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LG launches laser-powered 4K HDR projector at CES 2021

The HU810P is an ultrabright home theater projector that costs $3,000.

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This story is part of CES, where our editors will bring you the latest news and the hottest gadgets of the entirely virtual CES 2021.

I'm a big fan of lasers: Light shows, toys, sharks and projectors. Lasers are cool. They're a great way to throw a lot of light at something. Officially launched in the US at CES 2021, LG's new 4K CineBeam HU810P laser projector is rated at an impressive 2,700 ANSI lumens, which is a lot of light. It also boasts some impressive color and processing claims as well.

The HU810P uses two lasers, red and blue, to put out those 2,700 lumens. That kind of light output isn't unheard of, for instance the 4K resolution Optoma UHD30 CNET recently reviewed was rated at 3,400. However, LG claims the 810P is also capable of 97% of the P3 colorspace, which has some seriously deep colors. Usually deep colors and light output are mutually exclusive -- or at least, going for one limits what you can do with the other. Lasers are a way of doing both.

Another big benefit of lasers is that, unlike traditional UHP projector lamps, you don't need to replace them. LG claims the lasers in the 810P are good for around 20,000 hours. At 4 hours a day that's about 14 years of use.

If you're curious how two lasers can reproduce the three primary colors needed to create an image, read more about why lasers are the future of projectors (hint: phosphors).

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LG

There's a built-in iris, which should help with improve contrast. Inside is a single DLP chip, which means the 4K detail should be excellent, with no motion blur.

There's a feature LG calls "Adaptive Picture Pro," which will adjust the image based on ambient light, alternating between two presets labeled "Bright Room" and "Dark Room." Assuming you can adjust those presets based on your screen, that could be handy.

One of the complaints I had with LG's tiny PH30N was non-defeatable motion interpolation, also known as the soap opera effect. It seems that won't be a issue with the 810P, which will feature a "Real Cinema Mode" that will "show movies as their directors originally intended by adjusting the frame rate of the projected image to match the original source at 24Hz." It says "match" there, but my guess this means a multiple of 24, not actually 24 frames per second.

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LG

There's also HDR although, as is usual with projectors, I don't expect it look as good as it does on TVs. However, if the color is as good as claimed, that could mean content with wide color gamut might look impressive.

Rounding out the features are built-in Wi-Fi, HDMI 2.1 with eARC, horizontal and vertical lens shift, and a 1.6x zoom.

The HU810P is $2,999 and starts shipping next week. International prices weren't immediately available, but that's about £2,190 or AU$3,850.

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