Want a massive image size for your home theater, but hate the limitations of traditional projectors, and don’t want to take out a second mortgage for a really big TV? Then a laser projector (sometimes called a laser TV) should be high on your wish list. And if you’re thinking it would be nice if one of these laser TVs also had a really good built-in sound system, well, let’s just say that Optoma‘s recently announced P1 Smart 4K UHD Laser Cinema, should top that list.
Making its debut at CES 2019, the P1 joins a small but distinguished group of ultra-short-throw laser projectors at the show from brands like Hisense, LG, and Vava. What helps the P1 stand out from the crowd, is its home-theater-in-a-box credentials. It’s a 3,000 ANSI lumen projector, that can throw a 120-inch image size onto a wall or screen from only inches away.
It’s both HDR10 and HLG capable, comes with a smart, air-mouse equipped remote, and includes apps for Netflix and YouTube. There’s Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility, and tons of smart home support via If This Then That. The Optoma Marketplace offers select Android apps that work with the P1, though there’s no support for the Google Play Store. We’re especially impressed with Optoma’s claimed color capabilities: 90 percent of DCI-P3, which is all the more remarkable given that it only uses a single blue laser.
But what may be the real clincher for some, is the built-in NuForce soundbar, with its Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital Plus audio decoding capabilities. After all, there’s no point in having a huge, bright, and high-res image if your audio sounds like it’s coming from a 10-inch tablet.
Optoma says the soundbar has been specifically built for movies, using “individual woofers, as well as aluminum full‐range drivers and isolated speaker enclosures for low distortion,” producing a sound signature it describes as a “balanced midrange with wide frequency response.”
Another interesting feature is access to Optoma’s Infowall via the Optoma Connect App. With Infowall, you can program your own personalized video experience, combining elements like a schedule, weather forecast and recent videos, with a timer.
With more and more people looking to make their TV experiences “smart” we’re not entirely sure that Optoma’s user experience will be strong enough to lure people away from the likes of LG’s WebOS. Still, few companies have Optoma’s reputation for high-quality yet affordable projection tech, and that could mean this is the laser TV to beat in 2019.
If you’re liking the sound (and sights) of the Optoma P1 Smart 4K UHD Laser Cinema, look for it during the second quarter of 2019 with an expected price of $2,999.