If this year’s CES is proving anything, it’s that we’re now officially in an age of very, very big TVs. What was once the exclusive domain of projection systems, or wildly extravagant plasma TVs — some costing over $100,000 — is now being delivered by flatscreen technologies. We’re talking screen sizes of up to 98 inches, with 8K resolution. But that doesn’t mean projection technology is going away. In fact, if anything, it’s having something of a renaissance thanks to Hisense, a company that might be best known for its budget-priced TVs.
This year, the company has unleashed the latest version of its “laser TV,” the 100L7T 4K Smart TriChroma Laser TV. We put that term in quotes because, technically, it’s not a TV — it’s a very short-throw projector. But because of its incredibly bright, laser-based light source, it’s unlike any home projector you will have encountered. Designed to sit in front of a flat wall, on which you hang the included projection screen, the Hisense Laser TV requires very little room — and you don’t have to hang it from your ceiling.
The 2019 model comes with three lasers, one for each primary color: Red, green, and blue. Together, they can create an astonishing array of colors, and they don’t require a color wheel, as with some other DLP systems. In fact, the company claims it can deliver 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color space, which is no mean feat. For those of you who aren’t color geeks, let’s put it this way: It can show more colors than any video source can currently offer. It’s also wickedly bright, at 3,500 ANSI lumens, so there should be no problem seeing it even in a well-lit room. We’re still taken aback by how big of an image it can throw — 120 inches –and the cabinet only needs 7 inches of distance from the wall to make it happen.
As you would expect, it has all of the latest capabilities, including HDR, and built-in apps like Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video. It’s compatible with Alexa, and has its own voice-enabled remote control. The main console has built-in Harmon Kardon speakers, and it ships with a matching subwoofer.
How much will this triple-laser beam beast cost you ask? Hisense hasn’t said, but our working estimate is somewhere around the $16,000 mark. Yes, that’s not cheap, but when you consider that no TV in existence can offer you 100-inches of display size for anywhere close to that price, it seems a little more reasonable. You’ve got some time to budget for it: We expect the 100L7T won’t go on sale until the fourth quarter of 2019.