Leica Cine 1 100 4.5 1 4K DLP 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
  • Classy industrial design
  • Hyper-crisp Leica lens
  • Excellent overall image quality
  • Dolby Vision/HDR10+ compatibility
  • Good calibration facilities
  • Google TV web streaming with working Netflix app
  • Requires calibration for an accurate image
  • Middling black level
  • Disappointing sound quality
  • Remote lacks backlight
Our Take

Leica's pricey Cine 1 is, for the most part, a repackaged top-line Hisense triple-laser UST projector. But it is indeed a gorgeous package, with a fine picture that heralds the arrival of laser TV to the luxury goods market.

Leica Cine1 front top open

Back in 2014 Sony introduced the first 4K laser TV, the VPL-GTZ1. It was a gargantuan, 3-chip LCoS projector that delivered 2,000 lumens of light from a cabinet measuring 49 inches wide x 10.5 inches tall x 21 inches deep and weighing 121 pounds. It retailed for a then eyebrow-raising $50,000—strictly for the rich. Fast forward ten years, and you can buy a living room UST projector with better performance and similar brightness—much brighter, actually—for less than $3,000. Not only that, but you could stack four or more of them into the volume taken up by the Sony.

So the emergence last fall of the Leica Cine 1, priced in the 100-inch, fixed-focus version reviewed here at $8,995 and available for a 120-inch image at $9,495, is both an example of "what-goes-around-comes-around" and a sign of the maturing of this market—a signal that it is perhaps ready to foster a luxury segment in the same realm of automobiles, high-end furnishings, fancy watches, or exotic handbags. We have certainly seen some pricey USTs, including the top Samsung and LG models that hover in the $6,000-$7,000 range. But none to date have been quite this expensive, quite this beautiful, or positioned so directly at the luxury goods buyer who cares as much or more about the cosmetics and brand statement a product makes as its performance.

In this regard, the Cine 1 is a grand experiment by Leica, a company that at one time produced slide projectors and has only once before dabbled in the video projector market, but is so well regarded in the photography and sports optics arenas that their fan base is legendary for their rabid loyalty and passion. Google the words "Why are Leica cameras..." and the autofill will immediately populate with "so expensive?" At which point you'll be directed to myriad articles explaining the high level of craftsmanship and respect afforded to their camera bodies and lenses.

But all this begs the question: what exactly are you getting for your $9K when you buy one of these projectors? When I spoke to the Leica management team behind this product launch at CEDIA last September, I heard a lot of talk about the brand and the Leica customer, and the Cine 1's potential to appeal to that person of means who trusts that the famous red-dot nameplate will deliver the combination of performance, aesthetics, user experience—and ultimately, status—they have come to know from other product lines. What I didn't hear from these brand ambassadors was terribly much about the specs and performance of the projector itself, though it is a high-performing product by today's standards for reasons I'll get into, and does excel in some key image criteria. But this is clearly fresh territory for Leica, which I gather is still developing its go-to-market strategy. Right now, that looks like Leica's own brand showrooms, a few well-regarded online retailers (the B&H, Crutchfield, and Value Electronics websites show both models), and probably some segment of the CEDIA integrator community that can specify an expensive, no-holds-barred projector for well-to-do clients.

What we can do in the course of an in-depth review, and what I hope to do here, is assess the Cine 1's performance and put it in some context with today's other top-rated projectors. That performance is based in reality; it's a hardware/software equation that plays out on the screen by virtue of measurements and subjective, expert observations. The question that's a lot more loosey-goosey is that of value—is the Leica Cine 1 worth what you'll pay for it when there are all these much less expensive and similarly spec'd projectors in today's market? We'll tackle that one at the end, but don't expect an easy or simple answer.

Leica Cine1 lifestyle1


Although the folks at Leica don't offer this information up in their marketing, it's an open secret that the Cine 1 in both versions is based on a Hisense triple-laser platform. The two companies had announced a partnership in 2022 with the intent of developing a Leica-branded projector, and Leica shared booth space with Hisense at CES in January 2023 to tease the product. Specifically, at the Cine 1's core is (more or less) either the 100-inch or 120-inch Hisense L9G from the 2022 model year—itself an impressive UST projector. Though Leica has dressed it up in an extraordinary cabinet with exquisite industrial design, and made some performance enhancements and feature updates, there was little I could find in the menu, for example, that is terribly different from those Hisense models. Every option, from the picture modes to the calibration controls to the audio menu and beyond are much the same, though the Leica's Android streaming is via the newer Google TV platform first debuted with the 2023 Hisense models.

That said, three key things are said to be different vs. an off-the-shelf Hisense L9G (or even the updated L9H models). First and most obvious is the form factor. The Cine 1 is housed in a gorgeous (my opinion, of course) and solidly-built aluminum chassis. Its beautiful rounded corners with wrap-around aluminum grille, with the Leica logo at dead center, give it an air of chic. An extra touch is the motorized, metal dust cover that slowly slides back to expose the lens when the projector is turned on—something we saw first and only once before in the BenQ V7050i. All of this contributes to the Cine 1's substantial 33-pound weight, and a fairly large 23.6 x 5.9 x 15.9-inch (WHD) profile.

More critically, and perhaps most impressive vs. other projectors, is the Leica Summicron lens beneath the dust cover. It's not about the throw ratio, which at 0.25:1 is nothing special. The Cine 1 achieves about-average distance among living room USTs from the rear of the projector to the screen. You need approximately 10 inches of clearance from the wall for the prescribed 100-inch image; combined with the projector's depth, this results in the front of the projector sitting about 26 inches from the wall. Some other projectors do a much better job of preserving depth to avoid pulling the supporting furniture out from the wall—namely the Epson LS800 with its industry-leading 0.16:1 throw ratio, and the top-of-the-line LG HU915QB and Samsung LSP9T models, which feature a 0.19:1 lens.

Leica Cine1 left facing open

But I'll tell you right now that if you set up the Cine 1 properly, it will reward you with the sharpest image I've seen to date from a UST. And it's not just me saying that: the crispness of the Leica's image was universally recognized with high scores for detail among the six judges of our 2023 UST Laser TV Showdown. Asked how it differs from the original Hisense optics (which are apparently also either manufactured or influenced by Leica), Leica told me the Cine 1's lens is assembled to its unique specs and standards in key performance parameters such as refractive index, center thickness, light transmission, and surface testing. Four aspherical elements are used to reduce distortion and improve image clarity. Keep in mind that UST projectors notoriously suffer from an inability to keep perfect focus across the entirety of the image. The extreme angle of the projected light tends to result in top corners that lose their sharpness when the center is perfectly focused, or vice-versa. This isn't visible on letterboxed movies, but can become obvious while watching some types of 16:9 content, for example, news or sports in which alphanumeric characters like news tickers, time stamps, or scorecards appear at the top and bottom of the screen simultaneously. The Leica Cine 1 not only maintains its uniformity across the screen, but in my opinion, offers a noticeably crisper and more vibrant image overall than other USTs. I'll say more about this later.

Beyond the cosmetics and lens, Leica promotes the Cine 1 as benefitting from LIO, or Leica Image Optimization. Though no details are offered on the Leica website, upon query Leica officials explained this is mainly focused on reducing red hues and tweaking gamma and saturation. These are admirable goals for any RGB triple laser UST, where the tendency of manufacturers is to push color saturation, notably reds, just to show off what the wide-gamut hardware can do but with no consideration for how the content is mastered or what looks correct and natural (more on this below). The Leica website also promotes the Vivid and Standard picture modes as having been tuned to achieve "the well-known Leica look," an obviously subjective description that the company told me comes from a combination of "exceptional sharpness and clarity, natural and true-to-life color rendering, and subtle yet rich contrast and tonal gradation."

All this made me curious to see how the Leica differs from the Hisense L9G on which it is supposedly based. Since by chance I still had the sample Hisense issued to us last year for our L9G review, I reset both projectors to factory defaults and measured their grayscale and color gamut points for every picture mode using Calman software from Portrait Displays. In truth, neither projector measured terribly accurate out of the box nor terribly different from the other—even in their most accurate Theater and Filmmaker modes designed to best follow film and TV industry production standards. That said, where I did see differences in the measurements, it was the Leica which usually showed a bit more grace.

Leica Cine1 liefstyle3

Let's take each projector's Theater Night SDR mode for an example. The Cine 1's mode was more palatable out of the box than the L9G's. Both had a white balance/color temperature that leaned too red, but the Leica's delta E (dE) errors for grayscale tracking, in the range of 7 to 11, were better than the Hisense's range of 7 to 15. To be clear, neither is a good result if color accuracy to established production standards is the goal, rather than some stylized interpretation of what constitutes a good picture. Calibrators target a dE of less than 3. But the Leica at least tracked essentially on target for the blue and green elements of white balance in this mode while the Hisense was wildly divergent and off-target for all three of the red, green, and blue primary colors.

As for the color gamut measurements, made against a Rec.709 target (the standard for SDR HD content), the Leica was under 4dE for all three primary colors and most of the secondaries (cyan, magenta, yellow), while the Hisense model ranged between 4 and 7 dE. But again, neither projector was technically correct or impressively close to accurate.

That said, having the L9G on hand also permitted me to compare the sharpness delivered by the two projectors. Hisense has long maintained that by fixing the lens focal point in their L9 and L5 series projectors they are better able to optimize for the desired 100- or 120-inch image size. I was pleased to see that both the Hisense and Leica showed relatively good focus uniformity across the screen that I often find elusive in USTs. However, even without a direct side-by-side comparison, I was able to tell just from a quick A/B swap that the Hisense was comparatively softer and slightly duller looking in the same modes than the Leica. Eventually, I set the projectors up for a side-by-side comparison, which confirmed both the close similarity of the picture modes and the superiority of the Leica's lens. I'll share those observations at the end of the review. But I believe, after all my hours spent looking at the Leica, that it is the lens and the dimensionality it brings to the image (at least in my hand-picked review/demo sample) which contributes most to the Cine 1's success.

Leica Cine1 top closed

The calling card of any discrete RGB triple laser projector, including this Leica, is extraordinarily wide color gamut, typically in excess of 100% BT.2020. Color volume measurements on the Cine 1, again using Calman software, indicated a maximum of 110.1% BT.2020 and 163.1% DCI-P3 in its HDR Theater mode. To put this in context for projector newbies: the wider the gamut, the wider the range of colors available to create the image. As you expand the gamut or "color space" beyond the Rec.709 HDTV standard to the DCI-P3 gamut created for digital cinema, you most notably add the ability to reproduce more saturated reds. Most HDR content today is mastered to DCI-P3, and it is definitely noticeable in red objects (think Coke can or stop sign) that look truer to life and avoid the orange-leaning tinge that exposes Rec.709's limitations. Well beyond DCI-P3 is BT.2020 or Rec.2020, which greatly extends the gamut to cover most of the visible colors we encounter in real life. Theoretically, then, a triple-laser RGB projector is a good thing—who wouldn't want a display that faithfully handles more of the colors we see out there?

However, with great power comes great responsibility. The current reality is that our highest quality consumer content rarely exceeds the DCI-P3 color space. If a display manufacturer pushes the color boundaries of content mastered for DCI-P3, or even Rec.709, out to BT.2020 limits or beyond, there's bound to be trouble—most notably in reds that leap unnaturally off the screen and potentially lose subtle detail and dimensionality due to heavy oversaturation, or skin tones that glow with perpetual sunburn and lose nuance from one individual to the next. It's great for the "wow" factor, but it's hyper-real, and it's most certainly not what the content creator intended for you to see when they signed off on a properly calibrated display. I'm sure serious photographers reading this can support the notion of viewers seeing their work on a display that matches the color space used to finalize it.

All of this is a long way of saying that how an RGB projector handles its wide-gamut capabilities within its preset color modes, and the facilities it provides to fine-tune the viewing experience, can have much to do with its success or failure as a video display.

Similarly, the engineering that goes into reducing "laser speckle," a common artifact among discrete RGB projectors, can also play a role. Speckle can be described as a fine, grain-like layer that floats slightly above the content, rather than being integrated in the manner of real film grain or noise. It is caused by the interaction of the highly coherent laser light, which results in subtle dark spots appearing where the beams cancel each other. You can see it more readily if you look at an image with a large, bright, uniform patch of color—perhaps a white snowfield or a pale blue sky. If you then move across the viewing area while watching the same spot on the screen, you may see the speckle tracking with your vision.

Engineers control speckle in different ways—or not—and projectors do vary in their reproduction of this artifact. Some people are also just more sensitive to spotting speckle, similar to how viewers vary in their sensitivity to the rainbow artifacts that can occur with single-chip DLP projectors like this one due to the rapid, sequential delivery of the primary colors to the imaging chip. As for the Leica Cine 1, and the Hisense on which it is based, I can say that I was never distracted by speckle or rainbows during many hours of viewing. There was a bit of speckle, to be sure, but I could only barely detect it when looking for it, and it never once took me out of the content I was watching. Furthermore, the only time I consistently noticed rainbows was with the screensaver from my Oppo disc players, which puts moving white letters against a black background. That's basically a rainbow torture test. Sometimes I'd catch a brief glimpse of a mild rainbow with stationary white credits on a black background if I moved my head just right or, just once, in an outer space scene with a moving white spacecraft. But it was never an issue in day-to-day viewing.

Another artifact I noticed was color fringing, a common chromatic aberration we've seen among RGB UST projectors. As with rainbows, fringing is most obvious in white credits or alphanumeric characters on a black background. It manifested here as a subtle cyan-colored drop shadow on the top of characters and a red drop shadow at the bottom. Fortunately, it was subtle in the Cine 1, hard (but not impossible) to spot from normal viewing distance and visible primarily on those white-on-black characters if I looked for it. It was never a distraction in live content.

Leica Cine1 liefstyle4

Beyond its advertised wide color gamut, the triple laser RGB light engine in the Cine 1 is rated for up to 3,000 ANSI lumens of brightness, a fairly high number met or eclipsed by only a few premium USTs, and it is spec'd at 25,000 hours of life at full brightness, about 5,000 hours more than most of the competition. The imaging device is Texas Instruments' popular 0.47-inch, 4K DLP micromirror chip, which has a native 1920x1080 array and utilizes the company's XPR pixel-shift technology for rapid, four-phase shifting that puts the full 3840x2160 pixel count in a UHD signal on the screen for each frame of video. Some purists complain that this isn't real 4K, but this application in the DLP realm has proven itself virtually indistinguishable from native 4K at normal viewing distances if mated with suitably good optics.

The Cine 1 is also equipped with a number of excellent features that can be found in either the older Hisense L9G or the updated L9H. These include compatibility with both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision high dynamic range content. Both of these formats boast dynamic metadata, meaning that the content sends a steady stream of instructions to the display to allow it to optimize the HDR image in real-time on a frame-by-frame or scene-by-scene basis. With regular HDR10 content—the vast majority of what's out there—it is often the projector's own dynamic HDR tone-mapping algorithm, rather than the content creator, making those decisions to brighten or darken areas based on its analysis of the scene. Or, in the cases where a projector doesn't have dynamic HDR tone-mapping (this one does), it's up to the consumer to tweak some sort of HDR brightness control with each individual program to optimize the tone-mapping for the wide range of mastering decisions among different titles. Dolby Vision processing, in particular, is still relatively rare among projectors and an extremely valuable feature given the growing wealth of Dolby Vision streaming and UHD Blu-ray content. I'll comment about the Cine 1's Dolby Vision viewing experience below as well.

Also notable in the Cine 1 is inclusion of the new Google TV streaming platform used across all the 2023 Hisense USTs and now starting to appear in 2024 projector models across the industry. Critically, it includes a working Netflix app. Netflix was a big missing from the L9G and many other Android-based projectors to which Netflix had attached onerous and time-consuming licensing/approval requirements. As with other Android platforms, the Google TV platform includes access to the Google Play online store for downloading a wide variety of popular apps, and both Google Assistant and Chromecast built-in are supported.

Leica Cine1 rightfacing

Unfortunately, similar to most other Android projectors, the Cine 1 shares a somewhat cumbersome user interface. For one thing, the submenus used to adjust the image parameters cover most of the left half of the screen, a terrible design we see way too often that prevents tweakers and calibrators from seeing the full effect of their adjustments in realtime. While that may be a bigger pet peeve for reviewers than everyday consumers, one thing that's sure to annoy many is the Cine 1's automatic default to the Android Home screen every time it is turned on, which necessitates having to navigate to the Input menu and manually re-select the HDMI input that you might be using to access your TV set-top box. I don't know about you, but I find it infuriating to have Google's content promotion for the latest movie or TV show shoved at me with a giant billboard every time I just want to turn on the TV and return to my favorite last-watched news or sports channel. There should be an option on these projectors to auto-select the last-used input...just like, well, every other TV you've ever owned. That's common sense.

Like most living room laser TVs, the Cine 1 comes with an integrated soundbar. It is promoted as a 2 x 25-watt Dolby Atmos system, and uses a pair of drivers on the front and two facing the sides. I'll get into specific details on its sonics below in the Performance section, but suffice to say here that it falls well short of the standard Leica hopes to set with the Cine 1's image quality.

Fortunately, you do get some good options for hooking up outboard audio among the Cine 1's well-outfitted wired and wireless connections. To start, there's one HDMI 2.0b port plus a pair of HDMI 2.1 ports, one of which has eARC to allow pass-through of lossless Dolby Atmos bitstreams to a soundbar or AV receiver. Furthermore, the unit is compatible with WiSA wireless digital audio systems if you add an inexpensive WiSA transmitter to one of the USB ports. The WiSA spec (and Leica's execution) allows lossless transmission of up to 8 channels to compatible wireless speakers that can be set up and controlled via the projector's remote and menus. You can also take lossy digital audio from the Toslink optical output, or tap the 3.5mm analog stereo jack. Among other connections are a pair of USB Type-A ports (one 2.0, one 3.0). A nice plus for cord cutters is the RF antenna input for a built-in ATSC digital tuner—something that's now been dropped by pretty much all other brands except for Hisense. A wired Ethernet port is on hand as an alternate to the 802.11a/b/g/n/ac dual-band Wi-Fi, and there's Bluetooth on board.

Leica Cine1 remote

One caveat worth mentioning about those two HDMI 2.1 ports: although they are marked as being able to accept 4K/120Hz signals, something that only HDMI 2.1 can do, you won't be able to play videogames at that framerate from the latest gaming consoles. The projector will downscale to 4K/60 when it sees that signal. Don't blame Leica—Texas Instruments has been slow to make available a 4K chipset that will handle the combination of high frame rate and high resolution. But the Leica does offer an Instant Game Mode feature with reduced input lag. I measured 34.2 milliseconds with 4K/60Hz signals, which is better than many USTs and acceptable for casual gaming, but still more than twice that of the fastest USTs and dedicated gaming projectors.

The Leica comes with an exceptionally classy brushed-aluminum Bluetooth remote that is solid, weighty, and cool to the touch, with a minimal but well thought-out button layout. Besides the usual power On/Off, four-way nav keypad, and the Volume/Channel rockers and Mute, there's an Input button that calls up the input selection submenu, and dedicated keys for directly reaching Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+. Of course, there's an Android Home button and a microphone button for Google Assistant. You can access the main Android menu from the Home screen and there's a Menu gear button on the remote that brings up a smaller submenu with access to the picture adjustments and a few other key features. My one caveat: no backlight, which is something of an oversight both because of the stature of the product and the fact that the buttons—also metal—are neither terribly large, spaced out, or particularly raised from the surface, which would make them a bit easier to navigate in the dark. Nonetheless, with time I learned the main key locations and using the remote became more intuitive.

Finally, for those who value 3D playback, note that the Cine 1 is unfortunately not compatible with 1080p 3D content.


Color Modes. I did all of my evaluation viewing and calibrating on a 100-inch, 0.6 gain Elite Screens CLR lenticular ALR screen, which is ProjectorCentral's preferred UST ALR screen type and available from various brands. A lenticular screen's negative gain sacrifices peak white brightness in favor of deeper blacks and better contrast thanks to superior overhead light rejection and the dark screen material. These screens also offer a nearly 180-degree wide viewing angle—critical if you or your group plan to watch from different locations around the room as opposed to sitting perfectly on-axis. (You can read more about this screen technology here.) The alternative would be a high-gain fresnel screen which would deliver brighter images overall but typically at the cost of poorer contrast, potentially distracting artifacts, and a more narrow viewing window. Leica does not automatically bundle a screen with the Cine 1, though Hisense provides one of these two screen types with its L9 Series depending on the model. The Leica shares the same Laser Screen menu that allows you to optimize for either type.

The Cine 1 has eight picture modes for viewing SDR content and seven for HDR10 high dynamic range content. The SDR options are Vivid, Standard, Energy Saving, Game, Sports, Theater Day, Theater Night, and Filmmaker Mode, the latter being the UHD Alliance's attempt at standardizing an essentially accurate, processing-free universal picture mode to deliver "creator's intent." For HDR10, you get the same picture modes except there is only one HDR Theater mode rather than day and night options. When the projector sees Dolby Vision content, the mode choices are Dolby Vision Bright, Dolby Vision Dark, Dolby Vision Custom, and Dolby Vision Game.

As I mentioned, none of the SDR modes measured accurate to industry production standards for either grayscale or color points, though two or three subjectively looked very good out of the box. Prior to any calibration, I gravitated toward Theater Day mode for much of my SDR viewing whether in a dark or bright room. Most of the other modes defaulted to the projector's full Rec.2020 gamut and therefore exhibited greatly exaggerated colors for SDR content mastered to the more limited Rec.709 color gamut, particularly reds. But the two Theater modes and the Filmmaker mode defaulted to more or less DCI-P3 color points; for the SDR Theater Day mode I measured color gamut at 158.9% Rec.709 and 106.9% DCI-P3. This was accompanied by a noticeably warm/red color temperature for white. In the default Warm1 color temp it measured well below 6,000K vs. the more neutral 6,500K target but still delivered acceptable flesh tones; a switch to Warm2 brought it a little higher though still looking a bit too red to my eye. Other colors looked natural, and I pretty much got what I expected on the palate of saturated reds, greens, blues and yellows found in La La Land, one of my go-to test discs.

Leica Cine1 lifestyle2

Additionally, I couldn't keep my eyes off the Standard mode, despite some obvious departures from industry-accurate. It had an eye-opening, sparkling punch that satifisfied my hunger for engaging brightness, and its default Standard color temperature delivered bluer/more icy whites that really only drew unwelcome attention on a few heavily white scenes—such as the opening wide shot of Chapter 13 in Top Gun: Maverick where Mav (Tom Cruise) wakes up in a snowy field after being shot down while on mission. For bright room viewing I generally prefer a cooler white to the excessive warmth displayed by the movie-centric viewing modes. On the other hand, Standard mode also displayed excessively oversaturated colors in the default "Auto" Color Space setting, which caused it to apply what seemed to be the full Rec.2020 gamut to Rec.709 SDR content. This sometimes pushed reds to the point of a cartoon rendering and negatively affected flesh tones. Reaching into the Color Space menu and selecting the more limited (but still expanded) DCI-P3 option provided mildly oversaturated color that, while far from perfectly accurate, would likely be satisfying and acceptably natural to a majority of viewers. In essence, it delivered tasty eye-candy: the purist in me knew I shouldn't imbibe, but it was too delicious to resist. I also turned off Motion Enhancement in the Advanced picture menu to eliminate the video "soap opera effect" with movie-based 24 Hz content.

As for watching HDR10, the HDR Theater and particularly HDR Standard modes were again my out-of-the-box go-to modes. Like the SDR Theater Day and Night modes, HDR Theater leaned warmer than the neutral D65 white point target but provided acceptable color with the switch to the Warm2 color temp. The default Auto setting for Color Space essentially corresponded to something close to the full BT.2020 gamut, which was again excessive for most HDR10 content mastered to the DCI-P3 color space. To my eye, this again necessitated putting the projector into its DCI-P3 setting to rein the reds back in.

But it was the HDR Standard mode, also set to the DCI-P3 color space, that subjectively looked the best with most HDR10 content. It provided high brightness, the most natural flesh tones and greens, and excellent but not overblown color saturation. There's a scene in Chapter 2 of La La Land where Mia, played by the fair-skinned Emma Stone, falls back on her bed surrounded by a variety of red pillows. With some RGB projectors, the pillows are badly oversaturated and Mia's face glows too red. But this combination of settings on the Leica got things right despite sacrificing a touch of the eye-catching but unnatural punch you get when the projector's full BT.2020 gamut is at work. Nonetheless, depending on the content, viewing in HDR Standard with BT.2020 switched on could look very good, even if a little over the top.

After some out-of-box viewing I used Portrait Displays Calman calibration software, a X-rite i1Pro2 spectroradiometer, Klein K10A colorimeter, and Murideo Six-G signal generator to confirm my subjective impressions and calibrate the projector. Calibration facilities within the Cine 1 are extensive and essentially mimic what's offered in the Hisense L9. Along with being able to select from several baseline color temperature settings, the projector offers both 2 point and 20 point grayscale calibration, and a full CMS (color management system) for adjusting the gamut color points. There are also multiple gamma settings and a gamma calibration facility. These controls didn't always provide effective range but were more than enough to get both grayscale and color points reasonably close or on target for SDR and HDR.

I selected the Home Theater Day mode for SDR as being closest to a D65 (6,500K)/Rec.709/2.2 gamma target. Out of the box, grayscale deltaE errors ranged from 8.4 at 10% brightness up to 15.6 dE for the 100% white point. As mentioned, deltaE describes how close a display comes to perfect accuracy, with anything over 3dE being visible, anything over 2.3 a just-noticeable difference for trained eyes, and anything below 2.3 being impossible to detect. The default Warm1 color temperature resulted in an excess of red in the RGB color balance that establishes the white point; color temperature (averaged at 60% and 100% stimulus) measured a very low/warm 5,220K. The RGBCMY color points that determine color gamut were much better, with most being under 4dE, the exception being yellow at 7.5 dE. Gamma measured 1.94 rather than the preferred 2.2, which reflected too much luminance in the near-black region. That's another way of saying the projector exhibited elevated blacks that affected overall contrast with dark content, which I'll say more about below.

Post calibration, the correlated color temperature measured 6,558K and gamma came in at 2.15 averaged; unfortunately I couldn't fully eliminate the slightly elevated deep blacks to achieve a perfect result, even after trying the gamma calibration controls. Post cal grayscale dEs were all below 2.4 with most above 30% brightness coming in below 2.0 dE. However, perfectly aligning the RGBCMY color points for the 100% saturation targets for Rec.709 resulted in poor alignment for all saturation points below that, so I opted to calibrate for perfect accuracy at the 80% saturation targets. This resulted in excellent tracking below and up to that level but slight oversaturation at the red, green, and blue 100% color points. Still, the dE's measured at 100% weren't too bad, with most under 4dE and the prime outlier being blue at 5.7 dE.

For HDR, I calibrated the HDR Theater mode. Prior to calibration, the RGB balance for white showed an excess of red, with an average grayscale error of 13.6 across the full brightness range. The grayscale poorly tracked the prescribed ST.2084 EOTF luminance ramp, again with too-bright luminance in the black and near black region. Color points for the 50% saturation BT.2020 targets for RGBCMY were, except for red, all off-hue or undersaturated, with an average dE of 8.8. Fortunately, both the grayscale and color points calibrated nicely, with the end result being a 2.7 average dE in the grayscale with much better tracking of the EOTF, and an average 2.3 dE for the color gamut. Saturation sweeps out to 100% BT.2020 showed excellent tracking all the way out to the limits of the gamut.

Leica Cine1 side open

All subjective evaluations below were conducted in the calibrated modes with high quality disc content from either 1080p SDR Blu-rays via an Oppo BDP-103 player or 4K UHD HDR Blu-rays via an Oppo UDP-203, though I did experiment with streaming both 1080p SDR and 4K HDR (including Dolby Vision) directly from the Google TV platform with excellent results. Unlike some Android projectors and dongles we've tested in the past, the Leica's on-board streaming platform properly tracked the content's color space and appropriately shifted into its SDR, HDR10, or Dolby Vision picture modes in accordance with the content type.

1080p SDR Viewing. The Luc Besson-directed Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is pure visual treat from start to stop, offering a combination of CGI wonderment and well-photographed live action. It's truly awesome in HDR, but still looks exceptional in 1080p with standard dynamic range. Watching on the calibrated Home Theater Day mode, I was immediately struck by the very detailed early close-up of actor Rutger Hauer, playing President of the World State Federation, as he addressed earth's population before ejecting a greatly expanded International Space Station out of orbit. I've never seen a more weathered or furrowed face, and the sharpness of the Leica's lens was breathtaking, not only for its detail but for the extra depth and dimensionality it seemed to allow. The projector revealed every tiny crease, crag, and pore in his heavily lined and textured skin, as well as the fine detail in his hair and coarse eyebrows. Even the the blood vessels in the whites of his eyes and the striations in his blue/green irises were made visible. Keep in mind, we are talking about 1080p here being scaled by the projector's internal processing to UHD resolution. The Cine 1 generally did an excellent job of this throughout my auditions, particularly with the unscaled 1080p output from my Fios set-top box. It looked sharper than I'm used to seeing at my 100-inch screen size and exhibited only modest mosquito noise, even with the noise reduction turned off. But a clean 1080p transfer of high quality source material like Valerian could often look virtually indistinguishable from native 4K content.

RutgerHauer Valerian STX Entertainment
The Cine 1's lens brought out more detail and dimension in Rutger Hauer's face than we've seen previously. (Photo Credit: STX Entertainment)

Post calibration, skin tones of the live actors were spot on, whites were essentially neutral, and colors from the wild costumes in Valerian popped nicely. Shots of the planet Mul, created wholly in CGI including its humanoid inhabitants based on live-motion capture, were just stunning. The depiction of the Pearls' beach community offered up convincing earth-like renderings of the sand, the giant conch shells used as structures, and the open blue skies. The Pearls' pale skin sparkled with beautiful colors when touched and otherwise looked close enough to natural to seem real, while the small, pearl-like balls that provided their vital energy source swirled with iridesence. What a delight.

To study some real-life nature footage, I cued up Planet Earth II, again in 1080p SDR. What I saw in the "Jungle" episode was gorgeous color in the foliage, well-saturated without obvious exaggeration, covering a range of greens from deep forest to emerald. Skies were a natural pale blue. Here again, the content played well to the Lecia's strengths in color and clarity, as evidenced in a tight close-up on the face of a baby spider money. Its flesh tone was equivalent to that of a tanned Floridian, and the fur around the face was a rich black that revealed good texture and detail without crushing into a flat halo. I could still observe fine detail and good sharpness in the hairs at far edges of the full 16:9 frame. Various tree barks, from peeling white birch to the deep rivulets of more traditional gray and brown barks, looked natural and showed good texture. When the camera offered up a macro close-up of a Draco lizard, I was entranced by the sharpness in the brown, rippled scales around its eye lids and the black and white scales on its body that looked like tiny pebbles compacted into a random mosaic.

Contrast was subjectively excellent on most mixed scenes with bright and dark areas; images looked punchy, and the projector's dynamic Active Contrast setting offered Low, Medium, and High settings (along with Off) to provide some level of tuning. However, challenging dark scenes definitely revealed the Leica's Achille's heel, which was the relatively elevated black and near-black that had been previously exposed in my gamma measurements during calibration. I took a full-on/full-off contrast ratio measurement off the screen with my calibrated sample of the Cine 1 that, even after playing with the Active Contrast, came to a relatively unimpressive 1011:1, with a 0.085 nit black level against an 86.1 nit peak white. (Keep in mind the screen's 0.6 negative gain.) A measurement in the HDR Theater mode, with Dynamic Tone Mapping turned on and Active Contrast at High, yielded 1135:1 on a similar 0.086 nit black against a 97.8 nit peak white.

Leica Cine1 lifestyle5

Although you could see the elevated black to some extent in letterbox bars set against widescreen movies, it really only came to bear in overall dark movies and specific scenes with low APL (average picture level). A now-classic example is the opening of Chapter 12 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, a rolling aerial shot of the moonlit Death Eaters gathered on a cliff outcrop to begin their attack on Hogwarts. The choice here was between lowering the Brightness control to improve black and contrast but crushing shadow details in the terrain behind the cliffs, or raising brightness up but losing punch and drawing more attention to the layer of light haze that typically appears in most projected images when the device can't reach a deep enough baseline black. The best result was acheived with Active Contrast set to High.

Another example, perhaps more successful, was the challenging open of Chapter 9 in Valerian, which shows a wide shot of the cave lagoon where Bob the Pirate (Alain Chabat) keeps his submarine. The lights on the cave walls and wrecks that dot the waters present highlights in an otherwise dark cavern. Again, the best results were achieved with Active Contrast set to High, but even then the blacks were at best a dark gray, with a mild haze over the darkest areas of the image. But turning on Active Contrast reversed an otherwise noticeable loss of shadow detail in those areas, such as in the archway at the back of the cavern and on the wrecked ships, and it brought out the subtle green swirls in the water and the shimmers on the surface.

4K HDR10 Viewing. The UHD Blu-ray for Passengers presents a superb 4K HDR transfer with lots of stunning close-ups of Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, and nice HDR highlights provided by the spaceship's interior lighting along with some serious fire effects in the movie's penultimate act. Viewed in the calibrated HDR Theater mode, it looked great through and through. When Jim (Pratt) decides to take a space walk, there are nice red-neon effects in the airlock, followed by a nice rendering of space and stars. Color saturation was well-managed by the settings, with the warm red tones of the ship's cocktail lounge well transmitted. Flesh tones were excellent for Jim and Aurora (Lawrence); a shot where Aurora was preparing the body of deck officer Mancuso (Lawrence Fishburne) for ejection into space exhibited her beautiful milky complexion while her white blouse showed off near perfect neutrality. Later, the river of fire that blows Jim out to space as the pair vents the reactor provided a bright but well-controlled HDR feast. I found that while watching this and other movies that the projector's Dynamic Tone Mapping setting, which is either On or Off, could have varying effect and wasn't always needed or welcome. Generally speaking, HDR movies with low to average APL (average picture level) seemed to benefit with DTM turned on thanks to the extra punch it provided, while exceptionally bright films, such as The Meg, could look better without it.

The tongue-in-cheek Barbie is a combination Mattel commercial and feminist manifesto that's full of good-natured poking at the famous doll's controversial history while offering up some superb if hilariously bright and colorful production design. The shots of Barbieland are a real treat, with various structures, vehicles, and wardrobe offering saturated, plasticized colors: purples, yellows, blues, greens, and of course, pink and fuchsia. The calibrated Cine 1 in HDR Theater mode showed these off beautifully, adding a touch of extra punch on colors without any obvious oversaturation, though the HDR Standard mode (with its wider Rec.2020 gamut in the default Auto setting) also worked well for the intentionally cartoonish hues while providing some welcome extra brightness. Here again, the projector showed off superb skin tones, natural-looking renderings of real-world settings like the Venice Beach promenade, and neutral whites in the costumes that leaned neither red nor blue. Although the Barbieland scenes were shot on an indoor set, lighting was used with great effect to create the illusion of a perpetually sunny outdoors, and the HDR processing provided convincing natural highlights that enhanced the viewing without any excessive clipping of bright details. Here again, the Cine 1's excellent lens provided both sharpness and superb delineation of light, and the film's taller-than-widescreen 2:1 aspect ratio—with nearly non-existent letterbox bars—allowed it to show off its crisp rendering of fine detail all the way up toward the far corners of the screen.

Barbie color leica
The Leica Cine 1 showed off the colorful world of Barbie beautifully without extra oversaturation. (Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

4K Dolby Vision Viewing. This evaluation was the first time I'd spent time with a Dolby Vision projector in my home studio. Consider me a convert—big time. To begin with, I was surprised when I cross-checked my UHD Blu-ray collection with a list of DV titles; I hadn't realized I'd acquired nearly 20 discs with the Dolby Vision option. There are currently more than 2,900 movies released with Dolby Vision, and approximately 15,500 TV episodes, most available from the major online streaming services including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Disney+, Hulu, and Max. These numbers are growing all the time. The library has reached a critical mass.

And from what I saw, that's a good thing, at least with a premium projector like the Cine 1. I auditioned a few DV movies from my Oppo UHD-203 player and then compared them with the HDR10 versions on the same disc. The Dolby Vision versions were consistently more vibrant, and exhibited better tone-mapping of bright highlights along with better management of color gamut.

An example was Top Gun: Maverick, which is gorgeously photographed with a lot of close-ups and excellent use of natural sunlight across a range of interior and exterior scenes. I used the the Custom Dolby Vision setting in its defaults, which I deemed the best looking of the modes. The differences vs the HDR10 version in my calibrated HDR Theater mode ranged from subtle to striking. Skin tones on both were superb, such as when Maverick gets called to the well-lit office of Admiral (Ice) Kazanksky (Val Kilmer) for a chat. But faces in the DV version had a more natural light around them and the stray sunlight coming in from the windows created a stronger, more realistic presence. The scene at Kazansky's funeral was stunning, with engaging but well controlled highlights on the flag draping the casket, the white military tombstones erupting from the beautiful green lawn, and the crisp white officer caps of the blue dress uniforms. The setting sun over the ocean as four jets streaked overhead in missing man formation had a you-are-there realism. I loved that the DV playback showed well saturated reds that were never overblown. In an earlier scene, the red stripes of a giant American flag hanging behind the podium when Mav is introduced to his student class of fighter pilots looked just right, even though the projector menu showed the Native color space setting that otherwise would have resulted in the full Rec.2020 gamut being tapped. The DV encoding took control of the gamut and basically made getting a gorgeous image a turnkey operation.

Another telling example of Dolby Vision's finesse was seen in The Meg, an extremely bright HDR movie mastered for 4,000-nit peaks that offers some very challenging scenes that push projector tone-mapping to its limits. One sequence from early in the movie, around 20 minutes in, shows a close-up of Jonas's face (Jason Statham) while bright sunlight illuminates it, noticeably peaking on his right cheekbone. The Dolby Vision version showed perfect highlight management that revealed his skin texture and every pore, with absolutely no blooming or loss of detail. And the gradation of light from that spot out to the darker portions of his face was perfect. The same scene in HDR10, while still excellent, definitely showed some clipping in the brightest area and less fine gradation of light. Other bright scenes, such as when the research team is on the open water with the bright sun reflecting off the ocean surface, were punchy in HDR10 but lacked the more realistic shadings and texture on the water's surface that I saw with Dolby Vision. Another extremely challenging torture clip showing a Lucite shark cage being dropped into the water as seen from below bollixed the Leica in HDR10 mode as it does many projectors, but in Dolby Vision it was handled perfectly.

Audio Quality. The integrated sound system on the Cine 1 is a disappointment for such an expensive projector, and worth diving into some detail about. As mentioned, it's touted as a 2 x 25-watt Dolby Atmos system, with a pair of drivers facing forward and two firing from the sides. Leica says it collaborated in optimizing the audio, upgrading the drivers over the stock Hisense models and designing the system to deliver "a much higher volume than any other loudspeaker in the laser TV segment." In response to our factcheck and my critique of the audio, company execs defended the Cine 1, saying that they have received "pretty good feedback" for the system, "at least for the lower volume levels."

I do wonder who that feedback came from, because as with most of the Hisense projectors I've tested for audio, the sound is among the worst I've heard on a UST. More than a year ago, I auditioned the audio performance on the 14 UST projectors in our 2022 Laser TV Showdown for both movies and music and the two Hisense models—the L5G and PX1-PRO—came in dead last. Among the nine UST models surveyed in our 2023 Showdown, it was again the Hisense PL1 and PX2-PRO, and this Leica based on a Hisense platform, that stood out for their poor sound quality.

To be fair, dialogue on the Cine 1 is clearly legible at reasonable volume, which is the bare minimum a projector like this needs to achieve. And it does have amplifier reserves that allow it to play loud. But it starts out sounding thin with dialogue and becomes increasingly more hollow and reverberant as you crank it up; even at its best the projector offers noticeably veiled midrange and high frequency reproduction and an overall lack of detail. As soon as a movie or TV soundtrack exhibits some demanding bass or dynamics, or a dynamic music interlude, everything falls apart quickly and the system just sounds overwhelmed and strained. There are facilities to make some adjustments, including different sound modes, an integrated equalizer, and the option to auto-calibrate the sound to your space using the microphone in the remote. The auto routine helped a bit to EQ the upper bass in my relatively open and non-reflective home studio, and made the vocals sound a touch more full. But it couldn't overcome what appears to be poor design.

Leica Cine1 top open

Furthermore, keep in mind that soundstage imaging isn't great with the Cine 1 or really with any of these USTs due to the close proximity of the drivers. Though spatial processing and side-firing drivers can help a bit, particularly if there are nearby wall boundaries, you don't typically get a terribly wide sonic stage, and despite the Dolby Atmos compliance boasted by this and some other projectors with side-firing drivers, they don't often do much more than throw a relatively narrow image that's tall enough to mate with the big screen and keep dialogue pasted to the action.

Bottom line: you're going to need a decent outboard sound system with the Cine 1 lest you cheat yourself out of the full theater experience enabled by the excellent picture quality you've paid a premium for. This is unfortunate, because when you spend this kind of coin on a projector as cosmetically attractive as the Cine 1, and with the cachet of the Leica brand, you probably want it (and that snappy red-dot logo) visible on your credenza and not awkwardly blocked from sight by a soundbar or center-channel speaker. So you'll have to do a little planning around that, or leave it to your custom installer get the audio thing figured out without destroying the aesthetic.

Allow me to belabor this point for one more moment, lest I be accused of being an audiophile snob. While I do have trained ears, I do not expect perfection from these devices. A good number of USTs, including some fairly inexpensive ones costing less than $3,000, produce excellent audio that holds up to the dynamics of today's digital soundtracks and honors the content with clean, open, detailed sound, even while falling short on max volume or bass extension. These projectors can easily double as a music system, and have typically been engineered by a respected audio partner like Harman Kardon or Bowers & Wilkins or Yamaha. But it's plainly obvious that whatever attention Leica might have paid to image quality in adapting this projector for their brand, they missed the boat on the sonics. They could have done better, and I hope they will in future products.

Leica Cine1 lifestyle6


After seeing the modest differences described earlier in the measured color profiles of the Leica Cine 1 and the Hisense L9G from which it was derived, I decided to complete my evaluation by once again resetting both projectors to their factory defaults and conducting a side-by-side comparison on the same screen. I'd had an excellent and impressive viewing experience with the Leica in both its default and calibrated modes, but I wanted to get a better sense of what you really get in terms of image differences when you pay for the $8,995 Leica vs. the Hisense, which in its latest L9H version sells for $5,499 list or as little as $4,999 with promotions, including a 100-inch UST ALR screen. That's a big price differential.

To conduct the test, the Hisense was put into its rear projection setting to provide a mirror image, and both projectors were physically positioned at the same height and at appropriate distance to effect a 100-inch diagonal picture. I used the 120-inch Elite ProAV Dark UST screen in our video studio, which is equivalent to the 0.6 gain, 100-inch Elite CLR lenticular screen material on which I conducted my other testing. The extra width on the larger screen allowed me to get approximately two-thirds of each projector's image on the screen before the rest bled off the edges, and I could view the content on the right two-thirds of the Leica image directly alongside the mirrored equivalent of the Hisense. I spent some time fine-tuning the position of both projectors, both the distance to the screen and the front-to-back leveling, to effect the sharpest possible image from each, using a test pattern and some high-detail content. Remember, there is no focus control on either projector.

I watched a variety of telling SDR and HDR video clips designed to reveal fine detail and color differences, such as a table full of multicolored billiard balls, a mosaic of color pencils, a clip showing different facial skin tones among several individuals, and one showing a white basket on a white background filled with balls of yarn in various colors. I specifically looked at direct comparisons of the SDR Vivid, Standard, Home Theater Day, Home Theater Night and Filmmaker Modes, and at the HDR Vivid, HDR Standard, HDR Theater, and HDR Filmmaker modes.

Leica Cine1 hero2

My finding was that the projectors' individual color profiles were, subjectively, virtually the same from the Leica to the Hisense in all the picture modes I compared. One or two of the modes did show some slight variation in skin tone, while most other colors looked nearly identical. But the one obvious and consistent difference between the projectors was in the white balance, which was noticeably more blue on the Hisense in every mode—even in the red-leaning Theater and Filmmaker modes—often to the point of being objectionable. The equivalent modes on the Leica were more neutral—less blue, really—which made them more acceptable to my critical eye. But beyond the color of white, the various colors in the test clips were almost always rendered the same or nearly so in terms of hue and saturation, and where they weren't the differences were so subtle as to be almost indistinguishable. And at no point did I see any differences in color, white balance, or gamma that I felt could not be reconciled with the projector's image adjustments.

However, putting aside the similarities in color, what was extremely noticeable was the additional sharpness and dimensionality rendered by the Leica's lens. It was particularly obvious at the top right corner and far right edge of the image where the two projectors met in the middle of the screen. On one 4K test clip of exploding fireworks in a dark night sky, the fine points of sparkling gunpowder in those parts of the screen, similar to stars, were clearly more smeared on the Hisense compared with the more pinpoint focus of the Leica. This additional clarity was also readily apparent in resolution and focus test patterns. With the balls of yarn, there was additional detail in the texture, even in the fine fuzz that coated their surface. Another 4K test clip I have features a red train locomotive tracking from the top to the bottom of the screen, with a small sign on the front that identifies a corporate sponsor. The extra clarity of the characters in the sign as viewed on the Leica was striking; the same sign was nearly unreadable on the Hisense until the front of the train finally got near the bottom of the frame where the image sharpened up. The Leica also revealed all the texture and fine detail in the black bricks and mortar of a building behind the train at the top of the frame—features that were obviously smeared on the Hisense.

The side-by-side also laid bare how the Leica just handled light in a different way. Highlights were subtly but noticeably brighter and exhibited more depth. I could literally see right on screen the extra bit of light making its way through the lens, resulting in more contrast and dimensionality. To put this more simply, the Leica's image sparkled and brought the content to life in a way the Hisense did not. It was an effect I found quite alluring.

My final conclusion, then, is that the Leica Cine 1 is, more than anything, a testimony to the power of optics. It wouldn't succeed without a decent projector behind the lens, but the lens here is what takes it up that final notch and makes it something special. Go figure. We make a big deal about lens quality in high-end, long-throw home theater projectors, but somehow have gotten in the habit of forgiving with barely a complaint the less-than-stellar optics in some very pricey USTs. To be fair, if someone like Leica hadn't come along to show what's possible, we might never have known what was missing. Consider the bar raised.

That said, each of us has to decide what that's worth to us. You'll notice that there's no star rating for Value for this review. That's intentional. It's a tricky proposition. Even without its high-end lens, the Leica Cine 1 is a good—though far-from-perfect—UST projector. But you put a premium lens on it, and it achieves a kind of special sauce and fairy dust result I frankly haven't seen before within the realm of ultra-short throws. That's Editor's Choice territory for me regardless of price. You may or may not feel that the lens, along with the fancy packaging, justifies a near-doubling of price vs. an essentially equivalent Hisense projector. But then, if you've got the resources and want a projector with the best lens you can get on a UST, no one should stop you. As for me, I was sorry to have to send it back.


Brightness. In its brightest mode, Vivid, with the Cine 1's laser power set to its maximum of 10, the projector achieved a maximum brightness of 2,903 ANSI lumens, essentially on target with its 3,000 lumen spec. In its default settings with the laser power set to 7, it measured 2,525 lumens.

For any given picture mode, reducing the laser power mode to 5 reduced light output by approximately 76%. Setting the laser mode to its lowest 0 setting reduced light output by approximately 59% from full output.

Following are the ANSI lumens for all the modes in their default settings except as marked.

Leica Cine 1 ANSI Lumens

SDR Mode ANSI Lumens
Vivid (Laser Setting 10) 2,903
Vivid (Default) 2,525
Standard 2,407
Energy Saving 2,112
Game 2,407
Sports 2,430
Theater Day 1,956
Theater Night 1,650
Filmmaker Mode 1,961
HDR Mode
HDR Vivid 2,898
HDR Standard 2,433
HDR Energy Saving 2,134
HDR Game 2,434
HDR Sports 2,436
HDR Theater 2,107
HDR Filmmaker 1,999

Brightness Uniformity. Brightness uniformity for the Cine 1 measured 80.5%, a very good result. The middle-bottom sector was the brightest and the right-top sector was the least bright. I observed no visible hot-spotting or lack of uniformity in any program material or test patterns.

Input Lag. The Cine 1 has a Instant Game Response feature that can be engaged in the menu for most of the picture modes. In the Theater Day mode with Instant Game Response set to On, input lag measured as follows: 37.3 milliseconds for 1080/60Hz signals; 35.5 ms for 1080p/120Hz; 34.2 ms for 2160p/60Hz. With Instant Game Response turned off, lag measured from 145.8 to 148.6 ms depending on the signal type. In the projector's Game picture mode with Instant Game Response on, lag measured the same for 2160p/60Hz, but slightly higher at 42.1 ms and 42.8 ms for 1080p/60 and 1080p/120 respectively.

Fan Noise. The Cine 1 is an extremely quiet projector, measuring just 34.3 dBA in a casual single-point measurement taken from 3 feet in front of the projector. It did not vary with adjustments to laser power or picture mode.


Leica Cine1 Connections3a
  • HDMI 2.1 (x2, one with eARC)
  • HDMI 2.0b
  • USB Type A (x2, one USB 3.0, one USB 2.0)
  • RF Antenna In (with ATSC tuner)
  • Digital Audio Out (Toslink optical)
  • Stereo Analog Audio Out (3.5mm)
  • Ethernet (RJ45)

Calibrated Settings

Calibrated image settings from any third-party do not account for the significant potential for sample-to-sample variation, nor the different screen sizes and materials, lighting, lamp usage, or other environmental factors that can affect image quality. Projectors should always be calibrated in the user's own space and tuned for the expected viewing conditions. However, the settings provided here may be a helpful starting point for some. Always record your current settings before making adjustments so you can return to them as desired. Refer to the Performance section for some context for each calibration.

SDR Settings

Laser Luminance: 10
Auto Light Sensor: Off
Light Sensor Shift: 0

Picture Mode: Theater Day
Contrast: 50
Brightness: 38
Color: 53
Tint: 0
Sharpness: 7

Apply picture Settings: Current Source

Smart Scene: Off

Advanced Settings

Color Temperature: Standard
Motion Enhancement: Off
Noise Reduction: Off
HDMI Dynamic Range: Auto
Active Contrast: Off or to taste
Dynamic Tone Mapping (grayed out)
Filmmaker Mode Auto Detection: Off
Color Space: Auto
Instant Game Response: Auto
Low Blue Light: Off
HDMI Input Optimization: Picture Quality Optimization

Calibration Settings

Color Tuner Hue Saturation Brightness
Red H1 S0 B0
Green H-5 S-3 B1
Blue H-3 S-1 B-1
Cyan H0 S-2 B-1
Magenta H0 S-2 B0
Yellow H0 S-1 B0
Flesh Tone H0 S0 B0

White Balance
Offset: R0, G0, B0
Gain: R-3, G0, B-11

20 Point: Off

Gamma: 2.4
Gamma Calibration: Gain 0 at all Input Levels

RGB Only: Off

HDR Settings

Laser Luminance: 10
Auto Light Sensor: Off
Light Sensor Shift: 0

Picture Mode: HDR Theater
Contrast: 50
Brightness: 48
Color: 45
Tint: 0
Sharpness: 7

Apply picture Settings: Current Source

Smart Scene: Off

Advanced Settings

Color Temperature: Warm1
Motion Enhancement: Off
Noise Reduction: Off
HDMI Dynamic Range: Auto
Active Contrast: Off or to taste
Dynamic Tone Mapping: On or to taste
Filmmaker Mode Auto Detection: Off
Color Space: Auto (defaults to full BT.2020 in this mode)
Instant Game Response: Auto
Low Blue Light: Off
HDMI Input Optimization: Picture Quality Optimization

Calibration Settings

Color Tuner Hue Saturation Brightness
Red H-1 S2 B5
Green H-2 S1 B10
Blue H-2 S5 B1
Cyan H1 S2 B10
Magenta H-2 S2 B-2
Yellow H-1 S4 B10
Flesh Tone H0 S0 B0

White Balance
Offset: R0, G-8, B3
Gain: R-13, G2, B-5

20 Point : Off

Gamma: ST2084 (grayed out)

Gamma Calibration:
5%: -25
10%: -25
15%: -25
20%: -25
25%: -20
30%: -15
35% to 100%: 0

RGB Only: Off

For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Leica Cine 1 100 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 (4) Post a Comment
Mike Posted Mar 8, 2024 12:47 PM PST
Is the value equation (Performance/Cost) really so bad that you gave it 0 stars for value, or was that just an editor miss?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 9, 2024 4:42 AM PST
This is intentional and does not represent a zero star rating but rather a decision not to make that judgement for readers this time. This is discussed in the Conclusion.
J.Atkinson Posted Mar 13, 2024 8:29 PM PST
I’d put NA in place of the stars for value.

Misinterpreting the zero stars may make some people think the review and the gear isn’t worth it.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Mar 15, 2024 6:37 AM PST
Thank you. I apologize for any confusion. We have successfully removed the Value label and empty star rating from the top of the review to avoid misleading readers.

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