The results are in from the 2022 Laser TV Showdown hosted August 4th by ProjectorCentral and ProjectorScreen.com that faced-off 14 laser UST projectors, with newcomer Formovie capturing the top honor in the Triple Laser category and projection stalwart BenQ coming in first in the Single Laser category.

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Right behind the Formovie Theater ($2,999) in the final ranking for the Triple Laser category, by less than 1/10th of a point, was the recently reviewed LG HU915QB ($6,499), the company's just-released new flagship UST. The Hisense PX1-PRO ($3,499) came in third, with the Samsung LSP9T ($6,499) running closely behind it in the overall aggregate scoring.

In the Single Laser category, the BenQ V7050 ($3,499) scored a more decisive victory over the Hisense 100L5G ($3,999 with bundled 100-inch screen) and the brand new ViewSonic X2000B ($2,899).

How We Tested & Scored

As previously reported, the Showdown featured two separate rounds of competition, with eight Single Laser models in Round 1 and six Triple Laser models in Round 2. Single laser models typically have a blue laser combined with a phosphor wheel or chip and usually a color wheel to generate the three primary colors of red, green, and blue. Triple laser projectors usually (but not always) have dedicated red, green, and blue lasers that have the potential to provide a wider color gamut.

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The evaluation studio set up at ProjectorScreen.com's New Jersey headquarters allowed for simultaneous viewing of a maximum of eight contenders on matching 100-inch ambient light-rejecting (ALR) screens designed specifically for USTs, plus a high-end JVC DLA-NZ8 reference projector in a dimmed, adjoining space projecting on a reference quality, matte-white screen to allow judges to better assess which projectors looked "most right." Multiple sponsors as described in this article stepped up with the expensive test instruments, signal distribution infrastructure, source/reference components, and screens to make the Showdown happen. ProjectorCentral and ProjectorScreen.com are extremely grateful to AV Pro Edge, Jeti, Kaleidescape, Murideo, and Spectra Projection for their equipment contributions and assistance.

LaserTVShowdown withSponsors

The event was self-funded by ProjectorCentral and ProjectorScreen.com, and ProjectorCentral handled the product selection and judging as an independent editorial entity. The projectors were calibrated for the SDR Dark Reference and HDR Dark Reference modes by ProjectorScreen.com staff calibrator Dave Harper with input from ProjectorCentral editor Rob Sabin, who calibrated the bright-room SDR Day Mode for each projector by eye to optimize color accuracy, brightness and contrast in the harsh, challenging overhead light of the test studio. Sabin also moderated the event.

Six expert judges were recruited from the calibration and A/V editorial communities to judge the projectors, including the following respected calibrators and reviewers:

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Judges were given ballot sheets to rate each projector for specific attributes of picture quality, such as Color Accuracy, Contrast, Black Level/Shadow Detail, and Detail/Sharpness. For tabulation, the highest grade within each attribute was assigned a score of 10 and all other scores are relative, making the final result a pure ranking with the spread between each projector retained. Additionally, some picture quality attributes were given different weights to reflect their importance to overall image quality with motion handling, 4,000-Nit Tone-Mapping, and Color Gamut given less weight than those related to color accuracy, contrast and black level.

The tight final overall scores seen in some parts of the rankings reflect how similar the projectors were as a group; none of the contenders could be said to have blown away the competition overall, and the scoring reflects multiple ties within a few of the individual picture attributes. However, examining the most important attributes within each picture mode provides a good sense of the strengths and weaknesses of each projector. Note that price was not a factor in any of the judging or rankings, though current pricing for each projector as of the day of the event are included in the results for context along with a listing of some key features which may be important for some buyers.

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Final Scores

The final results for the 2022 Laser TV Showdown are shown below. For specs on the individual products, current pricing, and access to our reviews click the projector model below.

Triple Laser

AWOL Vision LTV-3500
Formovie Theater
Hisense PX1-PRO
LG HU915QB
Samsung LSP9T
VAVA Chroma

Single Laser

BenQ V7050i
Epson LS500
Hisense 100L5G
LG HU715Q
Optoma CinemaX P2
Samsung LSP7T
ViewSonic X2000B-4K
XGIMI Aura

2022 Laser TV Showdown - Triple Laser Rankings

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2022 Laser TV Showdown - Single Laser Rankings

2022 ShowdownRanking SingleLaser 800
 
Comments (29) Post a Comment
Tobi Posted Aug 7, 2022 12:42 PM PST
I posted this to Projectorscreen but was referred to post it here.

Few things I got from this is that it seems dark room viewing had way more weight to the scores than day time. Most people I know have their UST in the living room so maybe weighted the same? LG 4000 nit tone mapping receiving a 10 is VERY impressive. Was this all measured data or based of visual eye test? Also LG focus was the worse…wow! AWOL receiving high scores in contrast is very surprising considering the light output (was this all visual or also measured?) and it receiving 8.8 in color accuracy is low considering Dave reviews. The Formovie seems very balanced, not too many lows and the added CMS is a HUGE plus (invest in a calibration service!!)

Lastly, some of these projectors have somewhat similar scores but the overall score doesn’t really show that story. Benq is still a beast of a single laser projector.
JOhn Posted Aug 7, 2022 2:44 PM PST
Why no top of the line 100 - L9G Hi Sense? Without it in the mix, this is a skewed/invalid comparison!
Robert McCloy Posted Aug 7, 2022 6:44 PM PST
This was billed as a UST laser TV Showdown? These projectors are advertised as the replacement for a flat panel TV. They are shown in well lighted rooms with light streaming through a large window. Yet this showdown and similar evaluations the emphasis is on the performance of the projector in a light controlled room similar to a home theater not a living room that you find in most homes. It would be nice to finally see a true evaluation of these projectors in a natural lighted environment that you find in most homes. If the UST laser projector is a alternative to a flatpanel TV then why aren't these projectors tested in a similar environment! Which one of these projectors is best suited for a living room and a replacement to your flat panel TV?
Marco Posted Aug 7, 2022 8:05 PM PST
Thanks for putting this together! These types of comparisons and events are helpful for the consumer and interesting to read (even if not currently in the market). Regarding the scoring--am I to understand that the BENQ was the highest performing UST overall, regardless of the number of lasers? Or would the scoring be impacted in some way by the comparison of single laser vs. triple laser units. Thanks
Paul Posted Aug 8, 2022 10:53 AM PST
Really appreciate the time and effort your two organisations put in in order to pull off this showdown! Performance seems so close among the top three triple-laser units that it really boils down to price and which features matter most to the buyer.

As for the absence of the Hisense L9G, its higher brightness would likely lend it some advantage in the "Living Room TV" test, but IIRC, its contrast performance is not as good as the PX1 Pro. Therefore, which one is 'better' between the two again depends on your primary usage -- living room TV replacement or dark home theater. Projector Central's reviews of those two units are overwhelmingly positive; simply pick the model that better suits your viewing needs and environment.
Jason Posted Aug 8, 2022 11:34 AM PST
Time to add formovie theater pj to the database!
Brock Posted Aug 8, 2022 2:14 PM PST
Figures.....one has 3D and the other has DV. Can we please get one with both 3D and DV, and with HDMI 2.1 @ 48gbps!!! Problem solved - i'll take one ASAP!!!!
Eason Posted Aug 9, 2022 3:29 AM PST
Very curious about the color gamut score. Formovie is a R,G,B laser + extra Phosphor wheel with about 89% BT 2020 based on Greg's actual measured data and LG is 3 Ch laser(Blue laser, Red laser, Blue laser + Green color whell) color gamut is only DCI-P3 based on LG's released official info. Why both the 2 models got so high score in in color gamut even better than AWOL and Hisense the RGB laser technology providers.
Roscoe Nicholson Posted Aug 9, 2022 5:35 AM PST
I was a bit surprised to see the low Color Gamut score in the AWOL since I don't recall that being mentioned in AWOL 3500 reviews.

What was its main impact on the viewing experience?
Chris Posted Aug 11, 2022 1:58 AM PST
So why on earth would anyone buy the LG at almost double the price of the Formovie Theater? Both have merely a 1 year warranty as well.
Jung Posted Aug 11, 2022 7:36 AM PST
The write up from one of the organizers of the Showdown stated in his conclusions "I was surprised by where the AWOL LTV-3500 ultimately fell in the rankings...With 3,500 peak lumens, this would actually be one of my top choices for a bright environment and with Dolby Vision in beta and the promise of 3d support to come in the future, this is a feature rich projector that would be a top contender to be placed in my personal family room.". It is important to note that brightness was not a criteria for scoring in what was called a "Laser TV Showdown". We have also spoken to the organizers regarding calibrations that we believe were not set correctly. We placed the AWOL LTV-3500 and Formovie side-by-side and once the lights were turned on the Formovie dramatically faded and AWOL LTV-3500 held its brilliance. We believe that in a true Laser TV Showdown for a TV replacement the AWOL LTV-3500 would have placed on top. It was a very close competition even when the lights were turned off and we look forward to more competitions with our product calibrated correctly.
James Sarantis Posted Aug 11, 2022 12:13 PM PST
Wow, my AWOL came in 2nd to last. Kind of hard to believe the others could be that much better.
Kevin Posted Aug 11, 2022 4:40 PM PST
Can you compare the scores between 1 laser and 3 laser models or is that subjective to their category. What I am trying to ascertain is which of either type has the best contrast ratio.
Jose Posted Aug 15, 2022 2:58 AM PST
I don't understand the LG915's poor focus quality rating given Mark's review comment on it; "the HU915QB lens offers high-resolution with excellent uniformity and no visible chromatic aberration—unlike most triple-laser projectors I have seen." If we associate this problem with the reduced "throw ratio" of only 0.19, it turns out that the Samsung, with the same THR, obtains a much better rating. Is it a problem of adaptation to the screen, the focus system, or the quality of the lens? What is the point of continuing to use the higher resolution 0.65" DMD chip in these models priced twice as much as the 0.47" DMD? And I am surprised that in a situation like this with so many expert observers and with different sensitivities, the problem of the "Rainbow effect" is not analyzed with each device.
Andrew Posted Aug 16, 2022 5:39 AM PST
On the Max ANSI Lumens, are those what was measured after calibration or before calibration or manufacturer supplied data ?.. Knowing which is brightest after calibration shouldbe included and scored.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Aug 16, 2022 9:13 AM PST
Max lumens in the chart is the manufacturer spec pre-calibration.
Roscoe Nicholson Posted Aug 19, 2022 6:06 AM PST
If Jung is correct that the AWOL was not correctly calibrated (assuming this was by the event organizers) then a mea culpa REALLY needs to be added to this and other articles in the shootout. Along with an explanation of which scores would have been most affected.

It is a testament to the AWOL to have scored so well, even if not correctly calibrated. Kicking myself for missing the crowdfunding price but have already been burned by hundreds of dollars worth of ghostware that never materialized. So have sworn never again. Hopefully prospective early adopters will get another option in the future. Kickstarter, Indiegogo, etc can rot for all I care since they let crooks get away with such fraud and lies.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Aug 19, 2022 8:40 AM PST
Roscoe, there will be no mea culpas or apologies issued by the organizers and specifically me or ProjectorCentral in response to a disgruntled manufacturer (whom Jung represents) who did not like where they fell in the rankings of a generally hairline close competition. AWOL's representatives have been around the internet trying to discredit our results and in particular have attacked the veracity of our Bright Room SDR test, ie, the TV test, because they somehow think that image brightness for its own sake should have been a test. That would have turned the competition into a lumens/numbers game which is not what anyone should be after; if that was the case we could all go out and buy a 5,000-lumen commercial classroom/conference room UST and call it a day. Instead, the projectors were each calibrated by me, by eye, to deliver the brightest possible image they could in our very bright, demanding test space, WHILE RETAINING REASONABLE COLOR ACCURACY (not perfect, but reasonable) AND THE BEST OVERALL CONTRAST/PUNCH. Here's what I did to optimize them.

1) Set up our DirecTV live TV streaming box and watched a variety of live programming (sports, cooking shows, sitcoms, late night talk shows) as the source for setting up the projectors in the lit room.

2) Select the brightest out of box image mode I could find on each projector that wasn't by nature heavily tinted ghoulish green just to make the lumen spec. Most projectors do have a "brightest" mode that dramatically sacrifices accuracy to achieve the maximum rated brightness. Again, the ability to achieve brightness without accuracy does not make a good bright room TV projector, but I did look at every available picture mode on every projector. Typically I ended up on a mode that was either called Standard, Bright Cinema, or Game.

2) Using our JVC DLA-NZ8 reference projector set up and visible in the adjoining dim room as a guide, I adjusted the Color Temp setting on each projector if needed to get something a bit closer to a perceived neutral white and played with Color Saturation if needed to ensure natural and not-too-red or oversaturated skin tones (only required in one or two cases I recall). Altering the color temp from typically something VERY blue to something less blue would by default take down the peak brightness to some degree, but it was a step applied fairly to every projector.

3) Try different gamma settings to settle on the one that was most appropriate to the light in the space and provided the most satisfying contrast. If needed, I tweaked a bit on the Brightness (black level) control to find the best balance between blacks and highlights.

4) Investigate any existing dynamic contrast functions to insure they were active if they were helpful in providing better overall contrast on typical TV content in the bright room. Usually they were.

This process may be more than most consumers would understand or know to do, but it is a process that ultimately any consumer can do WITHOUT CALIBRATION INSTRUMENTS. It's a few smart tweaks on the out-of-box settings for anyone who really cares about image quality. When I was done with this process, I was pleased to see that with the exception of one or two projectors that seemed to be more noticeably off on color, and a couple of the tri-lasers that were unnaturally over-saturating reds/magentas to the level of radioactivity just for "wow" effect, the projectors all looked about the same in terms of peak brightness and contrast. And with the ambient-light rejecting screens, all of them were holding up extraordinarily well to the brutal overhead office lighting in the test space.

The U.S.-based owners or importers of the AWOL brand obviously have significant money invested in their new venture, up to and including a retail showroom in Florida to promote AWOL and the laser TV concept here in the U.S. I applaud their effort -- we are huge boosters of the category, hence the Showdown. And I have utmost respect for their product, which is a large and solidly built piece of hardware and clearly positioned as a premium model in this emerging market. We have had a review sample in house for a while now, waiting in our queue until our UST specialist Mark Henninger could clear out other projects. In the aftermath of the Showdown, I privately responded to AWOL's complaints, explained my reasoning for approaching the bright-room test as we did, and let them know that we will move forward now with a fair and thorough expert review. I would expect it to fare well. But I and ProjectorScreen's staff calibrator Dave Harper, who calibrated all the dark room modes, worked hard to insure an even playing field for the Showdown, and the judges made their mostly very close calls.

Roscoe Posted Aug 20, 2022 8:35 AM PST
Thank you Rob for the detailed reply. That added info certainly does not speak well of AWOL
Brian Posted Aug 20, 2022 9:08 AM PST
@Rob That’s the thing no one is asking including AWOL for a brightness but rather weigh the day time viewing the same as dark room considering these are UST aka TV replacements. I’ve had the previous T1 and it does well in dark room but if calibrated properly it’s very dim during the day and as you know once ambient light enters all that contrast specs goes out the window. So essentially it’s just okay for night time viewing and not really worth the purchase. Consumers want to know which is the better TV replacement not what excels in dark room. Just making it all weigh the same would have been great info and given us a better idea.

Also using DV material for testing is a weird choice considering only the Formovie has Dolby vision. Guess that’s why it scored well on color accuracy and tone mapping. Some of the other projectors are getting DV so why not give a disclaimer because DV will always give a projector an advantage. Maybe a score based just on HDR10 and another with DV so users can see just how much DV improves a projector.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Aug 20, 2022 2:51 PM PST
We did not use any Dolby Vision content in the testing. All standard HDR10 and 1080p/1080i SDR.
Nate Posted Aug 22, 2022 9:06 AM PST
Which Epson Projector was reviewed? Based on that price it should be the one with the screen according to your website. Otherwise without a screen it's only $3,999?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Aug 22, 2022 11:19 AM PST
Per the scorecard we tested the LS500.
Kelly R Posted Sep 5, 2022 8:54 PM PST
I think the comparison may have been biased. In favor of the Formovie..1 because it seems Projector screen.com is the only one selling it, so they are obviously getting a good kickback. Secondly, when you have AWOLs projector with 3500 lumens, and the highest rating of them all, and AWOLs projector was not utilizing Dolby vision as the Formovie was..

So that certainly could have made a lot of difference in comparison and contrast/ colors.

A few things to note. AWOL is the only projector to utilize 3D, which an early beta tester stated only IMAX 3D could beat it..

The only great that I have with AWOL, is why would they not include ADLP 4.0 in their Projector?? I see that Formovie is utilizing ADLP 4.0 which they say is 30% better than ADLP 3.0.

I'm not biased towards any projector, I just don't think the playing field was completely level, and I think the Formovie projector had a biased review done.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Sep 6, 2022 7:14 AM PST
I am not sure where anyone got the idea that we used Dolby Vision on any of the projectors that had this capability. Let me be clear: DOLBY VISION CONTENT WAS NEVER USED IN ANY OF THE TESTING.

I have explained above why a high lumen rating does not necessarily correspond to a good/accurate projector. Please don't quote unnamed "early beta testers" trying to compare this or any other UST to IMAX 3D and expect that this opinion should be taken seriously.

The Formovie is built by a joint venture between Xiomi and Appotronics, the company that engineers and builds the ALPD light engine technology. So it's not unreasonable that this projector would have the most up to date/advanced light engine. Or that it would be a very good projector. The essentially same product was much heralded overseas as the Fengmi T1 when release in Asia. So this doesn't come out of nowhere.

I personally think it was an unfortunate coincidence that the projector found by the judges to be the best (by a small margin, I might add) was one that our partner ProjectorScreen.com has an exclusive agreement on. It has the potential to cast doubt on the results. But there was no involvement in the scoring by ProjectorScreen (that was left to ProjectorCentral) and the judge's ballots told whatever story they told.
Raj Posted Nov 3, 2022 12:13 PM PST
how did the Formovie theatre projector compare to the Jvc
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 9, 2022 6:58 AM PST
Raj, I wasn't as deeply involved with looking at the contenders as our judges, but I did notice these general differences between the reference projector and the USTs:

- The JVC usually had noticeably better tone-mapping, at least on those scenes where there was a difference. Highlights were brighter, contrast deeper.

- The JVC had better blacks/contrast overall.

- The JVC had a sharper image, but it was viewed from a big distance away and that advantage would have been lost to the judges.

- The triple-laser USTs excelled with color gamut, particularly on saturated reds where you tend to most notice the advantage of the wider color gamut. I'm not 100% sure if we ran the JVC with its DCI-P3 filter in place, but in any event the tri-lasers clearly had more to work with.

That said...the reference standard-throw JVC is both much more expensive and a very different animal, and wasn't really shown to its very best advantage due to the viewing conditions it was placed in. In a true side-by-side in a dark room, which really wouldn't be possible, the JVC would pretty much crush these USTs.
Raul Posted Nov 20, 2022 2:13 AM PST
Vava Chroma was updated and almost all accuracy problems disappeared. Maybe you should consider update the ratings
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 21, 2022 8:56 AM PST
Raul, we can't really update the ratings on the Showdown but we do have a full review of the Vava Chroma with its latest update in motion right now.

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