LG AN110W review

The first wide screen flat projector

TechRadar Verdict

An impressive on-the-wall projector that delivers excellent home cinema pictures


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    Well designed

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    simple set-up

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    HD Ready

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    Cannot adjust individual XD picture enhancements

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    noisier than claimed

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Here is the first flat on-wall projector that includes a wide screen (16:9) aspect ratio.There are few projectors that are purpose designed to be used on the wall behind the audience,or with a lens throw ratio that makes behind the viewer placement practical,and the need for ventilation and cable access prevents many conventional projectors being used in a similar position.

It is wall mounted using a supplied fitting bracket,or alternatively it can be used on an accessory desk stand.Like all projectors, it needs to be cooled, and is designed for use with a degree of stand-off when wall mounted so that it can breathe.

The LG has the longish throw lens necessary for rooms up to between 3.8 - 5.3m across, for a displayed picture width around 2.5 m,and it has enough optical power for this size screen,assuming a reasonably effective blackout.Other highlights include: a healthy 1000 ANSI Lumens output (full power), 3,000:1 contrast ratio, and a set of inputs that includes HDMI encrypted digital video for HD (and other) inputs.

LG has put a lot of effort into this projector.The heatsinks are hidden behind a motorised cover when the unit is switched off,while another powered slide covers the lens when not in use.Zoom and focus are also motorised,a purpose designed grid automatically popping up on screen when required.The DLP optical processor has 1,280 x 768 pixel resolution,and any pixel grid structure is unlikely to be visible even from a distance comparable to screen width,though you may notice some grid related granularity with moving video.

LG claims a very low noise level from the cooling system,but this should be taken with a pinch of salt. The character of the noise is rather peaky, and its far from inaudible with the projector freestanding for test.When bolted in place,you may find the wall acting as a sounding board,or damping it down depending on its construction. In most cases it should be fairly quiet,however, and as it will be behind the viewing plane, it should be even less intrusive in practice.

An impressive performer for what is not an expensive projector, the LG goes well beyond its basic design remit of just being inconspicuous. In fact it is an impressive tool for home cinema,with the emphasis squarely on picture quality and ease of setup.

It is moderately bright,but not excessively so: you'll need a decent blackout to make the best use of this projector,especially with the controls set to optimise film reproduction. The so-called 'silent' reduced brightness mode delivers slightly superior picture quality and lower noise,and still moderately bright images as a bonus.

Basic colour balance straight from the box is very good,with easily accessed 'cool','warm', 'sports','film' and other detail colour settings to ring the changes if need be.One interesting feature is XD, a suite of picture enhancements which are automatically chosen from a list according to the type of input,including edge enhancement, noise reduction,hue and saturation controls,colour temperature, contrast, 10-bit colour processing, HD scaling and deinterlacing and more besides.

The lack of individual controls for many of these adjustments is an obvious limitation,but the player appears to make intelligent and subtle choices of its own,and the results can be previewed using a split screen demo.

The LG AN110W is capable of impressively deep blacks and a smooth and natural gamma curve. Detail levels are impressive, especially using 720p material from a computer via the HDMI input. The LG's deinterlacing performance is not quite as clean as the best Faroudja based models,which set the standard at this price level,but it is no worse than many other projectors at the price.

Overall then an impressive,easy to set up projector,with good video processing,which can be mounted on the rear wall,arguably where projectors belong. Alvin Gold

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