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Review: Hisense Laser TV 100L9G-B12

Review: Hisense Laser TV 100L9G-B12, A triple laser UST projector with a built-in TV tuner, smart TV system and an included Ambient Light Rejection screen.

With the Hisense Laser TV 100L9G-B12, Hisense aims at viewers looking for a total solution to replace their television with a large cinema screen. A triple laser UST projector with a built-in TV tuner, smart TV system and an included Ambient Light Rejection screen, that seems like a good combination.

Hisense Laser TV 100L9G-B12 – Specifications

What Ultra HD DLP projector with laser light source and 100” ALR screen
Line-up 3,840 x 2,160 (1,920 x 1,080 with pixel shifting), light output 3,000 ANSI lumens, 0.25 throw ratio (100 inches diagonal at 0.30 m)
Connections 4x HDMI (2.0, ARC), 2x USB (media), 1x stereo cinch, 1x composite video, 1x optical digital out, Ethernet, WiFi built-in, 2x antenna, 1x CI+ slot Bluetooth
Lamp Life triple laser light source, up to 25,000 hours
Extras 100 inch Anti-glare screen with wall brackets, HDR10, HLG, DVB-T/T2/C/S/S2 tuner, 2x 20 Watt speaker, Dolby Atmos, VIDAA U 4.0 smart TV, USB/DLNA media player
Dimensions 610 x 155 x 346 mm
Weight 11.2 kg
Recommended retail price 4,999 euros

Hisense Laser TV 100L9G-B12 – Design

A projector can also radiate a certain luxury, just look at this Hisense. Unlike its somewhat humble brother, the L5F, the LG9 can certainly not be called boring. The soft round shapes of the L9G look a bit more interesting than the straightforward design of the L5F.

Glossy black gives it a certain style, and there are a lot of small accents that catch the eye. The anthracite gray side grilles are perforated in a triangle pattern for ventilation. The front is finished with speaker fabric. And on the top, the black finish even has a slight glitter touch.

Hisense Laser TV 100L9G-B12

Hisense Laser TV 100L9G-B12 – Connections

With three HDMI 2.0 connections (one with ARC), the projector provides sufficient connection options, but one less than most TVs. HDMI 2.1 is also completely missing, still a small lack of what a premium product should be. Furthermore, we find a composite video with a stereo cinch input for older sources, a digital optical audio output and headphone connection.

There are two USB connections, one of which is on the side of the device. You can use this to deliver media or to record live TV. A USB extension cable is included in the box, so that the rear connection remains easily accessible. There is wired and wireless network, and Bluetooth (for wireless headphones or soundbar).

Hisense Laser TV 100L9G-B12 – Placement

Hisense calls its projector a Laser TV, for several reasons. This is partly because it is an Ultra Short Throw projector that comes with a fixed 100-inch ALR (Ambient Light Rejection) screen. You mount the screen against the wall, place the projector 31 cm from the wall, and you’re done. A 100 inch image, with a projector, but one that is in the same place as your television.

UST projection not only has advantages but also disadvantages† The supplied screen, which is identical to that of the L5F, compensates for the main drawbacks. It comes with a wall bracket and an installation template. The top of the template should be exactly 1.5 m above the surface of the TV cabinet. Like all UST projectors, there is no lens shift or zoom, so follow the screen installation guidelines carefully. You can adjust it by screwing in or out the legs, and the screen itself can be raised or lowered to a limited extent thanks to the brackets.

If you still have slight deviations after setup, you can adjust this manually via the settings of the projector (with eight control points). Or you use the automatic correction. Make the image slightly larger than the screen, take a photo with your smartphone, and the projector automatically corrects the small deviations. Because even the smallest movement distorts the image quite strongly, Hisense has supplied two small plastic semicircles that you stick on the furniture as soon as the projector is correctly set up. This way you avoid most accidental movements.

Since there is also no focus, you are completely dependent on the optics of the projector. It provides a solid, but certainly not perfect focus. There is also clearly some chromatic aberration visible. At the top of the image there is even a few centimeters border that has a light blue tint, and in the far top left corner there is some yellow tint. This is visible in the geometry photo above. The deviations at the top have never been disturbing, but we expect slightly better focus from a projector in this price category.

The projector’s cooling does its job in silence. No, not as quiet as a mouse, but we like to take in that soft noise in the background.

Hisense Laser TV 100L9G-B12 – Ease of use

Hisense delivers the same environment on this projector that you find on its TVs, VIDAA U. Navigating through the menus for settings or through the smart TV section is smooth and the projector responds promptly when you press a button. All settings to calibrate the projector are available.

When you bend over the projector, a sensor detects this and temporarily switches off the light source. This prevents young children from being dazzled, but it is also useful if you want to connect another source.

Hisense Laser TV 100L9G-B12

Remote control

The 100LG9-B12 Laser TV comes with the standard Hisense remote. It is an alloy remote control, slim and light. The keys have a clear shape, making them easy to find by touch. They require just enough pressure and give good click feedback.

There are four keyboard shortcuts for Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, and Rakuten TV. Just because it is the standard remote from Hisense, there is, for example, a button missing to switch the image mode. That would certainly be useful for this projector.

Functions

The very full functionality is another reason to consider this projector a Laser TV. It has two antenna connections, a DVB-T/T2/C and DVB-S/S2 tuner, and a CI+ slot. With an external USB hard drive, you can pause and record live TV. These are functions that we rarely, if ever, encounter on a projector. The projector is certified for Ziggo, and we tested it on the Telenet network, where after a long scan it found all channels (a software update will also make it Telenet certified).

The smart TV part is also very good. VIDAA Not only do you work smoothly, but you provide a lot of options. The built-in USB/DLNA player was able to play most of our test files. Only Xvid is not supported, but HDR, subtitles and Dolby or DTS soundtracks were no problem.

The app range within VIDAA U is fine. Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Video, and Rakuten TV are available, among many other apps. And while Apple TV and Disney+ are already available on Hisense TVs, it’s still a while before they are available on this projector. That would be done via a firmware update.

Hisense Laser TV 100L9G-B12

Hisense Laser TV 100L9G-B12 – Image Processing

The Hisense is a DLP projector that uses a 1,920 x 1,080 chip, and shifts the image four times to achieve 4K. More information about pixel shifting can be found in our background article on projector technology . The result is somewhere between Full HD and 4K, the finest 4K details are lost.

In the image processing we recognize its relationship with the L5F. It provides good deinterlacing for video content, but has a hard time detecting film and video frame rates. As a result, you can often see moiré patterns. So it is best to switch your sources to 720p, 1080p or 2160p. He has no problem with upscaling, and if you’re looking for some extra detail, you can set the sharpness somewhere between five and ten. Random noise is removed relatively well, but compression noise (block formation) always remains visible. Fortunately, projection is a more forgiving medium in that regard. Color bands, for example, remain visible, but are much less disruptive than on a television screen. Leave Noise Reduction and MPEG Noise Reduction enabled in the ‘low’ position. To give the contrast an extra boost, there is ‘Adaptive Contrast’. This gave black detail in particular a nice boost, as was apparent from the test scenes from Gravity and Harry Potter. The impact on contrast is minor, but just visible, and more importantly, we didn’t see any negative impacts. Be sure to activate this, the lowest setting is fine.

The Hisense also provides frame interpolation (‘Ultra Smooth Motion’). In the ‘Smooth’ mode the results are very good. Judder is then almost completely eliminated, the processor intervenes quickly, and hardly causes any image errors. If you opt for minimal interventions, select the ‘Clear’ setting.

Hisense Laser TV 100L9G-B12 – Picture Quality

Where the L5F still worked with a laser/phosphor wheel combination, the L9G is equipped with three lasers, one for each base color. As a result, the projector not only has a higher light output, but also a much wider color range. In the Dynamic image mode, with the laser power at maximum, we get 2,460 lumens, which is very good, especially considering the specification claims 3,000 lumens. In Cinema Day mode, the light output drops to 1,656 lumens and in Cinema Night to 1,510 lumens. Even with that last figure, you can comfortably fill the 100-inch screen even in ambient light. The contrast varies between 1,148:1 (Dynamic) and 890:1 (Cinema Night). Those are also very good numbers.

If you also take into account the screen that repels ambient light and improves the black display due to its light gray tint, you will soon see that the 100L9G-B12 has everything to deliver a good image.

In SDR, the projector also presents a very good calibration. The Cinema Night mode shows a slightly too cool but uniform gray scale. The black detail is good (with adaptive contrast), and the gamma curve is excellent. The color reproduction is also excellent, and would probably be almost perfect with a small correction of the color temperature.

If you look at a lot of ambient light, you can switch to the Cinema Day mode, but the Standard and even the Dynamic mode are also worth considering if there is really a lot of light. The projector has a surplus of light and color, so you can still achieve a beautiful image even in reasonably lit situations.

Hisense Laser TV 100L9G-B12 – HDR

Those three lasers in any case provide a color range that is worthy of HDR. With 97% P3 (71% Rec.2020), it surpasses a lot of televisions. And that is in the Cinema Night mode which apparently limits the range a bit. If we switch the color space to ‘Native’, the projector even achieves 95% Rec.2020! So there is absolutely no shortage of color. It is even best to switch the projector to ‘native’. In the ‘auto’ mode it doesn’t really use its potential enough and the color reproduction is particularly good in the ‘native’ mode. Brightness and contrast are also present, so the only question is whether it delivers good tone mapping, because that is the most important factor for projectors.

In any case, the projector ignores the HDR metadata. In Cinema Night mode, it is a bit too dark, but performs tone mapping up to 10,000 nits. In Cinema Day mode, the tone mapping goes up to 1,000 nits. Material that has been mastered more clearly then loses a lot of white detail visibly, but the image naturally gains in clarity. It’s a shame that you have to choose between those two extremes, we would have preferred the option to adjust that ourselves. Now it seems the best solution is to opt for Cinema Night, the loss of white detail is simply too great. You can increase the contrast setting to gain a bit of brightness. Just like in SDR, you set ‘Adaptive Contrast’ to ‘low’ to make some extra black detail visible. The HDR performance leaves a particularly favorable impression. The projector manages to manage color as well as light and contrast in a good way. If you really want to get the most out of it, it is best to have the projector calibrated.

Hisense Laser TV 100L9G-B12 – Gaming

In game mode, the input lag is 54 ms in 4K60. That is certainly not a top result, but will suffice for most gamers. The projector has to make do with HDMI 2.0 connections, so there’s no option for 4K120, and keep in mind that the projector doesn’t support 2K120 either, although an HDMI 2.0 connection can.

Hisense Laser TV 100L9G-B12 – Sound Quality

To really complete its name as a Laser TV, this projector is also equipped with a solid sound system. With 2×20 Watt and Dolby Atmos support, it succeeds in creating a lot of volume. Voices are fine, and most soundtracks leave a good impression. Where it falls a bit short is the low display. We don’t hear real deep basses, which is of course no surprise. You should not expect miracles from Dolby Atmos either, the projector offers some spatial experience, but can certainly not compete in that area with more extensive audio installations. Play with the different audio presets, and don’t forget that you can turn off Dolby Atmos. It is even the better choice for music and a lot of TV material.

Hisense Laser TV 100L9G-B12

Hisense 100L9G-B12 – Conclusion

The lasers of this Hisense deliver an enormous color range and a lot of brightness, and with its excellent equipment and functions we find the name Laser TV very appropriate. What would we rather have seen differently? An HDR tone mapping that is a bit more accurate, but above all that we can adjust more easily ourselves. Now the choice is between clipping everything above 1000 nits or fairly heavy tone mapping up to 10,000 nits. For a projector in this price category, we also want a slightly better lens. The focus is not perfect, and there is some chromatic aberration. And gamers should take into account moderate input lag, and HDMI 2.0 connections.

But none of those negatives spoil the fun. We think this combination of projector and ALR screen is very successful. You get a 100-inch image experience with it, which does its job even in a reasonable amount of ambient light. The calibration in SDR is excellent, and even in HDR the result is very good, although we are sure that a professional calibration will make the projector even more impressive. The screen eliminates many of the concerns about UST projectors , and it improves contrast reproduction. The 100L9G-B12 Laser TV delivers great movies, compelling TV series and intense sports, that much is certain. A built-in TV tuner, a good smart TV system and solid audio complete the package. The price is quite firm, but if we compare with, for example, theYou get the Samsung LSP9T with Hisense for the same price.

Pros
  • Ultra Short Throw, easy to place
  • Supplied ALR screen with bracket
  • Excellent image quality
  • Great HDR performance
  • TV tuner with CI+ slot
  • User-friendly smart TV platform
  • Long life laser light source
  • Excellent audio quality, with Dolby Atmos
Negatives
  • Moderate tone mapping above 1000 nits
  • Focus is not perfect
  • No HDMI 2.1 or other gaming features
  • No Disney+ or AppleTV+ (for now)

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