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LG PF1500 Projector Review

Review Contents
Best Home Theater Projector
Ease of Use
Intended Use:
DIY Home Theater
LG PF1500 Projector LG PF1500
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150000:1 Contrast Ratio
1400 Lumens
Street Price: n/a

Last year LG set a benchmark by putting out a first of its kind 1080p LED projector at a reasonable price with the full backing of a major manufacturer. The reviews were strong on that model, but LG was just getting started as they now introduce the revolutionary new PF1500. LG has leveraged their long standing research with televisions and brought that technology to front projection.

Coming in at $999, the PF1500 delivers like no other LED driven projector before it. A manual 1.1 zoom range, a rating of 1,400 lumens, 30,000 estimated LED lamp life, Wi-Fi, internal tuner, Smart apps, USB playback, and full 1920x1080 output resolution. Oh, and unlike almost any other home theater model out there, this one is a good deal smaller than your typical loaf of bread.

Viewing Experience

If you've owned a projector before, you will know right away that this is something different. The LG PF1500 powers on within just a few seconds. The LED light engine puts out a bright image almost immediately. About ten seconds after hitting the power button, the PF1500 went through a number of basic setup steps including a brief introduction to the remote control which acts similar to a wireless computer mouse. Similar to a TV, it asks if the projector is at home or in a store, the time and time zone, then gets the projector on the network. From there, it's right into the Home screen which features a multitude of options, applications, and a video preview window. Any of these different options can be selected using the on-screen cursor from the Magic Remote control.

Being excited to see what this projector could do, my first viewing was not in a controlled space, but just on a wall using the internal speaker. Since LG designed the PF1500 to be extremely portable, it almost makes sense to start things off this way. A WDTV was connected via HDMI and the projector proudly brought up the menu for the media player. Unfortunately, the USB drive with some recent camera footage could not be played back by the WDTV unit. So, the drive was moved to the PF1500's side USB input, which immediately recognized the video files on the drive and playback was started. About a 100" diagonal image was presented on a white wall and the image was excellent. The high definition camera footage, shot skiing on a Gopro camera, had all the high-definition goodness one could hope for. Colors appeared a bit off, but out of the box, with no calibration, the projector was certainly watchable, and it's a great way to show your home movies to friends and relatives.

The projector was put through a basic calibration using the Disney 'WOW!' Blu-ray disc and an image of 108" diagonal was projected onto a 1.3 gain white screen. It took a little bit of work to dial through the different settings of the LG, and the Magic remote took some getting used to, but eventually the LG presented an image with very good color, free of false contouring, with good brightness, and smooth motion. As a DLP projector, it has comparable black levels and shadow detail to other entry level DLP models.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix on Blu-ray is an excellent test disc for black levels and shadow detail on a projector. At the screen size in use, the projector really needed to be in high power to deliver a solid punch from the whites, but there was never a point where it felt that shadow details were being lost. The PF1500 delivered a solid image which felt smooth, and put forth sufficient contrast to immerse a viewer in the movie experience. The single chip DLP light engine produces an acceptably sharp image. A better lens might deliver a sharper image, but the small lens on the PF1500 produced no softness from normal viewing distances.

Viewing hockey and other high-motion films was a great experience. The LG PF1500 puts up an accurate image. Sometimes fast motion content is blurry, and the larger the image the more apparent that becomes, but that is true of all large screen projection. But, at over 100" diagonal it was quite the experience to sit down and watch that action. Turning on creative frame interpolation (CFI), which LG calls TruMotion, helps some with fast action, but worked best with slow pans. LG didn't push too much with their implementation of CFI so the image didn't fall apart on fast paced scenes like some other displays are prone to do. It also didn't clean up the motion as much as some are capable of either. This kept CFI from showing too much of the digital video look which CFI often presents, and selecting a level of 2 or 3 for TruMotion yielded very watchable results.

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Set Up
Review Contents: Introduction Set Up Key Features Performance
  Limitations Conclusion
Comments (22) Post a Comment
chris Posted May 15, 2015 12:41 AM PST
Great Review! I have one major concern: the warranty. A member in the AVSforum wrote that there was a warranty card with the projector that indicates a year warranty. Further, the warranty EXCLUDES the light engine.

Is the light engine of the PF1500 excluded from warranty? If there is a problem with the light engine, is there an estimated replacement/repair cost provided by LG?
davidm Posted May 15, 2015 9:02 AM PST
Thanks for the detailed review, including particular attention to fan noise. Any level of fan noise can be obtrusive. I'm surprised LED projectors with their lower heat haven't resolved this, such as how it's solved on silent workstations, with larger slower moving fans for example. I presume this is just not a priority for the industry. I am also surprised the price of LED projectors is still high. This is a very conservative, incremental industry that is focused on product tiers. I'm excited with what's developing in laser projectors. With their perfect black levels and ability to run silently they will hopefully shake things up.
Paul D. Vail Posted May 20, 2015 5:53 AM PST
Chris - The website states that there is a 2-year warranty on the PF1500. The LG warranty excludes user-replaceable lamps. Since the PF1500 does not have a user-replaceable lamp, the LEDs should be covered. It should be noted that it was determined that the LEDs within the projector can be removed and replaced as they are not soldered to the main board. This means that if there is a LED issue, they can be replaced. But, during the first two years this will be covered under warranty, and they are rated to last for many, many years.

David - I thought it was great that LG put out a design that could deliver near silent performance. I continue to hope that they will improve upon that concept and design and deliver more and more lumens with near silent noise levels. Laser projection certainly offers some interesting opportunities, but isn't as straightforward as LED and brings with it some dangers that are associated with lasers. I'm not sure how much to expect in the next 3-5 years from that technology.

LED products are one I have been vehemently opposed to for years. They haven't been bright enough for home theater, they haven't been 1080p, they have had noisy (whiney) fans. They were little more than toys. Great for the kids at 50" or so. But, with last years 85 model and this years 1500 model, LG is really setting LED up as a mainstream product for theater use. They still have room to grow, but they have crossed a line from toys to serious home theater product, and it's great to see.
Marcus Posted Jun 13, 2015 10:14 PM PST
I have been running Epson projectors for the 10 yrs and the cost and frequency of replacing bulbs has gotten t be a bit much. I really have considerd this LG projector, but I have a few concerns. 1) led's wont last as long as they claim, and no pricing for their replacements. 2) I keep hearing from everyone I know in the industry, Lg has the worst customer service and doesn't back their warranties. 3) the lumens just don't seem to be quite bright enough yet. Which surprises me since led's can be made for extreme brightness. So if anyone coild clear up these issues for me, I would probably make the leap.
Sam Velu Posted Jun 16, 2015 7:22 AM PST
I'm always excited about using LED as the light source for projectors. LED provides immense opportunities for the projector designers to 1) reduce the noise level, 2) reduce the size, 3) increase the MTBF (mean time between failures) for the lamp (which means not needing to replace the light source for the life of the projector), and 4) reduce the price. I'm seeing all these in this product.

But 1500 lumens of light output is simply not bright enough to make a commitment. Will wait for another year.
Don Posted Jun 18, 2015 8:27 AM PST
According to the manual The Bluetooth is compatible with an extreme low number of devices (about 4 types of headphones). They do not list any soundbar or home theatre sound system as compatible, so any actual compatibility to any other device may be pure coincidence. Do not assume the projector comes with Bluetooth, because for most practical purposes, it does not.
The Posted Jul 23, 2015 2:03 AM PST
it works with all bluetooth
Lazarus Dark Posted Aug 13, 2015 7:17 PM PST
I am considering this for my first projector (in part because my wife needs to use it once a week for work, so I need something portable and figured with this she can use it during the week and I can mount it for weekend use) I am currently using a LG 50ps60 50" plasma from 2009. I purchased this LG plasma specifically because it was one of few affordable displays at the time that properly displayed a 24hz signal for bluray use. I find trying to watch 24hz video on a 60hz display to be painful. So my main concern for this projector is: does it only project at 60hz or does it project at some multiple of 24hz when fed a 24hz signal?
ZengShen Posted Aug 16, 2015 12:09 PM PST
Just returned this projector. The Smart TV Apps aren't enabled: No Netflix, No Hulu + as the article and the specs claim. LG Tech support/customer service is no help! The projector did produce high quality and very smooth picture but the room needs to be completely dark. But this is the case for high def only. On the lower res. the picture is really bad. I'd concur with the article the lumens at the brightest settings are about 900 not near what is spec'ed.
Shane Posted Aug 25, 2015 3:44 PM PST
I have heard that renaming an input PC reduces the lag. Is there any way to test this or does anyone know if its true?
Farhad Posted Sep 24, 2015 8:56 AM PST
I'm planning to buy my first ever projector soon but don't know what to pick between BenQ w1070+ and LG pf1500. I'm gonna use it in my living room and it has two huge Windows, no matter what I do it won't get very dark during the day, and I'm gonna use my projector for play games. Could some one plz give some valuable advise?

Many thanks
mnn Posted Oct 1, 2015 4:37 AM PST
Doesn't the built-in AV Sync feature deal with lip sync issues?

"Synchronizes video and audio directly when they do not match. If you set AVSync.Adjust to ON, you can adjust the sound output (projector speaker, SPDIF, or Bluetooth) to the screen image."
Ed Decker Posted Oct 27, 2015 5:44 AM PST
I've owned the PF1500 for just over a week now, and I can pass along some observations: First, if you're interested in gaming, the PF1500 is just not for you. Even broadcast TV sometimes requires adjustment at either the receiver/amp or the projector (there is now and audio sync menu option built-in, but since I prefer adjusting audio sync on the amp I haven't tried that yet). Second, if TV and movie-watching is still of interest to you, there are a number of ways to darken windows, including opaque blinds and pull-down shades--the last I purchased, from IKEA, did the job nicely to shut out light from a sliding-glass patio door. I found a source online for calibration settings which I applied (with a couple of minor tweaks to increase color intensity and gamma) and am now very happy with running the PJ on full power, on a sturdy tripod perhaps two feet behind our seating area. [The top of the image is about 10 inches down from our 8 ft. ceiling, and the projected area is about 88 in. horizontal width.]
Carl Rutschow Posted Nov 24, 2015 2:13 AM PST
I just purchased the LG PF1500 for use in my home theater, which is a dark room. I am happy with it's performance. It gives a bright, snappy picture on my 100" screen (screen gain of 1) when used at the medium power level (Energy setting of Medium).

One tweak I did to get a better gray scale and a more natural looking picture was to set the Gamma to the minimum value in the Advanced Control section. The default gamma value tends to crush the black levels and make the picture look somewhat flat. With that I set the contrast to 100, the brightness to about 45, and the Dynamic Contrast to low.

It gives a noticeably better picture with improved contrast and color over my old Ben-Q projector (whose color wheel failed) that had the typical Xenon arc lamp light source. Also uses only about a quarter of the power.
Sluggie Posted Jan 4, 2016 10:50 PM PST
Still holding back with my purchase decision. After +4 hours reading reviews from Euro and US sites, I found the European is totally different projector.

The lumen/contrast performance and specs doesnt apply at all to European version. Calibrated Euro version compared to equally calibrated US version is about 300 lumens behind US version. Less lumens leads to lower contrast and black performance also. Most stunning thrill from LG was when they dropped XD- engine and 120Hz option away.
Gary Posted Jan 6, 2016 9:06 AM PST
PF 1500 South African model with the normal square remote. I get hd quality pictures when inputting hd material 720 or 1080 and can see this projector is quite cappable but using the hdmi inputs with different cables and source equipment i only get a picture looking like dvd resolution. Avatar looks like a vhs copy on the PF1500 compared to how it looked on my HW300G before it doed after 4 years. I returned the PF1500 was looking for it for the past year to replace the dead unit but now i am very disapointed. Did lg do something to the units destined for our markets leaving out some video processors. The reviews was mouthwatering.
Valentin Posted Mar 7, 2016 9:22 AM PST
Working fine with displaying photos and films. There is a problem viewing large PPTX files. Even 50 MB files can't be displayed. In the manual the limitations in the size of files are not mentioned. Even not how to solve this problem.
Wynand Radyn Posted Jun 23, 2016 6:25 AM PST
Hi Gary from SA. I'm in the process of buying a projector for my home cinema and was considering this LG. I'm now rethinking it. Any advise on alternatives? Something that would not break the bank and land me in divorce court.

Much regards, Wynand.
Chris Posted Oct 3, 2016 10:13 AM PST
Did you test the lag of the PF1500u with the input modes set to PC/Laptop and Bluetooth disabled?

I have used my dual PF1500u (layered images)setup for five months as a giant screen secondary computer monitor and I do not notice the lag with the inputs set to PC/Laptop and Bluetooth disabled in any of the the other modes if those conditions are set.
Baothan Posted Dec 24, 2016 4:37 AM PST
Bluetooth connection to speakers isn't maintained (Beoplay S3). A fuss through the menu to make the connection each time the projector is started.
Penny Jeter Posted Jun 4, 2017 6:00 AM PST
Just bought the 'updated for 2017' PF1500W. It seems they've put an Android box into an LED projector...the integrated wifi and OTA /cable tuner makes this more of an "all in one" unit... Tied to the LG store for apps and potential media purposes. Picture wise (subjectively) seems brighter than the Qumi Q5 (previous LED "500 lumen") projector only...but not quite as bright as an old 1200 lumen traditional bulb I used at work... But unable to objectively evaluate the 1400 lumen claim with instrumentation and test patterns in the home. I do notice some very slight blurring on edges, and some "rgb chromatic trailing in high contrast movement-- for example when watching Star Trek, a white trail moving across the black background I can see some r g b trails on the edge of the white moving item-- but not all family members seem to notice it? Interested in discussing with other PF1500w owners also.
Michael C. Barens Posted Oct 5, 2017 11:37 AM PST
I have owned the LG PF1500 for a year now. I have many projectors in my home to include three LG projectors. The LG projectors have very good color compared to other LED-based projectors I have used.

I have owned a Vivitek HD1185 for more than two years. I really like this projector. It has 3D and looks beautiful on a 120-inch screen. I don't use this projector for anything but movies because I don't want to burn out the bulb. I bought a cheap Pyle projector to use for watching the news and using the projector in background mode in order to not put so many hours on the bulb.

I put the PF1500 in my office. I have it on a 96-inch screen. I find that the image on the LG is as good as the Vivitek at this size. I use the LG all the time as I am not worried about burning out the bulb.

For me, any sacrifice in image quality is made up by not having to deal with the anxiety of burning out an expensive bulb. Most people who see the PF1500 tell me it looks like a big TV.

I do not like the lens on the PF1500. It needs focusing frequently and there is little or no granularity dialing in the focus. I don't use any of the SMART TV features as I feed the video signal into my receiver where I have a Firestick, Roku, PC and Google Caster connected.

I highly recommend the PF1500. I bought it when I saw it on sale at Amazon for $699.95. I have not seen it this cheap again but I understand that Fry's had it for less at one time.

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