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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.