noticeable pitch of the noise, which sounded more electronic in nature than related to air passing through the fans. Initially it is easily noticeable in a quiet room if you listen for it, but I found it faded into the background with time and wasn't an issue for me with a soundtrack going and my mind focused on the content.

Turning on the High Altitude mode, which is recommended at elevations of 4,000 feet/1,200 meters or higher, boosted the measured noise to 36.6 dbA.

Connections

Note: Image shown is for the AU810PB model, which includes RS-232C and 12V trigger connections not found on the HU810PW.

LG HU810 connections option
  • HDMI 2.1 (HDCP 2.2; compatible with HDCP 2.3; eARC)
  • HDMI 2.0b (x2, both with HDCP 2.2)
  • USB 2.0 Type A (x2, read files from USB memory, connect keyboard, mouse, GamePad)
  • Optical Audio out (S/PDIF)
  • LAN (RJ-45) (IP control provided for AU810PB only)
  • RS-232C (AU810PB only)
  • 12v Trigger out (3.5 mm, AU810PB only)
  • Bluetooth speaker support (with A/V sync control)
  • Built-in Wi-Fi; connects to Wi-Fi network, Miracast, AirPlay
  • WiSA wireless audio (via 3rd-party transmitter, AU810PB only)

For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our LG CineBeam HU810PW projector page.

To buy this projector, use Where to Buy online, or get a price quote by email direct from Projector Central authorized dealers using our E-Z Quote tool.

 
Comments (185) Post a Comment
Julien Posted Jan 16, 2021 3:44 PM PST
Thanks for the review Rob. So the Epson has better blacks and better input lag, but the LG has a better handling of HDR. But how does the Epson compare when paired with a Panasonic player (with the HDR Optimizer feature)? I'm in the market for a projector in this price range, and was looking to buy the Epson 5050UB, but this LG makes me hesitate. I'll be watching in a dark room and also playing games. Seating 12 ft from a 120" screen. Thanks!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 16, 2021 3:50 PM PST
Julien, that's a great question. I own the Panasonic DP-UB820 but have not tested it on the 5050UB with HDR Optimizer. I'll look into that. I think it'll be a great comparison. But if you're a gamer, the fairly low input lag on the Epson, coupled with its much greater finess with dark content in a dark room, may put the sway toward that model.
Blasst Posted Jan 16, 2021 4:29 PM PST
Rob, thanks for getting a review out so soon and an in depth one at that!

Were you able to test for focus uniformity? That really shows up with a pc and its text showing.

What about light spill? Anything excessive with that?
Blasst Posted Jan 16, 2021 4:35 PM PST
Rob, you have one typo I see in the article.

You don't have to post this comment from me.

You typed: "TI's popular 0.45-inch DLP XPR chip"

Its a 0.47 chip, just thought I would let you know:)

Jeff
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 16, 2021 4:40 PM PST
Thanks for the catch. It's fixed now.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 16, 2021 6:02 PM PST
Blasst, I thought focus uniformity was very good based on watching news with text graphics and tickers appearing at both the top corners and across full bottom of the screen. No complaints on that front. And no light spill that called attention to itself, but I'll take another look at this tomorrow. My test projectors sit on an open rack so there's no immediate ceiling or flat surface in front of it to reflect light.
Martin Posted Jan 16, 2021 6:03 PM PST
If we’re talking purely image quality and didn’t care about the laser technology aspect, which projector has the advantage, this LG or the Epson 5050UB?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 16, 2021 6:06 PM PST
Martin, it was really a toss up in that the Epson's much better contrast and native blacks really makes it the better dark-room projector for SDR, but the LG's dynamic HDR rendering was really impressive. Julien's inquiry above about whether the HDR Optimizer on the Panasonic players can take the Epson to the LG's level is an intriguing question.
Grant Posted Jan 16, 2021 6:43 PM PST
Howdy, can you confirm the projector can't do 4K 120hz, as I have received a direct message from LG saying it supports full 4K at 120hz.

Also I read somewhere else that to lower the latency the ALL setting had to be enabled on the xbox series x or something, are you able to see of that changes the latency numbers?

Thanks
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 16, 2021 6:49 PM PST
Grant, I was told by someone on the LG product team charged with developing the projector that it only supports up to 60 Hz and 24 Gbps bandwidth due to the DLP chip specifications and not the 32 Gbps required for 4K/120 Hz. So I think there may be some confusion internally about this. I'm waiting for some reconfirmation on that point.

Also, I'm not sure about whether there are additional settings on the new or older consoles that might improve the latency beyond what we measured with a straight signal coming in from our Bodnar 4K lag meter. I'm not aware of how we might measure latency with signals coming from a console using the equipment we have.
Blasst Posted Jan 16, 2021 8:34 PM PST
Rob, thanks for getting us detailed feedback, it is much appreciated. How do you feel the the picture quality compares with the Benq HT5550? The Benq is pretty sharp and has good pop, I liked it in the Vivid mode lol. It did have focus uniformity issues that long time PJ owners might notice more than the average person. I had to pass on it for that reason. If you have a chance to hook a pc or laptop up to the LG, I would be interested to see how in focus the pj does with text being sharp everywhere or if there are soft areas of focus.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 16, 2021 8:38 PM PST
Blasst,I haven't really spent any time with the HT5550 so really can't say how they might compare. But I'll take another look at the edge-to-edge focus with some PC text input and my focus test patterns and report back.
FCrane Posted Jan 17, 2021 12:10 AM PST
Does it handle 23.976Hz and 24Hz content correctly? Or does it show the typical stutter due to conversion to 60Hz like all other DLPs?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 17, 2021 12:15 AM PST
FC, I definitely saw modest stutter on 24p playback that was smoothed by the FI feature when it was turned up to an appropriate level. But I will take another look at this with some test disc clips and also my Murideo signal generator.
Kurt Posted Jan 17, 2021 3:53 AM PST
Nice review, I was positively surprised of the LG review. I've been waiting for a good affordable laser projector for some years now. I have an older Epson (non-UB, tw3600) and a high contrast screen (similar to a Firehawk). Do you think this LG will provide deeper blacks? I was looking to 5050UB, which I think is better in that regard, but I could settle for something in the middle as long it's an upgrade in blacks and contrast in dark scenes.

I've even considered the 1500 ANSI Epson LS10500 since it is laser-based, and I have <90" screen. But that one is quite old now and still expensive new. Why Epson haven't upgraded it is beyond me.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 17, 2021 3:55 AM PST
Kurt, I can't say with certainty how the 3600 would compare, but I'd guess given the age of that product that it wouldn't hold up well. It had a rated contrast ratio of 70,000:1 circa 2014, vs, say, 200,000:1 for the non UB Epson HC4010 today. This LG does have the ability to produce a very low black if you want to apply the iris; the issue is when it can pull out shadow details from that. But I'd guess you'd get a great-looking picture on your gray screen with the LG. The Epson 5050 is clearly superior on low APL dark content, but how much overall dark content do we watch vs scenes with mixed dark and bright highlights. On those kinds of scenes, even things with a deep black background like a white spaceship in outer space, the LG and Epson were very similar.

Regarding the LS10500, a lot of folks feel the way you do about wanting to see an updated high end laser model from Epson. I'd guess they dropped that model because it simply didn't sell enough units, but the company has made huge strides in the last two years with its laser modules, which have come to fruition in its newest generation of UST projectors and its EF series portables -- it's notable that Epson is doing laser for those lifestyle projectors when other manufacturers are stuck with less bright LED engines. I'll cross fingers and hope they're cooking up a serious long-throw laser projector. I'd think they have to be now if they expect to compete going forward. They certainly have plenty of experience with laser among their commercial models.
Keith J. Posted Jan 17, 2021 5:53 AM PST
Is it possible for 3D to be added with a firmware update? A shame it doesn't include that feature.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 17, 2021 7:37 AM PST
I don't know, Keith. I would think it would be possible -- I know of at least one projector (the VAVA UST) that was rolled out without 3D but added it later via firmware...but I would guess that was already in the product plan. I agree -- no reason for it to be missing here; it was a bad call on LG's part to leave it out, though if you do the calculation relatively few of the overall users probably make use of it. And although they have history with 3D in flatpanels, if they haven't done it with projection it may have required engineering resources they didn't have available.
Manny D Posted Jan 17, 2021 11:41 AM PST
Thank you for the review Rob, much appreciated.

Elsewhere I have mentioned I have a 150”0.7/.8gain AT screen, so high lumens is a must. I was wondering whether you could tell me more about your subjective thoughts on the noise perceptibility in the eco modes for this projector?

Of your recommended presets: Expert Bright does 1142 lumens in medium power setting, HDR cinema home does 1177 high power. Those two are enough lumens for me in my blacked out light controlled room. The only question remains noise level in mid and high, and contrast I give up in bright mode.

Alternatively, “Standard” and “HDR standard” does over 1100 in the quietest low power mode. If the noise level is significantly lower, How much do I give up by using those presets?

You have been very helpful and responsive. For that, I sincerely thank you for your time. Just reaffirms why PJCentral has been my go-to source over the years.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 17, 2021 11:50 AM PST
Manny, I did discuss fan noise in the appendix at the end of the review. One of the things that really surprised me is that both the specs -- and my casual SPL measurements, confirm that as long as you don't activate the High Altitude mode there's really only about a 1 decibel difference between each of the power modes. So there's nothing really stopping you from using the full brightness of the projector, and the main justification for using the Maximum or Medium Energy Savings mode would be wanting less brightness for the image and maybe trying to extend laser life over the long term. Some of the darker default modes don't use the Minimum Energy Savings (ie the brightest) mode.

What I did notice, and that what you can't adjust with any energy settings, is that the projector emits a sort of electro/mechanical noise that seems independent of classic fan noise. It was kind of like a transformer hum. It definitely travels in a quiet room, and the only time that the fan noise drowned it out was when I turned on HA mode, which raised the fan noise up 3 dB or so. I personally didn't find the noise egregious -- it tends to disappear under any soundtrack, even just a news broadcast-- from just few feet in front of the projector.
Thad Posted Jan 17, 2021 2:08 PM PST
Hi Rob, for a non-videophile regualar guy who wants a great projector to watch movies and play games at 4k in his living room, would you recommend this or the Epson 5050ub? 120" ALR screen with primary use at night. Considering the LG is true 4k, is it not evident vs the Epson when viewing 4k content such as ps5 or 4k blurays?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 17, 2021 9:00 PM PST
Thad, I found the projectors subjectively about equal in terms of focus/detail during my evaluation -- Epson's enhancement circuitry is quite effective from normal viewing distance, which in my case is about 10 or 11 feet (though you can always see the larger pixels on the Epsons up close). So I think other considerations may come into play, such as not having to replace lamps or having to mess around with settings to get a great HDR picture with the LG. If getting deeper blacks and shadow detail on particularly demanding dark content isn't a concern (the LG had and excellent, contrasty picture on virtually all other material) then that's another plus in its favor. The other consideration is input lag: the Epson has the lower lag that comes close to what would be considered a true gaming projector, while the LG has what amounts to respectable lag for a non-gaming projector that should be suitable for casual gaming. In your case as a "non-videophile guy" I'd probably be leaning toward the LG. It's just a great day-to-day projector.
Kevin Prouten Posted Jan 18, 2021 3:27 AM PST
Any projector that doesn't have 3d should not get 5 stars for features
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 18, 2021 3:30 AM PST
Fair enough, Kevin. True, it doesn't quite have the full boat in that regard, but I also weighed the fact that it has the best smart TV platform of any projector we've seen, plus an eARC connection that no other projector has to date, plus a ridiculous number of advanced controls for fine-tuning the image including some things we don't see elsewhere(for example, up to 22-point grayscale controls). Soon the whole, it has a very impressive feature set. I hope LG will hear the cries of enthusiasts and start taking 3D seriously for its projectors.
Jon Posted Jan 18, 2021 5:45 AM PST
Does the AU810PB have anamophic mode by chance? I'd love to replace my JVC RS500 that sits behind a Panamorph lens.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 18, 2021 5:48 AM PST
Sorry Jon -- no anamorphic mode.
Brian Posted Jan 18, 2021 8:04 AM PST
Hi,

I was going to shelf mount the projector to replace an old Panasonic. I was wondering what the dimensions (depth) from the back of the projector to the feet in the front?

Thanks, Brian
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 18, 2021 8:08 AM PST
Brian, it's 13.5 inches from the front feet to the back of the projector, but the connection panel is flush on the back panel -- not inset as found on many if not most projectors. That means you need to add extra inches to accomodate the power cord and HDMI cable heads coming off the back panel, as well as the cable turns required to direct the cords where they're going. By my measurement, I'd say adding an extra 2.5 inches is right. So a 16-inch deep shelf from the wall to the front edge of the shelf ought to do it. Expect the front of the projector to extend off the front edge another 3 inches or so. Also: this is not a lightweight projector, it's just over 24 pounds, so in the same weight class as the big Epsons. Make sure your shelf can handle it.
Colin Posted Jan 18, 2021 8:10 AM PST
I have a Sony VPL VW285ES but one of my biggest complaints is it’s lack of support for 4K 60fps chroma 4:4:4. I can’t tell from this review: can the LG model support that color depth at 4K 60fps? In general I’m curious if this is a worthy upgrade. Seems close!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 18, 2021 8:12 AM PST
Colin, my answer is yes and also maybe. It accepts 4K/60 4:4:4 at the max 8 bits both my generator and my Panasonic player will put out. I don't know what it would do if it encountered a 4K/60 4:4:4 10/bit source.
Dilemma Posted Jan 18, 2021 8:33 AM PST
Looking to replace an LG CF181D that I’ve had for several years in a dedicated theater with a 120” screen after my current lamp gets to EOL and I’m trying to decide between this new LG, the Epson 6050UB, and the JVC NX5 (which would really be stretching my budget). Is the NX5’s bigger price tag, true 4K, and higher end optics worth the improvements over this new LG or Epson 6050UB? Are the blacks on the Epson worth the trade off of cost and lamp degradation over time vs the laser driven LG? I’m also very happy with my current 3LCD CF181d and have never owned a DLP projector so don’t know if rainbow effect will be an issue for me.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 18, 2021 9:44 AM PST
Dilemma, I understand the, uh, Dilemma. The Epson 6050UB is essentially same as the 5050UB I A/B'd in the review,so you know what the tradeoffs are ther to some degree. With the NX5 you'll be sacrificing brightness compared with the other two, but for a dark-room theater you'll be gaining the best black level and contrast among these three projectors (particularly dark-content contrast) as well as the best dynamic HDR reproduction that I'm certain exceeds the usually very good dynamic HDR on the LG as well as some degree of improvement on overall image sharpness, plus the immunity to rainbows you've come to appreciate. It depends on how committed you are to those things. That projector is twice the cost of these two, and the replacement lamps are not cheap.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 18, 2021 4:48 PM PST
Brian, it's really two different animals. The LG is the better projector in terms of image quality, particularly HDR, but a noticeable margin. So if you have the ability to do a ceiling mount or shelf mount at the back of the room it's the better option.
Brian Posted Jan 18, 2021 4:48 PM PST
Hi Rob,

Great review! For someone that wants a dedicated surround sound, watch tv with an Apple TV and have around a 120” screen, how would you recommend this vs the Optoma CinemaX P2?
hdmkv Posted Jan 18, 2021 4:49 PM PST
Excellent (and a real) review :). Too bad about lack of 3D support as this kind of brightness would've been killer toward 3D. With this PJ, hope to see more affordable PJ's with DTM ahead... and 3D support. Optoma, BenQ and Epson, hope y'all are watching this space!
Michael Posted Jan 18, 2021 8:56 PM PST
How would you compare vs the Optoma UHZ65?
Boris Posted Jan 19, 2021 1:49 AM PST
Hi there! Thanks for the review! I'm a newcomer in this home theater thing! :) I was just wondering about the vertical offset of the projector? Is it 100° or 110°? Best
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 19, 2021 1:50 AM PST
I don't know, Michael -- I don't see that spec exactly, but it does have generous vertical lens shift that should make it irrelvant in most installations. The specs list the "Ratio of upward projection" at 110% and the "Ratio of downward projection" at -110%, which I assume means 10% up or down from the home setting.
Ron Posted Jan 19, 2021 7:55 AM PST
Seems like a great projector, but I have one key question. The zoom range is too limited for me to place this close to my receiver. I do have a ceiling projector mounting location which doesn’t have HDMI cables running to the receiver — it only has component cables as well as a Cat 5e Ethernet. Is any of the hardware for the wireless HDMI or HDMI over Ethernet reliable enough to bother with? Line of sight distance for wireless would be about 15 ft. Please note that I only stream, so for a smart projector like this where the projector could act as the source, does that simplify the problem by not requiring full 4K resolution video to be sent over the transmission method? My receiver is eArc capable. Thanks
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 19, 2021 7:56 AM PST
Ron, there are effective 4K wireless HDMI solutions for this situation but they only go one way from your receiver and its connected source components to the projector, and they are typically limited in bandwidth to 4K/30 Hz.

The HDMI over Ethernet solutions are definitely reliable...but some require a pair of Cat5e or Cat6e rather than a single cable. And I don't know if they's support an ARC connection back to the receiver to transfer the sound from the on- board streaming platform. That's something to look into. Another option: This projector has a bluetooth transmission option that's intended to go out to a Bluetooth speaker or headphones, along with a sync adjustment, so if your receiver accepts Bluetooth, or if you get an inexpensive Bluetooth receiver, you could at least get lesser quality stereo from it back to the AVR. Or, there are wireless audio transmitter/receiver kits that'll accept and transmit an optical output; you'd want to find one that will send mulitchannel ideally and let youp pick it up as optical at your receiver.

G Shane Posted Jan 19, 2021 9:46 AM PST
If I understand correctly, this projector does not have a color wheel. Does that eliminate the risk of a rainbow effect issue that is common in other DLP protectors?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 19, 2021 9:48 AM PST
G Shane, I'm not entirely sure of the precise architecture of this engine and whether there's a wheel involved. But it's definitely not immune to rainbows. I saw a few here and there, particularly with moving white characters on black backgrounds, like with credits or the moving Oppo screensaver logo if you're familiar with that. But they were very rare, at least for me.
Dallin Posted Jan 19, 2021 11:28 AM PST
Hey Rob,

Excellent review! I've had the Mitsubishi HC3800, which has served me very well for the past 10 years. The picture quality still seems very good, but I'd like to upgrade to 4K and I'd like deep space to look a bit darker. I'd also like a brighter picture overall. I kept looking back at the Optoma UHZ65 ... but it's hard to justify paying $4500 for the projector. I was excited to see this LG model. How would you compare the image quality/blacks/vivid colors between the Optoma UHZ65 and this LG HU810PW? I'm not a big fan of seeing all the pixels on the Epson. Vivid colors/reds/etc sound like they're just as good or better for playing blu-rays/DVD on the LG as they are on the Epson too, right? I wish I could do a side-by-side comparison between these or even some other less expensive 4K projector to my HC3800. They might all blow what I have out of the water in terms of 'deeper blacks'. Suggestions? Thanks for your time!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 19, 2021 11:30 AM PST
Dallin, I wouldn't say black levels are this projector's strong suit but I found them acceptable on the kinds of "deep-space" shots that typically mix a bright object (ie a planet or space ship) with the black of outer space. I can't comment much on the UHZ65, I haven't seen it. I'd guess this projector has the better HDR out of the box due to its excellent dynamic HDR.
Bruce Posted Jan 19, 2021 7:31 PM PST
Rob,

I am looking to use projector mainly for Golf Simulation running the TCG 2019 Software. Torn between LG and the Epson HC5050UB. My concern is the input lag of the LG and the benefit of Laser vs. Bulb technology (and degradation over time) Also is it true that Laser at the same Lumens as a Bulb projector would be brighter. Thanks for educating me!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 19, 2021 7:33 PM PST
Bruce,I'm not sure either one of these would be the best choice for a golf simulator but I'm uneducated about the requirements. I do know a lot of people go for less expensive commercial laser models, such as the BenQ 710 we tested recently, to gain brightness and avoid lamp changes. I think both of these home theater projectors would sacrifice brightness and have you paying for image quality you don't need in a simulator.
Hawk Posted Jan 20, 2021 5:49 AM PST
Hi Rob,

Very nice and detailed review. Is this LG model considered true "native" 4K? Also, I currently have the Epson 6040UB with a 130" Stewart screen in a dedicated dark theater room. Will I see a material visual upgrade in the LG? 3D is not a concern. Thanks!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 20, 2021 5:50 AM PST
Hawk, we refer to the 4K projectors that use the DLP XPR pixel-shifting to achieve full resolution as "full 4K" and not native 4K. That is to distinguish between a projector like the LCoS-based JVCs and Sonys that use chips with a full 4K imaging device between those that use pixel shifting to get all the pixels of a single frame of a UHD signal on the screen in the allotted time. But DLP XPR is effective and difficult to discern from native 4K from a distance in the absence of other differences in optics and processing.

Your 6040UB will likely have the better blacks and absent of HDR I'm not sure you'll see any notable improvement. I'd guess that, as with the 5050 comparison I did, you'll find better HDR on some scenes with the LG.
Joey Posted Jan 20, 2021 8:07 PM PST
Is there an actual date when the LG hu810pw will actually hit store shelves? I can't seem to find it anywhere
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 20, 2021 8:10 PM PST
Joey, I checked with LG yesterday and was told by someone on their projector product team that units should be in stock at retail next week sometime.
Justin Posted Jan 20, 2021 8:15 PM PST
How does this compare to an Optoma Cinemax P2? I'm setting up a theater room and could go UST or long throw at this point but would prefer laser for maintenance. It will be a 120" screen in a dark room.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 21, 2021 6:30 AM PST
Justin, I haven't done direct comparison but I'd say if you don't have a requirement that calls for putting a UST projector up front you're much better off with the LG in a long-throw configuration. Putting aside that it's color gamut and HDR is superior, you won't have the issues with modest corner distortion that you get with virtually all the USTs.
Jason Posted Jan 21, 2021 8:20 AM PST
Thanks for the review. I currently have the 5050ube (purchased 4 months ago) and am debating whether it is worth swapping it out for this new LG.

I use the epson 5050ube in my living room and alternate between bright environments (e.g. light from lots of windows and the lights on) and fairly dark (e.g. black out shades, lights off, but still light leakage from the edges of the windows as is the case with shades). I do use it for both movies/tv (mix of HD and UHD content) as well as gaming on my xbox series x (incl. FPS type games).

It seems the gaming means I need to stick with the Epson, but I was drawn to the smaller form factor of the LG (which we would highly appreciate given it is an eye sore in the living room), the laser, and the perceived improvement in resolution (e.g. 1080p x2 vs. the x4 of the LG). Given I need to use in both light and semi-dark environments, is there any justification in me switching to the LG or should I just stand pat with the 5050ube?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 21, 2021 10:45 AM PST
Jason, the 5050UB is a great projector and I don't know that it's worth the swap. I didn't see a huge difference in detail between these two projectors from 10 foot viewing distance on a 92 inch screen, though as some of the guys on AVS pointed out, the differences may be more profound at larger screen sizes. You will definitely be giving up black level on dark scenes if you depart for the LG, but maybe picking up some HDR performance -- and I say that knowing that the 5050UB does a great job with HDR that, till now, I thought was only surpassed by the JVCs and maybe the Sonys. You won't gain anything significant in lumen output to help combat ambient light, so that leaves the no-bulb laser engine and smaller form factor. Only you can decide what that's worth.
tdk Posted Jan 21, 2021 1:14 PM PST
i have 4000 epson in bright room on 120” and its fine, i use it for all tv and sports, my marantz 6012 handles the audio and is connected to fire stick apple tv for viewing. you think the picture would be better than epson for use in bright room for content run through firestick or apple tv
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 21, 2021 1:15 PM PST
tdk, I think in this instance the extra brightness afforded by the LG would likely be noticeable and beneficial in your ambient light environment, and you'd also benefit from better HDR, which although limited in bright light, is still noticeable.
Chuck Miller Posted Jan 21, 2021 5:35 PM PST
Hi Rob,

I've noted that the Projector Throw Distance Calculators for the HU810PW and the AU810PB yield different fLresults using the same input data. The AU has 6 fL higher output using my inputs. I assume they should be the same; which is more accurate? Or is the AU really brighter?

Thanks for confirming!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 21, 2021 5:36 PM PST
Thanks Chuck -- both projectors should yield the same results. I'm not sure which one is more right, but I'll investigate. It's possible that the HU810 calc has been updated to use our measured number, which came in slightly below the rated spec, but the reality is that both projectors are the same and our sample was actually a AU sample anyway. Note that the fL are always just loose estimates anyway.
Nick Posted Jan 22, 2021 6:28 AM PST
Rob, thanks for the nice review and all the answered questions. I did order it yesterday from LG directly and can't wait to have it setup and enjoy it. I am not able to find anywhere in the user manual the dimensions/spacing of the ceiling mounting holes. I would very much appreciate if you provide this info. I will be sure to post my first impressions when I get it. Thanks
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 22, 2021 6:30 AM PST
Yes, I'm surprised this isn't in the (rather meager) manual.

Four attachement holes that accept M6/L10 metric screws. The two holes closest to the front of the projector are 8-5/8 inches apart center to center. The two holes closest to the rear of the projector are 10-3/8 inches apart center to center. Note that the rear two holes are positioned wider and closer to the edges of the projector, so the four holes together make a trapezoid and not a perfect rectangle. If you draw a line diagonally from a front hole to the opposite side rear hole, they are 11-1/2 inches apart center to center. So a traditional mount with spider legs emerging from the middle would need a minimum of about 6 or 7 inches extension toward each hole from the center of the mounting plate or the pole position.

The projector weighs 24.2 pounds, so it's not a lightweight. Plan accordingly.

LG AU810PB bottom2
Giovanni Posted Jan 22, 2021 1:43 PM PST
I’m really interested in the LG. I do have a light controlled room but I would benefit from a lot of its features including its eARC port. The only thing keeping me from pulling the trigger is the black levels compared to the Epson. I currently own the Epson 3800 and I know the Harry Potter deathly hallows part 2 scene you mentioned well. On the 3800 it looks a bit washed out. Would the LG have better blacks than my Epson? And compared to the 5050ub are the black levels night and day? Almost like going from gray to more inky black? Thank you
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 22, 2021 1:50 PM PST
Giovanni, haven't compared the 3800 directly with the 5050UB or with this projector, but with the 5050UB the difference in the handling of dark content vs the LG, and that scene in particular, was pretty dramatic. Keep in mind that the LG projector's black can be lowered significantly with its iris, but you just won't get the same dynamic range between the brightest highlights and dark blacks in the scene, or the same level of shadow detail. It's possible, though, that the LG is more comparable to the 3800 in this regard; the 5050UB sites TEN TIMES the dynamic contrast ratio of the 3800. And the LG wasn't terrible in this regard; just outclassed by the 5050.
Cédric Posted Jan 23, 2021 4:20 PM PST
Hi Rob,

How would you compare that LG model to Sony VPL-VW295ES? Is a laser projector dim over time like a lamp projector?
Dallin Posted Jan 24, 2021 12:52 AM PST
Hey Rob,

I'm trying to understand the importance of Video Modes. This LG has very few video modes: 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 480p, 480i. Other 4K projectors have 2160p/24, 2160p/60, including the Epson 5050. What does this mean? Will this have any effect on video quality? Thanks again.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 24, 2021 12:55 AM PST
Dallin,I'm not sure what thats referring to in the specs or whether it is correct. These look like signal types the projector will accept, but I assure you that the LG takes signals up to 3840x2160p resolution at 60 Hz (known as 2160p/60).
Harry Posted Jan 24, 2021 3:45 AM PST
Great review!!!

I am going to buy Hu810 & new 120 inch projector screen (replace my sony 1080p projector), do u think it is better to buy the projector screen over gain 2.0 for HU810?

I mainly watching movies, my friend recommend me to buy gain 2.0 (or above) which provide higher nits at 4k hdr movies.

Many thanks
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 24, 2021 3:50 AM PST
Harry, you should read our Home Theater Buyer's Guide resources to better understand what screen gain is and what the trade-offs are. A screen with gain over 2.0 will likely show hotspotting in the center with a bright projector like this and will show a noticeably darker image for people sitting off axis from the center sweet spot.
Chuck Miller Posted Jan 24, 2021 4:49 AM PST
Do these projectors upscale HD content to 4K, like most (all?) 4K TVs do? Perhaps that's implied by the 4K resolution, but it's not stated anywhere that I can find.

Thanks!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 24, 2021 4:50 AM PST
Yes, all 4K home theater projectors accept 1080p signals and scale them up the fill out the full 4K pixel grid.
Jack Posted Jan 24, 2021 1:07 PM PST
No Netflix yet. Estimated first availability March 1st on B&H
Jay Posted Jan 24, 2021 5:08 PM PST
Id like to see what the difference a new projector can make from my 7 year old Sony HW45ES but it’s a shame there are still concessions. Twice the input lag and not quite ready for the future with less than full HDMI 2.1 features.

I’m at 12 feet at 1080p on 120” so I’m not sure if I can resolve too much more, but HDR and a little closer to the sharpness of my 4K tv would be great. Hopefully not too much longer until I can have that with VRR.
Marcos Albuquerqu Posted Jan 24, 2021 7:41 PM PST
Hi Rob, thanks for the review!

I assume you measured 96% of DCI-P3 using 'Cinema Home' mode? Allowing a more accurate picture, this mode would suffer from a lesser "punch" image when in HDR mode? I'm trying to find a medium-range projector that handles a very extended color gamut (at least 95% of P3) but doesn't sacrifice much in brightness.... such as BenQ W5700/Epson 5050UB... maybe this is the one, or still lacks that punch for HDR ? Assuming a dim-lit (but controlled) room with white walls and ceiling. What a though task! lol Thank you for any inputs! Cheers from a brazilian living in Australia but a huge fan of Projetor Central!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 24, 2021 7:45 PM PST
Marcos,I actually measured it in the Standard HDR mode, which was the default out of box mode.
Jack Posted Jan 25, 2021 12:13 PM PST
Do you have any information about the LG's lip sync capabilities? I am using headphones almost exclusively now with an Epson 5030. I've been using an antique DVDO to adjust lip sync. I could do that as well for the LG, but I am wondering if the HU810 has a lip sync adjustment I could use if I sent the sound from the projector via optical cable to a DAC then to my two sets of headphones via analog cables? I could use bluetooth headphones, but I prefer the sound quality of a wired connection. I'm interested in this projector, in part, because I would like to avoid having to replace my outdated HT receiver and DVDO, or use my MacBook as a streamer.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 26, 2021 3:56 PM PST
The projector has an AV Sync slider to align audio with video.
Bob Posted Jan 27, 2021 12:10 PM PST
Do you think there will be any more rainbow effect with this projector vs the Epson 6050 or 5050?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 27, 2021 12:12 PM PST
I didn't see a large or disturbing incidence of rainbows on the LG but I'm not terribly sensitive to them. On the other hand, the Epson projectors are all 3-chip LCD models that have no sequential color wheel and are therefore completely immune to rainbow effect.
Nick Posted Jan 27, 2021 3:01 PM PST
Rob, thanks for the mounting holes details above. Everything is now installed and working. As promised - 1st impression: projecting on a 130 inch flat pure white painted wall from 13 1/2 feet in light controlled basement. Picture quality exceeded my expectation - very happy. I am guessing with a screen it may be even better. Recommendations are welcome. Confirming no Netflix and Hulu yet in the webOS. YouTube, Prime and Disney+ is what i use at this time. The zoom and focus sliders are somewhat tough to control - i wish there were more sensitive but once adjusted its good.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 27, 2021 3:05 PM PST
Awesome, Nick-addicting the screen will absolutely take it to the next level. Enjoy!
Lowrey Posted Jan 27, 2021 8:35 PM PST
Any updates on pairing the Panny 4kplayer with the Epson? (The first comment) I would love to hear what you find.
Pridhvi Posted Jan 28, 2021 6:21 AM PST
Hi Rob, Thanks for the great review. I have Epson 5030UB which I love and is in excellent working condition. I wanted to upgrade to a 4K HDR projector. I don’t like giving up 3D. With the money I will spend on LG HU810p, will I see a noticeable upgrade from a day to day viewing experience compared to 5030UB? Or should I wait for a year or two before replacing my projector?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 28, 2021 7:41 AM PST
Pridhvi, I'm certain you'd be impressed with the sharpness and HDR on the LG, but would perhaps notice a drop in deep black performance along with missing your 3D. Of course, you gain a laser engine that never needs bulb replacement with the LG as well. So it's really a toss up.
Pridhvi Posted Jan 28, 2021 9:06 AM PST
Hi Rob, I would like to ask some more specific questions as a follow up to my previous comment. I hope you will be able to clarify further. I have a 135 inch screen with seating at around 16ft from the screen. I have a fairly dark room. I see that the picture is noticeably sharper with the 5030UB super resolution feature. Can I expect further significant improvement in sharpness with the LG HU810PW? I don't prefer to use Auto Iris on 5030UB due to the overall dimming of the image at times. I love how deep the black levels are on the Epson even without using Auto Iris. LG claims a dynamic contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1 vs 600,0000:1 on the 5030UB. Is the contrast on LG better as the specifications suggest? I do online gaming occasionally. I am not a big fan of having to switch to Fast mode during gaming due to the low resolution like picture on the 5030UB. However, the input lag is acceptable to me once I switch to the Fast mode. You mentioned in your review that the input lag is bad on the HU810PW. I read in another forum that the instant gaming mode(HGIG) on the HU810PW decreases the input lag significantly. Will you be able to check this? Overall, this projector seems to be very promising with a very few exceptions. can this projector take my viewing experience closer to the experience on modern TVs with respect to 4K, HDR and gaming?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 28, 2021 9:09 AM PST
- LG is a 4K projector that should be noticeably sharper on a 135 inch screen. On the 92-inch screen i tested with the 5050UB, which has Epson's 4K enhancement with 1080p chips, it was about equal at 10 foot viewing distance.

- ignore LG's claim for contrast, you cannot compare one manufacturer's contrast figures with anothers. Contrast was very good on the LG except when it was faced with difficult dark content, when it was okay but not remotely close to the 5050UB. If you're a black level fiend and have gotten used to this with the Epson you may notice the more infirm blacks on the LG, but I really don't know how deep the blacks are in practice with your old 5030UB that is much inferior in this regard to the 5050UB.

- Instant Gaming Mode is not related to HGIG; it is the name LG gives to a feature that allows the projector to automatically switch to its Game picture mode when it recognizes through HDMI EDID that you have switched to your game console. HGIG is a dedicated form of HDR that is compatible with some games and consoles, and I don't know what if any relationship it has to input lag. I did test lag in the projector's Game picture mode, which is absolutely required because it reduces the lag by about half compared to other modes to get to the numbers cited in the review. So that may be what this person was referring to. At measured input lag around 50 ms, the LG's lag is higher than the input lag you are getting with your Epson, which according to our original review of the 5030 was about 37 ms. That's more, but not dramatically more.

Andy Posted Jan 28, 2021 9:16 PM PST
Rob, I too have a LG CF-181D Lcos SXRD which is a Sony engine at 1800 ansi. I am thinking of the new LG reviewed here, but not sure if I can maintain my black levels with the new LG 4K. I have a garage with a actual 15' x 9' Stewart 1.5 gain screen. Since all my Blu-ray library would be up scaled, would I get viewer fatigue, and wished for the native resolution my LG CF-181D back??
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 29, 2021 7:29 AM PST
Andy, that CF-181D is so old now that it's hard to know how the blacks/contrast associated with its LCoS heritage would hold up to even a modern DLP like this LG. It's possible that its overall treatment of dark material may look a little better but I'm not sure by how much...if at all. But the LG really looks great with most material. I thought its 1080p to UHD scaling was excellent (though I didn't run all the tests on it); you can expect that from LG which has a ton of their own tuned scaling technology developed for the flatpanels. But I think you'll really be blown away if you start streaming 4K or better yet get a UHD blu ray player going forward. As for brightness -- I don't forsee a problem. I get that this is a high gain screen with a projector rated for 900 more lumens than your old projector, but it is after all a 200-inch plus diagonal screen, and the LG has a very effective manual iris control that can really shut down a lot of light in its lowest setting. I think you'll enjoy going at least a little brighter than what your current projecetor can do,and I imagine you'll be able to tune for just the right brightness for punchy SDR and HDR.
Max Posted Jan 29, 2021 9:11 AM PST
How hot does the LG run? I'm trying to figure out if the laser projectors actually throw off less heat than their lamp based counterparts.
Toby Posted Jan 29, 2021 11:44 AM PST
Hi Rob, thanks a lot for the detailed review! I was wondering: I saw a review here in this side demonstrating the sharp wavelength peak profile of laser (and LED) beamers in comparison to a somewhat flatter curve for bulb based projectors. This is what got me interested in laser beamers. The HU810PW has two laser colors and the third color is achieved via laser to phosphor. Do you know hiw this impacts the light source quality? How much or in what way would a two laser beamer differ or compare to a three laser beamer like X100-4k? Does the phosphor reduce the life span of the light source (weakest part of the chain...)? Thanks and greetings from Germany! Toby
Andy Posted Jan 29, 2021 1:29 PM PST
Thanks Rob, that was extremely helpful and on key to what I was thinking too. I do have a followup...you suggested "Get A UHD blu-ray player"...did you mean this or was this a typo for a 4K player? I am currently using an OPPO BDP-83 - (OPTICAL OUT) blu-ray player, and will not compromise on AUDIO output quality, with the video quality. OPPO has a reputation for the best of both worlds. What player would you suggest if I were to replace it, and should it be one that does not scale up to 4K, in conflict with the on board scaling of the LG AU810BP projector??
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 29, 2021 1:30 PM PST
UHD Blu-ray is the more accurate and official name for a 4K Blu-ray player designating that the resolution for the format (and most 4K projectors) is really Ultra HD 3840x 2160 pixels, vs the "official" Digital Cineme 4K standard that is actually 4096 x 2160. All the disc and streaming content you know as 4K is really UHD.

If you don't get a UHD Blu-ray player you'll be missing out on the very best image quality you can get with this or any other 4K projector. By a big margin. Even the best streamed 4K HDR content won't compare to the best UHD BD transfers. Panasonic has taken over the mantle from Oppo on having the best disc players, and their better players have superb audio quality.
Toby Posted Jan 29, 2021 1:40 PM PST
Hi again, correction, to my comment above: Of course I meant Samsung LSP9T as three laser beamer... X100-4k was meant as example for LED projector... Thanks!
Kieran Posted Jan 29, 2021 2:18 PM PST
Hey Rob, great review and kudos and thanks to you and PC for getting one up so quickly for this highly anticipated projector. My setup will have a projector sitting high in a soffit, with the center of the lens about a foot above the top of a 110" 16:9 screen, throw about 12.5 ft. I'm confused by the numbers shown in the user manual as well as the PC site's throw calculator, as to whether this projector will have enough lens shift to work for me. It seems from the PC calculator images, that I would need to flip the projector over in order to achieve what I need (e.g. like a ceiling mount) is this true or am I misunderstanding things? Any clarification is much appreciated! (and do bug LG about 3D for us if you can! ) :-)
Barry Posted Jan 29, 2021 3:04 PM PST
How does this compare to benq ht3550? I'm looking to upgrade and curious if it's a significant improvement.
Allen Posted Jan 30, 2021 1:53 PM PST
No 3D? What the [fill in expletive here.] It's the only reason I'm looking for a projector to replace or supplement my older 70" LG that does have 3D. I'd also buy a newer TV in a heartbeat if it had 3D. I feel cheated... they finally get low priced OLED and other fantastic tech and drop 3D.
Darin Posted Jan 31, 2021 5:23 AM PST
Rob,

I am in the middle of having a severe episode of "paralysis by analysis" to the point of having a difficult time sleeping, lol!

Building new dedicated basement build...light controlled with some black/charcoal/gray paint and furnishings (not a velvet bat cave, though). Final screen size TBD but probably about 120 +/- screen with first row of seats about 11' from screen.

I was all down to purchase this but over on AVSForum there are some guys talking about poor vertical lens shift which is maybe opposite of what is intended (doesn't go down when ceiling mounted and doesn't go up on shelf mount). Did you have any placement issue with this?

Also, maybe even more concerning is that there are photos of a lot of light leakage. Photos of the ceiling being lit up right in front of the projector. Any issues with this that you see?

Lastly, there have been some people suggesting pairing this projector with a screen with a gain <1 to help with black levels. Any thoughts on that? Is there enough brightness even in HDR to overcome a lower screen gain?

Other projectors I am considering include the 6050UB and the JVC NX5 but am certainly open to suggestions.

Thanks for your thoughts. I will stop rambling now.
David R Posted Jan 31, 2021 1:39 PM PST
I'm curious as to how this one stacks up against the JVC LX-NZ3. If consumers are looking for high-quality, cinema-focused laser projectors under $4k, that would be an interesting head-to-head.
John Carothers Posted Feb 1, 2021 10:04 AM PST
Thanks for a great, detailed review of this LG AU810PW. I want to connect it to an Enclave WiSA CineHome Pro 5.1 Surround Sound system via its hub which has an eARC port to the more affordable . Your review states "Of the two, only the AU810PB comes WiSA ready; as with compatible LG TVs, plugging in a third-party WiSA transmitter to one of the projector's USB ports allows it to throw up to 5.1-channel audio wirelessly via the high-resolution WiSA standard to compatible powered speakers." So I'm confused. The Enclave hub IS a 3rd party WiSA transmitter that as I mentioned has an eARC HDMI port. Are you then saying that the Enclave can only pair with the AU810PB but not the AU810PW even though the W also has eARC? Thanks!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Feb 1, 2021 10:20 AM PST
John, I am familiar with Enclave's system and can clarify this for you. Both versions of this projector have an HDMI eARC port and will work find with the Enclave system (which actually works with any ARC or eARC port). With the Enclave, you connect their hub via HDMI to your display's eARC port and use their smartphone app to control the system. The hub and app together comprise the preamp controller and the WiSA transmitter to the speakers.

The AU810PB (it only comes in black) is the higher end model of this projector and it comes WiSA ready like some of LG's TVs. The 3rd party hub you would add to this projector, such as the Axiim model that's out there for about $200, connects up to one of the projector's USB ports (not HDMI). This allows you to use the LG's volume control and internal menus to then set up and send wireless sound to powered WiSA speakers, such as those sold by Klipsch and some other speaker brands. LG has a video on YouTube that shows how to hook up the system.
John Posted Feb 2, 2021 8:59 AM PST
Thanks SO MUCH Rob - that's exactly what I wanted to hear regarding the Enclave compatibility. Your level of detail is great. Interesting that the 3rd party hub is USB, and thanks for letting us know that it allows alternatives to Enclave, albeit at a more than $1000 premium (when including $200 hub) for the AU810PB. So for me, LG in white with Enclave it is.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Feb 2, 2021 10:02 AM PST
No problem, happy to help.
Marcos Albuquerque Posted Feb 4, 2021 9:51 PM PST
I would be glad to hear the black level measurements for this projector. :)
Peter Posted Feb 5, 2021 6:01 AM PST
Rob, great review as always! I have a general question about the laser projectors. Once the life of the laser light engine is over, is there a way to replace it? Or just toss the projector? 20,000 hours sound like a lot, but I am not sure the brightness (I have a 160" screen) will remain intact till the end of the projected life.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Feb 5, 2021 6:59 AM PST
Peter, I won't say it can't possibly be done with what would amount to an out of warranty part replacement, but I don't think the manufacturers are accounting for this in their product planning, so it remains to be seen how equipped they will be, or what it would cost, to do this some 8 or 10 years from now (or whatever). My guess is that by the time the laser died out it will be well past the point where you'll be wanting to update to the latest technology, which by then will no doubt be 128K resolution using advanced OLED imagers that make their own projection light. (That's a joke, of course...maybe.)

What I can say, though, is that the 20,000 hour rating is with the projector used at full brightness...so the size of your screen will only affect how bright it gets at the projector's full brightness but won't affect the life of the projector.
Dani Posted Feb 5, 2021 10:37 PM PST
Thank you Rob for this great review and for spending the time answering people's questions!!! I am in the same boat as many here, debating between the 5050ub and this LG. I like the bulb free projector, but I won't sacrifice picture quality.

My question is, if using the right display, 120'' grey with 1.0 gain, would this help bringing the black level and shadow details close to the 5050ub?

If grey screen won't help and if bulb vs laser is not a factor and the priority is picture quality watching HDR content would you go with the LG? Thanks!!!
Alex Posted Feb 6, 2021 8:08 PM PST
I'm looking to buy my first projector (long throw, ~92" image @ ~ `10 ft viewing), *mostly* dark room (no daytime viewing), only for movies. This one looks great, but it seems I'd give up on image quality vs the Epson 5050UB? and gaining on lamp life and a smaller size? I'm guessing I watch no more than 300 hours/year, so lamp life wouldn't matter? so I'd be more interested in the best image, and in particular in "filmmaker mode" which seems absent from the Epson. I guess I'm looking for the best cinephile projector under $3,500- I wonder if this is "it"?
Matt Posted Feb 7, 2021 12:05 PM PST
Rob,

Thanks for the review, does the HU810PW support WiSA at all? Or is it only the AU810PB?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Feb 7, 2021 12:30 PM PST
Only the AU810PB has the built-in WiSA support. You would need to purchase a WiSA home theater speaker system with its own hub and interface software, such as one of the Enclave Audio systems, to enjoy the benefits of WiSA with the HU810PW or another display that doesn't have any WiSA compatibility integrated.
Yac Posted Feb 13, 2021 8:29 AM PST
Hello ! have you noticed the rainbow effect on this video projector?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Feb 13, 2021 8:37 AM PST
Little to none, as noted in the review, though I am not particularly sensitive to rainbows. I do see them when frequently when it's a prominent issue, though.
Jack Posted Feb 13, 2021 9:45 AM PST
Estimated delivery has now been moved back to 3rd week of March. LG has said that it is not honoring its sale price for pre-orders. Even if pre-paid, the price is now $2999. Dealers are protesting.
Doug Posted Feb 13, 2021 1:22 PM PST
Thanks for the in-depth review, I'm trying to decide between this and the 5050UB. I'll be switching between my new xbox and a HTPC for movies and shows, how easy is it to switch between two "modes" and does it save your preferences? I also use a tablet with customized IR codes for all my AV equipment, do either of these projectors accept IR commands? Thanks again for all this great info!
John Carothers Posted Feb 13, 2021 2:09 PM PST
I received an email alert on Tuesday that this projector became available on their web site and jumped on it. It was already sold out the next day. I just received it but have't unboxed it as yet. However, the day they received their inventory seems to be the day they took it off sale. Hence, they only had it on sale while there were none available. That seems like misrepresentation to me.
Brian Posted Feb 15, 2021 12:24 PM PST
Since this has webOS and apps built in, Can I output audio to a receiver via a HDMI port?
Brian Snavely Posted Feb 16, 2021 9:29 AM PST
What type of screen were you projecting on?

I own this projector and get really noticeable sparkling on red images. I have a black crystal 0.8 alr screen

Did you notice sparkling?

Others on avsforum are reporting the same red sparkling.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Feb 16, 2021 10:35 AM PST
Brian, I used a Stewart Studiotek 130, 1.3 gain, and never saw any sparkling at all. What constitutes a "red" image? And on what Picture mode?
Brian Snavely Posted Feb 16, 2021 3:36 PM PST
anything red or colors made from red. Real noticable on static content. Any color test pattern would show it off easily as you wouldn't see it on other non red colors.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Feb 16, 2021 3:40 PM PST
Thanks. I went back and looked at this and there's definitely some laser speckle on red compared with a lamp based projector, more easily seen on a red test pattern or the pure red bar of a color bars pattern; also visible in magneta to lesser degree. So it's not non-existent. But not terrible, at least on my Stuart Studiotek and also not really bothersome, at least to me, on the Elite 1.3 Cinewhite or Elite CineGray 3D we now have in our test lab -- where I can also detect it. On the other hand, I see some folks on AVS complaining about this on the CineGray, so I think people experience it differently and obviously with different content. The speckle isn't actually sparkling in my observation, it's not moving with a static pattern, but there are darker spots that are layered atop the image, which is the nature of laser speckle. It's kind of like a haze but it exists in a plane that's slightly different than the rest of the image. I'll be updating my review to comment on this, as well as the light spill that I missed due to my projector being on a shelf that was too far from the ceiling to spot it.
Bill Posted Feb 17, 2021 2:49 PM PST
Thanks for the review. Bought one as soon as it was available.had to wait a month, but we'll worth it. The only problem that I noticed that I didn't see addressed anywhere in your article or comments after, is I have it mounted on the ceiling and there is an extreme amount of light wash on the ceiling. Have you noticed this and what can be done to correct it.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Feb 17, 2021 2:51 PM PST
I did not initially notice any light spill on this projector because my rack installation did not situate the projector near enough to the ceiling. It's something I'll watch for in the future. As for mediating it, it's easy enough to do since this lens sits recessed in the projector chassis. Prepare a small piece of opaque cardboard, maybe cut from a cereal box or something like that, into about a 4 to 5 inch square. Once the projector is fully mounted and the image has been adjusted with zoom and lens shift, you can slowly move it up from top to bottom -- that is, from the ceiling side downward -- to mask a portion of the lens output. There should be a spot where it blocks the light spill without affecting the on-screen image.

This essentially mimics the physical masking that manufacturers like BenQ and Optoma build into the chassis design of some of their projectors precisely to address this issue as it crops up with certain lens designs. You can take a look at the BenQ TK8150, for example, to see what I mean.
ALLEN Posted Feb 17, 2021 7:25 PM PST
My current projector is a Panasonic pt-ae-7000 . I have a dedicated home theater with a Stewart 100 in screen.My first choice was a JVC DLA-NX5 I am primarily interested in sports football in particular which projector would be the best for me and how much of and upgrade will I achieve.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Feb 17, 2021 7:28 PM PST
The JVC DLA-NX5 is a truly outstanding projector for dark room viewing, particularly HDR movies -- head and shoulders above this LG -- but it does not have anywhere near the same brightness as this projector. It also costs at least twice what the LG costs. If watching football in dark to moderately lit environments is what you're after, the LG may be the better and more cost effective choice. Vs your Panny, you will gain not just brightness but also 4K resolution and HDR compatibility, which will be noticeable. I can't comment on whether the black levels will be equal, but I don't think you'll sacrifice anything terribly noticeable if at all in contrast, though I can't say for sure.
FCrane Posted Feb 19, 2021 4:32 AM PST
Any news on my question from last month:

Does it handle 23.976Hz and 24Hz content correctly? Or does it show the typical stutter due to conversion to 60Hz like all other DLPs?

Thanks!
JOHN EDWARD FOLEY Posted Feb 19, 2021 4:16 PM PST
Hello - I'm intrigued by this projector and was wondering about our thoughts on comparisons to my current Sony VPL-W385ES. I'm interested in improvements in heat, brightness and of course the laser light source. Do you have an opinion between the two? I'm projecting on a 150" screen in a dedicated theatre room. Thanks - ed
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Feb 19, 2021 4:20 PM PST
John, this piece runs fairly cool and punches nearly twice the brightness of your Sony (or close to that). You'll sacrifice some black level compared with your LCoS-based Sony, though the LG may very well have the better HDR rendering. Given the size of your screen, it sounds like you'll really benefit from the extra brightness along with the laser source.
Martin Léger Posted Feb 21, 2021 1:09 PM PST
Hi there, is the LG AU810PB is a good projector for a dedicated room with a 195" 16:9 screen at a 20' thrown distance? Thank you.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Feb 21, 2021 1:15 PM PST
Martin, you can check our throw calculator to see whether that size screen is possible at your throw distance.
Joel Posted Feb 22, 2021 8:47 AM PST
ROB,

Thanks for the review. I currently have the LG AU810PB but I'm projecting on a wall. I wanted to truly gage if I wanted a 120 or 135 elite screen. Now know I will be going with a 135. Given the comments on black level and contrast would you recommend a gray or white screen. I intend to use the HDR feature in a light controlled room but when my 2 year old is with me I'm sure I'll have the recess lights on. It sounds like the Gray screen will improve blacks and contrast but reduce brightness. Should I go with a whit screen instead
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Feb 22, 2021 9:00 AM PST
Joel, I think I can recommend you go with Elite's CineGrey 3D. We're using one in our studio right now and it really helps with black level in dark rooms as well as ambient light viewing. 1.2 gain, which is nice with an ALR, many of which are negative gain.
SeattleDad Posted Feb 22, 2021 11:05 PM PST
How would you compare this vs a UST like Samsung LSP7T? Weighing cost of complete setup (screen, installation, etc.) for movie viewing in a daylight basement where space is not an issue. Thanks!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Feb 22, 2021 11:10 PM PST
We haven't tested the LSP7T, but given that this LG is a dual-laser model with probably better color than the single laser Samsung, and the fact that the LG has 500 more lumens of light output, and that all USTs do suffer some geometry/focus distortion at their upper borders at most screen sizes for which they are recommended...I can't see why you would use the long-throw LG unless space was an issue and you couldn't mount the LG at an appropriate throw distance. I'd recommend mating it with an ALR screen, however, just as you would with a UST. I used the LG with a 110 inch Elite CineGrey 3D in moderate light in our test lab and got good results with(in my view) just a bit of laser speckle, but I'll warn readers that some posters on AVS Forum are have complained about speckle with this and other screens.
Pridhvi Posted Feb 24, 2021 7:53 AM PST
Hi Rob, I am looking at Epson HC3800 which seem to have same low input lag as 5050UB. Is it a significant step down in terms of picture quality? or is it only the black levels that is inferior? Also, how does HC3800 compare to Optoma UHD50X?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Feb 24, 2021 7:55 AM PST
Pridhvi, if you're asking about the Epson 5050UB vs the 3800, the 3800 is noticeably inferior to the 5050UB, in black level, color gamut, and the quality and automation of its lens.
Brandon Posted Feb 27, 2021 4:21 AM PST
Just in case LG ever reads this, I'm just throwing in another "No 3d, what the [insert expletive]". Completely off my radar without this.
Hans_Wurst Posted Mar 1, 2021 1:59 AM PST
+1 @Kieran please ask LG if they can reconsider their 3d politics for projectors
Alexis Posted Mar 4, 2021 9:53 AM PST
Hello, Can someone who have the chance to have this projector can say if today it's possible to download Netflix App on the WebOS? Thank you It's crasy to sell a cinema projector with webOS and without Netflix app support
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 4, 2021 10:16 AM PST
Alexis, I checked this last about a week and a half ago before relinquishing my sample of the projector and at that point there were still no download options at the LG store for either Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+ -- all of which are available on WebOS for LG's TVs. Amazon is there, including a button on the remote for it.I can't say why this version of WebOS is so limited and I hope that changes soon, but at this point it's definitely a drawback. Maybe some other day to day users can comment if there have been any updates in the interim.
Alexis Posted Mar 4, 2021 12:50 PM PST
Thanks a lot for your answer.

After testing the "LG HU80KS", the "LG BU50NST and the "LG HU70LS", I just bought the HU810PW. It's seem to be the best mix of the 3 references i just menioned.... I chose the HU810PW mainly for the zoom and lens-shift (similar to the BU50NST but mainly intended for cinema).

LG HU80KS and LG HU70LS have Netflix, I think it's weird that HU810PW don't have it!

And one another issue I found is with bluetooth audio system.

I have a Herman Kardon audio setup. In the 3 projectors I tested, I can connect easily my speakers but...

There are only on the LG HU80KS my bluetooth speakers are automatically connected when I power on the projector. But on the LG BU50NST and the LG HU70LS, I need to go on blutooth settings everytime I power on these projectors. it's binding/restrictive

I don't understand for Netflix For the bluetooth, I think it is simply an incitement to buy LG soudbar, it's not very fairplay :'(

Ps, sorry if my english is not quite good :o)
Allen Posted Mar 4, 2021 11:19 PM PST
Thanks for your fast response for my post I forgot to mention that that the screen that I presently have is a Stuart Gray Hawk I am tossing a coin and hoping that the first projector that I get will be either the JVC or the LG whichever one comes first is the one I will buy because both of them are back ordered.
Ash Posted Mar 9, 2021 9:15 AM PST
Hey Ron, any chance you've had the opportunity to test the Panasonic BD HDR optimizer feature on the 5050UB? Now that the LG sample has been returned won't be able to get a head to head comparison but it would still be great to get your thoughts.
Jose Luis Posted Mar 10, 2021 4:32 AM PST
Hi,

I was going to wall cabinet shelf mount this projector to replace my old AE700 LCD Panasonic. I was wondering where exactly is the hot air outlet, and if the air comes out at a high temperature and airflow? What would then be the minimum distance to the side panels of the cabinet? Thanks in advance.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 10, 2021 6:59 AM PST
Jose, the projector brings in air from one of the side panels and outputs it from the other, but I'm afraid I don't recall which of the two sides of the projector is the outtake. Perhaps one of our readers who owns the projector can supply that information. I also don't recall it getting terribly hot but I did not measure it. The minimum space requirement may be listed in the rather meager manual which is available for PDF download from our database page available at the View Projector Details link on this review page.
Joe Posted Mar 12, 2021 10:56 PM PST
Hi Rob,

Great review, I even went and bought one :) it seems to be perfect for my situation

However, I am having real trouble setting It up. I have mounted it on the ceiling with a Qualgear mount and in Front Ceiling mode, but the image is mostly on the ceiling (in the correct orientation). I can get it mostly onto the wall using lens shift, but it's right at the top and is certainly not right.

It feels like there must be an inverted button or such, but I can't find it anywhere.

For context, I had a benQ Tk850 and 1070 before in the same setup with no issues.

Hopefully, I am missing something very silly

Thanks!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 13, 2021 8:54 AM PST
Joe, I'm sorry you're having this issue. LG advertises a wide vertical lens shift for this projector but I've seen some reports on AVS forum of other users also not being able to get their image situated down far enough. So if you've set the projector to Front Ceiling and are getting the right orientation, there's no other internal setting you've missed. One solution, at least temporarily, is to aim the projector down to bring the top of the image where you need it and engage the geometric correction. Another longer term option if you want to avoid keystone correction, as much of a pain as it is, is to put a short pole extension on your mount if you can add one or look for other ways to lower the mount by the required distance, such as with some 2x4 blocks screwed into the ceiling joists in that location that the mount can then screw into rather than being screwed directly into the ceiling(assuming that's enough to get it where you need it).
Joe Posted Mar 15, 2021 12:08 AM PST
Thanks, Rob,

Appreciate the tips, aiming it down and using keystone just became too compromised and a pole / lower mount isn't possible in my setup.

Appreciate the super clear and fast response, you were far better than both LG and B&H :)
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 15, 2021 8:58 AM PST
Bummer - I apologize to you and other readers that potential limitations in the placement weren't initially flagged in the review along with a couple of other quirks that some users at AVS called out when they received their projectors. I'm working on some additional updates to the review and will be more careful about exploring things like this in the future. My test setup calls for a tall rack placement so I don't always catch things that are only obvious with a ceiling mount, such as light spill or limitations on shift in one particular direction.
Lee Posted Mar 17, 2021 9:28 AM PST
Rob, thanks so much for your detailed and thoughtful review. Thanks to you, I have just ordered the HU810P from LG.

I'm very excited to be receiving my new HU810P projector in the next few day and want to optimize the configuration into my home theater system. As I see it, there are 3 options:

Connect the Apple TV 4k to the HU810P and then use the eARC port on the projector to get sound back to the receiver.

Connect the Apple TV4k to the HU810P and also connect the Apple TV4k directly to the receiver using its digital out connection.

Connect the Apple TV4k to the receiver and then pass through the video signal to the HU810P projector

Of these options, #3 is least desirable as it would require me to upgrade my otherwise perfectly matched Denon receiver to a 4k model.

Which of these approaches will deliver the best performance? THANKS!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 17, 2021 10:03 AM PST
Lee, if you weren't planning to use the projector's WebOS streaming platform and opting to just use your Apple TV4K, then #3 would usually be the preferred (and most convenient) option. But given that you can't get a 4K video signal through your receiver, then I would connect the Apple to the projector via one of its non eARC ports, then connect the projector to the receiver via the eARC port. This should allow you to get multichannel digital audio out of the projector from the Apple TV as well as from the projector's WebOS internal streaming platform -- which does have some cool stuff in it you might want to watch even if you're using AppleTV for your main streaming services.

Good luck and enjoy your new projector!
Jose Posted Mar 17, 2021 2:17 PM PST
Hi Rob,

After reading the user manual some things surprise me: 1.- It cannot decode video in H.265 2.-The IR sensor for the remote control is on the back. 3.-It has no main switch. 4.-There is no recommendation in the installation in relation to the space to be kept laterally for ventilation. 5.-The gamma of the highlights, midtones and shadows cannot be adjusted independently. 6.-Recommends not to interpose anything in front of the lens; transparent dust cap, ND filter ... Because laser light can bounce inside and damage it. 7.-When dealing with the pics of the projector, it can be seen that on its left side it has three fans, and on its right back side there is a single fan, which, according to what it indicates, should be the outlet fan. 8.- Nothing about a color-wheel?

Not yet available in Europe...

Thanks
Allen Posted Mar 18, 2021 9:46 PM PST
I really would like to purchase a LG because of all the pros and cons that you have clearly laid out for me. However, I have heard you need up to 15 feet of distance for a 100 in image is that true?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 18, 2021 10:50 PM PST
Check our throw calculator to see the min and max distance for a 100 inch image.
Daniel Posted Mar 19, 2021 12:25 PM PST
Coming from a much older Sony VPL-HW30ES curious what to expect from native contrast black levels. I'm worried that moving to this projector I'm going to lose black level performance. Any thoughts?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 19, 2021 12:30 PM PST
I honestly can't say without directly comparing, Daniel.
John Posted Mar 19, 2021 2:03 PM PST
Just in case LG is paying attention, here's yet another vote for "Please bring 3D to this projector in an update." It's my top choice based on everything else, but the lack of 3D is a showstopper. I have a collection of 60+ 3D movies, which I am still adding to, and I won't consider a projector without it. Add 3D, and I'll buy this projector for my 4K upgrade over any other model, hands down. But no 3D, no sale, period.
TheTanner Posted Mar 21, 2021 9:28 AM PST
First off, you knocked it out of the park with your review. I've read it multiple times.

I've had the same projector since 2008. I own the Mitsubishi HC5500. It's been a great projector, but has always suffered from contrast in dark scenes and motion blur. I was going to purchase the HU810PW, but it's dark screen contrast issue is worrying me. Will it be way better than my HC5500, because the HC5500 is so old? Or do you think it will be similar. If it will be similar, then I'll breakdown and get the UHZ65LV. Thanks for your help.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 21, 2021 9:30 AM PST
I'm afraid I can't make any judgement about this vs the HC5500 or the UHZ65LV as I've seen neither.
Gary Posted Mar 21, 2021 10:15 AM PST
I have seen conflicting information regarding the size of the light border from this projector as well as which 0.47 ti chip it uses and I am starting to think that some models are using first generation 0.47 chips while others have 2nd generation. Do you know if the model you received had a first or second generation 0.47 ti chip?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 21, 2021 10:18 AM PST
Gary, I cannot even remotely imagine that a brand new projector in 2021 is using the old gen 0.47-inch TI chip. My own experience was that the light border was negligible and it never occurred to me that it was the old chip or that this was something of concern.
Daniel Posted Mar 21, 2021 10:54 AM PST
Hi Rob,

Thanks again for another great review. I'm in the market to upgrade from a Sony VPL-HW30ES. This LG and the Sony VPL-vw295es are on my shortlist. In your opinion is the Sony worth the added cost for a light-controlled install? I do like the idea of a higher lumen projector for HDR but am worried I would be losing black levels even from my 10+ year old Sony 1080p model.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 22, 2021 7:43 AM PST
Daniel, this is a tough judgement call if black level is your big priority. I do think the 295ES will have the lower black level and perhaps some additional sharpness from its native 4K chips and bigger lens (it's lens may also be more flexible in terms of the vertical shift; users of the LG have reported issues with inverted ceiling mounts of the projector not having enough downward range to facilitate their screen position). I have a feeling based on recollection, though, that the LG will have the better HDR rendering.
Gary Posted Mar 22, 2021 1:12 PM PST
I asked Usman Pirzada from Wccftech how confident he was that this projector uses the first generation chip and this was his reply: "99.9999%. The light border is very clear / night & day on a white fabric / 1 gain screen. It was the first thing I noticed when I hit the lights. 1) Only the first generation 0.47 chips had this problem as far as I know. This was fixed in all 2nd generation 0.47 chips. So you can infer from the fact it has an obvious light border that LG is using a first generation chip. 2) I discussed this review with LG's engineers at length and even had them fact check my technical statements (including the diagram of the system) - the fact that they did not flag the first generation statement is further evidence of my inference being correct. So for this to be a second generation chip 1) TI created a 2nd generation chip with the same problem that the public does not know about and 2) LG engineers missed that statement while fact-checking. It is possible - but exceedingly unlikely.

More on the light border: it is the most visible at iris = 10 and almost invisible at iris = 0"

Would you be able to test your model again to see if it exhibits the same issue at higher vs lower Iris settings?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 22, 2021 1:19 PM PST
Sorry, but I had to release my sample.
Bill Posted Mar 22, 2021 5:50 PM PST
First, thanks for the advice for dealing with the light wash on the ceiling (17 Feb reply).

Big problem I'm having now is the lip syncing. Have adjusted it through the receiver and my Amazon 4k fire stick. Have issues every time I fire it up.

Never a issue with my old Epson 3500.

Is this something that will be fixed by future software updates?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 22, 2021 6:18 PM PST
Bill, are you aware that the projector has its own lip sync adjustment that should be available for HDMI inputs as well as the Bluetooth output? If you've not already done so, visit the Full Settings menu and select the main Sound menu --> Additional Settings. Also, if you haven't discovered it yet, you can get to the full settings menu by pressing and holding down the menu button, you don't have to navigate to it through the slide out quick menu that comes up.

Another remote trick: press and hold the PICTURE+ button to the left of the 0 in the numerical keypad. You can step through submenus for the Iris, Adaptive Contrast, and some others on the fly.
Osiris Robles Posted Mar 23, 2021 5:48 PM PST
Hello rob great review i just order this projector do you think is going to be a problem whit the ceiling mounted? And no Netflix yet ?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 23, 2021 5:50 PM PST
Osiris, my contact at LG's product team says the issue has been getting Netflix's certification for this specific device; apparently each individual device must be separately licensed. The expectation is that Netflix will be added later this year, possibly summer timeframe.

As for the mounting, this will depend on how close your mount sits to the screen and how far down your screen sits off the ceiling.
Mike Posted Mar 24, 2021 3:37 PM PST
Rob,

Fantastic review and ultimately what I needed to push me over the top on replacing my Epson Powerlite 3020. It came with my house and is about 7-8 years old. I've already replaced the lamp once and it overheats about once every couple months even after airing it out and cleaning filters. I'm excited to upgrade from 1080p.

I spent a few hours last night looking for an upgrade in this price range, and it was a pain to find it anywhere to order. Ultimately I had to pre-order one through a place called projectorscreen.com. And couldn't find it anywhere for less than $2999. Hopefully they are a solid vendor.

A few questions. Setup: I will be running the projector to a Yamaha receiver using the 2.1 eARC port, and then a DirectTV box, Xbox Series X, and a PS5 plugged into that. I'm a little bummed that 4K/120 doesn't seem to be supported here, but I do most "competitive" gaming on my PC, so the listed input lag and 4K/60 frames will be sufficient since I only do co-op/single player on the projector. I use the Xbox for 4K discs & all streaming apps. And DirectTV for sports, live TV, channel surfing.

My main question concerns the picture modes/settings. From your review, it sounds like a lot of their presets are already pretty dialed for the "common" man. I don't really want to have to do a lot of tweaking, so I'm wondering if by using the preset ones you recommend above based on environment will be just fine or if there's an absolute setting or two a guy would need to change? I'm assuming the SDR Dark/Bright room will be the go to for the DirectTV experience, and the HDR Dark Room setting will be used for most of my Xbox/PS5 activity (I almost always only use them in the dark, and most current games & high end streaming content offers HDR). If there's anything else to expand on here that I maybe didn't catch in the review, I'd appreciate it. Also if you're familiar with the HDR calibration tool on the Xbox, throw out any thoughts on that.

Second question & last question: Do you expect firmware upgrades to be released for this? Will it be able to do it wirelessly if so, or will I need to run a cable and hardwire it?

Thank you sir!

Regards, Mike
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 24, 2021 4:11 PM PST
Mike, ProjectorScreen.com is a good outfit; you should be fine.

Re: picture settings, the Expert modes aren't perfect out of box but are definitely close enough for government work as we like to say and offer enough adjustability to tune them to your taste visually without instruments. The two main controls you'll want to play with are probably the Iris Mode (overall brightness of the image) and the Color Temperature, but you should always adjust Brightness (black level) and Contrast (peak white) to your taste so you get the best contrast. There is no "expert dark" mode for HDR, but you should look through them and see what you like. The Cinema Home, Cinema,and Filmmaker modes are probably the closest out of box to industry standard color, but you can also adjust the Iris Mode and Color Temp on these modes to get the look you want for your overall brightness and the color tint of your whites.

One last thing: if you haven't already read all the comments, note the ones mentioning laser speckle, light spill from the lens, and also some limitations on the vertical lens shift for inverted ceiling mounts. These were all things I missed in my original evaluation that came out as people on the forums began using the projector in different environments and with different screens. Small caveats, but things you should be aware of. I will update the review shortly to reflect these.
Sanjay Subramanian Posted Mar 28, 2021 8:14 AM PST
This is a great review... thanks for your attention to detail. I had one question on the difference between this and the AU810PW model. You've indicated that IP control is restricted to the AU810PW. However, does the LG IOS app provide the ability to at least power-on/off the HU810PW through Wi-Fi? That's really all I need from a control perspective - I can handle the rest through the AV receiver and content provider devices like the Apple TV. Thanks for your input
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 28, 2021 8:20 AM PST
Sorry, I never tried the app and no longer have a sample of the projector on which to try this. Perhaps one of our readers who owns the projector can clarify, but I'd be awfully surprise if an iOS or Android control app didn't have a power on/off switch.
KEVIN Posted Mar 28, 2021 1:14 PM PST
I just received this projector on March 24th. After over 20 hours of adjusting picture quality because I obsess over the perfect image and not to mention you can get lost in pictures settings which is actually a good thing! As far as ceiling mounted positioning I had minimal issues using a mount I bought from the place with the name that starts with A. The lens shift combined with the articulated mount allowed me to get in on point in seconds. The only downside is that you will need to have at least a 12 inch extension from the ceiling since it is a large rectangle of a projector. Another person I spoke with that owns this projector is to mount it on the wall with a hanging mount. Other than that it really is a flexible as most projectors. The picture quality is out of this world and this is my first Lazer projector, not to mention that the different color Lazers make for a very detailed image. Colors on this beast are so lifelike and I can actually see detail in clothing of actors I have never seen before. I could go on for days but I still have more to discover before I ramble on. Let me know if anyone wants more info as I would be glad to help out with questions.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 28, 2021 7:34 PM PST
Thanks for sharing your initial review, Kevin. Glad it was a good upgrade for you.
Victor Posted Mar 31, 2021 5:44 PM PST
Hi rob, with a few problems this lg projector has as you said in review is this still with owning? If yes it’s worth owning will you put up the settings as you do with other projectors.
steve Posted Apr 3, 2021 12:24 AM PST
Your review says you had it mounted on a tall shelf, upright i assume. Was it as high as the top of the screen? And if so were you able to shift the image down to be entirely below the lens? Various reviews, forums, and the throw calculator don't seem to be consistent and I'm a bit confused now. I'd want to mount upright with lens even with the top of the screen and shift down.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Apr 4, 2021 10:40 AM PST
Steve, I no longer have a sample available to precisely check the action on it, but I believe it had decent range down when it was placed on its feet and perhaps had the more limited range to go up, which is why some folks are having trouble when the unit is inverted and this is reversed. My tall shelf sits about 2 feet off the ceiling in my low-ceiling'd basement studio, while the screen hangs less than a foot off the ceiling. I regret that I didn't catch this issue and more aggressively check the range on the shift. I might suggest calling one of our affiliated projector resellers to confirm; ProjectorScreen.com has knowledgeable staff that has perhaps gotten this figured out.

Ajay Joseph Posted Apr 6, 2021 2:37 PM PST
Thanks for the detailed review. I was actually set on the Epson TW7400, also a highly rated projector on this site. Based on my region/availability, and price, that was the best option. But now I've been informed by LG that the CineBeam-HU810PW will be available by the end of this month. So between the 2 what would be your thoughts and suggestions. The use case will be primarily movies and TV serials, in a dedicated some theater room.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Apr 6, 2021 6:14 PM PST
With the TW7400 being equivalent to the U.S. model HC4010, I'd probably go with the LG assuming I could afford the extra cost -- which would be about $700-$1000 more for the LG here in the U.S. The HC5050UB (TW9400 in Europe) is the more considered decision because of its superior native deep black levels, though the LG still had the better HDR in my view. The 4010 has a considerably lower contrast ratio and higher black level compared to the 5050UB, so that part of the equation is either equal or advantage to the LG. However, if you need the Epson's more flexible lens shift or its motorized lens memories for a constant-image-height setup with a 2.4:1 aspect ratio screen, that will also weigh into your decision.
Doug Posted Apr 7, 2021 11:50 PM PST
Having bought the AU810PB projector I though I would answer my own questions in case anyone else was interested in them as well.

-How easy is it to switch between two "modes" and does it save your preferences? It has 6 preset HRD modes and I think 7 preset SDR modes, but you can manually edit each to your personal tastes. It saves the setting appending (user) to each name, and you can easily flip between them with a single button on the remote.

-I also use a tablet with customized IR codes for all my AV equipment, do either of these projectors accept IR commands? Not sure about the Epson, but this one is all RF from the looks of it. On the plus side it supports HDMI-CEC, that allows you to adjust the volume and turn on/off the receiver when you turn on/off the projector. The only thing I still need my tablet for is the lights and switching inputs on the receiver.

Streaming internet videos from the projector and using ARC to send the 5.1 to the receiver has been working great! Now if they'll only get Netflix on it...

My only negative comments would be around the physical lens adjustments and the light leak around the lens. I'm alight with the adjustments being manual, you only need to do it once, but the "feel" of the controls... it's like I'm adjusting a $200 DYI toy... The light leak is really bad compared to my last projector, it's not a deal breaker, but at this price (AU810PB) I expected a better build.

End of the day, it's a great projector and I'm sure everyone will love the final product. FYI the AU810PB only has a 1 year warranty in Canada.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Apr 9, 2021 3:11 PM PST
Thanks for sharing with this with us, Doug.
Terry Posted May 5, 2021 6:44 AM PST
Thanks for the detailed review and ongoing responses to questions. I have a 106" screen in a light controlled room and have an Epson 9700UB. Can you offer any thoughts on how this would perform against it? Does a laser source gradually fade over time like a bulb does? Last question - does this come with a mount?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted May 5, 2021 7:08 AM PST
This LG would be a significant upgrade: from 1,600 to 2,700 lumens total brightness, from 1080p (with no pixel shifting or other facilities for 4K content)to full 4K resolution, from no 4K/HDR to 4K HDR with 97% DCI-P3 wide color gamut, from lamp to laser that never needs replacement. Although the Epson UB models are known for their low black levels and today's 5050UB generation projectors do have better native blacks than this LG and does a better job with contrast on overall dark content, yours is an older generation 2010 Epson UB model that likely will not perform at that level anyway.

Laser light engines, although they do fade ever so slightly and very very slowly, are very stable for the life of the projector. When the projector reaches the end of its lifecycle, the laser diodes begin to fail and they do so pretty rapidly. You might see the projector get dimmer as some but not all the diodes fail, but my understanding is that you won't get much usable life from one of these projectors beyond the rated time. The only thing you can do is possibly extend that end of life some hours by not running the laser at full rated power/brightness.

This projector does not come with a mount. Epson is the only manufacturer that includes mounts (and usually an extra lamp) with the commercial/integrator versions of its consumer projectors (ie, the ProCinema 6050UB vs the Home Cinema 5050UB).
AleXXi Posted May 6, 2021 1:42 AM PST
Hello, Can someone who have this product can tell me if today we can download Netflix App from LG store? Thanks a lot.
Kevin Chipman Posted May 10, 2021 7:54 AM PST
Alexxi, Not yet. But I found a way around this. If you are running your video and audio through a receiver then you can just plug in a 4k firestick or Roku to your receiver or in the back of the projector. Works great and although I would love the one stop shop of everything in on place this serves me better as I don't have to run a fiber for the audio. Hope this helps.
Gino P Posted May 10, 2021 8:22 AM PST
Hey Rob - Probably like comparing apples and oranges I suppose, but, what do you see as pros and cons of this projector vs the LG CineBeam HU85LA?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted May 10, 2021 8:30 AM PST
Very much apples and oranges. My view is that it you don’t need a UST for placement and can mount a long throw projector, go with the HU810. You will get better geometry in the upper corners on large image size and possibly better dynamic HDR with this newer generation projector.
Scott Taylor Posted May 10, 2021 3:28 PM PST
I just installed AU810PB to replace a Runco LS-3. Projector is mounted in same position as the LS-3 as both are advertised as 0 deg offset and 60% vertical shift (15' from 106", 6" from ceiling to center of lens and 20" for ceiling to top of screen); however, upon initial firing up the image wasn't even on my screen but on the ceiling. I've had to tilt my mount forward 10 deg and then use the full vertical shift to get the image aligned, but this has resulted in having to use keystone adjustments and an image that is less than ideal (especially coming for the LS-3). Based on the projector central calculator I should have 31" of vertical [censored] available for my set up and only need 14" to get it aligned, but that isn't the case. Called LG, but support so far has been less than helpful.

Think I have a bunk one from the factory as even if this projector should of been aligned lens to center of screen instead of lens to top of screen the image wasn't even on my screen and complete on the ceiling initially. Waiting for a replacement currently to see if that is the issue.

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