Lg cinebeam hu715q projecting against wall

Could an Ultra Short Throw Projector Replace Your TV? We Tried the LG CineBeam HU715Q to Find Out

In a time when TVs are getting bigger (much bigger) and the average screen size has ballooned beyond 65 inches, there’s a problem afoot for those wanting to balance a Netflix binge session while keeping an interior designer’s eye in mind. Large-scale TVs can turn a well-designed living room into a bachelor’s man cave in seconds, taking up all the available space on a wall while becoming a big black eye sore in the process.

Plenty of brands offer makeshift solutions to the problem, with TVs that double as wall paintings and pictures. However, there’s a new piece of technology that’s rethinking the whole idea of mounting TVs to a wall in the first instance. It’s called an Ultra Short Throw Projector (or UST), and it doubles as a projector, sound bar, and invisible screen in one stand-alone unit. Sounds great, but does it really work?

We spent a month with the LG CineBeam HU715Q to find out if an Ultra Short Throw projector can really replace a similarly priced television. Here’s what we found out.

Related: 2022 LG CineBeam Projector Lineup Unveiled.

Lg cinebeam hu715q living room

LG CineBeam HU715Q | Image: LG

Advantages of an Ultra Short Throw Projector

There are three main advantages of an UST projector that we found in our testing; setup, design, and picture size.

Setup is Easy

Provided you have a blank wall to display the picture on, setting up an UST projector is as simple as plugging it in and turning it on. And while we can’t speak for all UST projectors, you’ll typically find the same software suite as the equivalent television, including apps such as Netflix, YouTube, etc. In this case, we had the LG webOS 6.0 that we’ve become familiar with over the years of testing – and one that’s about to be upgraded for the latest model year.

There’s no messing around with TV wall mounts, drilling holes to run cables, or poking around the back of the TV to fit HDMI cables and audio leads. It’s one single unit that provides quality sound equivalent to a mid-range soundbar, and cables run down off the back of the cabinet for a seamless look.

If you wanted to take the UST projector experience to the next level, a hidden drop-down projector screen would offer the best picture quality and greater contrast in brighter rooms.

Lg cinebeam hu715q design up close

LG CineBeam HU715Q | Image: LG

It’s Better Looking Than a Large TV

Like most, we’ve been in the market for a bigger television. We’ve tested a handful of 65 inch TVs in the last 12 months, however, none seem to fit the proportions of our living room which is otherwise minimalist, country-styled, and lacking of any serious technology.

To illustrate our visible technology limiting efforts, we’ve gone so far as to hide the soundbar in the cabinet and run all our cables into the wall to remove any visible technology from the room.

We’ve looked at replacing the current 55-inch Samsung TV with a Samsung Frame TV – a great solution for those looking to turn their TV into an artwork – but not something that suits our particular space as having a 75 inch painting on the wall would unbalance the room. So we landed with a few options; replace the current TV with a new 55-inch unit, install a Frame TV, or try out an UST projector.

Ultimately, we landed on the latter and it’s hard to turn back to a TV once the UST projector has claimed its place on top of the TV cabinet. The minimalist design of the LG CineBeam HU715Q was a highlight for us. The balance of white colours on the unit itself alongside the speaker grilles was a nice touch, and we also loved the overall shape and design of the unit, with square edges and sharp angles that fit out space perfectly. It’s not a small unit, measuring in at 533mm x 315mm x 153mm but it’s no larger than stacked coffee table books.

The Image is Huge

Maybe the most obvious of all is the image size. Our LG CineBeam HU715Q can project an image up to 120 inches, large enough to fill just about any wall. Of course, the closer the projector sits to the wall, the smaller the image, and the smaller the image, the higher resolution the screen becomes. As is the case with almost all projectors, it’s about finding a balance between screen size and quality. We landed around the 100-inch mark where it was bright enough to use during the day, and the resolution didn’t take a big hit and become grainy.

Related: LG Unveils Styler ShoeCase and ShoeCare for Fresh Kicks

Lg cinebeam hu715q with sport on

LG CineBeam HU715Q | Image: LG

Disadvantages of an Ultra Short Throw Projector

The big screen might be the greatest advantage for a UST projector but it’s no match for a true 100-inch TV as offered by brands such as Samsung and Hisense. As mentioned, the larger the image, the quicker the resolution drops, and as the resolution drops, the brightness and contrast in colours go with it. There are a few things you’ll have to consider before replacing your television.

Image Brightness, Quality, and Speed

We first tested the LG CineBeam HU715Q in our office sitting 21.7cm (100 inches) away from a perfectly white plasterboard wall, it was great. The image had good contrast (2,000,000:1 contrast ratio) thanks to Adaptive Contrast, it was bright enough (2500 ANSI lumens) to use with the blinds up, and it seemed every bit of the 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) resolution.

Of course, when we placed it next to the LG C1 OLED TV in our meeting room it was no match for the deep rich blacks, but it was as good as any projector we’ve ever tested in-house.

After a few days, we took it home to test the colour accuracy on an off-white rendered brick wall at a greater distance (120 inches plus). And while it worked perfectly in adjusting the colours to suit the wall colour, it did bring to light a few more issues that you’ll have to consider before purchasing any UST projector. For one, you’ll need a perfectly white wall – ideally a plasterboard wall, as rendered brick has more texture – or you’ll need to invest in a drop-down projector screen. If you run the projector on any coloured walls it will wash out the colours, appearing dull.

Secondly, you’ll have to consider exactly where you’re going to set up the projector. While it looks great, the 533mm x 315mm x 153mm box has to sit around 30cm from the wall, more if you’re planning on installing a projector screen. It also has to sit on a TV cabinet or similar, so if your current cabinet is too high off the ground there won’t be space to project a 100-inch image before it gets cropped by the roof.

Finally, gaming isn’t really an option on the LG CineBeam HU715Q. The projector can only manage a peak of up to 4K (4096×2160) at (60Hz, 50Hz, 24Hz) which isn’t fast enough for anything other than casual games such as Farming Simulator 2022. Most of all, we found a considerable amount of input lag when playing games on our PS5 and if you’re into FPS or sports games such as NBA 2K23 or Call of Duty, you’ll become frustrated quickly.

Related: Samsung The Freestyle Review: Punchy Pocket Projector

Lg cinebeam lineup

LG CineBeam HU715Q and HU710PW | Image: LG

Could an Ultra Short Throw Projector Replace Your TV?

So could an Ultra Short Throw Projector replace your TV? Our answer is, maybe?!

There are a few scenarios where the UST projector is great e.g. you have a minimalist living room with white walls and a TV cabinet that’s the perfect height and depth from the wall, and is large enough to accommodate the box. Essentially, if your living room looks anything like the images we’ve scattered throughout this article. It also works if you’re looking to transform a room into a makeshift home cinema where you’ll be installing a drop-down screen, new furniture, and you’re tossing up between a large TV or a projector.

Where it doesn’t work is if you’re looking to play games, watch TV in a room with a great deal of natural light, or you’re looking for the best picture quality at ANY price point.

Most 4K UST projectors might be priced around the $6000 AUD mark, but you can think of them as ‘cheaper’ alternatives to any of the 100-inch TVs on the market that can cost upwards of $16,000 AUD. If you’re looking for a good-looking, minimalist, sound bar incorporating, 4K screen to watch movies, Netflix, and more. The LG CineBeam HU715Q Ultra Short Throw projector could replace your TV.

The LG CineBeam HU715Q Ultra Short Throw projector is priced from $5,819.95 AUD and can be found at any of the links below.

Buy it here (LG) Buy it here (JB HI-FI)

Lg cinebeam hu715q ports 1

LG CineBeam HU715Q Ports | Image: LG

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JOURNALIST

Ben McKimm

Ben lives in Sydney, Australia. He has a Bachelor's Degree (Media, Technology and the Law) from Macquarie University (2020). Outside of his studies, he has spent the last decade heavily involved in the automotive, technology and fashion world. Turning his passion and expertise into a Journalist position at Man of Many where he continues to write about everything that interests the modern man. Conducting car reviews on both the road and track, hands-on reviews of cutting-edge technology and employing a vast knowledge in the space of fashion and sneakers to his work. One day he hopes to own his own brand.