LG PF 1000U 3D DLP Projector Review Page 2

The projector comes with the same Magic Remote that LG provides with their regular smart LCD TVs. The gyroscope-powered wand is used to point-and-click items in the smart TV GUI and setup menus. When you click the remote’s central scroll wheel, you get the alternative option to scroll and select items using the wheel plus arrow keys arrayed around it.

The Magic Remote’s built-in microphone allows for voiceactivated control of select apps. This comes in most handy for Web browsing, where the combination of voice control and remote wheel for scrolling pages makes browsing a less annoying experience than it typically is on smart TVs. There are definite limits to voice control functionality, however. For example, you can’t use it to search movies on Netflix—the one activity where it would really come in handy. Instead, you’re forced to painstakingly type in search terms to find specific titles.

Setting up the PF1000U was a snap. I simply placed it on a low table directly beneath my 90-inch-diagonal Stewart Filmscreen Cima Neve projection screen and nudged the table out slightly until the image filled up the screen. The projector is spec’d to beam a 60- to 100-inch image when you position it within a 4.3- to 15-inch span from the screen’s surface. The lens is fixed, and there are no vertical or horizontal offset controls. As a result, placement options are extremely limited. As far as setup adjustments go, you only get a focus dial and a four-corner keystone adjustment.

The Bluetooth audio output is a feature that I can’t say I’ve seen before on a projector, but it’s a great idea. Pulling out a Bluetooth-capable headphone, I found that the LG was able to easily pair with it and stream audio from Netflix movies I watched—cool.

The picture setup menu provides three Energy Saving modes, each of which affects its overall brightness and contrast capability. The Minimum setting lets the LG beam its brightest picture: about 15 foot-lamberts in Sports mode and 12 ft-L in Cinema and Expert modes. That level of light output is about comparable to what I measured on the PF85U.

Unfortunately, the PF1000U’s black level with Minimum Energy Saving selected was much higher: The best contrast ratio I clocked in was 381:1. That’s about half of what the other LG projector was capable of. Also, fan noise with Energy Saving set to Minimum was noticeably loud—certainly high enough to be distracting during quiet movie scenes.

How did the LG’s contrast numbers translate when I watched TV and movies? Shadows mostly came across looking flat, with little to differentiate between levels of dark gray and black. When I streamed an episode of American Horror Story from Netflix and watched a scene where a trespassing, thrill-seeking couple gets busy in an abandoned asylum (guess what happens next...), the image had a pale, two-dimensional look. Submitting the LG to a Blu-ray contrast torture test like Life of Pi revealed what I already knew: In the nighttime scene where Pi Patel floats through an ocean suspended between glowing jellyfish and infinite stars, blacks looked grayish and the bright stars barely popped. High Dynamic Range this ain’t.

After I calibrated the projector, both skintones and colors in general looked natural. Checking out a scene from the Ex Machina Blu-ray where Caleb explores the bunker-style home he’ll live in for a week-long A.I. experiment, I noticed that red LEDs on control panels looked appropriately vivid, while green trees seen through the floor-to-ceiling windows looked lush and detailed.

A quick check of the PF1000U’s 3D image quality revealed unexpectedly good performance—better than what I’ve seen from other projectors that cost quite a bit more. Watching scenes from Hugo, a standard 3D torture-test disc, shots that show crosstalk on most projectors and TVs looked solid. Images from Pacific Rim, another showcase 3D Blu-ray, displayed impressive depth when projected by the LG.

LG’s PF1000U ultra short throw projector strikes me as an affordable, feature-packed rec room projector for teens to use to play games, stream movies, and watch trashy TV (American Horror Story, anyone?). Its media-streaming capabilities, Bluetooth audio output, and innovative Magic Remote are all appealing extras that make the LG stand out from other compact, portable projectors. On the other hand, you can buy a regular 1080p projector capable of beaming a much brighter, better-quality image for the same money or even less. Convenience or quality? Those are the choices here. It’s your call.

MatthewWeflen's picture

No mention of lag times? The PF1500 measured 170ms (70ms in game mode), which eliminated gaming as a reasonable use case. If this one has the same, the conclusion you reach may need to be altered.

brenro's picture

We're at the dawning of 4k with it's HDR and expanded color palette and no 3D. Fugettabouit.