ProjectorCentral, "The World's Largest Projector Resource™," and online retailer have announced plans to produce a comprehensive Laser TV Showdown that will face-off a dozen or more ultra-short throw laser projectors to establish the best performing products in this burgeoning category.

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Scheduled for this summer, the 2022 Laser TV Showdown will include separate competitions for popular models in two distinct classes: projectors that rely on a single blue laser+phosphor architecture, and premium models that utilize three lasers. Triple laser projectors cost more but typically deliver a wider color palate.

All projectors in the competition will be calibrated in advance by trained technicians for optimal picture quality, and will be judged by a team of image quality experts across multiple criteria and use-cases. These include bright-room and dark-room viewing for standard dynamic range (SDR) content, and dark-room high dynamic range (HDR) viewing.

The one-day event will be hosted by at its New Jersey headquarters, where the company's extensive warehouse of UST laser TV projector offerings can be tapped for retail-grade test samples, and where facilities are available to simultaneously view multiple projectors in each product class on matching ambient-light rejecting UST screens. ProjectorCentral, an editorial entity with a 23-year history reviewing home theater and commercial projectors, will design and administer the test protocol for the invited judges.

Rob Sabin, editor-in-chief of ProjectorCentral, noted that soaring interest in the laser TV category and rapid growth of new projector models and brands has set the stage for a definitive competition among popular entries. "We can't think of a better partner than Brian Gluck and for this critical industry event," Sabin said. "The company has a long-standing relationship with ProjectorCentral and an excellent reputation for customer support that has attracted a number of premium brands not usually sold online. Brian's passion for the products, commitment to educating customers, and turn-key facilities make for a great match with our editorial expertise."

Gluck, founder and owner, commented, "As the leading independent laser TV and projector retailer, we're really excited to work with Rob and the team at ProjectorCentral on this first Laser TV Showdown. Their status as the most established projection-focused website and as an independent third party ensures the competition will be conducted fairly and strengthens credibility of the results. I'm looking forward to a great day of testing and can't wait to see which projectors come out on top."

The date for the 2022 Laser TV Showdown will be announced shortly, along with the expected list of competing projectors and the roster of judges and sponsors.

Comments (10) Post a Comment
Brian G. Posted May 27, 2022 11:42 AM PST
This event is going to be amazing and we can't wait to put it on with Projector Central! - Brian G @
Brock Posted May 28, 2022 9:37 AM PST
Can't wait for this!!! Hopefully there are new HDMI 2.1 models coming by then. Will this be an annual event perhaps...that would be awesome if it was. This is the future market IMHO for home theatre owners, especially with the Hisense 8K/120 Laser TV coming out hopefully next yr!
Mike Posted May 30, 2022 4:43 AM PST
Projector Central has an old screen comparison guide that was going to be updated, but I am not sure where that project stands. With all these projectors in one place, and with the fact that PJ Screens has a wide selection of screen choices, it would be really useful to see if there are any real differences between screen performance for Laser TVs as well. Both SI and Draper use different technology for ALR screens than the lenticular ones that are typical. It would be great to see a high output (3000 lumen) UST comparison on 3 or more different cost tier screens - preferably at the 120” or larger sizes. I have never seen a review on a UST/ALR system on anything other than a 100” screen. It would be very interesting to see the effect of screen differences on the UST performance, or if it is negligible other than gain levels.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted May 30, 2022 7:42 AM PST
Interesting thoughts, Mike. A screen comparison would be a nice follow-up project. Right now, the plan is to use ProjectorScreen's popular house brand lenticular, which is a fairly low 0.4 gain but which gives the projectors the best shot at good blacks and contrast.
Mike Posted May 31, 2022 3:44 AM PST
Projector systems are usually viewed as a two part system - projector and screen. With UST reviews, it seems like reviewers spend their time on just the projector, when the screen can influence the outcome considerably. Some manufacturers even sell their USTs with their own screens to tweak the projector settings to give the best performance.

I have read a couple of comments from UST screen reviewers and the only real comment they have is that ALR is highly recommended even in light controlled rooms because of the reflections off the screen onto the ceiling. Other than that, the general consensus is that it doesn’t really matter whose lenticular screen you use, so go with the cheapest, or the one that gives you the features you want (fixed vs. floor raising, vs descending, higher gain, lower gain, etc.)

Why spend the extra money for a name brand UST screen or go with a non-lenticular solution?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted May 31, 2022 7:17 AM PST
Mike, even among lenticular screen options there are differences among materials and also frame construction. The primary consideration is gain, which is usually negative and between 0.4 and 0.8 gain on most of the options. When you go with lower gain you typically get a deeper black at the expense of peak white, and depending on the projector and its brightness there may be wisdom in going with a higher gain. I think 0.6 is a great place to be for most projectors. There are many lenticular screens out there now and I can't say with certainty if there's any difference in the performance from one screen of the same gain to the next. But there are definitely different grades of material being promoted. As you suggested above, this is something worth exploring as we move forward.

Beyond the material itself, some frames use heavier and more solid members with less flex, and some come with leveling mechanisms, which can be extremely helpful during set up. Some have a different edge that you may prefer cosmetically.
David Dutch Posted Jun 1, 2022 1:54 PM PST
How can I get on a list to know when and the results?
Mike Posted Jun 4, 2022 3:00 AM PST
Rob, I get that there are many levels of gain available in screen selection, and that 0.6 is the most common lenticular UST screen gain. Can you go into why 0.6 is a good gain for most projectors?

Recently released USTs all seem to be shooting for higher light output specs where 3000-4000 lumens is common, However, the newly announced Hisense PX1 is only 2000 lumens.

I know that most installers shoot for 16-20 fL in a light controlled room, but what rule of thumb should be used for fL in rooms with ambient light for us DIY enthusiasts? Most non-light controlled rooms have between 50-500 lux readings, but lenticular ALR screens in- particular do a great job of minimizing the washout.

Many of the installers I have read about recommend 40-60 fL on screen for rooms with ambient light. If I want a 120” screen with a 0.6 gain material, to get 40-60 fL I’d need a projector with 2900-4300 ANSI lumens AFTER being calibrated. There are very few USTs that can meet those lumen requirements.

I get that with higher gain, you lose some of the light rejection ALR capabilities, but no one has been able to tell me what the best trade off is between gain and ALR.

Any thoughts? There must be a reason that screen material manufacturers shoot for 0.6 as the most common gain.

Jason Posted Jun 20, 2022 7:26 AM PST
why are UST ALR screens not made at the 150" size?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jun 20, 2022 11:05 AM PST
The optics required to produce a clean 150-inch image is not easily found on these living room USTs, despite a few manufacturers claiming their products can do it. Also, the logistics of placing a 150 inch screen and UST projector don't work in many consumer environments -- it requires the projector to be placed very low to the ground. Third: it's unclear to me of the OEMs building the lenticular screen materials being used in most of the ALR UST screens have the capability of running off a screen of that size with current production equipment.

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