Conventional video projectors have remained largely a niche market for dedicated home theater enthusiasts on account of their difficult installation. However, a new breed of "home projector" has developed over the past few years into an increasingly viable alternative to flat panel televisions. And if LG's new 100-inch class LG "HECTO" Laser TV is any indicator, the LED/Plasma debate may be moot.
The 1080p HECTO system uses a specially designed screen and an Ultra Short Throw (UST) projector that sits under it. The obvious advantage is that you can set up the system like a normal flat panel display rather than having to mount the projector on your ceiling or maintain a clear line of sight from the back of the room. The projector needs less than two feet of space from the screen to function and is bright enough to work in normally lit living rooms rather than darkened home theaters.
The projector itself is outfitted with dual 10W speakers, a trio HDMI ports, audio out, and a RS-232 interface. And like the rest of LG's premium device offerings this year, the HECTO will offer Smart TV functionality—including web browsing and VOD—as well as integration with the new Magic Remote and WiDi compatibility. Most impressive pehaps is the HECTO's Methusala of a bulb. It reportedly lasts five time longer than conventional mercury lamps—a stunning 25,000 hours.