LG PF610P CineBeam Portable LED DLP Projector Review - Performance

December 9, 2021 / By Project Reviews Staff

COLOR REPRODUCTION

I would rate the LG PF610P out-of-the-box color quality as very good. No significant issues with color accuracy leaped out at me. The PF610P has a total of nine preset picture modes. The Cinema and the two Expert (Bright/Dark) modes were the most accurate.

The images above provide a general idea of color accuracy. However, colors that are seen in person usually look much better than photos viewed on any device display used to read this review. I will note that, like many of the other LED light engine projectors I have reviewed, the PF610P's color reproduction was pretty good out of the box.


For this review, I connected a 4K Apple TV and a Windows 10 laptop with a built-in Blu-ray, as I do for most of my reviews. I try to use the same devices in my reviews to minimize image and sound quality discrepancies.

Overall each of the out-of-the-box modes on the PF610P leaned slightly toward greenish-blue. Could this be a result of the additional blue LED? I suspect so because regardless of the tweaking of the hue and color settings blacks and dark greys parts of images tending still showed it as you can see in the images above.

ost people in the market for a projector of this price and type are not going to spend hundreds of dollars to have it professionally calibrated. However we still took the time to measure and calibrate the PF610P for SDR. Since your room and screen material can have a major impact on the overall picture, I don’t recommend using someone else's calibration adjustments. If your room is brighter/darker or your walls are a different color, copying someone else's results can cause more harm than good. However below are the before and after results in Phil's room.

To test the projector's color accuracy we use Portrait Displays Calman color calibration software.

Pre-Calibration Color Sweep and Grayscale

Out-of-the-box, the color tracking of the projector's Cinema and Expert Modes was better than most compact LED-based projectors that I have tested.

The RGB balance was deficient in Red giving images a green or blueish tint. When measured, the color temperature was just a few hundred degrees off my target of 6500K.

The PF610P delivered slightly better than average Rec. 709 color tracking out of the box. There was a color shift in Green, Cyan, and Yellow. This issue was quickly corrected using the projector's CMS adjustments.

  • Picture Mode: EXPERT DARK
  • Color Temperature: 7754K
  • Average Grayscale dE: 9.6
  • Average Color dE: 7.11
  • Gamma: 2.0

Post-Calibration Color Sweep and Grayscale

We left the COLOR TEMP in the picture mode's default setting of Warm. Unlike most smaller LED projectors in its price point, the L9G offers 2pt RGB BALANCE adjustment which allowed us to fine-tune the projector's white balance. I reduced the BLUE GAIN and GREEN GAIN dramatically while increasing the RED GAIN to produce a very good grayscale (RGB Balance).

To achieve my gamma target of 2.2 on my ALR screen in my room, I left the GAMMA to 2.2. The L9G also offers CMS adjustments which we utilized to improve the projector's color tracking of Red and Yellow.

  • Picture Mode: EXPERT DARK
  • Color Temperature: 6485K
  • Average Grayscale dE: .72
  • Average Color dE: 1.87
  • Gamma: 2.22

Delta E, as a measure of grayscale/color accuracy, of 3 and under is considered ‘Excellent’ and imperceptible by the human eye. After SDR calibration, the average grayscale dE for the EXPERT DARK modes was around .72 which is great. I left COLOR TEMP at its default setting of "Warm," which resulted in an average CCT of 6485K.

Since the PF610P utilizes a version of the same operating system as LG's higher-end Home Theater projectors, the projector includes CMS adjustments. After calibrating for SDR, PF610P had an average Color dE of 1.87 which is good. Note, that maximizing color accuracy does result in about a 25% reduction in brightness.

BRIGHTNESS

The PF610P was bright enough for my front deck and my lab. LG rates the brightness of the PF610P at 1,000 ANSI lumens. The PF610P was more than bright enough in the environments I brought it into while indoors and outdoors. I was pleased to see that LG has bucked the trend of rating LED projectors in LED Lumens. Applying a separate standard to LED-based projectors provides no standard to compare LED projectors with Laser or Lamp based projectors so here at projector reviews we rate everything in Lumens.


To measure the brightness, I set the projector's Power mode to Normal and its Picture mode to Brightest, which is its brightest mode. I then took three to four readings about 15-20% out from the center of the lens.


The brightest mode on the PF610P measured 979 ANSI lumens just slightly less than LG’s rating of 1000 ANSI Lumens but more than close enough to account for variables like differences in my light meter versus their own test meter. I measured all nine available picture modes; my measurements are below.

Vivid741
Standard730
Cinema636
Sports746
Game706
HDR Effect759
Brightest979
Expert (Bright Room)644
Expert (Dark Room)629

BLACK LEVEL AND SHADOW DETAIL

The PF610P's blacks were closer to gray. This was obvious when watching darker scenes at night in my lab and outside on my deck. Other projectors in the PF610P price point can provide a better black level, but they are not nearly as compact or packed with as many smart features. We have reviewed several home theater projectors, many of which have much better black levels and higher contrast, but these are only beneficial in a darkened theater or room with lots of light control.


Most PF610P targeted customers will likely utilize the projector on the go, preventing them from fully appreciating ultra-deep black levels anyway. In those environments, a DLP-based LED light engine's long life and low maintenance would likely be more beneficial.


The PF610P's 1,000 lumens of rated brightness delivers enough light to the screen for images to pop, especially on screens smaller than the maximum rating of 120 inches as long as you have control over ambient light sources.

PICTURE QUALITY

Whether you are watching HD or HDR, the PF610P delivers an excellent picture, especially when you consider its size and price. Out of the box, the picture quality looks as good or better than many DLP projectors both in and above the PF610P's class.


Considering how a projector could be used is a crucial aspect of writing a review. Could the PF610P's black level have been better? Sure, but the PF610P will probably be used on the go, so the ability to reproduce ultra-deep blacks is not critical compared to color detail.


Movies and games content looked very good on my 120" Screen. When viewing HDR, I would prefer to have more brightness on a screen measuring 120 inches, but PF610P will probably be used on a smaller screen. Its rated max brightness of 1,000 lumens produces more than enough brightness for HDR viewing on a small portable or pull-up screen, such as I used for this review.

The PF610P Dynamic LED Color


Overall, I was very pleased with the picture quality of the PF610P. It produced a bright enough picture to make movies, TV shows, and live sports broadcasts pop on my screen.


Above are a few more images from movies and TV shows. As noted elsewhere, there is some color shifting in these images, so they don't fully represent how good the LG PF610P looks in person. I did adjust the Cinema and Vivid modes' brightness, contrast, sharpness, and color to suit the numerous viewing environments I had the projector in.
Overall, the picture quality of the PF610P was good, especially for a portable projector. In addition, skin tones, and the overall color accuracy are above average.

SMART webOS 5.0

It's webOS but no Netflix

Years ago when LG bought webOS from it developer, Hewlett Packard, I knew they had made the right decision. Even then webOS was a flexible OS with a good selection of applications from developers. LG's choice to have webOS power LG smart televisions and projectors was smart. Today LG has done a good job improving webOS and making it more powerful and easy to use.

The webOS implementation in the PF610 is just a little different. For one thing, it is slow with the delay between selecting an option and that option engaging taking as much as 2 seconds. This became really irritating when moving through multiple apps or application functions. While I very much like the flow of LG's webOS 5.0 its irritatingly slow speed quickly put me off. Combine this with the lack of a Netflix app and I had enough. I plugged in my two-year-old fireTV stick and had a much better experience.

I did speak to an LG representative about the lack of Netflix and he pointed out that other LG projectors had Netflix added in as an update BUT could not guarantee that this would be the case for the PF610P.

HDMI media sticks are cheap and plentiful. Investing in one is well worth the $25 for this projector.

SOUND QUALITY

The PF610P has dual 3-watt built-in speakers located on the back of the unit. Its speakers provide adequate sound in a pinch and even play loudly enough for use in an average-sized room. When you use the included remote to adjust the volume, the level is conveniently displayed onscreen. While the sound quality is okay for narration, the speakers' placement and the projector's position in the room will often lead to the recommendation of a separate audio system to get the full audio effect.


Most people buying a home entertainment projector at this price point would likely have an external audio system connected to it anyway. The projector provides flexible audio connections, including the option for ARC over HDMs.
The PF610P could be played louder than I wanted to listen to when watching a movie indoors. In most outdoor situations, you will not be short on quality sound with the PF610P unless there's an unreasonable amount of ambient sound around you.

AUDIBLE NOISE

While we do not measure audible noise here at projector reviews, I really could not hear noise from the PF610P fans as I watched movies and shows about six feet to the projector's rear.

GAMING

I ran numerous games on my PlayStation and Xbox on the PF610P. The games I tested on the PF610P played fine, including First Person Shooters. There was a moderate delay, but I did not experience any significant input lag. However, I'm not a serious gamer.

The PF610P would be an excellent addition for casual gamers or gamers on the go looking for a portable projector.

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