The LG HU80KA won an award in last year’s report for Most Innovative: Smart Projector in the $2,500 – $5,000 Class. This year, it didn’t take honors, but that doesn’t make this projector any less innovative than it was last year. It has a moveable mirror that it uses to project the image pretty much whichever way you like. LG’s product shots show the HU80KA projecting horizontally on a wall, as any projector can, but also – onto the ceiling while you’re lying in bed.
This, personally, is what gives me my interest in the HU80KA, though it’s not enough to get me to spend $2,499 on this projector. Why? Art’s description of the black levels as being “entry-level” doesn’t justify the price for me. When the upgraded HC5050UB is just a couple hundred dollars more – I’d opt for the Epson, every time. Still, if you’re looking for smarts, the LG HU80KA has the Epson beat, no question. The HC5050UB is dumb by comparison.
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LG is well known for bringing their Smart TV aspects to their projectors, and they did so with the HU80KA. Like their TVs, the HU80KA has apps like Netflix and Amazon Prime fully integrated into the projector itself. That means, if you’re primarily a streamer, there’s no need to hook up a Blu-Ray player or external streaming source to watch your favorite content. If you game, you’ll still need to hook up your console, but you won’t need to use it to stream. Pretty cool.
This projector claims 2,500 lumens, but when calibrated, it doesn’t even come close. Eric took it to calibrate and discovered that the most any of the modes could achieve was right around 1,000 lumens. Natural Color Mode measured at 2,000 lumens, but Art says the sacrifice in color isn’t worth it. So – if you don’t calibrate it, it’s probably quite a bit brighter. It’ll be bright enough for a living room or media room with control over ambient light, or for a dedicated home theater/cave.