The ProjectorScreen.com & Projector Central 2022 Laser TV Showdown

brian gluck and rob sabin
Event hosts Brian Gluck, President of ProjectorScreen.com & Rob Sabin, Editor-in-chief of Projector Central

ProjectorScreen.com, the web's leading projection specialty retailer has teamed up with Projector Central, The World's Largest Projector Resource to bring you this LaserTV Showdown - the Ultimate Ultra Short Throw Projector Shootout.

We are no strangers to doing projector shootouts or ultra short throw projectors, and our UST Shootout series on Youtube and on our website have been some of our most popular and requested content.

For those of you not familiar with Rob Sabin or Projector Central, let me tell you that these guys are the real-deal. Projector Central is the world's largest database of projector information and one of the most authoritative resources and review websites in the industry.  

Rob did an utterly amazing job being the Skipper of this ship, with me helping out as his lowly Gilligan. This however was no ordinary 3 hour tour; this extremely ambitious event was possibly the greatest voyage the projection industry has ever embarked on with the most extensive amount of projectors in one place and a group of judges so knowledgeable that I at some points doubted my qualifications to be a part of this.

I also want to emphasize the fact that although we had help from several sponsors in putting on this event by providing us with some gear, none of the brands competing were sponsors nor provided us with anything other than a projector to include, if we or Projector Central did not already have in our collection. 

Despite receiving several requests for sponsorship opportunities from the various brands competing, Projector Central and I decided it was best to self-finance the entire competition so that there would be no perception of influence and impropriety in regards to a sponsor's ratings or winning.

Furthermore, since I have "skin in the game" as a reseller of the products competing, I was far removed from the content selection, recruiting of the judges, determining the judging criteria and ballot tabulation. We did however help wrangle up the sponsors and gear, provide the facility and most of the projectors, performed all of the dark room instrument calibrations via our ISF certified calibrator Dave Harper  (Rob did the bright room calibrations to the viewing space by eye) and provided technical, operational and at times, emotional support.

Judges

We recruited six expert judges from the world of projection, calibration and A/V professionals to pick the winner of this ultimate shootout. Let's meet our judges:

Chris Majestic

Chris Majestic

YouTube projector reviewer and influencer at MajesTechs

Mark Henninger

Mark Henninger

Managing Editor for Home Theater Review, former editor-in-chief for AVSForum.com, contributing technical editor/UST projector reviewer for ProjectorCentral.com, THX-trained calibrator

Chris Eberle

Chris Eberle

Professional ISF-trained display calibrator, display reviewer for Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity, display reviewer for Tom’s Hardware

Ralph Potts

Ralph Potts

Veteran Blu-ray Reviewer and A/V writer at AVSForum.com

Al Griffin

Al Griffin

US Senior Editor Home Entertainment for TechRadar, former editor-in-chief/projector reviewer for Sound & Vision, ISF-trained calibrator

Sammie Prescott, Jr.

Sammie Prescott, Jr.

Professional ISF-trained display calibrator, contributing technical editor/projector reviewer at ProjectorCentral.com

UST Shootout

How We Picked The Best

The projectors were evaluated using a series of test patterns from our Murideo generators and movie/TV program clips from our Kaleidescape player, Oppo UHD disc player and DirectTV box that put each projector to the test. We challenged their color accuracy, dynamic range with both SDR and HDR content, resolution/detail with still and motion video, image scaling/processing, contrast and brightness.

The Judges

All content was distributed to all projectors at the same time via hardware and connectivity provided by our sponsors at AV Pro Edge - and let me tell you that this was no small feat considering all of the different EDID's, HDMI conflicts, video sources and displays.

Each laser TV was paired with an identical 100" Spectra Projection Vantage ambient light rejecting screen engineered to work with UST projectors.

All of the projectors in the Laser TV Showdown were calibrated in 3 modes; SDR Day (Bright Room), SDR Dark Room and HDR Dark Room.

Calibration was done by our very own ISF certified calibrator, Dave Harper.

We also had a JVC NZ8 projector paired with a Stewart Studiotek130 screen setup in the darkened, adjoining suite that our judges were able to view as a reference for what the source material "should" look like. The USTs were not being judged against this pairing, it was only for reference purposes.

Judges were given ballot sheets to rate each projector for specific attributes of picture quality, such as Color Accuracy, Contrast, Black Level/Shadow Detail, and Detail/Sharpness. For tabulation, the highest grade within each attribute was assigned a score of 10 and all other scores are relative, making the final result a pure ranking with the spread between each projector retained. 

Additionally, some picture quality attributes were given different weights to reflect their importance to overall image quality with motion handling, 4,000-Nit Tone-Mapping, and Color Gamut given less weight than those related to color accuracy, contrast and black level.

While the cost of a laser TV is an incredibly important factor for most shoppers, price was not factored into the rankings; the judging was done purely on the basis of image quality.

We also did not factor in the built in soundbar on these UST projectors. We’ll have a supplemental showdown coming soon comparing the sound systems on each projector that will be added as an addendum to this post, so keep an eye out for that in the near future.

The judging consisted of 2 independent rounds. The morning started off with our panel scrutinizing 8 single laser projectors followed by a round of 6 triple laser projectors after a brief break for lunch where I let everyone order no more than 2 things off of the dollar menu.... just kidding - they were allowed 3.

We pitted these 14 different laser tv projectors split across 2 different rounds, head to in the largest battle royale the projection world has ever seen!

Who will win the title of the best ultra short throw projector in the 2022 LaserTV Showdown? Let’s cut right to the chase and find out!

Winner: Best Ultra Short Throw Projector - Triple Laser

The results are in and the winner of the 2022 Laser TV Showdown and the best triple laser ultra short throw projector in our shootout is...

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$2,999.99

Projector Resolution:
4K
Brand:
Formovie
Product Status:
Leaves Warehouse within 4-6 Weeks
Native Resolution:
3840x2160
Aspect Ratio:
16:9 [HD]
Lumens:
2800
Light Source:
Laser
Resolution Type:
Shift
Throw Type:
Ultra Short Throw
Warranty:
3 Years
Digital Inputs:
HDMI

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Best Ultra Short Throw Projector - Triple Laser:Formovie Theater

#1
Total Image Quality Score: 9.08

This projector is absolutely the new kid on the block and it was certainly hanging tough against the competition. Most of our judges had never heard of the brand Formovie and I believe that their expectations of it were not very high.

This projector just launched here in the USA early this summer and it is the enhanced and updated version of it's Chinese counterpart, the Fengmi T1. Formovie is the new brand-name for Fengmi and their Theater model adds Android TV 11.0 OS and a Color Management System (CMS) which allowed us to calibrate this unit to allow it to compete and succeed against it's competition.

This ultra short throw projector wowed the judges with its vibrant colors, sharp picture bold contrast and deep black levels. Despite not being part of the judging criteria, this is the only projector that currently supports Dolby Vision and is also the least expensive of all the triple laser projectors. While its 41.9ms lag time may not make it the top choice for competitive gamers, it is more than adequate for casual gaming and still was faster than half of the other units in this round. However, those of you looking for 3D support will have to look elsewhere.

Based on its #1 ranking by our judges and lowest price point, we here at ProjectorScreen.com would absolutely call this the top value in the entire competition.

SDR DAY

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 10
Focus / Detail / Geometry 10
Motion 9.6
Contrast 9.6

SDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 9.4
24p Motion 9.8
Contrast 10
Black Level / Shadow Detail 8.6

HDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 9.2
UHD Detail / Sharpness 9.2
Contrast / Tone Mapping 10
Black Level / Shadow Detail 10
4000-Nit Tone-Mapping 8.8
Color Gamut 9.2
Notable Features
3D:
No
Dolby Vision:
Yes
Gaming Lag Time (4K 60hz):
41.9 ms
Max ANSI Lumens:
2,800
Typical Street Price (USD):
$2,999

As of August 4, 2022

Audio Rankings
1st Place
The Formovie Theater was easily the top choice for built in soundbar on a laser TV, which was especially surprising given that it also won the video aspect. With 30 watt Bowers & Wilkins speakers, you get amazing audio. This ultra short throw projector offers excellent dynamics with good impact on sudden loud peaks and great finesse with dynamic swells, as well as breathtakingly detailed and open sound accompanied by highly accurate and natural timbre. It also delivered the best soundstage, surprisingly wide and tall for such a small projector. The Formovie Theater is the best choice from both a video and an audio perspective.

Here is how the judges scored each triple laser ultra short throw projector:

Triple Laser UST Projector Results

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$6,496.00

Projector Resolution:
4K
Brand:
LG
Product Status:
In Stock
Native Resolution:
3840x2160
Aspect Ratio:
16:9 [HD]
Lumens:
3000
Chipset:
DLP
Contrast Ratio:
2,000,000:1
Light Source:
Laser
Resolution Type:
Shift
Throw Type:
Ultra Short Throw
Warranty:
1 Year
Lens Shift:
No
Standard Lens Focus:
Fixed
Digital Inputs:
HDMI

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Runner-Up:LG HU915QB

#2
Total Image Quality Score: 9.01

Coming in at a close 2nd place and the only other UST to score over a 9.0 in our weighted rankings in the triple laser round is the LG HU915QB. This ultra short throw projector is brand-new to the market and was the first time many of our judges had heard of it, let alone seen it in person.

It should come as no surprise that this was a top performer in the competition as it also is the most expensive. In this case, you get what you pay for those looking for a sleek, familiar interface and customer support from a well established leader in the space, the HU915QB may be the right choice for you.

SDR DAY

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 10
Focus / Detail / Geometry 8.2
Motion 9.8
Contrast 10

SDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 10
24p Motion 10
Contrast 9.6
Black Level / Shadow Detail 9.6

HDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 8.8
UHD Detail / Sharpness 8.3
Contrast / Tone Mapping 9.8
Black Level / Shadow Detail 9
4000-Nit Tone-Mapping 10
Color Gamut 9.5
Notable Features
3D:
No
Dolby Vision:
No
Gaming Lag Time (4K 60hz):
67 ms
Max ANSI Lumens:
3,000
Typical Street Price (USD):
$6,499

As of August 4, 2022

Audio Rankings
9th Place
The triple laser LG UST performed noticeably poorly compared to all the higher ranked sound systems on the other laser TVs. Given the high $6,500 price of the HU915QB, and LG's long experience designing soundbars, this was quite disappointing. With 2.2Ch 40W Sound, the audio is not awful, but we definitely expected more from the LG HU915QB.

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$3,297.97

Projector Resolution:
4K
Brand:
Hisense
Product Status:
In Stock
Native Resolution:
3840x2160
Aspect Ratio:
16:9 [HD]
Lumens:
2200
Chipset:
DMD
Contrast Ratio:
1,000,000:1
Light Source:
Laser
Resolution Type:
Shift
Throw Type:
Ultra Short Throw
Warranty:
2 Years
Digital Inputs:
HDMI

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Honorable Mention:PX1-Pro

#3
Total Image Quality Score: 8.94

This projector has always been a favorite here at ProjectorScreen.com and we are not surprised that the judges scored it so highly.

The PX1-Pro has some very similar siblings in the Hisense family, the PX1 and the 100L9G / 120L9G. We opted to only include the PX1-Pro as all units independently measured just about the same and the L9G options come forced in a bundle with a Hisense screen. Since we were using all of the same screens for this competition, judging the L9G on a non-Hisense bundled screen would have been a different experience than would would ever have themselves since the projector is not sold separately. While the sibling units were not officially judged, we here at ProjectorScreen.com are confident that the rankings of the PX1-Pro by the judges can be extrapolated to those other units.

SDR DAY

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 9.8
Focus / Detail / Geometry 9.7
Motion 10
Contrast 9.6

SDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 10
24p Motion 9.8
Contrast 8.4
Black Level / Shadow Detail 8.8

HDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 9.3
UHD Detail / Sharpness 10
Contrast / Tone Mapping 9.8
Black Level / Shadow Detail 7.8
4000-Nit Tone-Mapping 9.8
Color Gamut 8.3
Notable Features
3D:
No
Dolby Vision:
Beta
Gaming Lag Time (4K 60hz):
38.1 ms
Max ANSI Lumens:
2,200
Typical Street Price (USD):
$3,499

As of August 4, 2022

Audio Rankings
13th Place
The PX1-Pro does not provide an adequate audio experience compared to the other ultra short throw projectors. This does make sense given that it was designed for home theater usage, where there will likely be an external surround sound system. The built-in speakers on the Hisense PX1-Pro were definitely better for movies than music and delivered passable dialogue, but everything sounded thin due to the lack of sufficient upper bass.

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Projector Resolution:
4K
Brand:
Samsung
Product Status:
In Stock
Native Resolution:
3840x2160
Aspect Ratio:
16:9 [HD]
Lumens:
2800
Chipset:
DLP
Contrast Ratio:
1,500:1
Light Source:
Laser
Resolution Type:
Native
Throw Type:
Ultra Short Throw
Warranty:
1 Year
Lens Shift:
No
Standard Lens Focus:
Fixed
Digital Inputs:
HDMI

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Samsung LSP9T

#4
Total Image Quality Score: 8.90

A year ago, the Samsung LSP9T would have likely taken top spot in this competition as it was the current top dog at that time. It's 4th place ranking ranking is really indicative of how quickly the triple laser USTs segment is advancing.

With one of the shortest throw distances and smallest housings of all of the USTs, I would say the LSP9T is #1 for ease of install.

This ultra short throw projector also maintains a pretty high level of brightness in it's calibrated picture modes which does make it a good fit for brighter environments, however it does have the highest amount of laser speckle which many of our judges found bothersome.

It only come in the white housing color; while I understand the "modern" aesthetic that they are going for, feedback from our customers on USTs in general shows an overwhelming preference for a black housing.

The interface is shared with Samsung's TV line, so it is well polished, responsive and familiar to many.

Overall it is a very solid unit, however at the $6,499 MSRP it is certainly priced at a premium, especially considering how it fared with our judges.

SDR DAY

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 9.0
Focus / Detail / Geometry 9.8
Motion 9.8
Contrast 9.8

SDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 8.6
24p Motion 9.6
Contrast 9
Black Level / Shadow Detail 10

HDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 8.3
UHD Detail / Sharpness 9.3
Contrast / Tone Mapping 9.5
Black Level / Shadow Detail 8.3
4000-Nit Tone-Mapping 9.3
Color Gamut 10
Notable Features
3D:
No
Dolby Vision:
No
Gaming Lag Time (4K 60hz):
55.9 ms
Max ANSI Lumens:
2,800
Typical Street Price (USD):
$6,499

As of August 4, 2022

Audio Rankings
6th Place
Music played loud and without distortion, and mids and highs were clear, open, and unveiled. The Samsung LSP9T did a better job than most when it came to movie sounds. The imaging/soundstaging wasn't quite as good as the best in this bunch, and you could hear the lack of bass as you do with the other USTs. That said, this is an overall very good sound system. You could easily enjoy it as your primary speaker setup.

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Projector Resolution:
4K
Brand:
AWOL Vision
Product Status:
Leaves Warehouse within 3-5 Business Days
Native Resolution:
3840x2160
Aspect Ratio:
16:9 [HD]
Lumens:
3500
Chipset:
DMD
Contrast Ratio:
1,000,000:1
Light Source:
Laser
Resolution Type:
Shift
Throw Type:
Ultra Short Throw
Warranty:
2 Years
Digital Inputs:
HDMI

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AWOL LTV-3500

#5
Total Image Quality Score: 8.76

I have to admit, I was surprised by where the AWOL LTV-3500 ultimately fell in the rankings. 

Perhaps it was the content selected and the particular criteria it was being graded on, but this particular projector is actually one of my favorites.

Part of it’s main strength is it’s brightness and that didn’t really come into play here during this competition as it was not a criteria, but did help its score in the SDR day mode round.

With 3,500 peak lumens, this would actually be one of my top choices for a bright environment and with Dolby Vision in beta and the promise of 3d support to come in a future, this is a feature rich projector that would be a top contender to be placed in my personal family room.

There is also a less bright model, the LTV-2500 which we also think is great and have reviewed here: AWOL LTV-2500 Review

The brand AWOL Vision may be a newcomer to the projection space, but don’t let the lack of brand familiarity dissuade you from giving them a chance as they have some of the best customer support in the industry.

SDR DAY

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 9.0
Focus / Detail / Geometry 9.2
Motion 10
Contrast 10

SDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 8.8
24p Motion 10
Contrast 8.8
Black Level / Shadow Detail 8.6

HDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 10
UHD Detail / Sharpness 9.2
Contrast / Tone Mapping 9.5
Black Level / Shadow Detail 8.0
4000-Nit Tone-Mapping 8.8
Color Gamut 7.7
Notable Features
3D:
Beta
Dolby Vision:
Beta
Gaming Lag Time (4K 60hz):
34.5 ms
Max ANSI Lumens:
3,500
Typical Street Price (USD):
$4,899

As of August 4, 2022

Audio Rankings
4th Place
AWOL's LTV-3500 distinguished itself by playing noticeably louder than the other ultra short throw projector systems, with a very loud max 94 dB. The powerful 36W stereo speakers create an exceptional audio experience.The sound was clear and detailed from the midrange on up, and as a Dolby Atmos-compatible system it did a good job rendering both depth and height on the movie tracks.

$3,499.00

Projector Resolution:
4K
Brand:
VAVA
Product Status:
Leaves Warehouse within 5-10 Business Days
Native Resolution:
3840x2160
Aspect Ratio:
16:9 [HD]
Lumens:
2500
Chipset:
DLP
Contrast Ratio:
3,000:1
Light Source:
Laser
Resolution Type:
Shift
Throw Type:
Ultra Short Throw
Warranty:
2 Years
Standard Lens Focus:
Manual
Throw Distance (ft.):
1.3 - 2.5
Digital Inputs:
HDMI

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Vava Chroma

#6
Total Image Quality Score: 8.31

The Vava Chroma exploded on Indiegogo, raising almost $8,000,000 in funding to date from it's backers on the crowdfunding platform, with over $3,000,000 raised within 4 hours of launch. It broke the record for the most funds raised in a 24-hour period and has been one of the most highly anticipated Laser TV projectors of the year.

Despite utilizing the same ALPD 4.0 light engine as our competition's winner, the Formovie Theater, it seems that the Chroma fell very short in delivering on the expectations with our panel of judges.

It's lack of a robust color management system (CMS) really hampered our ability to calibrate it, giving it the worst scores of all our triple laser entrants in the color accuracy and skin tone criteria.

It really did not handle HDR very well, when compared to it's competition however it is the only triple laser unit that currently supports 3D.

I know the Vava team is aware of some of the issues with this unit in these regards and is working on some firmware updates to address them.

We expect to do an in-depth review of the Chroma once those updates have been pushed and major issues resolved.

SDR DAY

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 7.0
Focus / Detail / Geometry 8.8
Motion 9.6
Contrast 9

SDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 8.2
24p Motion 9.6
Contrast 8.2
Black Level / Shadow Detail 9

HDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 8
UHD Detail / Sharpness 8.2
Contrast / Tone Mapping 8.7
Black Level / Shadow Detail 7.8
4000-Nit Tone-Mapping 9.3
Color Gamut 8.2
Notable Features
3D:
Yes
Dolby Vision:
No
Gaming Lag Time (4K 60hz):
42.2 ms
Max ANSI Lumens:
2,500
Typical Street Price (USD):
$3,499

As of August 4, 2022

Audio Rankings
3rd Place
With 30W x 2 Harman Kardon Speakers, the Vava Chroma delivered an excellent audio performance. This ultra short throw projector handled music and movie audio beautifully. Dialogue was clear and well rendered, and fine details came through nicely. You would not be left wanting if you used the built in soundbar as your primary speakers.

Winner: Best Ultra Short Throw Projector - Single Laser

The results are in and the winner of the 2022 Laser TV Showdown and the best single laser ultra short throw projector in our shootout is...

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$3,499.00

Projector Resolution:
4K
Brand:
BenQ
Product Status:
In Stock
Native Resolution:
3840x2160
Aspect Ratio:
16:9 [HD]
Lumens:
2500
Chipset:
DLP
Contrast Ratio:
2,000,000:1
Light Source:
Laser
Resolution Type:
Shift
Throw Type:
Ultra Short Throw
Warranty:
3 Years
Digital Inputs:
HDMI

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Best Ultra Short Throw Projector - Single Laser:BenQ V7050i

#1
Total Image Quality Score: 9.15

I am going to be honest, I expected this to be the winner. Having experience with almost every one of the 8 UST projectors in this round and having reviewed this unit for our blog, I knew the V7050i would rank well with our judges.

It does a fantastic job of maintaining brightness after calibration which really showed during the competition.

This is an all around great single laser ultra short throw projector that really leaves one main technical area for improvement; its 69.1 ms lag time for gaming which was the highest of all the single laser units.

Additionally, from a value perspective, the BenQ V7050i's $3,499 price tag puts it towards the top of the cost spectrum of all of the single laser units and even above the Formovie Theater, winner of the triple laser round. 

It does have that really cool sun-roof feature though...

SDR DAY

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 9.7
Focus / Detail / Geometry 9.5
Motion 9.3
Contrast 10

SDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 9.2
24p Motion 9.7
Contrast 10
Black Level / Shadow Detail 10

HDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 9.5
UHD Detail / Sharpness 9.7
Contrast / Tone Mapping 10
Black Level / Shadow Detail 10
4000-Nit Tone-Mapping 9.8
Color Gamut 10
Notable Features
3D:
Yes
Dolby Vision:
No
Gaming Lag Time (4K 60hz):
69.1 ms
Max ANSI Lumens:
2,500
Typical Street Price (USD):
$3,499

As of August 4, 2022

Audio Rankings
11th Place
The sound on the BenQ V7050i was a bit disappointing considering how well the visuals ranked. With treVolo-tuned 5W x 2 speakers, the V7050i lacked the punch of the other UST soundbars. While watching movies it provided decent but somewhat muted dialogue and wasn't loud enough to deliver weight to the special effects.

Here is how the judges scored each single laser ultra short throw projector:

Single Laser UST Projector Results

$2,797.97

Projector Resolution:
4K
Brand:
Hisense
Product Status:
Leaves Warehouse within 5-10 Business Days
Native Resolution:
3840x2160
Aspect Ratio:
16:9 [HD]
Lumens:
2700
Chipset:
DMD
Contrast Ratio:
1,000,000:1
Light Source:
Laser
Resolution Type:
Shift
Throw Type:
Ultra Short Throw
Warranty:
2 Years
Digital Inputs:
HDMI

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Runner-Up:Hisense 100L5G

#2
Total Image Quality Score: 8.90

With the Hisense 100L5G coming in 2nd place, again I was not surprised. Hisense is no newcomer to this space and actually coined the phrase Laser TV which has now been co-opted to refer to home theater ultra short throw projectors. We here at ProjectorScreen.com have always found their units to deliver not only a great picture but also a great value. This particular 100L5G model is a fixed focus and comes bundled with a 100" ambient light rejecting screen for UST projectors. It's bigger brother, the Hisense 120L5G is virtually the same unit but has its focus fixed to a 120" diagonal and comes bundled with a screen of that size.

Unlike in the triple laser round, when we did not include their L9G due to the required bundled screen, there is no availability of an almost equally performing option from Hisense for single laser, hence the inclusion of the L5G.

One of the things to really take note of in regards to the 100L5G is its price to performance ratio. It came in a close 2nd place in the single laser round behind the BenQ V7050i, but for only $500 more you get a pretty darn good ALR UST screen bundled with the projector.

While the 100L5G may have come in 2nd place, our personal opinion is that it is #1 in terms of value.

SDR DAY

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 9.7
Focus / Detail / Geometry 9.7
Motion 10
Contrast 8.8

SDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 10
24p Motion 9.7
Contrast 8.2
Black Level / Shadow Detail 9.5

HDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 9.7
UHD Detail / Sharpness 10
Contrast / Tone Mapping 9.8
Black Level / Shadow Detail 7.5
4000-Nit Tone-Mapping 10
Color Gamut 10
Notable Features
3D:
No
Dolby Vision:
No
Gaming Lag Time (4K 60hz):
41.8 ms
Max ANSI Lumens:
2,700
Typical Street Price (USD):
$3,999

As of August 4, 2022

Audio Rankings
12th Place
With 30W Dolby Atmos® speakers built in, we were expecting a bit more from the Hisense L5G. Playing music on this laser TV was not good. Watching movies on the other hand was a bit better but it lacked the powerful bass to produce convincing sound effects.

$2,899.99

Projector Resolution:
4K
Brand:
ViewSonic
Product Status:
Leaves Warehouse within 3-5 Business Days
Native Resolution:
3840x2160
Aspect Ratio:
16:9 [HD]
Lumens:
2000
Chipset:
DLP
Contrast Ratio:
3,000,000:1
Light Source:
Laser
Resolution Type:
Shift
Throw Type:
Ultra Short Throw
Warranty:
3 Years
Digital Inputs:
HDMI

Show more specs

Honorable Mention:Viewsonic X200B

#3
Total Image Quality Score: 8.83

I had only even become aware of this projector when Rob suggested that we have it compete and I am glad that he did. During the judging there was a lot of chatter about how this diminutive little guy really held it's own.

I was a bit surprised honestly as I have never really attributed Viewsonic with producing premium projection products, but the X200B impressed me enough that I reached out to Rob's contact there to start the conversation of us carrying this unit on our website very soon.

SDR DAY

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 10
Focus / Detail / Geometry 9.8
Motion 9.3
Contrast 9.7

SDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 8.7
24p Motion 9.7
Contrast 9.5
Black Level / Shadow Detail 9.0

HDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 8.7
UHD Detail / Sharpness 8.6
Contrast / Tone Mapping 9.2
Black Level / Shadow Detail 9.2
4000-Nit Tone-Mapping 9.3
Color Gamut 9.3
Notable Features
3D:
Yes
Dolby Vision:
No
Gaming Lag Time (4K 60hz):
40.8 ms
Max ANSI Lumens:
2,000
Typical Street Price (USD):
$2,899

As of August 4, 2022

Audio Rankings
5th Place
The sound bar on this ViewSonic UST definitely stands out. This is true from both a design standpoint as well as an audio experience. With dual sets of 10W tweeter and 15W woofer drivers, totalling 50 watts, from Harman Kardon with Dolby/DTS support, the X2000B provides high quality sound. It delivered excellent, natural timbre on instruments and convincing sound effects for movies.

$2,499.00

Projector Resolution:
4K
Brand:
XGIMI
Product Status:
In Stock
Native Resolution:
3840x2160
Aspect Ratio:
16:9 [HD]
Lumens:
2400
Chipset:
DMD
Light Source:
Laser
Resolution Type:
Shift
Throw Type:
Ultra Short Throw
Warranty:
1 Year
Digital Inputs:
HDMI

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XGIMI Aura

#4
Total Image Quality Score: 8.48

The XGIMI Aura coming in at the middle of the pack is really an all around really good projector. At a $2,499 price point, this projector really is a fantastic value when you consider that every unit that placed ahead of it is more expensive. There was only 1 projector in this round that is less expensive, and that unit placed dead last.

XGIMI is a brand that the majority of people reading this may not be familiar with. We only started working with them recently, after evaluating the Aura in our previous UST Showcase and thinking it was a really solid projector.

I know that we did not judge on the integrated audio in this competition (with an audio addendum to come), but the Aura with its Harmon Kardon sound system has one of my personal favorite integrated audio of all the USTs in this competition.

It also currently supports 3D and has the 3rd lowest lag time of all of the singe laser units that we measured.

SDR DAY

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 7.5
Focus / Detail / Geometry 10
Motion 9.8
Contrast 9

SDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 7.7
24p Motion 10
Contrast 9.3
Black Level / Shadow Detail 9.2

HDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 7.3
UHD Detail / Sharpness 9.3
Contrast / Tone Mapping 8.5
Black Level / Shadow Detail 8.7
4000-Nit Tone-Mapping 9.2
Color Gamut 8.3
Notable Features
3D:
Yes
Dolby Vision:
No
Gaming Lag Time (4K 60hz):
43.1 ms
Max ANSI Lumens:
2,400
Typical Street Price (USD):
$2,499

As of August 4, 2022

Audio Rankings
2nd Place
The XGIMI Aura delivered some of the best sound we’ve heard from an ultra short throw projector. 60 watts of sound from two tweeters and two woofers at 15W each deliver crisp highs, dynamic midranges, and ample bass.The powerful bass definitely added impact to demanding drums and bass lines, and to special effects with a low-end component. And the projector played plenty loud, hitting peaks around 88 dB in our large room from the 12-foot listening distance.

$3,999.00

Projector Resolution:
4K
Brand:
EPSON
Product Status:
Leaves Warehouse within 12-16 Weeks
Native Resolution:
3840x2160
Aspect Ratio:
16:9 [HD]
Lumens:
4000
Case Color:
White
Product Line:
EpiqVision
Chipset:
LCD
Contrast Ratio:
2,500,000:1
Light Source:
Laser
Resolution Type:
Shift
Throw Type:
Ultra Short Throw
Warranty:
2 Years
Standard Lens Focus:
Fixed
Digital Inputs:
HDMI

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Epson LS500

#5
Total Image Quality Score: 8.47

The Epson LS500 is definitely the odd man out of this entire competition. It is the only LCD based projector (all others are DLP), has a periscope lens and virtually non-existent on board audio. It also has the longest throw distance requirements, which caused many judges to half-jokingly mention that it straddles the line between ultra short and short throw.

It is available in both a black and a white housing and supports 3D, but where it really "shines" is with the highest brightness out of all of the ultra short throw projectors. With it's 4,000 lumen rating, the LS500 is punchy enough to get through high levels of ambient light, especially when paired with its optionally bundled screen or a screen such as the Spectra Projection Vantage used in this competition.

This projector also has the lowest lag time out of any UST, but a lot; about half the latency of all other USTs in the single laser round.

SDR DAY

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 9.2
Focus / Detail / Geometry 8.5
Motion 9.5
Contrast 9.7

SDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 8.8
24p Motion 9
Contrast 7.8
Black Level / Shadow Detail 8.2

HDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 10
UHD Detail / Sharpness 8
Contrast / Tone Mapping 8.5
Black Level / Shadow Detail 8.2
4000-Nit Tone-Mapping 9.3
Color Gamut 9.2
Notable Features
3D:
Yes
Dolby Vision:
No
Gaming Lag Time (4K 60hz):
21.1 ms
Max ANSI Lumens:
4,000
Typical Street Price (USD):
$4,999

As of August 4, 2022

Audio Rankings
14th Place
The built-in audio on the Epson LS500 consists of two 10W speakers. The thin sound is nothing to write home about. We would recommend using an external speaker system if you plan to get this projector. We’re excited to see what the newly announced Epson LS800 will provide given that it will feature a more powerful 20 Watt, 2.1-channel Yamaha speaker system.

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$3,496.00

Projector Resolution:
4K
Brand:
Samsung
Product Status:
Leaves Warehouse within 3-5 Business Days
Native Resolution:
3840x2160
Aspect Ratio:
16:9 [HD]
Lumens:
2200
Chipset:
DLP
Contrast Ratio:
1,000:1
Light Source:
Laser
Resolution Type:
Native
Throw Type:
Ultra Short Throw
Warranty:
1 Year
Lens Shift:
No
Standard Lens Focus:
Fixed
Digital Inputs:
HDMI

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Samsung LSP7T

#6
Total Image Quality Score: 8.20

SDR DAY

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 7.8
Focus / Detail / Geometry 8.7
Motion 9.3
Contrast 8.8

SDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 8
24p Motion 9.2
Contrast 8.8
Black Level / Shadow Detail 8.7

HDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 7.7
UHD Detail / Sharpness 8.8
Contrast / Tone Mapping 7.7
Black Level / Shadow Detail 6.8
4000-Nit Tone-Mapping 8.7
Color Gamut 9.2
Notable Features
3D:
No
Dolby Vision:
No
Gaming Lag Time (4K 60hz):
47.2 ms
Max ANSI Lumens:
2,200
Typical Street Price (USD):
$3,499

As of August 4, 2022

Audio Rankings
6th Place
The Samsung LSP7T uses the same built-in sound bar as the triple laser LSP9T. It provides an overall high quality audio experience that’s good for music and movies. While not the best, you will definitely enjoy the sound coming from this laser TV.

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$2,746.00

Projector Resolution:
4K
Brand:
LG
Product Status:
Leaves Warehouse within 3-5 Business Days
Native Resolution:
3840x2160
Aspect Ratio:
16:9 [HD]
Lumens:
2500
Chipset:
DLP
Contrast Ratio:
2,000,000:1
Light Source:
Laser
Resolution Type:
Shift
Throw Type:
Ultra Short Throw
Warranty:
1 Year
Lens Shift:
No
Standard Lens Focus:
Fixed
Digital Inputs:
HDMI

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LG HU715Q

#7
Total Image Quality Score: 8.14

The LG HU715Q seemed to have under-whelmed our judges in this competition, despite it rating very well in regards to sharpness. 

Overall, I believe the sentiment of the judges was that this projector after calibration, really lost a lot of it's punch.

According to our judges and despite calibration, the colors on this model really fell way short of the pack which is in stark contrast to its bigger brother the HU915QB which placed 2nd in our triple laser round.

SDR DAY

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 7.7
Focus / Detail / Geometry 10
Motion 9.3
Contrast 9.2

SDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 7
24p Motion 9.7
Contrast 8.2
Black Level / Shadow Detail 7.8

HDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 7.3
UHD Detail / Sharpness 9
Contrast / Tone Mapping 7.8
Black Level / Shadow Detail 7.7
4000-Nit Tone-Mapping 9
Color Gamut 7.8
Notable Features
3D:
No
Dolby Vision:
No
Gaming Lag Time (4K 60hz):
53.9 ms
Max ANSI Lumens:
2,500
Typical Street Price (USD):
$2,999

As of August 4, 2022

Audio Rankings
9th Place
The LG HU715Q features 20W + 20W Stereo Speakers with Quad Woofer. This makes it one of the more powerful soundbars. However the performance dropped it down to the 3rd tier. The system lacked any kind of real dynamics, hitting about 82 dB at max volume, and providing little bass below 80 Hz. For movies, the LG HU715Q rendered passable dialogue, but there was no real soundstage spread beyond the front of the projector, and crisp details in the sound were lost.

$3,299.00

Projector Resolution:
4K
Brand:
Optoma
Product Status:
Leaves Warehouse within 5-10 Business Days
Native Resolution:
3840x2160
Aspect Ratio:
16:9 [HD]
Lumens:
3000
Chipset:
DLP
Contrast Ratio:
2,000,000:1
Light Source:
Laser
Resolution Type:
Shift
Throw Type:
Ultra Short Throw
Warranty:
2 Years
Digital Inputs:
HDMI

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Optoma P2

#8
Total Image Quality Score: 8.06

SDR DAY

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 8.3
Focus / Detail / Geometry 8.3
Motion 9.7
Contrast 8.3

SDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 7.7
24p Motion 9
Contrast 8
Black Level / Shadow Detail 7.5

HDR DARK

Color Accuracy / Skin Tone 7.5
UHD Detail / Sharpness 8.7
Contrast / Tone Mapping 8
Black Level / Shadow Detail 7.7
4000-Nit Tone-Mapping 8.8
Color Gamut 8.8
Notable Features
3D:
Yes
Dolby Vision:
No
Gaming Lag Time (4K 60hz):
67.6 ms
Max ANSI Lumens:
3,000
Typical Street Price (USD):
$2,299

As of August 4, 2022

Audio Rankings
8th Place
The NuForce-designed 20.0 Watts × 2 Dolby Digital 2.0 speakers on the Optoma P2 are all around pretty good. It's an overall excellent on-board sound though the bass is somewhat underwhelming. However, the one thing the P2 has going for it that none of the other projectors can claim is the ability to add a subwoofer via its audio output. Adding a sub truly catapults the system into Tier 1 performance

Update

The Epson LS800 was just released. Unfortunately we couldn't get our hands on this new projector before the ultra short throw projector shootout. Make sure to keep your eyes out for the next showdown where we'll be including the Epson LS800 UST.

Sponsors

I really have to give an extra special thank you to our sponsor AVPro Edge / Murideo and particularly Jason Dustal who provided us with such an array of generators, analyzers, distribution and connectivity equipment along with their expertise to help ensure that all went well with our signals, EDID and HDMI connections.

Jeti really came through for us by providing us with a spectradiometer which had the required bandwidth to efficiently profile our colorimeters and ensure a accurate calibration on such a large number of projectors.

Spectra Projection provided us with a whopping 8 screens to use for this competition which ensured all projectors were using an identical & uniform surface that was ideal for the type of competition we held.

Kaleidescape came through for me once again by providing us a loaded movie server with all of the additional content that Rob asked for to really put these USTs through a stress test.

JVC hooked us up big time by sending over a calibrated NZ8 projector unit for us to use as a reference, while I am still waiting for the unit for our home theater showroom (different than this UST room).

Conclusion

This was a pretty exhaustive effort and all parties involved from the judges, to my team and that of Projector Central, did a tremendous job and a service to projector enthusiasts everywhere.

I can't stress enough what an amazing job Rob Sabin did and the amount of effort he put forth to really make this the definitive event of it's type. The scale of our ambitions with this showdown was great and I doubt there is anyone, anywhere that could have pulled this off better than him.

I've had the pleasure of meeting our judge Mark Henninger previously as he attended the UST Showcase event that we hosted at ProjectorScreen.com earlier this year. It was my first time meeting all of the other judges, despite being familiar with them all from their review work elsewhere. What an absolutely interesting, affable and knowledgeable crew, all of which I would gladly work and socialize with again.

It was also really amazing to see how when reviewing a projector juxtaposed next to several others, it really can change your perception of a projector's performance and attributes when reviewed and analyzed in a bubble. It really helps put things in perspective when being able to directly compare against so many other units as well as such a stellar reference projector & screen combination.

You may be used to this in a television showroom, but when it comes to ultra short throw projectors, there is no larger collection to be able to view at the same time than what we have here at ProjectorScreen.com

We look forward to adding the results of our analysis of the built in audio for these ultra short throw projectors. We would have loved to have our panel been able to have judged the audio, but with the mammoth task of a 14 projector comparative review, the time was just not there. Rob & I will be updating our coverage of the event to reflect the audio sometime in the very near future.

Keep this page bookmarked and check back soon as we will be adding some additional content that I just didn't have time to squeeze in before we published this as we wanted to share the results with you all as soon as possible.

Projector Central's official write-up and coverage of our 2022 Laser TV Showdown Results can be found here 

Need help picking the right ultra short throw projector? Give us a call:

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