Leica Cine 1 Laser TV UST Puts Picture Quality First

Hisense and Leica have teamed up to create a UST Laser TV that focuses on image fidelity and benefits from Leica's long experience with designing high-performance lenses, the Cine 1.

The pre-production unit shown is created in partnership with Hisense. It is a triple-laser RGB design, so it achieves a very wide color gamut. Notably, the Cine 1 will be sold in two configurations, one for 100-inch screens and one for 120-inch screens. Why? Because a fixed-focus UST lens can be more reliably sharp than a focusable lens. Leica's UST lens is hyper-optimized for the selected screen size.

The results I saw at the show speak for themselves. This is a UST that outputs a home theater-worthy picture. It is cleaner and sharper than other triple-laser USTs and under dimmed lighting, it looked superior to other USTs I have seen—even if going by specification, it is not the very brightest UST out there. Corner-to-corner sharpness exceeded what I've seen from other USTs and was much like a high-end long-throw projector.

The biggest difference I spotted, beyond the edge to edge sharpness in uniformity, is that the Cine 1 Does not exhibit the significant, visible chromatic aberration that I have seen on every other RGB UST I have demoed.

The expected pricing of the Cine 1 is fairly high, $8295 for the 10-inch model and $8995 for the 120-inch model, and you'll still need to add a screen. The prices likely won't surprise those familiar with Leica, but the picture quality might surprise anyone who thinks USTs can't output as sharp an image as a traditional long-throw model.

Specs list contrast at 2500:1, the throw ratio is 0.25:1, and it has two HDMI 2.1 as well as one HDMI 2.0 input and supports eARC.

The following is a chat with Stephan Albrecht, the managing director of smart displays at Leica, about the Cine 1.