What are the differences between laser projectors and laser TVs?


A small revolution in the world of home theater, laser projectors offer many advantages and are increasingly establishing themselves as the best solution to replace the living room television. This laser technology provides exception lamp longevity, as well as high brightness which allows them to project a very large image, even during the day. Laser projectors are available in classic (laser projectors) or ultra short focal length (laser projectors or laser TV) versions. They most often integrate an operating system with access to the Internet and online video services.

Laser projection: exceptional longevity

Unlike conventional projectors, where the lamp needs to be changed approximately every 2000 hours (4000 hours in eco mode), laser video projectors have a much longer lifespan. They can easily provide between 20,000 and 30,000 hours of use, which is almost 20 years at a rate of 4 hours of use per day. Laser projectors are therefore the best solution for long-term use and limit the overall cost of the system by eliminating the need to frequently replace the lamp.

The laser light source of the Optoma UHZ65 projector has a lifespan of over 20,000 hours that is unmatched by traditional UHP lamps.

Laser technology also has the advantage of being less energy intensive by being able to adapt its consumption according to the projected image, unlike a conventional lamp which always operates at maximum capacity.

Laser projection: instant power-on

Laser projectors offer better responsiveness and can start instantly, unlike lamp projectors. These models sometimes take several minutes to reach an optimal operating temperature before they can properly display an image. They are more sensitive to thermal variations, which makes it impossible to switch the projector off immediately after switching it on or, on the contrary, to switch it on again immediately after switching it off. Both of these procedures can be easily performed with a laser projector, allowing you, for example, to turn the equipment on and off immediately if there is nothing you want to watch on the television.

A laser projector like the LG BU50NST can be turned on instantly so you never miss a second of your movie, TV show or sporting event.

Laser projection: quieter operation

A laser projector heats up less than a lamp model. So there is no need to use such powerful fans to maintain an ideal operating temperature. They are usually cooled by a passive radiator or a smaller fan. As a result, laser projectors are generally low-noise and provide greater comfort of use. You no longer need to turn the volume up high to hide the sound of the ventilation. In addition, these projectors stir up less dust, so you won’t need to frequently clean your projector filter.

Laser projection: precise colors

Laser projection technology has long been used in professional theaters and IMAX theaters in particular for its superior display quality. It offers a more accurate and consistent colorimetry, with the possibility of displaying an extended color gamut, close to Rec. 2020 for the most efficient models. So you can enjoy rich, nuanced colors that are as natural as those provided by high-end TVs.

Thanks to its laser technology, the Optoma CinemaX P2 ultra-short throw 4K video projector covers 120% of the REC.709 color space and the entire DCI-P3 gamut, the standard adopted for digital cinema projection.

Laser projection: high brightness

One advantage of laser projectors is their high brightness, generally between 2000 and 5000 lumens, which allows them to project a very large, bright image, even during the day. It should also be noted that this high brightness is well maintained over time, whereas the brightness of lamp video projectors can begin to decrease after a few hundred hours of use.

The Benq V6050 projector can project a very bright, clear and contrasted image in a bright environment.

What is a laser TV?

A laser TV is a laser projector equipped with an ultra short focal length. It therefore retains all the advantages of laser technology (long lifespan, high brightness, instant power-on, low noise and accurate colors) while benefiting from a wide angle focal length. This allows the laser projector to be placed (some use the term laser “overhead projector”) on a piece of furniture or on the ceiling, very close to the screen or projection wall. They will be able to display a large image, usually between 1.5 and 3m across, at just a few inches from the wall. These laser TVs are therefore an excellent alternative to the living room TV with a smaller footprint and the guarantee of a larger picture.

Positioned right in front of the wall or the projection screen, the Optoma Cinemax UHZ65UST laser TV is ideal for replacing the living room television or enjoying a large screen in the bedroom.

Laser TV: superior audio section

Often neglected on conventional video projectors, the audio section of laser TVs or ultra-short throw laser projectors is generally of superior quality. It is therefore not uncommon to see laser TVs equipped with a real audio section using multiple high-power drivers. Their ideal location in front of the spectators and under the image allows one to benefit from a high quality stereo reproduction. Consequently, most ultra short throw projectors don’t require that you invest in an amplifier and speakers, although we still recommend doing so to achieve a true cinema experience.

The stereo sound bar integrated into the front of the Optoma CinemaX P2 video projector has 4 drivers to ensure a powerful and high quality reproduction.

Laser TV: easy installation

A laser TV can display a large image while being positioned only a few centimeters away from the projection surface. This configuration has many advantages, including that of simplifying the connection of your different sources. In fact, you can place the laser TV directly on top of the TV cabinet, right next to the sources. This eliminates the need for long HDMI cables and systems to conceal them in the living room.

This type of laser projector also allows you to move around more freely in the projection room, without casting shadows that affect the viewing. At home, this is particularly useful during movie nights with friends, but is also advantageous in companies so as not to lose the attention of the audience during conferences.

Placed just in front of the screen, the ultra short throw laser projector (or laser TV) avoids the projection of shadows on the picture.

Laser TV: applications and streaming

The vast majority of laser TVs integrate an Android TV or proprietary operating system, as well as a WiFi and/or Ethernet network controller. This allows them to access many online video services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ or even Youtube. Some laser projectors are also DLNA compatible to play audio and video files shared on the local network. Finally, you can also often find a USB port allowing you to read files stored on a USB key or hard drive. Laser TVs are therefore much more than just projectors, as they offer all the functionalities usually found on smart TVs.

Equipped with the Android operating system, the Optoma CinemaX UHZ65UST laser TV can use many applications, including those of the main video on demand services (Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, etc.).

Laser TV: projection on a screen or on the wall?

A video projector or laser TV can project directly onto a smooth, white or gray wall. However, for frequent daytime use, the use of an ultra short throw projector screen is highly recommended. These screens are optimized for daytime projection and for projection in living rooms where light pollution is often significant. Therefore, they are equipped with a treated surface to limit the effects of the light pollution on the image and improve its contrast. These are usually fixed screens, the only solution to achieve a perfectly flat projection surface thanks to the uniform stretching of the canvas attached to the frame. An example of this type of projection screen is the Lumene Movie Palace UHD 4K Extra Bright (read the test of the Optoma HD35UST with Lumene Extra Bright screen).

Lumene Extra Bright projection screens are optimized for ultra short throw projectors.

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