LG Cinebeam HU915QE: an ultra short throw projector that's ultra-bright

Brilliant and bright, but pricey

LG HU915QE projector beaming image on screen
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

Brilliantly colorful and exceptionally bright, the LG Cinebeam HU915QE hardly ever falters, but its price tag could take your breath away and it blows past some truly noteworthy competition.


  • +

    Excellent brightness

  • +

    Fully featured

  • +

    Understated design


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  • -

    Some tedious settings

  • -

    No lens cover

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LG Cinebeam HU915QE: one-minute review

A great many of the best projectors are turning up ultra short-throw (UST) models. These can combine powerful light engines with handy smart TV functions and potent speakers all in a system that sits conveniently at the front of the living room. The LG Cinebeam HU915QE is a new addition to the world of UST projectors, and it’s a fabulous one. But at $5,999 / AU$9,999 (about £5,600), this is not the most casual home theater purchase.

The LG Cinebeam HU915QE costs more than almost every other projector we recommend, save for the hugely expensive JVC DLA-NZ8 and Samsung The Premiere

You get plenty for the money though. The LG Cinebeam HU915QE is exceedingly bright and richly colorful, which all gets put on display with a massive 90-120 inch picture. Even with ambient light or daytime viewing, the projector is more than bright enough to create a pleasant picture in a well-lit environment, and just a little bit of ambient light control goes a long way in allowing it to display exceptional cinematic visuals.

With potent speakers, a handy smart TV system, the convenience of a manual focus wheel, and an image that’s hard to find many faults with, you’d be getting quite a lot for your money with the LG Cinebeam HU915QE. The Hisense L9G is great and cheaper, but less flexible, meanwhile the Epson LS12000 is more impressive but far less convenient to setup and use day-to-day. Ultimately, LG is adding a new option to the high-end of the market, though we see diminishing returns at this point. 

LG Cinebeam HU915QE review: price and release date

  • Release date:  June, 2022
  • Price: $5,999 / AU$9,999 (about £5,600)

The LG Cinebeam HU915QE lists for $5,999 / AU$9,999 (about £5,600), but typically sells for less than that amount. The slightly dimmer but higher contrast LG Cinebeam HU915QB lists for $6,499 (about £6,070, AU$10,060).

LG Cinebeam HU915QE review: Specs

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Screen sizes supported:90 - 120 inches
Brightness (specified):Up to 3700 ANSI Lumens
HDR support: HDR10, HLG
Optical technology:3 Laser DLP
Smart TV:Yes
Connections:3xHDMI (1 with eARC), 2 x powered USB, optical digital audio output, Ethernet
Dimensions:26.8(w) x 5(h) x 13.7(d) inches
Weight:28 pounds

LG HU915QE projector beaming image with hand holding remote control in front

The LG Cinebeam HU915QE comes with the same Magic Remote control used with the company's smart TVs. (Image credit: Future)

LG Cinebeam HU915QE review: design and features

  • Built-in speakers and LG webOS
  • Ultra-short throw makes 100-inch image at 3.9 inches
  • Hidden manual focus wheel

The LG Cinebeam HU915QE joins the fleet of high-quality UST (ultra short throw) projectors hitting the market lately with a wonderful marriage of built-in speakers, a smart operating system, and a big image all coming from a small box that can live at the front of the living room instead of at the back. 

Sitting at the front of the room, it has to put a little extra effort into style, and it has a retro sort of chic to it with a tweed-like front cover over the speakers, and a nearly perfectly rectangular design. However, the white top is a magnet for smudges, smears, and anything that can make it look discolored. 

The LG HU915QE is on the larger side of the USTs we’ve tested, measuring 26.8 inches wide and 13.7 inches deep (a touch larger than the Hisense L9G) but is just 5 inches tall. Despite being a bigger UST projector, the LG HU915QE is diminutive next to the 100-inch TVs it's competing with, and at just 26.9 pounds, it’s infinitely easier to move around.

While some UST projectors have a fixed focus, such as the Hisense L9G, the LG HU915QE supports projecting an image from 90 to 120 inches in size. A rather large, manual focus wheel hides under a panel on the top of the projector. It provides focus adjustment that’s much quicker and easier than Hisense PX1 Pro, another UST with adjustable focus, which handles it electronically. 

One thing we still regret not seeing on this (and many other UST projectors) is any sort of lens cover. It’s almost baffling how many standard projectors have covers for their lenses, meanwhile UST projectors, with their lens glass just asking to gather dust, lack covers.

The projector’s built-in speaker system delivers 2.2 channels at 40W, pumping out enough sound to readily overwhelm a 200 sq.ft. room. The projector also offers Bluetooth, optical digital audio, and HDMI eARC for connecting to external audio sources. LG advertises pairing the projector with a duo of LG Bluetooth speakers to create a surround setup, but we were unable to test this. 

Controlling the TV is easy with the same webOS as found on LG’s TVs and the same Magic Remote. The motion controls of the remote can be a bit obnoxious — it’s not super accurate — but the remote lighting up its buttons whenever it moves is handy in a home theater that’s liable to have the lights dimmed.

  • Design and features score: 4.5/5

LG HU915QE shown from angle to reveal connections

The LG  Cinebeam HU915QE has a good look and connection options, but at this price we wish it had a lens cover. (Image credit: Future)

LG Cinebeam HU915QE review: picture quality

  • Wonderfully bright and colorful
  • Crisp and sharply focused 4K images
  • Select Filmmaker mode for best pictures

At $6,000, the LG HU915QE can’t afford to be a slouch when it comes to image quality, and it isn’t. With a 3,700 ANSI Lumen brightness coming from a three-laser light engine, this projector absolutely crushes it with bright, colorful pictures. While the nature of a projector rules out wanting to use it in a bright room for some media, this projector doesn’t struggle in the slightest with presenting a bright picture for content like cartoons or sitcoms even when we haven’t done anything to cut down on ambient light.

Viewing cinematic content calls for some ambient light mitigation, but even just dimming the lights at night is enough to make for a downright luscious, colorful image. The bright spots in the visuals are matched with a strong enough contrast ratio to create the perception of darkness even if the projection surface isn’t actually that dark. Shutting out all ambient light just drives the experience home even further. 

All that light and color is matched with exceptional visual clarity, and the benefits of a 4K picture make all the more sense when it's stretched out to 100-plus inches. I felt like I could reach out and snatch one of the chin hairs right off Duke Leto Atreides in Dune. Making that image look great is easy with the focus wheel and 4-, 9-, or 15-point keystone adjustment.

However, LG has some ideas about how a picture should look that often get incredibly distracting. Its automatic brightness and contrast settings caused some dramatic shifts right before my eyes, creating chaotic jumps in brightness and seeing colors jump around in unintended ways. The motion smoothing is also persistent, making film visuals video-like while creating all sorts of artifacts in cartoons. Filmmaker Mode is salve for these things but can also strip some of the extra vividness offered by the projector away.

One handy feature, ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode) helps ensure all the extra processing steps out of the way while gaming, and I was able to carve through enemies in Ghost of Tsushima without noticeable input lag – a crucial thing during all those samurai standoffs.

For now, at least, the LG Cinebeam HU915QE only supports HDR10 and HLG. Its representation of HDR content is stunning, to be sure, with the explosions raging through brightly amidst the nighttime scenery during the Harkonnen raid in Dune, but Dolby Vision is absent. We’ve seen Dolby Vision in action on the Formovie Theater 4K, and it continues to show its worth in the cinema.

  • Picture quality score: 4.5/5

LG Cinebeam HU915QE review: value

  • Pricey compared to competition
  • High light output enhances value
  • Can use a less expensive model for dim room viewing

With many other good ultra short throw projector options to choose from, the LG HU915QE’s value rating takes a hit given its comparatively high price. Having said that, with its high light output, LG’s UST should be at the top of your list if you’re seeking a projector that can be used for viewing sports in a bright room during daylight hours.

The HU915QE’s ability to deliver high contrast images in dim room environments for movie viewing balances its value, making it a good all-around projector choice. But if you’re mainly interested in movie viewing, you could easily spend less and get a less bright model that will perform comparatively well in a dim or darkened room.

  • Value score: 3.5/5
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Design and featuresOn the large side, but can project variable-size image and has great smart interface4.5/5
Picture and sound qualityHigh image brightness and strong contrast, plus good built-in audio system for a projector4.5/5
ValuePricey, but potentially worth it if you want top performance for bright and dim room viewing3.5/5

Should I buy the LG Cinebeam HU915QE?

LG HU915QE projector on table with screen in background

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

You want an especially bright UST 
The LG Cinebeam HU915QE is brighter than a lot of the other UST projectors we’ve tested. That makes a big difference if you don’t like viewing in a dark room or have a hard time cutting down ambient light.

You might switch setups now and then
Some UST projectors are designed for a very specific image size, but the LG HU915QE supports a range of sizes, is easy to move, and can adjust focus in a snap.

You love LG’s little extras
From the webOS smart TV interface to the Magic Remote, this is plainly an LG device. If you love those, this projector has what you’re looking for.

Don’y buy it if… 

You don’t have the budget for it
The LG Cinebeam HU915QE is asking for a hefty premium, and if you can’t stretch to $6,000, you shouldn’t worry. There are a handful of other UST projectors that cost much less while just lacking a bit of Cinebeam’s brightness. 

You want a masterful home cinema
UST projectors are great, but can be a little finicky for getting the image just right. The Epson LS12000 meanwhile provides many tools for perfecting the picture and has an impeccable 3LCD laser system.

You’re extra susceptible to the rainbow effect
While we don’t always spot it, the DLP rainbow effect is present on this projector. It becomes especially noticeable when displaying white (including subtitles). If that’s going to be a big distraction, steer clear.

Also consider...

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Comparison: 4K UST projectors
Hisense PX1 ProSamsung The PremiereLG CineBeam HU85LA
Screen sizes supported:90 to 130 inches100 inches90 to 120 inches
Brightness (specified):2200 lumens2,800 lumens2,700 lumens
Optical technology:3 Laser DLP3 Laser DLP3 Laser DLP
Smart TV:Android TVTizenwebOS
Connections:2x HDMI 2.1 (1 with eARC)3x HDMI (1 with eARC), 1x RF, optical2x HDMI, 1x RF, optical

Hisense PX1 Pro
The Hisense PX1 Pro is a less pricey UST projector option than the LG Cinebeam HU915QE, but also has much lower peak brightness, which makes it a less flexible option for bright room viewing. The PX1 Pro uses the Android TV system for streaming, which is notably clunkier and not as useful as LG's webOS smart interface.


Samsung The Premiere
Samsung's The Premiere is in a similar price range as the   LG HU915QE, and its brightness sits between the LG and the Hisense PX1 Pro. It also uses the same Tizen smart interface found on the company's TVs. Built-in audio performance is also equally as good as with LG's projector.


LG CineBeam HU85LA
This older LG projector has similar brightness specs to the Samsung The Premiere, and it uses LG's webOS system for streaming. Audio performance is less impressive than what you'll get with either the LG HU915QE or the Samsung The Premiere, however.

Mark Knapp

Over the last several years, Mark has been tasked as a writer, an editor, and a manager, interacting with published content from all angles. He is intimately familiar with the editorial process from the inception of an article idea, through the iterative process, past publishing, and down the road into performance analysis.