Top positive review
49 people found this helpful
Nice evolution in LED projectors
on June 28, 2013
First, a shout out to folks over at avsforum -- a lot of great info and feedback there in case you haven't checked it out. Now, my experience is based on upgrading from a LG HS201, which pumps out a measley 300 lumens, and also I am by no means a high-end home theater guy. My family watches TV and movies, a lot over streaming Netflix or AppleTV, and we're not looking for ultra high-end home theater setups where this color needs to be perfect, or the audio has to be 5.1 or 7.1 or whatever. So grain of salt, home theater enthusiasts.
Now that said, here's what I really like about this new unit
- The LED light source. Our LG HS201 is still going strong and rated at 20,000-30,000 hours. By comparison, a conventional lamp-based projector is going to blow after about 2000 hours, and if you're like us, using this thing for, say, 2-3 hours a night and accidentally leaving it on for a few more because AppleTV has a good screensaver, you're basically looking at what amounts to a disposable projector because the bulbs are so expensive.
- I actually like the different remotes. They're like the remote equivalent of the mullet, business in the front, party in the back. I wind up using the magic wand with the motion sensor more because it just seems simpler and I can still pretty much do everything I need to get to with that remote, just more on-screen navigation.
- The TV features are neat. Having an over-the-air receiver is more fun than I realized, and the bundled antenna works just fine in my area, where I can pick up all the major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, etc) as well as the random ones in languages I wish I knew better.
- 3D function. I picked up some cheap SainSonic glasses here on Amazon and it just works. You can test it with 3D content using the YouTube native app on the projector -- there's a playlist of videos even you can use to test. I hadn't been looking for this in a projector but it's nice to know that it's there, and makes me look cool to other people which would be more of an issue if I were trying to compensate for the emptiness in my life and search for real meaning by unwisely buying material things in a subconscious effort to be otherwise validated by my friends and family and seek a temporary fleeting sense of meaning that then vanishes. So, yeah, 3D is awesome, you should totally try it.
- Little things that aren't present in the last generation, like auto-keystone and stuff like that. The projector sort of set itself up nicely, even as I have it flipped upside down in my setup and it just knew it and, as if to say "here, here, don't fret about the emptiness in your life, and you know what, I'll do some of my own settings" it was a really nice setup experience. You can still control all those things like keystone etc but it's just really nice especially if you're not putting this projector permanently in a location but carrying it around to, say, Sales presentations where you don't believe in the product and feel as though you're selling your soul in addition to the product, and will be projecting in new environments from time to time.
- Audio is perfectly satisfactory, but for audiophiles you will hate it. There's a regular headphone jack thing and so you can get audio over to something else, but if you're looking for digital audio out or other things to fill the emptiness in your life, no, you won't find those here, sorry.
- The resolution is really nice. I don't know what a 1080p projector image looks like. I do know that this feels like HD, because on a 100" wide aspect ratio screen, it feel sharp and colorful.
Here's what's so-so
- The brightness. There's no way you're going to be able to see this during the day and compare it to a TV image. Now, granted, do I want a projector that can do 100,000 lumens without a lot of noise and with a lamp that lasts 2000 years and costs under $1000? Sure. But like democracy, this is maybe the best compromise we have right now. In this analogy, I am equating a system of government to the LED projector market, for those playing along at home. Do I think it's 700 lumen? Maybe. Feels brighter than our old 300 lumen which is basically like saying a peanut M&M is bigger than a regular M&M; sure, that's true, but neither are really as big as a Snickers bar. I turn it up off of the worst eco mode, and even as I am destroying America's energy future by using more energy (I guess), I am pleased by the brightness. But it won't compare to a full-blown non-LED projector. So if you love lamps being bright and burning out soon, and generally have wrestled well with your own mortality by now, don't get this. But if you'd like to live under a little more comfort that this projector will last a good long time and be with you to develop a good working relationship with it, and view a lot of movies together and grow old together, then maybe get this one.
- SmartTV features. Big thing is Plex compatability (which is where they get away with saying it's Netflix compatiible etc) are a little rough around the edges but make the experience a lot cooler than just a plain old projector. If we weren't so addicted to AppleTV and the iTunes ecosystem, I'd go with the Plex functionality more often. Plex, by the way, is basically a system where you can host media on a server somewhere else in your house (say, on a Mac Mini or a Windows PC that's always on) and then fling it over to your projector (it's called "SmartLink" I think in the menus). It not only flings stored media but there are "Channels" in Plex including Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, etc. which work to varying degrees of success. The navigation could be a little cleaner and easier, but isn't bad per se.
- Other SmartTV features. Yeah, there's YouTube, Twitter, Google Maps. Some of these are awkward because really? You're surfing Google Maps on a home entertainment projector? I would've rather they spent the time to embed some better native entertainment apps but oh well. Guess that's a mistake they'll have to live with for the rest of their lives, LG engineers... and I forgive you.
- I kind of wish there was some more precise and/or automatic way of focusing. I also wish I had the ability to fly and teleport.
Uh, what else...
- On some of the forums they say there's a hum or something. I don't hear it in ours. If you crank the setting where it says you're at a high altitude, the fan comes on and so that's one thing. But I don't hear the hum they're talking about.
- The HDMI connection works just fine.
- It's a fine-looking unit itself. Mostly understated, and I was impressed that they mounted most of the controls on the back so you could actually project upside down -- say off the top of a bookshelf opposite the projection screen -- to a projector and still do just fine.
- You get used to the navigation after a while. I kind of wish there were better shortcut keys to get to the most commonly-used features for us, e.g. switching modes, but I guess I'd have to use the other less slick remote. I also wish there were a keyboard to enter text just during setup, eg WiFi passwords.
- If you're deciding between the PA70G or a non-entertainment projector and this one, I'd go with this one if your intent is entertainment use. It's just sort of nice to have some of these features at the projector-level rather than via a connected device (eg AppleTV), even if the menus are a little weird.
- WiFi 802.11n
In short, we're really enjoying this projector. Bold, colorful images, decent audio built-in, built-in entertainment junk, bright enough to hold its own against any other LED projectors, and fun with 3D if you feel like it. Go for it.