In the world of TV and home theatre, bigger is always better. People want the biggest screen possible and sometimes, a TV just isn’t big enough. The introduction of ultra short throw (UST) projectors is now blurring the lines between TV and projectors. They work in smaller rooms, sit on entertainment stands, and project 4K resolution onto a wall. Is this the future of home entertainment?
I’m reviewing the Hisense L9G 100” smart laser TV. This is an ultra short throw 4K projector that comes with an included 100” ambient-light rejecting projector screen. Hisense characterizes this as a laser TV instead of a projector. Whatever you call it, it caters to anyone who wants a theatre-like experience at home. Is it worth the premium price? Let’s find out.
Notable specs for the Hisense L9G 100-inch projector
- 3,000 lumens of brightness, 4K Ultra HD 3840 x 2160 native resolution
- Approximate 25,000 hour lamp life ensures long-lasting use
- Built-in Android TV operating system
- Two integrated 20-watt speakers with Dolby Atmos cinematic sound technology
Design of the Hisense 100L9G laser TV
The Hisense 100L9G projector sports a futuristic spaceship design with a shiny reflective black surface complemented by dark grey speaker fabric on the front. Holding it with two hands, it feels quite large and heavy. It measures approximately 24”x”6”x14” (WHD) and weighs approximately 25 pounds. This isn’t your grandpa’s projector.
On the front, you’ll find two 20-watt speakers inside covered by speaker fabric. Plastic grills with triangular cutouts are located on each side. They act as vents to dissipate heat. If you didn’t know, projectors get hot. The lens is located on the top facing the wall surface. There is no cover for it, so it will become exposed to dust. A pair of proximity sensors are located on either side of the lens. This is a built-in safety feature. If anyone gets close to the projector, the display automatically dims.
Connection options on the Hisense 100L9G laser TV
On the back, you’ll find a variety of connection options including three HDMI ports. Two support HDMI 2.1 and 4K/120Hz signals. The HDMI 2 port also offers eARC, the ability to transmit original resolution audio signal through HDMI. Users also get optical digital and 3.5 mm analog audio outputs. A USB 3 input port is also available.
A surprising connection port feature was the coaxial input. I cloud connect my over-the-air (OTA) antenna to the 100L9G for local TV station feeds in HD. This was a surprising feature to see in a UST projector. I guess if you’re going to call it a laser TV, you might as well offer traditional TV connections.
Setting up the Hisense 100L9G smart laser TV
As mentioned, the LG9 comes with a fixed 100-inch ALR (Ambient Light Rejection) screen. The screen is mounted with brackets that are screwed into the wall for permanent, fixed placement. For this review, I did not mount the screen to the wall. Instead, I tested it in my short-term rental suite which has a dedicated projector wall. The 100L9G comes with Android TV built-in. Once I placed it on a table near the wall, I followed the steps to connect my Google account to the projector. That took less than 5 minutes to set up. From there, the rest of the setup is optimizing the screen.
One thing I quickly realized is that this projector lacks flexibility. The lens has a fixed focal length. Basically, that means it’s designed to be 100” and fit on the provided screen. From my tests, it sat somewhere between 10”-11” from the wall to produce a 100” screen.
Adjusting screen image
There are four adjustable legs on the bottom of the projector. These can be used to square up the image manually. There’s also an eight-point geometric correction that can be done manually or with a phone camera. A QR code is displayed that takes you to a website on your smartphone. Here, you take a picture of the eight-point screen and upload it to the site. I had to reposition the projector and try this several times before I finally got an image deemed acceptable. From there, I was finally able to watch YouTube content.
The Hisense L9G laser TV comes with a controller with dedicated buttons for Youtube, Amazon Prime video, Disney+, Tubi, and Google Play. It also supports Google Assistant with a dedicated button to activate the voice assistant. One thing missing from the Android TV platform is Netflix. To watch it, I had to cast Netflix from a Chrome browser. If you watch a lot of Netflix, I suggest connecting a Roku 4K streaming stick.
I myself watch a lot of YouTube so I had no problem finding content from the suggested videos and via voice search. I just really wish it had Netflix built-in. Can’t all these platforms get along? We the customer lose out, I hope they realize that eventually.
Using the Hisense 100L9G ultra short throw projector
Since this Hisense UST projector is touted as a laser TV, I wanted to test the performance in the daytime. Granted, the image would look much better on the included ALR screen. It’s designed for that very reason. Even without the ALR projector screen, the Hisense 100L9G creates an exceptionally bright image during the day. The 100L9G has three lasers, one for each base colour—red, green, and blue. The three-laser lighting systems result in more brightness and a wider colour range. This explains why it is still bright during daytime use. In that sense, it does provide a TV-like experience. I suspect the blacks would be improved with the ALR screen. It was the only colour that struggled in the daytime on the white projector wall.
Sound quality of the Hisense 100L9G laser TV
I wouldn’t be surprised if people mistook the 100L9G for a chunky soundbar. Hisense put great effort to ensure a solid built-in sound system. At full volume, the 100L9G fills the entire 400 sq ft room with sound. That said, it doesn’t have a lot of low-end audio. I have a soundbar with a dedicated wireless subwoofer in the room and I can hear the difference.
I found the Dolby Atmos did offer some spatial experience while I was watching movies. Still, with ample audio connections, I suspect most users would connect it to a surround sound audio system. That’s really the only way to replicate a theatre-like experience at home.
Who is the Hisense 100L9G laser TV for?
Without a doubt, the Hisense 100L9G laser TV is geared toward tech enthusiasts who live in a small space but still want a 100” 4K screen. It features the latest in projector technology and comes with a dedicated ALR screen. If you’re an early adopter of tech, this is for you.
One thing to keep in mind is the setup. You will need to mount the ALR screen to a wall to get the most out of this projector. From there, be ready to dedicate some time to fine-tune the image. Do it once, and this projector will very much operate like a laser TV, especially in the daytime. I also suggest you connect it to a soundbar or surround sound speakers for a fully immersive home theatre experience.
If you’re willing to invest in the latest and greatest home theatre projectors, I highly recommend you consider the Hisense 100L9G laser TV. The daytime brightness will surprise you.