$2500 gadget you’ll want to buy
WHAT would you think if I told you it was possible to get a 100-inch television that was small enough to carry around in your backpack?
Chances are you would think I am tripping worse than Hunter S. Thompson on his drive though bat country in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
I can safely say there are no hallucinogens involved with my wild claim, rather I am talking about LG's Minibeam Ultra Short Throw Projector.
The $2499 gadget, known as LG PF1000UW, projects high contrast full HD 1080p images up to 100-inches, has a built in VHF and UHF TV tuner for watching Free-To-Air and comes standard with all the apps you would use on smart TV - essentially offering a compact TV replacement.
Overall, the product isn't going have the same wow factor as one of LG's razor thin OLEDs when not being used, but given it weights just 1.9kg and measures 13.1 x 30.9 x 12.9 cms, it's very easy to hide away if stand alone appearance was of major concern.
On the side and rear of the projector, you will find the following connections:
• Power supply
• HDMI x 2
• USB 2.0 x 2
• 3.5mm audio out
• Optical S/PDIF out
• Antenna/CATV connector
The top of the unit is where you will find a wheel for tweaking focus and a small button which offers limited controls - if you are someone who loses their remote often this is something to be wary of.
It might not be 4K but that doesn't mean LG's full HD (1920×1080) projector doesn't pack a punch in terms of picture quality - when I first turned it on I was blown away by the sharpness, colour and detail of the image.
As it's a short throw projector, you need to set it just 11cm away from the surface to get 60- inch display or 38cm away to get a 100-inch projection.
The added bonus of this is your viewing will not be interrupted with ugly shadows because someone has walked in front of the projection beam.
With a brightness of 1000 Lumens - a measure of the total quantity of visible light emitted by a source - the projector offered great colour balance and high colour saturation even when being watched in a room with ambient light. That said, the darker the room, the better.
Obviously moving the projector further back to get a larger picture than suggested from the ideal performance range will result in a lower quality picture, but even at those distances the image is still impressive.
One downside was the focus lacked a little with on-screen text - it could still be read, just not as crisp as you would find on your traditional TV.
The LG PF1000UW also offers four corner keystone correction, which means you can get the image to project as an even rectangle as possible.
The unit ships with the same remote as the LG TVs and also runs off webOS 3.0, which natively offers an incredible range of streaming services including Netflix, Stan, ABC iView and YouTube without the need for a set top box or media player connected by cable.
webOS 3.0 also offers an app store to download anything that's available but doesn't come as standard on the device - you just need to make sure your projector is connected to Wi-Fi.
Another welcome feature on the LG PF1000UW is the ability to watch videos or view content directly from a USB stick, with the projector supporting a wide range of file formats.
Likewise, you can use the antenna connector to watch live TV on the unit.
In terms of sound. the unit has two 3W speakers on-board which are decent enough considering, although if you were to buy the device, I would encourage you to spend a little extra to get an accompanying sound bar.
The final thing to remember is the projector has a 30,000 hour LED light engine and given no replacement lamps can be purchased for this unit, you will get a limited life span -. that equates to four hours of use a day for 20 years.
While I am a huge ambassador for OLEDs and the 4K goodness they can bring, I was very impressed with this short throw projector.
The picture quality was amazing and it was a great space saving solution for those searching for that type of thing.
If I was in the market for a new TV, but wasn't sure what I wanted to buy, I'd strongly consider marking this as a real option.