LG's 2015 Compact Video Projector Line-Up - Preview

LG PF1500 Smart Video Projector
LG PF1500 Smart Video Projector. Image provided by LG

Dateline: 06/19/2015
When you think of video projector's well-know 4K Ultra HD, OLED, and Smart TV maker LG isn't the first brand name to come to mind when it comes to video projectors, but they actually offer an interesting product line of portable and mini projectors that might offer just the right features for your needs.

Look Ma - No Lamps

To start, all of the projectors in their compact line are lampless. What this means is that instead of having a power-hungry lamp, their portable and mini-projectors combine a LED light source with a DLP Pico chip to produce images that can be projected onto a large screen.

This combination allows for more efficient power consumption, as well as decreasing the physical size of the projector. On ​the other hand, led light source technology is as bright as a traditional lamp, but, depending on how it is applied, this lampless technology is capable of producing a good, viewable, image in a darkened room.

Also, another benefit of the LED light source is that it is rated to last from 20,000 to 30,000 use hours, as opposed to a traditional lamp that only lasts a few thousand hours on average. What that means for consumers is several years of great large screen viewing without the added cost of periodic lamp replacement.

Who Needs A TV?

Although Lampless technology is innovative, it is not unique to LG - However, incorporating a built-in DTV TV tuner into their 2015 portable and mini-projectors is.

In other words, unlike all other video projectors currently on the market in 2015 (as far as I know), these projectors allow you to watch over-the-air or unscrambled cable TV programs without the need for an external tuner or cable box as the projectors actually have a built-in RF antenna/cable input.

PF1500

Although none of the projectors in LG's 2015 portable and mini line-up would not be considered as a replacement for a full dedicated home theater projector, the PF1500 comes the closest.

The core features of the PF1500 include full (1920x1080) 1080p display resolution via a newly developed 1080p Pico Chip, and up to 1,400 lumens of light output - certainly enough to throw enough light on a screen up to 120 inches in a darkened room. Also, for audio, the PF1500 has a built-in 3wpc stereo speaker system (an external audio system is preferred for a full surround sound experience).

However, that isn't all. The PF1500 is also a "Smart" projector - just like a Smart TV, you can connect the PF1500 to your home network via built-in Ethernet connection an access streaming services, such as Netflix, VuDu, Hulu Plus, MLBTV.com, Youtube, Spotify, Vtuner, and more...

In addition, with built-in WiDi and Miracast, you can view content wirelessly from compatible portable devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and PCs.

Of course, the PF1500 also provides an HDMI input (which is also MHL-enabled), as well as other input connections.

The PF1500 is priced at $999 - Official Product Page

More Mini-Beam Projectors

The remaining three mini beam projectors in LG's 2015 line-up are definitely not on par with projectors designed for home theater use in terms of brightness, but provide flexibility for those that that need, or desire, a video projector that is extremely portable.

These projectors provide the following features (in addition to core features discussed in the introductory paragraph). However, keep in mind that only the PF1500 provides built-in access to internet streaming content.

PW800 - 1280x800 (approximately 720p) native display resolution, up to 800 lumens of brightness (100-inch maximum screen size), Miracast/Widi, 2-watt stereo speaker system.

The PW800 is priced at $599 - Official Product Page

PH300

1280x720 (720p native display resolution, up to 300 lumens of brightness (100-inch maximum screen size), Miracast/Widi, 2-watt stereo speaker system.

The PH300 is priced at $449 - Official Product Page

PV150G

LG refers to this one as their Minibeam Nano Projector, and for good reason, it is about 4-inches square and weighs less than one pound. However, with that small size comes a decreased light output of only 100 lumens, combined with a non-HD display resolution of only 854x480 pixels (approximately 480p).

The PV150G is priced at $349 - Official Product Page

Is Portable Right For You?

The emphasis on LG's video projector line is definitely on the portable side of the equation - However, even if you already have a dedicated home theater video projector setup - these projectors (especially the PF1500) might be a viable option for a second room setup (such as the kid's room), and may also be practical for business or pleasure travel.