The ultra-short throw projector (UST), aptly named because it can display up to 120 inches while being placed as close as two or three feet away from a screen, is finally ready for its closeup. For the first time, the annual TV Shootout, which deemed the Sony XR-A90J Master OLED TV and LG ZX Signature Series 8K OLED TV to be the 2021 “Kings of TV” yesterday, has crowned the Hisense L9G TriChroma Laser TV as the 2021 “King of UST Projectors.” The L9G received the most votes from a panel of entertainment and technology industry experts, who ran each of the three projectors — the LG HU85LA UST Laser Projector, the Samsung SP-LSP9TFAXZA UST Laser Projector, and the Hisense L9G TriChroma Laser TV – through a series of tests for such criteria as color accuracy and skin tone, black level and shadow detail, geometry, UHD detail and sharpness, focus, high APL content, tone-mapping, color gamut, and 24p motion control in both SDR and HDR reference modes.
Hosted by Master of Ceremonies Rob Sabin, the editor-in-chief of Projector Central, the competition’s panel of judges included David Medina (Production Technical Operations Manager, HBO), Giles Sherwood (Head of Post Production, Criterion Collection), John Reformato (ISF calibrator), Mark Henninger (Imagic Digital), and Jason Dustal (Training and Support, Murideo), and Stop the FOMO (YouTube).
This is the first year that the UST projector category has been included in the TV Shootout, which is co-sponsored by Value Electronics and Dealerscope. “This is a very fun new category,” said Value Electronics president Robert Zohn. “It’s affordable, gives you premium picture quality, has a low to small footprint, can work in low or high light situations, gives you a movie experience, is portable, and the picture quality has improved so much. It shouted out to me to bring exposure to this category.”
UST projectors are increasingly popular for many reasons, not least of which is that the set-up is easy they can be placed a mere two to three feet from up to 120-inch screens and still provide 4K-level video. While they’re not necessarily ideal for HDR-quality 4K, they can handle SD and standard HD for most casual users and, even at $4,000-$5,000, offer screen-size bang for the buck.
Stay tuned for more coverage from the Shootouts this week, as well as exclusive interviews.
Tom is the Editor in Chief of Dealerscope.