LG has formally announced the HU915QE projector, its second new ultra-short-throw 4K laser TV of the year and the first of two triple-laser models based on the same platform that will be released later this spring or early summer.

LG HU915QE Hero Slider Social

A follow-up to the HU715Q reviewed earlier and, more critically, a step-up from the premium HU85LA UST that helped launch the laser TV category in 2019, the HU915QE relies on the same advanced tri-laser system found in that model. It uses discrete red and blue lasers for those primary colors, and a second blue laser mated with a phosphor to provide the dedicated green primary. Along with more vivid colors than you typically get with single-laser systems, a key advantage is the elimination of a color wheel that might cause rainbow artifacts in association with the single-chip DLP architecture. Native resolution is spec'd at 3840x2160 UHD, and like the HU85LA, the HU915QE is equipped with the larger 0.67-inch 4K DLP chip that uses two-phase pixel-shifting, rather than the four-phase scheme found with the more widely used 0.47-inch chip.

With a claimed 3,700 ANSI lumens, the HU915QE will be one of the brightest laser TVs in the market, and it's spec'd to deliver 2,000,000:1 dynamic contrast. It comes with most of the key features we've seen in the HU715Q and some earlier LG projectors, including 20,000 hour rated life for the light source, HDR dynamic tone mapping, and LG's Adaptive Contrast, which uses a combination of laser modulation and pixel-level processing to achieve deeper blacks and brighter highlights based on the content. Brightness Optimizer II, first introduced in the 715Q, employs an ambient light sensor to automatically adjust brightness based on the room lighting. As was found in the 715Q, the 915QE also offers a fixed (not dynamic) Iris Mode setting that can be customized to brighten or darken the overall image for different viewing environments or content types.

The lens on the HU915QE has a 0.19:1 throw ratio, similar to what was found in the HU85LA and the shortest we've seen among the new generation of living room projectors. That lessens the distance from the back of the cabinet to the screen compared with other models. The HU915QE throws its minimum 90-inch 16:9 image with its back just 2.2 inches from the screen, a 100-inch image from 3.9 inches, or its maximum rated 120 inches from 7.2 inches away.

LG HU915QE Lifestyle 03 800px

The 915QE offers similar Scandanavian styling to the HU715Q and earlier HU85LA, with a white cabinet and gray Kvadrat "Re-wool" recycled wood grille. Behind the grille is a 2.2-channel, 40-watt audio system; as with the 715Q you can add up to two compatible LG Bluetooth speakers to create surround sound.

Also on board is LG's webOS streaming platform with apps for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Apple TV and YouTube, among others. The projector further supports wireless streaming with Screen Mirroring and Apple AirPlay2 compliance. Voice commands are supported with Alexa and LG's ThinQ technology.

LG HU915QE Lifestyle 02 800px

Input connections include three HDMI ports with one HDMI 2.1 and two HDMI 2.0, all with HDCP 2.2, and a pair of USB-A (USB 2.0). As with earlier LG projectors featuring HDMI 2.1, that port tops out at 24 Gbps bandwidth and does not support gaming at 4K/120Hz from the current game consoles. (In any event, current 4K DLP chipsets that rely on pixel-shifting don't yet support 4K/120 at low input lag.) However, gamers will enjoy ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) and compatibility with the game-centric HGIG high dynamic range format along with support of HDR10 and HLG. As with all the prior LG projector models, 1080p 3D is not supported.

One of the HDMI ports supports eARC output for pass-through of Dolby Digital signals up to Dolby Atmos, and you can also extract audio from the unit through its optical digital output or via Bluetooth out. An A/V sync adjustment is provided to solve any Bluetooth latency issues.

LG HU915QB 800px
The HU915QB will differ from the HU915QE with its exterior color, lower brightness, and wider color gamut.

Also expected to be formally announced shortly is the HU915QB, which is targeted initially for only the North American market. This sibling projector is essentially the same but differs in some key respects. Along with coming in a black chassis, it is spec'd at a lower 3,000 ANSI lumens output. This lower brightness should hopefully help it not only reach deeper blacks for more demanding home theater environments, but it also allows LG to expand the color gamut to something beyond 100% DCI-P3, rather than the 94% DCI-P3 achieved by the HU915QE.

Pricing has not been formally announced for either projector, but online retailers are already taking pre-orders for the HU915QE at $5,996, and for the HU915QB at $6,496.

Comments (21) Post a Comment
Robert Silva Posted May 21, 2022 12:19 PM PST
If the LG HU915QE uses a Phosphor in the light engine, then it isn't a true tri-laser - it is a Laser/Phosphor system.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted May 21, 2022 1:06 PM PST
Hi Robert! Thanks for the comment. Point well taken and you are obviously correct that this is a laser-phosphor system, but I think this is more about semantics and nomenclature and the fact that these projectors fall into a distinct class of product that hasn't been properly delineated yet for consumers. The segment of the commercial and digital cinema projector industry that participates with discrete three-laser RGB technology (think Christie or Barco) refers to that as RGB Laser, and while these LG's are not RGB laser like most of the tri-laser UST models, they do have three lasers. I never described them as being "RGB laser," but I do think it critical for consumers to distinguish them from laser-phosphor USTs that use a single blue-laser because the extra lasers typically result in wider gamut at higher light output than you get in those single-laser projectors, even if they don't claim Rec.2020 or beyond. In this case, you're getting 94% DCI-P3 at a bright 3,700 lumens or full DCI-P3 (which is really all we typically find right now in the content) at 3,000 lumens. This compares with about 80% DCI-P3 we typically see in the better single blue-laser+phosphor models. They also tend to have less issues with laser speckle than discrete RGB laser tech.

I don't know how often we'll see this "tri-laser but not RGB" approach going forward, but another example I can point to is Sony's flagship VPL-GTZ380, which also uses a red plus two blue lasers, one of those with a phosphor wheel. In that case, they claim to use the phosphor wheel to generate green along with the less saturated reds and blues, and dedicate the other lasers specifically to the deep reds and deep blues. It allows them to reach 100% DCI-P3 at the projector's full 10,000 lumen rated spec.

Bottom line: even though there's a developing connection in consumers' minds linking tri-laser with RGB laser, I don't think we should automatically associate the term tri-laser with discrete RGB laser because they really are two distinct approaches. And lumping these LGs into the "laser+phosphor category" that is likewise automatically associated with single-laser models that perform less-well potentially does them a disservice, especially considering the difference in pricing. So...tricky stuff today for us editorial types in this still developing market.
Eason Posted May 21, 2022 6:46 PM PST
Only 94% DCI-P3 for HU915QE and 100% DCI-P3 for HU915QB, should not be RGB tri-laser technology.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted May 23, 2022 8:35 AM PST
Eason, these were never described as RGB laser, but they are triple-laser projectors. Please see my response to Robert above.
Isaac Posted May 23, 2022 1:44 PM PST
Do you expect this to have input lag similar to the HU715Q? This looks interesting but I would want better input lag to seriously consider it. Thanks!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted May 23, 2022 2:00 PM PST
Isaac, we won't know till we test it, but inasmuch as it's not being advertised for having low input lag, if I had to guess I would be pleasantly surprised if it had anything other than middling lag readings similar to the 715Q.
Jon Posted May 23, 2022 5:38 PM PST
I wonder how this compares to the Samsung ls9 Premier technology wise, as that Samsung is also a 3 laser unit with similar specs. Also, I haven't seen anything from Samsun that suggests they will be upgrading or replacing that model which is a few years old now
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted May 23, 2022 6:41 PM PST
The Samsung is a triple RGB laser projector with discrete red, green, and blue lasers, and as such it has wider color gamut. However, as noted in my comment above these LG's have close to or beyond 100% DCI-P3, which is sufficient for today's HDR content, and there's a lot more that goes into making a great image than just the color gamut. So we'd have to see how they compare to the Samsung side by side.
Nick Posted May 23, 2022 9:44 PM PST
So....this or the Samsung lsp9t?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted May 24, 2022 5:47 AM PST
There are several tri-laser USTs in the market or coming to market right now, the most proven entities being the Hisense L9 and PX1-Pro models and the Samsung (both RGB laser) and these two new LGs (as well as the older HBU85LA). There is also the JMGO U2, which did not review well with us. New models or emerging models we haven't tested include the VAVA Chroma, the AWOL Vision, and the Formovie T1, which is made by Appotronics (which builds the ALPD laser engines used in some USTs) and was released in Asia, and is set to be released at some point here in the U.S. under the Formovie or another brand name.
Mike Posted May 24, 2022 6:47 AM PST
Rob, I wish TI would come out with a 4k/120 capable DLP DMD that would fit into this price range.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted May 24, 2022 6:50 AM PST
Mike, I have heard this is on the way but I don't know the details.
Cryplander Posted May 25, 2022 12:30 AM PST
4k/120hz laser UST projector with a 130-inch ALR screen and more than 3000 ANSI lumens is what I am waiting for in my next projector.
Dave Harper Posted May 26, 2022 10:51 AM PST
I only measured about 87% of DCI-P3. This approach to green is not optimal and the Samsung and other true RGB lasers are much better in this regard.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted May 26, 2022 10:55 AM PST
Thanks, Dave. We have the 915B in for review and I'll be curious to see where it lands. 87% is a bit better than most single laser models, but a good bit off of their claim. Agreed -- no question that RGB laser is the way to go for wide gamut.
Jose Luis Posted May 26, 2022 2:09 PM PST
The main reasons to select this over the other three lasers you comment (except the lsp9) is the "throw ratio" of only 0.19 and the big DMD chip used. But, all these have a cost...
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted May 27, 2022 12:38 PM PST
Jose, I'd agree that the 0.19 may not be the best option -- I though the HU85LA (also a 0.19) had some issues with maintaining perfect focus at the center and all the way out to the edges, so I'm curious if these 915 models will be any different. But there is a lot more that goes into a great image than just the gamut capabilities that come with RGB laser, and the LG's do have outstanding image processing and adjustability.
G B Posted May 28, 2022 11:06 AM PST
So if I am willing to spend upto 10k on a projector plus screen right now, and i really want automatic keystone correction (none of those fiddly dots to move up and down) what would you recommend
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted May 28, 2022 11:15 AM PST
GB, if you're specifically in the market for a UST you'll have a hard time spending $10k for one and with a budget like that I'd recommend a long-throw Espon (LS12000 laser), JVC (NP5 lamp), or Sony (XW5000ES laser, under evaluation right now) for the best image quality. All three can do fairly well in a lit room with an ALR screen but are superlative in a dark room with an appropriate matte white 1.3 gain...

If you're dead set on a UST, a tri-laser Hisense PX1-PRO, the Samsung LSP9T (which we haven't actually tested), or one of these two new LGs are your best bets, and you'd have enough left over for professional installation calibration. The LG's and Samsung's have the greatest degree of adjustment to take advantage of that. There's no reason you should have to engage keystone correction and incur the potential degradation of image quality if you are willing to take the time to set up the projector properly the first time out or can pay someone to do it.
Jose Luis Posted May 29, 2022 2:01 PM PST
Rob, as we know the main advantage of UST projectors is that they go next to the screen; you don't need a bookshelf or running wires across the room. With a Throw-ratio of 0.26 (Hisense and others) you need at least a 60cm table below the screen, with 0.19 40cm is enough. It is about using the minimum space in the room. This is my case.
Mo Alhazzazi Posted Jun 14, 2022 2:00 AM PST
Thanks Rob for the infi on the new LG hu915. When you do the review, kindly please compare it to the older version hu815. The hardware component seems the same, but difference in sound and wevOS. I'm curious to know how much better the color and blacks. Thx

Post a comment

Enter the numbers as they appear to the left