Hisense’s new 80-inch laser TV brings projector-sized picture without the hassle

Hisense showed off a massive 100-inch Laser TV last year at CEDIA 2017. It’s wasn’t like most TVs in the traditional sense, as it was essentially a short-throw projector, only with an over-the-air (OTA) tuner and speakers built in. The TV was an impressive sight to behold, but the bigger surprise for many might have been its price: $10,000. Now, Hisense has announced the L5 Laser TV, a new 80-inch version of the first TV that is far, far cheaper, and you’ll be able to buy one soon.

Like the 100-inch model, the new L5 Laser TV consists of two parts: the short-throw projector, and the surface it projects on — in this case, a custom-made, high-gain, anti-light hard screen. Hisense says viewers can watch comfortably from as close as 10 feet, and the 400 nits of brightness the display is capable of means you shouldn’t have to close the curtains if you want to watch TV during the day. The Laser TV also has some smart TV features built-in, offering an automatic sports mode and screenshot sharing.

Unfortunately, that’s essentially all the information we have at this point. Hisense hasn’t shared any specific details about resolution — though we assume it will offer 4K ultra-HD resolution based on the “4K” label seen above the TV in the press photo — or whether or not this TV features high dynamic range (HDR). Other key pieces of information — like the number and type of inputs, how many watts the built-in sound system is, and whether or not the TV will feature Hisense’s smart TV platform — have also yet to be announced. Looking at the model Hisense showed last year, it seems we can reasonably expect at least HDR10 support for HDR, and a smart interface with apps like Netflix, Hulu, and others.

Fortunately, we shouldn’t have to wait long for more information: As of May 17, the L5 Laser TV is already on sale in China, and Hisense says it will soon be available worldwide. Best of all, the L5 will cost a little less than a third of last year’s 100-inch model, retailing for 20,000 yuan, or roughly $3,140.

The benefits of a short-throw projection display make it worth considering if you want a massive screen but lack the space needed for traditional projection, but if the L5 still sounds too rich for your blood and you’ve got the room, take a look at our list of the best projectors, many of which offer bigger 4K picture for less. Those after a smaller screen with even better image quality should also check out our list of the best TVs that you can buy right now.

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