Buying a big TV is the dream of many people in all countries. Moreover, they dream not just about a large, namely a large, and ideally, a huge TV. Because the big screen is mesmerizing, it makes watching any video more emotional. The problem is, really big TVs have been, and still are, prohibitively expensive. And there is every reason to believe that they will remain so for a long time to come.
When the first TV with a diagonal of more than 100 inches appeared 11 years ago, it seemed to many that in a couple of years huge TVs would be sold in every store, and their cost would drop to quite sane values. Yes, and there seemed to be reasons for this – that 103-inch model was plasma, that is, thick, heavy and not the most progressive, and even then it became clear that the future belongs to LCD and OLED panels.
As a result, technologies have stepped far forward, plasma has completely disappeared from the market, 55-inch TVs are now sold even in Auchan, and 100-inch models have remained rare as they were. Moreover, their cost is still measured in the millions.
Most people can’t afford it, so manufacturers offer alternative solutions. For example, Hisense is very successful in selling devices, or rather systems, under the name Laser TV. They have been produced for several years, have undergone considerable changes during this time, and now there are three models in the company’s lineup at once. This one, with an index, 100L5G is the youngest and most affordable.
What is Laser TV
It is a combination of an Ultra Short Throw (UST) projector with a laser light source and a special 100-inch (2.5 m) screen. But in the company itself, they try to avoid the definition of “projector”, because in terms of capabilities, convenience and image quality, Hisense Laser TV is closer to TVs than most short-throw projectors.
Firstly, it has the main distinguishing feature of all TVs – a TV tuner with the ability to receive analog and digital channels according to DVB-T2 and DVB-S2 standards, that is, it also receives satellite broadcasts, it does not need a receiver for this.
It also has a full-fledged operating system that allows you to install applications for streaming video services, some of which, like Netflix, are already hardwired into the firmware.
Naturally, such a system also has its own built-in video player that plays files up to remixes of 4K UHD Blu-ray discs with Dolby Vision and the corresponding bitrate discs. He “does not see” only parts and complete images in the form of BDMV and ISO files, but this feature is inherent in all media players built into TVs. And like all of them, here the player works over the network only with DLNA servers, and via USB without restrictions with any disks and flash drives.
Accordingly, for all this, the Laser TV 100L5G on the rear panel of the console (projector) has the necessary connectors in the form of two antenna inputs, RJ-45, two USB 2.0 and a scattering of analog inputs and outputs. All this is complemented by Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2. In short, everything is like a typical “smart” TV.
What this model has better than a TV is the audio system. It consists of only two speakers and a stereo amplifier with a power of 2×15 W, but the speakers in it are directed forward, that is, towards the listeners and are equipped with cases with acoustic design, which you will not find in the vast majority, therefore it sounds incomparably better. Complementing the picture is support for most audio formats, including Dolby Atmos and DTS, which not all “ordinary” TVs can boast of.
It’s all about the screen
However, Hisense does not want to associate Laser TV with a projector for a rather different reason, namely because of the resulting image. In general, its nature remains unchanged – the viewer is always looking at the reflected light, which is more natural for all of us.
But manufacturers of short throw projectors sell their models on the premise that they need only a large white wall to get an image, and at the same time, they show a juicy and incredibly contrasty picture in all promotional materials. Of course, this has nothing to do with reality: in fact, the picture turns out to be pale, and a reflection appears on the ceiling – the reflection of the projector beam from the wall. Moreover, these phenomena inevitably occur if you use a regular white screen.
That is why Hisense offered consumers a kit that includes a special screen that reflects the light of the projector in a different way and thereby drastically changes the quality of the resulting image. At first, that is, in the first models of Laser TV, they used the most cardinal solution – dark gray Onix screens from Screen Innovations, in combination with which they obtained the most contrasting image with deep blacks.
But such screens have two significant drawbacks: very high cost and the impossibility of folding – they were delivered in huge boxes, like large TVs. Therefore, the company found a better solution, since technology does not stand still – this is an ALR screen (Ambient Light Rejection).
It folds up, comes in a compact box, is easy to assemble, and is close to hard black screens in terms of efficiency. His canvas is also gray in appearance, but this is not the key to its effectiveness.
The surface of the canvas is not smooth, but with the smallest comb, the planes of which have unequal angles of inclination, calculated in such a way that the beam of the projector falling from below at a rather sharp angle is forwarded to the audience, and the light falling from above from the room is scattered and partially absorbed.
That is why the canvas seems dark: if you turn it over, the screen surface will look light, and the screen itself will not “work” – the image will become faded. In general, due to this feature, the image turns out to be bright and at the same time contrasting even in the light of the room. And if this light is also slightly dimmed, then it is generally excellent in terms of these indicators.
It is noteworthy that the image is perceived as contrasting and bright even if you look at it from the side at an angle of 45-50 degrees. True, at the same time, there should not be an open window or a burning lamp nearby, because the screen is less protected from side illumination, which is logical, otherwise the image would be perceived as bright and contrasting only from a certain point, and an overexposure spot would inevitably result in the center.
In general, it is thanks to the Hisense L5G screen with its luminous flux of 2,700 lm that you can get a 100-inch juicy picture. At the same time, this model consumes only 350 W, which is 2-3 times less than 100-inch TVs. To do this, the creators used a high-performance blue laser as a light source.
The result was a rather high color temperature in normal and even warm settings. That is, for the sake of high energy efficiency, without which you can’t sell video equipment in Europe or America, Hisense did the same as TV manufacturers whose temperature in “normal” mode exceeds 11,000K, and in warm mode more than 7,000K.
So in the “out of the box” state, they are similar in terms of color rendering. But, unlike TVs of a similar price range, Hisense L5G is equipped with a set of image adjustments like expensive projectors.
While other manufacturers offer just a projector as an alternative to a large TV, Hisense offered a complete set with all the functions of a TV and an image that is radically different from the competition due to a special screen.