Of all the gadgets and gizmos that cross my desk, few get more questions than projectors. I get the allure—everyone wants to have a large-format cinematic experience at home, and everyone assumes it’s a super easy thing to do these days. How hard and expensive can it be?
Pretty hard and pretty expensive, it turns out. There are a lot of other things you need to create a proper home theater. That’s why projectors like this LG CineBeam HU710PW, though expensive and still requiring some tools for mounting, are some of the few I recommend. It offers an excellent and decently bright picture at a 4K resolution, and the setup is very easy. It also comes stocked with LG’s smart TV ecosystem and smart remote, so you can point and click your way to Netflix.
Sure, it’s not as affordable as a large TV, but this is one of the best home theater projectors I’ve ever tested. From setup to long-term viewing, I was extremely satisfied all around.
Projectors are often blobby, ugly things, but the Cinebeam is a crisp rectangle with sharp edges, and it was easy to manipulate and mount on my ceiling. (It helps that it weighs a moderate 14.3 pounds.) I set it up on my 100-inch screen in no time, using the existing mount and power source I have installed in my viewing space. You’ll need a power outlet nearby, or a discrete extension cord, as this projector comes with a power brick that’s pretty heavy—you wouldn’t want to leave hanging in the air.
One of the best features of this model is that it has excellent built-in lens shift and zoom adjustments—knobs that allow you to shift the image left, right, up, or down, as well as adjust the size of the image to fit your screen. This makes the HU710PW (and its bigger brother, the HU810PW) among the easiest projectors to set up and get looking good in your space.
Turn the projector on and it’ll initiate setup for LG’s webOS interface, which allows you to log in to streaming apps like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and more via the included remote. Think of the remote like the Nintendo Wiimote you might have used a decade ago. Point and click, and a little cursor on the screen follows the motion of the remote like a magic wand. Pretty nifty!
Having such an excellent onboard OS is really what makes this projector stand out in the crowd. Most other home theater projectors in this price range still require you to buy a Roku or other streaming device and incur all the associated cabling and headache. It’s nice to have to worry about just a single HDMI cable to plug the projector into my surround-sound system.
One laser and two LEDs provide the light and color at 4K resolution (3,840 x 2,160), and the whole thing gets bright enough to support HDR10. You’ll get up to 2,000 lumens of peak brightness from the HU710PW, which isn’t glaring but is easily bright enough for dark or medium-dark rooms. Frankly, if your room doesn’t get dark and you’re considering buying a projector, think hard, and prepare to spend a lot of money to get one that’s bright enough.
I genuinely enjoyed watching movies and shows on the HU710PW. It looks fantastic and worked as well as any LG TV—a testament to how devoted the company is to making all of its home theater products share one user experience. Colors are bright and accurate, and in sports and game modes, the TV responded well to fast motion, thanks to LG’s TruMotion engine.
You’ll get 20,000 hours of playtime before you need to think about snagging another projector, which is a heck of a lot, even if you leave it running 24/7. One thing you’ll definitely need is a soundbar or surround-sound system. This projector comes with 10-watt stereo speakers on each side, but they leave a lot to be desired. An HDMI eARC port means that any modern system will work with just a single HDMI cable to connect the two, as it did in my case. There are also two other HDMI inputs, so you could plug in game systems or disc players.