Ultra-short throw projectors: a good alternative to a big screen TV?
We trialled two ultra-short throw projectors to see if they are a good alternative to a large telly.
By Bryan Wall
Product test writer
I trialled two UST (ultra-short throw) projectors at home: the Xiaomi Ultra Short Throw 4K Laser TV Projector ($2999), and Samsung’s The Premiere P7 Laser Projector ($5499). I also threw in a wild card with a cheaper, non-laser option, the Mi Smart Projector 2 ($899), to see what results you could get at a fraction of the cost.
What is an ultra-short throw projector?
Those of you who have space for a big telly but not the budget (85'' TVs can easily cost upwards of $10k) might be interested in the UST option. It is a laser projector which can project images up to 150'' at a quarter of the cost.
You might say: “I have no space for a projector, I don’t want to install it on my ceiling, and I don’t want to install a projector screen.” Well this isn’t an issue any more. These projectors use lasers and mirrors to project the image while the unit itself sits right next to a wall, on a TV cabinet or small table, taking up no extra space. And you can project directly onto a lightly coloured wall, so there’s no need for a dedicated screen.
Your next concern could be: “Ah, but projectors use expensive bulbs that need replacing every six months, don’t they?“ Well, yes, ‘normal’ bulb projectors do, but UST ones use lasers to project the image, and these have a lifespan of 20,000 to 25,000 hours. Studies show that New Zealanders watch on average about four hours of TV a day so if you used a UST projector, you’d expect around 13 years of use before the lamp would need replacing.
“But projectors aren’t bright enough to use as an alternative to a TV.” Well let’s find out with a home trial of several models.
Xiaomi Ultra Short Throw 4K Laser TV Projector
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