Big screens are undeniably addictive. Whether you’re gaming, gathering for a family movie night, or filling the wall with your sport of choice, nothing beats a giant picture to make home-entertainment come to life with irresistible impact. TVs are rising in size every year, but conventional and LED-based TV screens can only go so far. For a truly massive picture, home cinema projectors have always been the go-to technology. And in 2020, they’re ready to go head-to-head with TVs in the battle for your lounge room.
Traditionally, projectors haven’t been the most convenient of devices. Set up has been complicated by the need to ceiling-mount and run long cables to them, combined with an inability to overcome ambient light during daytime viewing and the need for a separate sound system to accompany their images.
That’s all changing thanks to a relatively new development: Ultra Short Throw (UST) technology, which allows the projector to sit close to the projection surface¹. It can be placed on your entertainment unit where you’d normally put a TV, for example, shining its light straight upwards onto a wall or a screen to deliver images of 100-inches diagonal and up². Samsung’s new The Premiere LSP9T smart UST projector, for example, can produce up to a massive 130-inch³ 4K image from a position just 24cm out from the wall ‒ that’s the size of four 65-inch TVs combined.
Better still, UST projectors like The Premiere can compete with regular TVs thanks to the addition of a TV tuner, smart-TV interface, network connections, internet access to streaming video services, and even immersive sound systems ‒ meaning they’re a complete entertainment solution, combining the best of both TV and projector in an entirely new breed of big-screen entertainment.
A new kind of light show
Today’s best UST projectors also differ from their forebears when it comes to the central technology driving them, with laser projectors significantly outperforming their older LCD or DLP predecessors. The light source used is no old-style projection lamp (which dims over time and requires replacement), having been replaced with a more power-efficient LED. The Premiere LSP9T uses a full triple-laser system which offers multiple advantages, not least the LED projection-lights’ lifespan, which is rated for up to 20,000 hours of use: that’s two movies a night for 18 years, or 8 hours of gaming a day for nearly 7 years. For gamers, The Premiere also includes a Game Enhancer option, which optimises colour and contrast⁴ while keeping lag time down to an advertised 53ms ‒ all to help you get the win you deserve.
Its image resolution is, of course, Ultra High Definition (aka 4K). Projectors have been far slower in moving to 4K than TVs; some projectors advertising “4K” will accept a 4K input but may deliver only half that resolution to the screen. Samsung’s The Premiere delivers the full pixel count to ensure the best possible detail and crisp UHD images for a full cinematic presentation.
Meanwhile the brightness of that triple laser source of LSP9T delivers a quoted 2,800 ANSI lumens⁵, bright enough to create a vibrant and legible picture even without a screen: “a white wall is all you need” is the official requirement.⁶ That said, there are some strong arguments for adding a proper screen with a ceiling-light-rejecting (CLR) surface. This significantly reduces light from the projector bouncing back from the ceiling above to wash out the image and creating a glow on the ceiling. Samsung’s partners over at Elite Screens claim a 100x contrast enhancement over standard matte-white projection screens, which delivers neutral colour temperatures for natural images and has wide viewing angles. Using such a light-rejecting screen doubles down on image brightness, and further improves the ability to enjoy content even in daytime conditions.
The Premiere also supports 4K material that offers wide colour gamuts and High Dynamic Range, for bright whites and amazing detail in the shadows. The LSP9T’s triple lasers can display colours beyond those even theoretically possible from 4K Blu-rays, encompassing 106% of the Rec.2020 colour space, and far beyond (147%) of the DCI-P3 colour space to which many UHD displays are limited. That means bright and distinct colours, with no banding across large areas of single-colour gradations, such as blue skies and sunsets.
Indeed, if you want your movie to screen just as the director intended, you can switch to Filmmaker mode, the first time we’ve seen such an option on a projector rather than a TV.
Filmmaker Mode was created by the UHD Alliance (Dolby, Samsung, LG, Netflix, Panasonic, Warner Bros and others) in collaboration with filmmakers and Hollywood studios. It overrides the projector’s processing settings, notably motion interpolation, which some Hollywood directors claim can destroy the filmic quality of movies, and aims to ensure delivery of the correct aspect ratio, colour and frame rate as determined by the creator.
Smarts and full-bodied sound
Two key final features transform The Premiere from a projector into a complete entertainment solution. The first on the LSP9T is the inclusion of a 4.2-channel⁷ immersive audio system within the compact enclosure itself, comprising two tweeters, two woofers and Acoustic Beam technology and 40W RMS of total power. (LSP7T has 2.2ch sound with no Acoustic Beam and 30W RMS). It’s like a built-in soundbar, able to deliver gaming, movie and sports sound without the need for an external audio system.
The second feature is Samsung’s renowned Smart TV platform, so that The Premiere works like a TV. It’s ready to stream Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Apple TV+, YouTube, Optus Sport, Foxtel, Kayo and more right out of the box, with a host of other apps available.⁸ Mobile connectivity is also second to none, with a simple ‘tap to connect’ linking your compatible phone with The Premiere for glitch-free playback on that massive screen.
There are even multiple voice assistants built in ‒ including both Alexa and Samsung’s own Bixby ‒ so you can control your cinematic entertainment without so much as a wave of the remote control.⁹
Take it with you
The other great feature of UST projectors is that they’re incredibly easy to move around or even pack up and take with you – so you can use them in the kids room or even bring them on holidays.
If you’re hunting for a second screen for dedicated movie nights and sports or other big-screen events, or have been considering a projector for some time (but have held back due to the hassle of setup), Samsung’s The Premiere Ultra Short Throw projector could be the perfect answer.
For more on how The Premiere is busting the old projector myths, hit play on the video below.
Samsung’s The Premiere Triple Laser Projector is available in Australia now at leading retailers and online at www.samsung.com/au.
LSP7T RRP AU$5,999 and LSP9T RRP AU$10,999.
CLR projection screen from Elite Screens: elitescreens.com
1. The Premiere LSP9T must be at least 23.8cm from the wall for 130" (and at least 11.3cm otherwise). LSP7T maximum display is 120".
2. The Premiere LSP9T must be at least 11.3cm, and LSP7T at least 24.7cm, from the wall.
3. Image size will vary depending on the Premiere’s distance from the wall.
4. Compared to standard picture viewing modes.
5. LSP9T has 2800 ANSI Lumens and LSP7T has 2200 Lumens. Typical brightness based on internal testing in dark room (100 nits) and is subject to change according viewing environment or specific conditions.
6. Samsung recommend projecting onto a projector screen or a plain white wall in dark room for best experience.
7. 4.2ch audio only available on the LSP9T. LSP7T has 2.2ch audio built in.
8. Internet required. Data and subscription charges may apply. Apps are subject to change without notice.
9. Not all accents, dialects and expressions recognised. Supported languages may differ between Bixby and Alexa Voice Assistants. Amazon, Alexa and all related logos are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.