LG CineBeam HU915QB UST Projector
The LG CineBeam HU915QB ($6,499) stands as a formidable and versatile 4K UST projector, taking the lead as LG’s flagship model for home theaters. With outstanding picture quality, deep blacks, and sharp contrast, this projector is a premium option. But it does come with a big price tag.
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LG got its start back in 1958 as the Goldstar Company and joined the home cinema market with its first 19” black and white television in 1966. After 64 years of pioneering the consumer electronics industry, and 56 years since the release of its first television, has LG finally crafted the perfect in-home cinematic experience with the CineBeam HU915QB UST projector?
A successor to the LG HU85LA, the HU915QB caters specifically to discerning home theater enthusiasts. LG has expanded its elite 4K CineBeam laser projector series with this remarkable triple laser projector, which generates a dazzling 120-inch image from a mere 7.2 inches away.
With the HU915QB’s ultra short throw (UST) projection technology, you can now relish a truly cinematic experience in the comfort of your own home. But is it worth the hefty price tag?
Keep reading our expert review of the LG CineBeam HU915QB UST projector to find out.
LG HU915QB Highlights
Boasting 3,000 ANSI lumens and an impressive 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio, the HU915QB produces vibrant, lifelike images with exceptional contrast for an unparalleled viewing experience.
LG’s innovative 3-channel laser technology employs individual light sources for the primary red, green, and blue colors, with the green color originating from an additional blue laser.
This groundbreaking projector delivers stunning, vivid images even in daylight, outshining competing ultra short throw projectors that rely on a single laser or lamp as their light source.
LG HU915QB Technical Specifications
2nd Generation 3-Channel Laser: Offers a brighter, more vivid picture than 1-channel lasers.
Real 4K UHD (3840 x 2160): This higher resolution offers a more detailed picture.
0.19:1 Ultra Short Throw Ratio: Allows the projector to be close to the screen or wall.
4/9/15 Point Warping: This gives you the ability to fine-tune your picture adjustments.
Auto Brightness: Instinctively adjusts brightness, day or night.
IRIS Mode: Allows you to adjust the brightness based on ambient lighting conditions.
Adaptive Contrast: Enhances crisp brights and deep blacks for more vivid picture quality.
Our Take on the LG CineBeam HU915QB UST Projector
The LG CineBeam HU915QB ($6,499) stands as a formidable and versatile 4K UST projector, taking the lead as LG’s flagship model for home theaters.
With outstanding picture quality, deep blacks, and sharp contrast, this projector is a premium option. But it does come with a big price tag.
Performance 4.5 stars
Features 4.5 stars
Ease of Use 4 stars
Value 3.5 stars
What is an Ultra Short Throw Projector?
Ultra short throw projectors have been around for decades, providing an optimal viewing experience for movie and media enthusiasts alike. These projectors have come a long way since the first commercial models appeared in the mid-1990s.
One of the primary advantages of UST projectors is that they eliminate the problem of shadows that can occur when people walk in front of the projector. This is because the projector’s lens is positioned so close to the screen that people can walk directly in front of the image without obstructing it.
Some UST units can project as little as a few inches from the screen, allowing you to mount them very close to the walls, saving you a lot of space, especially when compared to their predecessors. This brings a massive theater-like experience into the living room without the need for a dedicated home theater room.
LG HU915QB Projector Overview
The LG HU915QB ultra short throw projector is powered by DLP (Digital Light Processing) technology. This technology uses a chip containing millions of tiny mirrors which reflect light onto the projector’s lens to create the image. DLP projectors are renowned for their high image quality, with vibrant and true-to-life colors.
This projector also utilizes a laser diode to drive the light source. The laser diode has a lifetime of up to 20,000 hours, which makes it a much more durable source of light than the traditional lamps used in conventional projectors.
The HU915QB features a native 4K resolution, up to 3,000 lumens of brightness, and a wide color gamut. The projector also has a 0.19 short throw ratio which enables it to project a larger image from a much shorter distance than traditional projectors. This makes it ideal for setting up in smaller spaces and rooms.
The unit features HDR10 and HLG support, allowing for a wider range of color and contrast and creating a more immersive experience. The projection lens is adjustable from 90 to 120 inches with a more than 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio delivering a crisp and clear picture.
The LG CineBeam HU915QB also includes a special gaming mode that lowers input lag for an enhanced gaming experience.
Another practical feature the HU915QB offers is the Multi-Point Correction technology which corrects any distortion in the image by adjusting the lasers to optimize resolution quality.
Unboxing the HU915QB
Unboxing this projector was straightforward and satisfying. The box included the projector, a remote, and the power cable, which made for a relatively intuitive setup.
Due to a logistical snafu, the CineBeam HU915QB showed up at our house about a week before the screen was delivered. However, my wife and I were pretty eager to see what the projector could do, so we had to get a bit creative (and desperate).
Now, LG claims you can project this onto a wall without a screen, and while this is technically true, please don’t do it. It looks terrible. It’s grainy and every little imperfection and texture on the wall shows up in the picture. If you’re going to invest in a quality projector, you’re going to want a screen to go with it.
After we set it up and tried it out on the wall, we installed a cheap polyester screen we had lying around. It actually didn’t look as bad as we thought it would! (Though, we were comparing it to the wavey-ist wall west of the Mississippi, apparently.)
But it still produced a washed-out picture and wasn’t able to give anything close to an accurate idea of the quality of the projector. Finally, the screen arrived and we were able to give the HU915QB the opportunity to convince us of the worth of its $6,499 price tag.
Aesthetics aren’t everything, but looks do matter. And when it comes to how pleasing this projector looks and feels, the HU915QB stands out from the pack. Its sleek black exterior and soundbar-like resemblance allow it to occupy any space, at least aesthetically speaking.
When people came over to our house, knowing we were using a projector for the week, they all asked where it was. Usually, it was sitting right in front of them. The LG HU915QB projector’s design simultaneously blends in and impresses.
Setting Up the HU915QB
Truth be told, it was a pretty finicky process to get the projector set up and aligned correctly. Because it’s best to avoid keystone correction, I had to make countless minor adjustments to the placement of the projector.
This isn’t really the fault of the LG, as this is true of all UST projectors. Just be ready, if you aren’t going to have your HU915QB projector professionally installed, because it may take a while to dial the placement in.
A Note About Calibration
In doing this review, I decided to be true to the ethos of USTs. They are marketed to consumers with a more casual and less technically inclined interest in home theater. And in line with that, they typically don’t need to be professionally calibrated.
Instead, I chose to do some research on YouTube and used the steps in a video that shows you how to optimize the image of a projector, so I could get the most out of the LG without a professional tier calibration.
Living With the LG HU915QB
There are a few things that stood out during our first test run. There is definitely a “wow” factor to how large the picture is with this projector. The experience is exciting, and a lot of fun if you’re coming from an LED TV, and a Mario Kart-like boost experience if you’re coming from a projector made in the 90s.
Setting up an online account with LG was fairly intuitive. The operating system on the projector is easy to navigate, although I’m not personally a big fan of the motion cursor thing. Still, your experience may vary.
For a long time, the main questions in choosing between a projector or a standard LED television were the display brightness and the resolution quality. So we tested in a variety of lighting — bright sunny days, evenings, and cloudy afternoons.
The brightness of the HU915QB projector’s display is noticeably affected by the time of day and weather. The quality was, however, surprisingly consistent and clear even with a fair amount of sunlight in the room.
As stated before, the amount of space the projector takes up in the room is minimal. The low profile design is a welcomed aspect and looks something like another stereo receiver or oversized DVD player.
We used a small wooden stand to set our projector on, which seemed to work nicely as it had a bottom shelf where we were able to stow our receiver and Xbox. This process was about 10,000 times easier than installing a standard long throw projector in the ceiling.
The ease of “installation” alone was worth a hefty amount to us, as having a one-year-old keeps us busy and (let’s be honest) too tired to mess around with mounting something into the ceiling.
If you’re considering investing in a UST projector, you’re probably not using the internal speakers, but their functionality is perfectly passable. They don’t sound fantastic, but the option is nice.
Our first proper movie viewing...
At first use, my wife and I both noticed a “rainbow effect” when images would move across the screen. This is due to the technology in most projectors that use a rotating color wheel to project colors in sequence, which creates a spinning rainbow effect. Not everyone is affected by this, but for those that are, it can drastically change your movie-watching experience for the worse.
I have to say, the HU915QB can’t be beaten when it comes to picture quality. Its sharpness and overall clarity are quite astounding. This proved true when watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy via 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc using an Xbox Series X as our media player.
Right before Sam humbly and heroically carries Frodo up the slopes of Mount Doom, he asks Frodo if he remembers the shire and the taste of strawberries. At that moment, you can see every smudge of soot, bead of sweat, and tear on Sam’s face.
The details in the texture of Sam’s skin, hair, and clothing came through nicely. They were sharp without being overly sculpted and were able to retain a soft finish. With the help of Dolby Vision, the projector was able to achieve a large movie theater-like picture without sacrificing any quality.
The motion on this projector is also impressively smooth. During the Battle of Helm’s Deep, the intensity of the fight sequences isn’t lost in a sea of unidentifiable slashing and thrashing. On the contrary, the quick use of blades and bows and hand-to-hand combat is fluid and uninterrupted.
In Raya and the Last Dragon, during the tribe introductions, the colors are vibrant and really exquisite. Each tribe has its own distinct color, and the HU915QB handles them quite nicely. They’re vivid and bright, but not overly saturated.
When Sisu is flying through the air in one of the final scenes, glowing bright aquamarine against the dark mountainous backdrop, this projector manages the contrast really well. Sisu’s glow is the star of the picture, but the dark green trees on the hillside aren’t lost, but quite the reverse. They’re strongly yet quietly showcased in the background.
As is expected for a UST, we had it set up in our living room. Most of our movie viewing was done in the evening in a totally dark environment, while most other media was taken in during the day with curtains drawn — far from an ideal setting.
Parks and Recreation was a fun daily ritual for my wife and me to watch on the big screen. I can’t say the magnitude made this sitcom feel more epic, but the picture was vibrant and vivid and made for a great group watch. As long as we had our curtains closed, the LG was able to keep up valiantly by maintaining excellent black levels, brightness, and saturation.
We watched Community, Dr. Who, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, YouTube videos, Home Alone (and various other Christmas classics), the NFL playoffs, Survivor, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and much more.
We also played video games and cast videos and images from our phones. For the most part, regardless of genre or style, we kept our projector in “Filmmaker Mode.” It provided the most accurate picture in regards to the color the content creators initially had in mind when making these various films, games, and television shows.
From the Marvel Cinematic Universe to watching LeBron James become basketball’s all-time point leader, the LG HU915QB produced a clear, smooth, and accurate picture.
The ultra short throw project market is growing. With the introduction of the ForMovie Theater ($3499 MSRP), LG HU715QW ($2999 MSRP), and AWOL Vision LTV-3500 ($5499 MSRP), a low profile, massive home theater experience may be coming to a living room near you.
Stay tuned! If we end up testing some of these other models, we’ll be sure to keep you posted, and look forward to sharing how they perform.
The Bottom Line on the LG HU915QB
So, to buy or not to buy? That is the question. When asking this, there are various considerations.
If you have a room in your house dedicated to being a home theater, you’ll get better performance for your money with a long or medium throw projector. Although the LG HU915QB is a fantastic ultra short throw projector, it can’t quite compete with similarly priced projectors like the Espon LS12000.
If your budget is tight, a standard TV is likely going to be your best bet. You won’t be able to attain nearly as large a picture though, so if that’s a priority for you, then this projector is a great option for you.
If you’re planning on using a living room as your dedicated viewing space, then the LG is also an excellent option for you. More conventional projectors require an almost pitch-black room for proper viewing, so if that’s not an option for you, that would be another reason to buy this UST projector from LG.
For someone who desires (or expects) perfection when it comes to display quality, you’ll probably want to pass on this, and ultra short throws altogether.
But for the home theater novice or casual home theater enthusiast, or someone wanting a truly massive display in the living space, this is a near-perfect blend of practical and pleasurable.
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