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Review: Samsung The Premiere LSP7T – Short Throw projector with laser

Review: Samsung The Premiere LSP7T - although it shares some good qualities with the higher model, it is also clear where it has to compromise. 

At the end of last year we tested Samsung’s brand new projector, The Premiere (LSP9T) . It immediately turned out to be a hit, but it does come with a hefty price tag. However, there is also another version that is more affordable, The Samsung The Premiere LSP7T . It looks identical but differs in a number of important areas, including the light source. We compare its performance with that of the big brother.

Samsung The Premiere LSP7T – Specifications

What Ultra HD DLP projector with laser light source
Setup 3,840 x 2,160 (1,920 x 1,080 with pixel shifting), light output 2,200 ANSI lumens, projection ratio 0.25 (100 inches diagonal at 0.30 m), noise level 32dB (typical)
Connections 3x HDMI (2.0, eARC, ALLM), 1x USB (media), 1x optical digital out, Ethernet, WiFi built-in, 2x antenna, Bluetooth
Lamp Life laser/phosphor light source, up to 20,000 hours
Extras HDR10+, HDR10, HLG, 3D, 30Watt speaker
Dimensions 532 x 133 x 342mm
Weight 9.1 kg
MSRP 3,499 euros

Samsung The Premiere LSP7T – Design

The LSP7T looks like two drops of water on the larger model. Same glossy white housing, nicely rounded shapes, light gray fabric front. It is about one and a half centimeters shorter in each direction and is almost 2.5 kg lighter.

The significantly lighter weight makes no difference in practice. Both projectors are intended for a fixed installation, but can be moved if necessary. The difference in size is too small to make a difference. The LSP7T is a nice appearance, and just like the larger model is only available in white.

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Samsung The Premiere LSP7T – Connections

The LSP7T got exactly the same connections as the LSP9T. They are on the side that faces the screen, but on the right side instead of the left side of the device. So you have three HDMI 2.0 connections, one with eARC. ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) is also available. The connections are ready for Ultra HD HDR in the best quality.

Media can be delivered via the USB connection. The Samsung also has a wired and wireless network, and is equipped with Bluetooth that you can use for wireless headphones. An older audio installation that does not have ARC can be connected to the optical digital audio output.

Samsung The Premiere LSP7T – Placement

We find a first small difference in the drafting. Yes, this is also an Ultra Short Throw projector, but the projection ratio is slightly larger than that of the LSP9T. The LSP7T projects a 90 to 120 inch image when it is 25 to 42 cm from the wall. For comparison, with the LSP9T you get a 100 to 130 inch image between 11 and 24 cm from the wall. The difference in projection ratio therefore seems small (0.25 vs 0.19), but the effect is quite large. For a 100 inch image, the LSP7T should already be 30 cm from the wall. Then add the depth of the device (34 cm) and the front of the projector is already 64 cm from the wall. That is probably more than most TV furniture. There is therefore a real chance that you will have to pull the TV cabinet forward.

Other than that difference, the projectors are identical. The projection offset is 120%, the bottom of the image is about 20% of the image height above the top of the device. You can set the motorized focus via the menus. A zoom or lens shift is missing, just like on all UST projectors. The focus is set in no time, which is sharp over the entire image.

If you do not project on a perfectly flat surface or if the projector is not perfectly straight in front of the screen, the distortion in the image is very large with UST projectors. Samsung offers you a correction of the trapezoidal distortion where you can adjust the four corners. Or with more extensive distortion, you can even adjust 15 points on the screen.

We notice, just like with the LSP9T, a small chromatic deviation as soon as we have set everything up. The effect is small, less than a pixel it seems, and never interfered with ordinary viewing.

The projector is very quiet, you only hear a slight noise. This is all the more important as there is no setting to lower the light source, which invariably leads to less noise on other projectors. Its relatively quiet feature is a good trait it shares with its big brother. Moreover, since it is at the front of the room and you are relatively far away from it, that will never bother you.

Furthermore, you should consider all the pros and cons of UST projection. The most important? Know that even the slightest move will require you to readjust the image. Ensure a perfectly flat projection surface to avoid image distortion. We use a Projecta Tensioned Elpro Concept screen, an electrically retractable and stretched screen.

Samsung The Premiere LSP7T – Ease of use

The Premiere LSP7T shares the LSP9T’s excellent ease of use. It is undoubtedly one of the trump cards of these Samsung projectors. We take our description from the previous article and point out the small differences.

The projector offers the same smart TV environment, remote control and settings menu as the Samsung TVs. The Samsung Smart Hub navigates quickly, is well-arranged and offers all the necessary settings to calibrate the projector. Unlike the LSP9T, the menus didn’t look overly colored.

The projector has a sensor that switches off the lamp when you bend over the projector, useful if you have children at home who want to find out where the image comes from.

remote control

The compact remote is finished in white, matching the projector. It is slightly curved and fits nicely in the hand. The keys are easy to press.

 

Just like on the TVs, only the minimal keys are available. But that is absolutely no obstacle to ease of use, thanks to the handy Tizen smart TV environment. The remote can also be set up to control connected devices.

The only, small downside: the remote is not illuminated, so in the dark you have to work by touch. Although that is not so bad due to the small amount of keys.

Functions

Where the Samsung really has a leg up on many competitors is the extensive smart TV functionality. Only the LG HU85LA could also boast a beautiful smart TV environment.

In the same smooth and handy environment that we are used to on Samsung TVs, we find all important streaming apps, among other things. Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Video, Apple TV, Disney+, they’re all there. You can watch in HDR and you can even cast from YouTube and Netflix to the projector. Airplay2 is also supported.

The media player takes files from USB or a DLNA server. It is quite complete, but keep in mind that it no longer supports Divx/Xvid codec, nor DTS soundtracks. Just like on Samsung TVs.

Yes, this projector can take the place of your TV, and it even has built-in TV tuners (DVB-T/C/S). Unfortunately, there is no CI+ slot to be found, which means that the added value in Belgium and the Netherlands is limited. After all, you can only watch unencrypted channels with it, and that list is quite short.

Samsung The Premiere LSP7T – Image Processing

This DLP projector uses the 0.47 inch DLP chip from Texas Instruments. It offers a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080, and shifts the image four times to achieve a full 4K image. More information about pixel shifting can be found in our background article on projector technology . With this he succeeds in showing almost perfect 4K detail.

The LSP7T benefits from the same excellent image processing as the LSP9T. The projector has an excellent on-board deinterlacer, and it quickly and reliably recognizes various video and

movie frame rates. The noise reduction does a powerful job, but you have to rely on Samsung’s estimate, there is only an ‘auto’ mode or completely switched off. Here we preferred to see a few extra options, because the noise reduction sometimes also removes some detail. If you want to give the image some extra pop, activate Contrast enhancement on the lowest setting. In clear images, this gives the mid-tones some extra light, while hardly any black detail is lost. In dark images, the effect is more subtle, but rarely detrimental. The highest setting, on the other hand, hides too much black detail.

The projector can also perform frame interpolation, and we found that necessary because with 24p sources you often see some slight judder. Under the Sharpness settings you can set the extent to which the projector eliminates this yourself. It causes relatively few image errors, even in the highest setting, but it remains a personal choice. A better, judder-free display of 24p remains on our wish list.

Samsung The Premiere LSP7T – Image Quality

The main difference between the two models is in the light source. Where the LSP9T uses three lasers (one for each base color), the LSP7T uses a laser-phosphor combination. A blue laser is combined with a yellow phosphor and a color wheel. That is the approach that we see on most laser projectors, by the way. We mainly expect a smaller color range than on the LSP9T, but the LSP7T also has to make do with a lower light output.

Samsung claims 2,200 lumens. Compared to the 2,800 lumens of the LSP9T, but also against the specifications of similarly priced competitors, that seems quite low. For example, the Optoma UHZ65UST starts from 3,500 lumens, the BenQ V600 from 3,000 lumens. Time to get the meter out. The maximum we got from this projector (in Dynamic image mode with Color space set to Normal, and the contrast turned up all the way) was about 1,890 lumens. But in the regular picture modes, that fell sharply, to 1,300 and 1,100 lumens for Dynamic and Standard, and even a good 830 lumens in Filmmaker Mode or Cinema. That’s already on the low side. With 830 lumens, you can still look at 130 inches in the dark. But in moderate ambient light that is only just enough for a 90-inch image, (maybe not) happens to be the minimum size this projector gives you. Light control in the room, and above all ALR screen seems to us to be appropriate for optimal enjoyment.

The contrast is also considerably lower than on the LSP9T (which reached 1,900:1). The LSP7T clocks in at approximately 1,000:1 in most image mode, although that falls back to 740:1 in the Filmmaker / Cinema image mode. This means that its performance is in line with competitors that also use a 0.47-inch DLP chip.

With the Filmmaker mode we perform the full measurements. The projector has a nice neutral gray scale, and a gamma value of just over 2.2. That sets a good foundation. In the color measurements, however, a large deviation in the cyan tones is noticeable. They are moving strongly towards greenery.

This deviation is very visible if you have a reference with it, but would still go unnoticed in many images. Worse is the aberration we see in some skin tones. A number of them deviate very heavily to pink, as clearly visible in these measurements.

And unfortunately, they are visible in the picture without any problems. This way you can clearly see on the cheek and on the chin of this girl where things are going wrong.

Fortunately, not all skin tones are subject to that flaw, and during most of our testing, the issue stayed under the radar. The disadvantage is that when it pops up, it is very visible.

Because we still had the projector at home and Samsung suggested an adjustment, we quickly set up the device and put the above image on the screen again. Who will describe our surprise if it turns out that the error is now considerably less strong? Moreover, without making any adjustments. As can be seen from the image below, it is barely noticeable (ignore the slightly different color temperature, which is a result of our photo device).

Intrigued, we retrieve the meter. After the measurement, it appears that the same skin colors are still not correct, but the error is considerably smaller. However, all other measurements largely fall on the same result.

We have no immediate explanation for this change. When we test devices they are reset before we start.
In any case, that doesn’t change our conclusion much. Just like on the LSP9T, Samsung still has work to do to improve the color reproduction. If you bring the projector into your home, it would be a good idea to order a calibration.

Samsung The Premiere LSP7T – HDR

Where the Premiere LSP9T had an enormous color range thanks to its three lasers, the LSP7T is much more modest in that area. He gets 81% DCI-P3 (and 59% Rec.2020). That is somewhat limited for real HDR colors. A color filter to increase the color range was not an option anyway, given the impact that would have on the light output.

We do see the same trends as with the more expensive model. The projector takes the metadata into account and shows all white detail, but the luminance curve is well below the standard. Images are therefore a lot darker than expected. You can increase the contrast setting to improve that. HDR images can be enjoyed, but due to the lack of light output and moderate contrast, they lack their real impact.

You cannot really tinker with the tone mapping, we would like to see that, so that you can safely choose between slightly less white detail but slightly more clarity. The color errors that we saw in SDR are also reflected here

Samsung The Premiere LSP7T – Gaming

With an input lag of 48.8 ms in game mode, this projector may not be the best choice for hardcore gamers. Casual gamers may find it enough, it also features ALLM.

Samsung The Premiere LSP7T – Sound Quality

Another difference with its big brother: the LSP7T has to make do with 30W instead of 40W speakers, and does not have the Acoustic Beam speakers. Despite that minor downgrade, we are still absolutely satisfied with the sound. Ramping AC/DC through the speakers is no problem at all, but the high, ethereal soprano that sings lascia ch’io pianga also sounds excellent. In that respect Samsung clearly stands out above the competition. Unfortunately no Dolby Atmos support here either. That’s a shame, supplementing the projector with a soundbar seems a bit strange, Samsung should have thought about that better.

Review equipment

For the lag measurement we use a Leo Bodnar Display lag meter. For all other measurements we rely on a Portrait Displays C6 HDR2000 Colorimeter, Xrite i1 Pro spectrophotometer, a VideoForge Pro pattern generator, and the Portrait Displays Calman for Business software. We use an HDFury Vertex to analyze any HDR problems. For projection tests we use a Projecta Tensioned Elpro Concept screen with HD Progressive 1.1 screen.

Samsung The Premiere LSP7T – Conclusion

With the performance of the higher model, the LSP9T, in mind, The Premiere LSP7T was faced with a tough assignment. And although it shares some good qualities with the higher model, it is also clear where it has to compromise. He leaves points on light output, which is just too modest for use in ambient light, while that is the intended purpose. The calibration also needs to be improved. Those obvious color rendition errors, especially in some skin tones, should be avoided. (update 12/3: the errors in the house colors appear to be lower and much less disturbing, but they are still present). The lower color range and weaker contrast deprive HDR of much of its impact. To improve its HDR performance, Dolby Vision would be a great help. The projector does offer HDR10+,

But he also has a lot of strong points. The excellent image processing, for example, remains an asset that other projectors sometimes miss. The excellent smart TV platform is not only very user-friendly, but also provides all streaming services and useful functions. Powerful, full sound gives the viewing pleasure an extra boost, even if we lack Dolby Atmos support. With all these advantages, it can distinguish itself from competitors. Its contrast is in line with the competition, and although it is lower than that of the LSP9T, it is sufficient for good images. You don’t have to make the room pitch dark for maximum enjoyment, but it is no match for sunlight. Therefore, provide a room that you can darken to a limited extent, or opt for an ALR screen.

Pros

  • Ultra Short Throw, easy to install
  • Excellent detail and image processing
  • Long life laser light source
  • Very good audio quality (for a projector)
  • Excellent smart TV platform
Negatives

  • Requires calibration due to color errors
  • Light output too narrow for use in ambient light
  • HDR lacks impact due to smaller color range and light output
  • No Dolby Vision / Dolby Atmos

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