LG’s First 4K UHD Projector Wins Big on Awards at CES

LG Electronics was honored with more than 90 awards at CES across several categories, but the LG 4K UHD HU80K projector received accolades from 9 to 5 Toys, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), and Twice. LG’s first 4K UHD projector received the prestigious CES Best of Innovation award for ‘delivering ultra-sharp video with a home cinema experience in a compact, beautiful design’.

LG states that projectors have traditionally been heavy, expensive and cumbersome to install in the home, but its first entry into the market consists of a free-standing, portable device which can be placed on the floor, mounted on a wall, or hang from a ceiling. It includes a carrying handle and ‘Auto Cord’ feature, and the Mirror Reflector acts as a lens cover to protect the PJ from dust when stored away. Furthermore, the unit incorporates two 7W speakers negating the need for external speakers or a soundbar, although this latter feature will unlikely have our readers drooling.

No price info has been offered by LG just yet, but we are assured by the company that it will be ‘easier on the wallet’. The HU80K can create a 150-inch diagonal size image with 2,500 lumens of brightness, while HDR 10 is also supported.

Consumers will have access to content via the projector’s webOS 3.5 smart TV interface for popular streaming services, and connectivity includes ports for USB, Ethernet and HDMI, as well as wireless support for external devices, such as keyboard and mouse.

At CES in Las Vegas, Chang Ik-hwan, head of LG’s IT business division said,”…we are excited to bring value to our consumers with our first 4K UHD projector, which delivers the highest resolution we’ve ever offered in a compact size. LG’s 4K UHD projector will lead the way in changing how consumers view 4K content in any room in the home, wherever there’s an audience.”

 

Published by

Martin Dew

editor

34 Comments

  1. Looks portable, project the image by very close distance and near ground, reducing the chances to someone look direct to the light beam source and damage the eyes. But there is risk to tip/fall. Not a good idea in a house with children, dogs etc….

  2. Robert_Zohn

    Yes on the pricing, but LG has a moratorium on announcing it. No H/V lens shift.

    So this is why I ask Robert. By virtue of it being laser I assume it is going to be expensive. By virtue of it being short throw I have no idea how a ceiling mount could or should work. But it's LG, so maybe it's NOT as ridiculously priced as the Sony and JVCs?

    Many of us are in the market for a 4K HDR projector that doesn't break the bank. Could something like this tide me over in my theater if I take the screen down, plop this guy in front of our seats, and project on bare walls? Could somehow we magically make this unit, which has no shift controls, fit to existing fixed screens while projecting from the floor?

    It sounds crazy, but in the absence of an affordable, high brightness, true 4K HDR projector I'm willing to think outside the box a bit.

  3. Correct, 4K UHD/HDR, 2,500 lumens, 20,000 hour average lamp life, Smart webOS 3.5, ATSC, and QAM tuners, built-in audio. Bluetooth and Wi Fi audio streaming and linking to comparable audio systems, great, high performance budget priced laser projector, but no 3D.

    All kidding aside, I also wish they added LG's well respected passive 3D system to not even launched yet award winning, bleeding edge projector.

  4. I've been holding out some important information on all of you. It's been killing me to keep this secret, but I was on a gag order and just got the moratorium lifted.

    I have the HU80KA engineering production unit in our theater demo room for the past two weeks! I been watching 4K UHD/HDR Netflix, Amazon, Youtube and 4K UHD/HDR BDs. Here's the link to our dedicated HU80KA page.

    Love the built-in webOS 3.5, the OTA and QAM tuners, Wi FI and Bluetooth wireless speaker links, love the 2,500fL laser light output for very pleasing HDR performance.

    For now I'll just give my one word review "Awesome, amazing, spectacular, breathtaking, price/performance King of HDR projection" Sorry I could not help myself. It's easy to see how Projector Central gave this a 5 star review in every category and made it the "Editor's Choice"

    Here's a few cell phone pics:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Next week I'll be taking CMS and luminance measurements.

  5. I hope LG makes a conventionally designed projector body with their laser system. Getting a 4K UHD HDR laser projector under $5000 would be awesome and be tremendous competition to Sony and JVC.

    But this design with its awkward and unmountable body, inflexible optics, and superfluous features (stereo speakers, wireless Netflix) is just dumb. Or, more generously, the wrong design for a home theater enthusiast looking to upgrade a ceiling mounted HD projector to 4K.

  6. I've never owned a DLP projector and so I might be a little worried about placement flexibility although I doubt my room would present too much of a challenge.

    I have to admit however, upon initial inspection, I see a lot more right than wrong with this projector. The biggest wrong (for me) is the form factor but I also noticed no word on the speed of the HDMI inputs (or even how many there are) and was underwhelmed by the 1 year warranty. The biggest right is (I think) obviously the laser light source and full 4K with HDR support! All of that and at this price??? Wow!!!

    This particular model seems to have taken the HTIB approach to projection. I suspect it will appeal mostly to those with multi-purpose rooms where space is premium. Even at this price that might be a tough sell for this market, many of whom are likely comparing it to 4K flat panels.

    You would think LG could easily redesign this unit for a true Home Theater environment [traditional form factor, drop the Smart TV features] and offer it at a similar price point. If and when that happens I would love to take a closer look.

  7. @DaveF and John Dirk. I understand that some may not need the built-in stereo audio system, but I don't understand why you would not like the webOS 3.5 Smart interface? Netflix UHD/HDR and all other apps work great it's very convenient to have the UHD/HDR apps built-into the projector.

    The HU80KA has two HDMI inputs, one has ARC.

    You don't need to use the built-in WiFi as the projector also has a standard RJ45 network jack for hard wired Internet.

    The form fit should not be an issue as I asked for and got LG to give us the normal VESA 4 bolt 1/4-20 standard bolt pattern on the top of the projector for easy ceiling mounting. This projector is a good match for fixed theater installation or portable use.

    Here's the most important points, this 4K HDR laser projector delivers a stunning HDR picture. The laser lamp is rated for 20,000 hrs. The crazy low price and high performance makes this a great upgrade choice for anyone with a dedicated theater.

    Sorry to be so strongly opinionated, but I've been using this projector for three weeks and we are loving the picture quality and convenience of easy operation for streaming, cable and BD operation.

  8. That’s good information. The press releases and reviews so far say nothing about mounting options: just that it’s got a handle to easily carry around the house or take on picnics or whatever their imagined user does with a portable $3000 projector.

    As for integrated streaming features: Meh. I’ve got 99 streaming devices and my display isn’t one of them.

    More importantly: No lens shift. Limited zoom range. This is a deal-killer for this enthusiast looking to upgrade to a 4K projector.

    If it was MSRP $5000 and had robust image placement features and was said to rival the JVC and Sony 385 type models for contrast and image quality, I’d be super excited. But lacking basic alignment features, even if was $300 it’s a non-starter.

  9. Thanks DavidF. I got the ceiling mount configuration added after the press release was crafted. It was not on the CES samples either.

    I like the built-in streaming as it's the best and purest way to get 4K HDR and does not require any external device or any cables or connectors that can create anomalies. I'm not a fan of lens shift or keystone correction, shooting straight on delivers the best image for any projector. Of course, that's not always possible and LG's HU80KA does have effective keystone controls.

    The zoom range is limited to 1.2x, but that's another feature that I always try not to use as the lens is sharpest at it's widest setting. So it's always best to position the projector where needed to fill the screen without any zoom. I know this is not always possible with a 1.2 zoom range, but the HU80KA does have a normal throw distance so you may not need much lens adjustment and the projector is light and small so it can easily be ceiling mounted where optionally needed.

    In our totally light absent (non-reflective black duvatyne) theater we have the projector about 13' back from our 133" 16:9 screen shooting straight on and the the image is truly stunning. We stream Netflix, Youtube and Amazon video directly from the projectors apps all in 4K HDR. For 4K HDR BD I have Panasonic's UB820 (also an on loan engineering production sample) set to tone map HDR beautifully to the HU80KA's 2500 peak lumens for the most perfect detailed HDR performance I have ever seen. So I'm seeing a glorious 133" HDR video from two moderately priced, perfectly matched devices that create a UHD/HDR experience the way the content was natively created to see. A sight to behold for the most picky enthusiasts.

  10. Robert_Zohn

    I understand that some may not need the built-in stereo audio system, but I don't understand why you would not like the webOS 3.5 Smart interface? Netflix UHD/HDR and all other apps work great it's very convenient to have the UHD/HDR apps built-into the projector.

    I just feel streaming apps are an unnecessary feature for enthusiasts who probably [as DaveF so eloquently stated] already have multiple ways of accomplishing the same thing. I would suspect this to be the reason Oppo dropped them from their latest players.

    Robert_Zohn

    The HU80KA has two HDMI inputs, one has ARC.

    Do you know if the main HDMI input supports full 18Gbps speeds?

    Robert_Zohn

    The form fit should not be an issue as I asked for and got LG to give us the normal VESA 4 bolt 1/4-20 standard bolt pattern on the top of the projector for easy ceiling mounting. This projector is a good match for fixed theater installation or portable use.

    Understood but, honestly, I just don't like the way it looks. Aesthetics do matter, at least for me.

    Robert_Zohn

    Here's the most important points, this 4K HDR laser projector delivers a stunning HDR picture. The laser lamp is rated for 20,000 hrs. The crazy low price and high performance makes this a great upgrade choice for anyone with a dedicated theater.

    I pretty much agree with you here, which is why I said I "see a lot more right than wrong with this projector" in my initial comment. I'm very happy to see something come along that might force some real competition for Sony and JVC. I was only stating that I could see markets for two iterations of this basic machine. One for the multi-purpose or living room types and another that [while internally was basically the same] catered to dedicated rooms where the streaming apps would likely not be appreciated but a more classic form factor would. It seems easily accomplished, perhaps just not yet imagined.

    Robert_Zohn

    Sorry to be so strongly opinionated, but I've been using this projector for three weeks and we are loving the picture quality and convenience of easy operation for streaming, cable and BD operation.

    You don't need to apologize for that. I love strong opinions as long as they are presented in a civil fashion and backed by facts. You scored perfectly on both fronts.

    Thanks!

  11. John Dirk

    I just feel streaming apps are an unnecessary feature for enthusiasts who probably [as DaveF so eloquently stated] already have multiple ways of accomplishing the same thing. I would suspect this to be the reason Oppo dropped them from their latest players.

    Do you know if the main HDMI input supports full 18Gbps speeds?

    Understood but, honestly, I just don't like the way it looks. Aesthetics do matter, at least for me.

    I pretty much agree with you here, which is why I said I "see a lot more right than wrong with this projector" in my initial comment. I'm very happy to see something come along that might force some real competition for Sony and JVC. I was only stating that I could see markets for two iterations of this basic machine. One for the multi-purpose or living room types and another that [while internally was basically the same] catered to dedicated rooms where the streaming apps would likely not be appreciated but a more classic form factor would. It seems easily accomplished, perhaps just not yet imagined.

    You don't need to apologize for that. I love strong opinions as long as they are presented in a civil fashion and backed by facts. You scored perfectly on both fronts.

    Thanks!

    Thanks for the very nice post and your kind words! Here's my respectful reply.

    What's the harm in having the Smart apps built-in to the projector? Plus, please consider that avoiding external devices, extra connectors on the device and HDMI cables could never be as good as streaming directly to the projector.

    If what I am told is correct both HDMI inputs are 18Gbps.

    OK on the aesthetics, but with the lights out and watching content no one sees the projector. Plus the size makes the projector easy to position as needed. For me I like the look of the HU80KA.

    All HTF members and visitors are invited and encouraged to stop by for a audition of this projector.

  12. Robert_Zohn

    What's the harm in having the Smart apps built-in to the projector?

    ALL of the current crop of TV manufacturers are VERY VERY bad at supporting more than the launch versions of apps that appear on their products. This goes even beyond TVs. My Android powered refrigerator is now essentially useless as all of the apps are now too far out of date to be used, and havent been updated in 4 years. External, cheap to replace boxes are much better than being saddled with dead dinos in your TV.

  13. Robert_Zohn

    January 24, 2018. Sorry no 3D. Ceiling mountable, yes.

    Short throw, no, it's a normal focal length lens.

    Over on the other forum some folks are commenting on a few of my posts from HTF. All good, but a couple doubters on some of my comments. Since I can't post on the other forum and they original posts came from here my only option to clear up some misunderstanding is by posting here.

    First, I want to make it clear that my very positive evaluation on the overall picture quality of LG's new HU80KA 4K HDR laser projector are made based on the performance and how that compares with similar priced projectors. I'll even now go out on a limb and say it outperforms even higher priced projectors. Color fidelity is excellent, the 2,500 peak lumens delivers a great HDR experience.

    The one picture attribute that is not great, but is very good is the minimum luminance level. A high contrast gray screen would fix the black level and be a nice way to pair this otherwise excellent high performance projector.

    One of the posters commented that the projector was touted as short throw and good in high ambient light. Although that was stated in the post about me as a reliable source, I cannot say for sure that the poster intended that comment towards me. I have always corrected everyone on this (as far back as my above quoted post) and on other forums where I also post that this is not a short throw projector and is not intended for use in high ambient light conditions.

    I know this projector very well and enjoy educating on the subject of a/v so all who come to learn get the true facts.

  14. Robert_Zohn

    I like the built-in streaming as it's the best and purest way to get 4K HDR and does not require any external device or any cables or connectors that can create anomalies

    Is 4K so broken as a format that the consumer is better off with Netflix than buying a UHD player connected by HDMI cable? Or is this an LG problem, that it doesn’t work well with wired connections?

  15. Robert_Zohn

    The one picture attribute that is not great, but is very good is the minimum luminance level. A high contrast gray screen would fix the black level and be a nice way to pair this otherwise excellent high performance projector.

    I’ll be interested in eventual shootout with other projectors in the price range. I’ve got a normal white screen (but not high gain) in a dark room, and would want better contrast. The question is how much worse is the contrast as a factor compared to “lamp” aging over time in a bulb PJ.

Leave a Reply