XGIMI has released a new flagship lifestyle projector, , the XGIMI Horizon Ultra, offering a high-tech hybrid light engine, Dolby Vision HDR processing, and a suprisingly low ticket price of $1,699.

HorizonUltra hero slider

According to XGIMI executives who introduced it at an event in New York City this week, the Horizon Ultra is the result of more than two years of product development and brings a number of advancements that eclipse the company's former top of the line, the Horizon Pro. Most notably, the projector's "Dual Light" LED + laser light source mixes technologies in a clever architecture designed to deliver high brightness and wide color gamut with accurate colors while avoiding the laser speckle that plagues its RGB triple-laser competitors.

This light engine starts with what looks like a traditional RGBB LED light engine, which uses discrete red, green, and blue LED banks to achieve the primary colors but then utilizes an extra blue "pump" LED to drive additional brightness. To this system, XGIMI has added a red laser to boost the red brightness and saturation. The result is a claimed max of 2,300 ISO lumens of brightness coupled with reproduction of 95.5% of the DCI-P3 color gamut used for HDR content, and color accuracy in its best picture mode stated to be under 1 DeltaE out of the box. DeltaE is a measurement of error from the ideal picture; anything under 2-3 dE is said to be essentially indistiguishable from perfect. XGIMI says most TVs have a dE of approximately 2, but that most projectors exhibit dE around 8 out of the box.

HorizonUltra LightSource
An exploded mock-up of the Horizon Ultra's hybrid lightsource shows (clockwise from the top) a red laser, red LED, blue pump LED, and green LED. A Dynamic Color Filter can be slid into the light path as needed to affect color gamut.

The light engine employs a dynamic mechanical filter that automatically slides into the light path to help achieve wide color gamut when warranted. Along with resolving viewing discomfort from speckle, this engine design is also said to eliminate the color-fringing around the edges of objects that is seen with some triple-laser RGB projectors. The light source longevity is spec'd at 20,000 hours.

The Horizon Ultra taps the popular 0.47-inch 4K DLP chipset, which utilizes four-phase rapid pixel-shifting to deliver all the pixels in a 4K UHD signal to the screen. HDR10 and HLG are supported, but so is Dolby Vision HDR, a format that utilizes dynamic metadata to adjust tone-mapping on the fly with encoded content. It has become a popular format for streamed HDR content from the major web services to improve the HDR viewing experience. Although Dolby Vision processing has appeared in many flat-panel displays, it has only been seen to date in a few UST laser TV projectors and in one other long-throw cube projector, the Hisense C1.

XGIMI, which has been a leader in prior models with the development of auto-setup technology designed to get users up and running quickly, has introduced its third generation of Intelligent Screen Adaptation technology in this unit. It takes advantage of a sophisticated multi-element optical zoom lens with a 1.2:1 to 1.5:1 throw and a rated image size of 40 to 200 inches. Late-generation TOF (time of flight) and optical sensors monitor what's on the screen to provide both easy setup and dynamic image adjustments on the fly that ensure a good viewing experience in different conditions. Among the system's attributes is an integrated dynamic iris that can boost image brightness by up to 50% to account for high ambient light conditions during the day, while in a darker nighttime environment the projector will seek to optimize contrast and wide color gamut.

HorizonUltra Lens
A mock-up of the Ultra's multi-element lens, developed and manufactured in-house by XGIMI.

Furthermore, on the thinking that most users will use the convenience of a bare wall for projection instead of a dedicated screen, XGIMI has built in automated wall color correction to provide accurate color on a variety of tinted surfaces. Although this feature has appeared previously in other projectors, automating the process guarantees the users will benefit from it without having to visit a menu and select their wall color.

Other sophisticated auto set-up features introduced in earlier versions of ISA are also found in ISA 3.0, such as Uninterrupted Auto Focus and Auto Keystone that can square off the image without resorting to a test-pattern target, automatic Screen Alignment to quickly mate the image to a screen's borders, and Obstacle Avoidance to automatically scale down the image size when a hanging picture, plant, vase or wall outlet is encountered in the light path.

XGIMI is citing low latency of 18 ms with 4K/60 Hz signals in the projector's Game mode, making the Horizon Ultra an attractive proposition for all but the most serious hardcore gamers.

Horizon Ultra closed

Cosmetically, the Horizon Ultra serves up a Spartan but stylish industrial design with a light color scheme dubbed Misty Gold and a mechanical, moving grille on the front that slides down to reveal the lens when the projector is powered up. Dimensions and weight are 8.8 x 10.4 x x 6.7 inches (WHD) and 11.5 pounds, so the projector is easily stored or transported.

The cabinet integrates a Harman/Kardon designed sound system with a pair of 12-watt speakers and Dolby Digital+ and DTS-HD soundtrack compatibility. A built-in Android TV 11 operating system and streaming platform is included, though like most Android projector offerings, it lacks a certified Netflix app. For attaching outboard sources, the connection panel includes a pair of HDMI ports (one with eARC), two USB-A inputs, optical digital and 3.5mm analog audio outs, and a LAN port for wired Ethernet if it's needed.

HorizonUltra wRemote

The Horizon Ultra is available as of today at XGIMI's U.S. website, Amazon, Best Buy, B&H, and ProjectorScreen.com, for $1,699.

For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our XGIMI Horizon Ultra 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 (18) Post a Comment
Paul Bellemare Posted Sep 1, 2023 3:50 AM PST
"it lacks a certified Netflix app" What an idiotic oversight. Netflix is one of the main sources of DV content.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Sep 1, 2023 12:14 PM PST
I understand the reaction Paul, but it's an unfortunate reality that the vast majority of Android TV projectors get sold without a Netflix app because unless you are Samsung, LG, or maybe Hisense, the cost and time associated with getting Netflix to clear your product as a manufacturer makes including Netflix untenable. My understanding after speaking with projector makers is that you're either going to pay to much or have your product delayed if you wait for the certification, and projectors sell in relatively small quantities compared with, say flat panel TVs. So you can't really blame XGIMI or others for being short-sighted; they'd all love to include it but it's apparently largely Netflix's fault for a clumsy and expensive and overwhelmed process. The go around, of course, is a cheap $25 4K streaming stick, but you do sacrifice some convenience and ergonomic benefits of having a more fully integrated streaming platform. As an aside to all this, I've heard there are some workarounds available to sideload a Netflix app onto at least some of these Android projectors, but that's a decent bit of tech work the average consumer buying a lifestyle projector won't take on.
Eric Olson Posted Sep 2, 2023 5:08 PM PST
Can this projector be ceiling mountec upside down?
Robert Posted Sep 3, 2023 1:19 AM PST
How many Lum?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Sep 3, 2023 1:25 AM PST
I don't think the article or the little info box associated with it could be any clearer on this point.
JayDee Posted Sep 3, 2023 9:59 AM PST
To Paul's point: most people buying a Dolby Vision projector are probably already using something like an Apple tv or Nvidia Shield box as their main source. If not, buying a streaming stick or box is not very expensive and it also gives you the option of choosing exactly what suits you.
Paul T Posted Sep 4, 2023 12:31 PM PST
@Rob: Thank you for that explanation above. Really unfortunate for Netflix and kind of short sighted of them, no? Would they not want their platform [and therefore their catalogue of content] available on as many devices as possible? From a technical perspective, I am more amazed that a relative newcomer to the projector space has beaten established brands in engineering a viable light source that combines the best of both LED and laser, all without breaking the bank. Surely, engineers at Epson, JVC and Sony will be taking this unit apart and having a closer look...ahem. Hopefully you will get a sample in for review soon!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Sep 4, 2023 12:40 PM PST
Re: Netflix, I do understand their desire to control the end-user experience/quality, though there is also a cost to testing products for compliance with their rules that the manufacturers must bear, and unless you can anticipate high volume for your specific model and/or plan to hold up your product while the testing/certification is done, it is a game of diminishing returns, especially when inexpensive devices are available to provide that service.

Re: The technology in this projector, I agree that other brands should be watching very closely what both XGIMI and JMGO (with its N1 Ultra) are doing at the cutting edge right now. These are well resourced companies that are directly addressing the pain points that typical everyday consumers have with projection, and developing very high tech solutions for auto setup and pushing brightness. These are successful companies in Asia whose primary failings to date in the U.S. market have more to do with poor execution of the user interface and, more critically, an uninformed view of what constitutes "good" image quality. But they are listening to U.S. based critics like us and learning quickly.
Tyler Posted Sep 5, 2023 6:34 AM PST
Hi Rob, thanks for the write up, I have been very interested in this projector since hearing about it. I am curious about mounting it, will it be compatible with a universal projector mount, or does it only work with the specific Xgimi mounts I see on their website?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Sep 5, 2023 6:40 AM PST
Tyler, per XGIMI's product team:

"XGIMI HORIZON Ultra does support ceiling mounting and is compatible with a universal 1/4 inch screw. Please kindly note that for safety reasons, it is essential to choose a certified ceiling bracket with a weight-bearing capacity that exceeds the weight of the Horizon Ultra, which is 11.464 lb."

In other words, the screw insert is the standard found for most tripod mounts, so you'll need a ceiling mount with an equivalent attachment. These do exist. But to answer your question, the projector is not compatible with traditional projector mounts with multi-point attachments.
Tony Posted Sep 5, 2023 3:18 PM PST
Hope you can turn off auto keystone correction, or that's a dealbreaker
Bruce Posted Sep 8, 2023 1:11 PM PST
When can we expect a full review of this product. I am looking to purchase a "lifestyle" projector and would be very interested in a Head to head review with the JmGO N1 Ultra 4K. I'm skeptical about the brightness claims on these portables as I use rooms with some ambient lighting.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Sep 10, 2023 8:30 AM PST
Our review of the JMGO N1 Ultra was delayed because of JMGO's sending us a pre-production sample that ended up not accurately reflecting the current product in some significant ways. We have our re-evaluation complete and will post it shortly. Similarly, XGIMI has been offering samples of this product for more than one month prior to its release but we will not conduct a review until at least one month from now so that XGIMI can finish final firmware revisions that we expect to see. In other words, we are worn out and tired of products pushed on us before they are finished and refuse to be part of aggressive marketing efforts that fail to acknowledge the time and financial resources we put into reviewing a projector, only to have a review that is dated from the minute it is posted.
Paul T Posted Sep 11, 2023 12:31 PM PST
@Rob: As impatient as some of us projection enthusiasts can be, I really appreciate you guys waiting until the product is 'complete' and not still in beta testing. I cannot pinpoint exactly when this phenomenon began [releasing products well before their firmware / features have been finalised], but I do think all those crowd-funding platforms exacerbated the matter. Competition for dollars is becoming more and more fierce -- which is normally a good thing for the consumer -- but not when the device is released in an unfinished state! All that said, still looking forward to the review of the Horizon Ultra. Despite the fact that your thorough review process is hard work, it should still be fun! Cheers!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Sep 11, 2023 12:47 PM PST
Thanks, Paul -- I appreciate your comments!
Paul Posted Sep 17, 2023 4:31 AM PST
Hi, can we expect a review anytime soon? :)
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Sep 17, 2023 4:40 AM PST
Early October. A sample is arriving in the next few days and a firmware update to resolve/improve some initial issues is now expected on Sept 23. We will begin eval after that.
Benno Posted Sep 17, 2023 9:14 AM PST
No Bluetooth or Chromecast support?

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