LG 100-inch Laser Display

LG's short-throw laser projector and accompanying 100-inch screen is a big display option that's priced well for the home-theatre enthusiast.


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CNET Editor

Nic Healey can usually be found on a couch muttering about aspect ratios and 7.1 channel sound - which is helpful given that he's the home entertainment guy at CNET.


There's no shortage of 60- or 65-inch TVs on the market, and there are even a smattering of 84-inch ones as well, but what if you want bigger?

Well, you'll probably be in the market for a projector, but those come with their own issues — it can be a big job installing one for a normal home environment. In fact, they mostly work best if they're in a dedicated home theatre, which isn't always possible.

LG's Laser Display is a projector that's been designed to avoid some of these issues. It's a short-throw projector, meaning it sits close to the screen — just 56cm away, actually. This means you don't have to worry about installing it on the roof or on a back wall; it can sit directly in front of the screen without anything (or anyone) blocking the projection.

It's also designed to work effectively even in rooms with a lot of ambient light. It does this by using a specially designed black screen that uses reflective anti-glare technology. The screen itself is, as the name may have given away, 100 inches in size.

Finally, in Australia, the Laser Display is being sold with a twin HD tuner and Blu-ray player (the LG HR938T), meaning that this is a single solution for any home looking for a massive TV experience. This also includes LG's smart TV functions.

Of course, this comes at a price. All up, it will cost you AU$8999. It's exclusive to Harvey Norman stores, and the cost includes installation and delivery.

So, what is it like in real life? We had some hands-on time with the display at LG's PR headquarters. There are a few caveats on what we did and didn't test. The Blu-ray player wasn't able to play our copy of Skyfall, as it required a firmware update, but it wasn't attached to the network, so we couldn't download that. It also meant we couldn't check the catch-up TV services as we did with the LG 84-inch Ultra HD TV.

While the tuner was hooked up to an antenna, the only channel we were able to tune in was TVS, a Sydney community TV channel. So we concentrated on checking out a Blu-ray copy of Rango and a DVD of the original version of The Italian Job.

Our first impression of the Laser Display was that it's actually much bigger than you anticipate. The screen is 32kg and the projector body is 14kg, so you're definitely looking at a solid piece of hardware.

The projection unit is big, but sleekly designed. The lens is covered by a shutter for protection when not in use, and the unit is very quick to turn on, up and running quite rapidly from being powered down.

The rear has the usual array of ports, including three HDMI (including ARC), digital audio and PC. Sadly, the USB ports are 2.0 only, but you do get Wi-Fi built in, along with Intel's WiDi technology.

We watched Rango in a range of lighting conditions, and even when overhead fluorescent lights were burning bright, the Laser Display managed a good colour range and some really deep blacks.

The viewing angle was good as well, although the image seemed to darken when you were too far to the side.

Action was crisp, and the HD animation looked strong on the screen.

The Laser Display does feel slightly darker than a normal TV, and this was a little more noticeable when we tried The Italian Job. Still very watchable, the older movie looked good even on the super-sized screen.

It's also worth noting that the set-up we played with included a sound bar, so we can't comment on the default sound with the Laser Display. For what it's worth, we think you'd be a little crazy to spend just under AU$9000 and not add a quality surround-sound system.

Finally, the Laser Display comes with one of LG's excellent Magic Remotes.

In all, our experience with LG's 100-inch Laser Display was very positive — this is a great option for a large-screen home-theatre experience that does require a custom install set-up.

That said, we'd have liked to see more of its general use — a look at the free-to-air channels and a play with the smart TV elements would have been great. But if you're in the market for a display of this size, we'd highly recommend heading to a Harvey Norman and getting a look at it for yourself.

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DrewC posted a comment   

Saw it on the weekend at HN Joondalup and it is very impressive. Blu Ray animated playing to perfection. How much does a kidney go or these days?

 

joe marks posted a comment   

how about going back sometime and updating this review to check sd/upscaling? and smart features? thanks guys




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