LG have always been at the forefront of technological innovation, especially when it comes to their product design. Take the LG HU80KA 4K UHD Laser Projector for example. It can be fired vertically or horizontally, and has used laser technology rather than the traditional bulb to give users wonderful colour reproduction in their video.
The LG HU80KA is a small form factor versatile projector that can sit in a vertical position and thanks to its mirror technology, throw an image to a wall. It stands at 6.5″ x 18.5″ x 6.5″ which is extremely small and perfect for anyone with limited space in their living rooms or dedicated cinema spaces in the home. It’s made from metal so is pretty weighty, and has a rough black textured finish.
The projector is capable of images up to 150″ in either the vertical or horizontal position, as long as you can seat it at around 100 meters away from your throw wall. At this range though, it would be best to directly beam the projection to the wall, as you can lose image brightness if you’re relying on the mirror. The mirror itself is tucked behind a foldable door, which once opened can be angled how you want, or completely tucked away for horizontal positioning.
On the back you will find two HDMI ports, one USB 3.0 and one USB 2.0 ports compatible with DivX, MP3 and photo playback, one 3.5mm auxiliary output and one optical output for your digital sound and an RJ45 port to physically connect this device to your internet. Yes, it is a smart projector with apps included, but more on this later.
There is also Bluetooth so if you want to hook this up wirelessly to a set of speakers, you can do, or you can use the LG TV Plus app to link it to a compatible LG soundbar. We did not do this though as we do not have an LG soundbar on hand to test. It does have two built-in 7W stereo speakers which actually don’t sound too bad if I’m being honest although does lack bass. It’s not home cinema sound, but it’ll certainly be okay if you’re watching some cartoons or some sitcoms.
The innovative aspect of the LG HU80KA is the fact that it has a door on top with a mirror inside which gives users the ability to throw to a wall or white screen from a vertical position. Of course, if you do use the projector this way, you will lose some brightness and quality. If you’ve got the space, and a spare stand it could sit on, then lay the projector on its side, flip out the handle/stand so its aimed upwards and you’ll get a much better image quality.
You can even mount it to the ceiling too if you have the correct bracket. The projector has an automatic keystone adjustment which can correct an image if its skewed by the angle you have the projector at. Very useful if you can’t get the projector to completely line up with your screen. There are two wheels on top which can be used to focus and zoom the image depending on how far away you are to the wall.
The setup of the LG HU80KA projector was as simple as they come. I plugged it into power, using the retractable power cord coming out the back of the machine with an automatic rewinder. Once powered it told me to go through the initial setup, hooking it up to my WiFi in the home. That was it pretty much. I had to accept some terms and conditions which were pretty standard. TL;DR type stuff.
Now, onto the SMART stuff. The internet and other reviewers told me that there were apps built into the device, and their videos show off using things like Netflix and PLEX. However, there are two models available, and the one we received was the non-SMART edition. No apps. But there was a web browser which I could use to access YouTube and Netflix.
As my living room is on the smaller side, I didn’t have the room to horizontally place the projector so I had to use it vertically and then bounce the projection off the in-built mirror. In terms of colour reproduction, I couldn’t be happier.
The image produced is 4K and can even render HDR image quality too thanks to its extremely bright laser. It doesn’t rely on bulbs like a traditional projector would, and you can receive up to 20,000 viewing hours with this machine. Dynamic Range is great, giving a great contrast between dark shadows and bright highlights.
There are a number of picture profiles that you can choose from ranging from your usual Vivid and Standard, right through to Natural, Cinema mode, and more depending on what you’re watching. Of course to get the most out of the screen on a bright day, Vivid is your best option. But for that movie richness, switch it over to the Cinema image mode. But this also depends on how far your projector is away from the wall. The image when on the more specialist modes like Cinema were a little dim. Switch back over to Standard or Vivid in this situation. Colour temperatures come in set increments and I went for a Natural colour temperature. It gave as the title says very natural colours, and even helped with the brightness too in daytime situations.
The LG HU80KA is definitely the best in class. It’s innovative design means it can be carried around with you, to your garden for a summer movie night, or to a client meeting where you need a bit more quality to show off some video work. The quality the projector can produce is absolutely stunning, and can easily rival the more traditional home cinema projector setups. It’s a little costly, coming in at around £1700 online, so you’re paying a pretty penny, but it’s worth it if you want to complete your sweet home cinema setup in style. For more information, head on over to the LG website.