Lasers! And TV! What could be better? That’s the premise behind the Hisense Laser TV, which was revamped for CEDIA 2017 attendees last month and unveiled in a New York City event Tuesday evening. Priced at $10,000, the all-new 100L8D Laser TV looks like a short-throw projector — and that’s because the system is based around one — but with an over-the-air (OTA) TV tuner and speakers built in, Hisense can technically call it a TV.
The NYC event took place at the retail home of high end audio brand Harman Kardon, which will make the built-in 2.1-channel audio system in the product. Hisense says it will push out 110 watts, which should make for decent sound. More interesting is the overall idea behind the 100L8D Laser TV — something Hisense calls a “market-creation” product — which is meant to serve those who want a big-screen experience without the hassles and limitations associated with conventional front-projection systems.
Utilizing an ultra-short throw lens, the heart of the 100L8D Laser TV can be positioned mere inches below an included 100-inch Screen Innovations Short Throw screen, presumably placed alongside all connected components. The 100L8D’s laser light source is rated for 20,000 hours and puts out an impressive 3,000 ANSI lumens, while the projector’s Texas Instruments DLP engine delivers 4K Ultra HD resolution with high dynamic range (HDR10) support bright enough to do battle with well-lit rooms.
The included projection screen has a matte finish, so glare from outside light sources is essentially eliminated, and it is extremely light — much lighter than similarly sized TVs — thus no reinforcement is needed to mount it. Another benefit is that no wires need to be run up the wall, and power does not have to be supplied behind the screen. Because the screen is optimized for high reflection of light for a bright image, the viewing angle is somewhat limited, though not nearly as much as conventional LED TVs.
The projector includes just two HDMI inputs, which limits the potential number of connected devices such as Blu-ray players and cable/satellite boxes, but Hisense’s own smart TV interface is built in for access to streaming apps like Netflix, Vudu, and others. A coaxial cable connection is supplied for those who wish to connect an antenna, but Hisense also points to the availability of the Tiki Live app, which promises streaming versions of some local broadcast channels.
For sound, the 100L8D Laser TV has two midrange drivers and two tweeters, each powered by 15-watt amplifiers, built right into the projector — previous prototypes had placed the speakers in a separate sound bar, which bulked up the installation. Harman Kardon supplies the sound tech here, which also includes a 60-watt 8-inch subwoofer to cover the low end. If an A/V receiver is used with the 100L8D Laser TV, the built-in speakers will double as a center channel.
Hisense hasn’t furnished a release date for the 100L8D Laser TV yet, but talks with representatives at CEDIA indicate the product should be available in the next few months.