The Hisense L9G Laser TV: Projection Reaches New Heights


Projectors were never on my radar for a home theater setup. I’ve always trusted TVs and similar displays—most recently an OLED panel that I love. However, for a truly immersive large-screen experience, projectors are far more reasonable, and the Hisense L9G Laser TV seems like a steal for the 100" and 120" sizes that are available.

Hisense L9G Laser TV 120"
Hisense L9G Laser TV

What Is a Laser TV? How Does It Compare?

Hisense, through some clever marketing, has labeled the L9G as a “Laser TV.” It is not a TV in the traditional sense—it is, without a doubt, still a projector—but the fixed-focus design and bundled 100" or 120" screen comprise a system that is designed to create a similar experience. Plus, the L9G features a 40W Dolby Atmos-compatible sound system. Being a “Laser TV” means it is a complete package.

As for tech, the differences between a TV and a DLP projector like this are obvious. TVs generate images and light from emissive devices, such as backlighting or organic LEDs, while projectors project an image, using lasers, onto a screen that then reflects the image to the viewer.

In practice, numerous technical aspects are the same with regard to things like formats supported, resolution, connectivity, etc. It all comes down to the image and a couple of other factors. It comes down to some particular aspects of your image, your room, and I think the most important is the size you want for your theater experience. Where the Hisense L9G is an undisputed champion is delivering a huge 100" or 120" picture at a price that more people will find is within their budget.

For a direct comparison, the Hisense L9G comes in around $5,000 (+/- $500 depending on size and current promotions) for a 100" or 120" screen. A 100" TV? That’ll run you well over $100,000 today. I think we know who the winner is here.

Setup and Placement

One of the most appealing aspects of the L9G compared to more conventional projectors is that it features an ultra-short throw. The 100" I was testing only requires a throw distance of less than 12". It can replace an existing TV setup and can sit on most media consoles. The projector is deep still, so it might not be perfect if you are used to thin stands or mounting your display on the wall. I just propped it on an existing stand. Depending on your setup, you may have to pull your stand away from the wall. As a precaution, an eye safety sensor will turn off the projector if you (or a child or pet) get too close or are making adjustments.

Setup was a lot easier than I expected, considering I have no real experience with projectors. Careful measuring and double-checking are absolutely required. It took very little time to get set up using the provided instructions and leveling the unit with its adjustable feet.

Going through the Android TV menu to get going was also simple. The OS was very responsive and that is a big thing if you have ever used a smart TV with a slow processor. If you were contented with the built-in apps, you could get away without a dedicated streaming device.

Navigating the color settings was also fine. You have plenty of control over all the settings. And the projector is able to retain settings for different inputs. I have one set to Filmmaker Mode for my Apple TV, since I use it mainly for watching movies, while the other input is set to gaming with a Vivid picture for using my Xbox Series X.

In this case, no comments about a menu system are good. People only ever discuss menus when they are bad. The remote is also fine and simple.

The Image

Of course, what most people care about is how good the picture looks. This is a complete package; in my case it was a 100" Cinema ALR screen with 0.4 gain—not ideal for bright living rooms, but still usable in those situations anyway. The screen is optimized for light-controlled rooms and for maximizing contrast. If you are looking for the best image for your home cinema, this is the screen to get. It does have some ambient-light-reducing properties, too, so some of the lights you likely do have in the space won’t impact the image dramatically.

HDR is of note. It looks amazing. I wish that Hisense had support for Dolby Vision in addition to HDR10, but, oh well. Part of what makes it look spectacular is the color. The difference between a top-of-the-line consumer TV with 70% Rec.2020 coverage and the L9G—which boasts 107% coverage of Rec.2020—is a color that does feel better as you watch. Throwing up some Planet Earth II footage showed how good and natural the image could look. Then, with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, you can see how far you can push colors with a highly saturated comic book look. Both looked great.


However, there is one aspect of a Laser TV that will lose to an OLED TV: black levels. By their nature, projectors can’t have that pixel-level dimming and there will always be some degree of gray in the black areas. This is especially apparent for me because I have an OLED as a daily driver and now a mini-LED screen on my laptop. It’s my one big issue with projectors, in general.

To be perfectly fair to the projector and the cinema screen, however, when I used the projector in a light-controlled room or at night, the impact of the higher black levels is minimized. Plus, the high brightness and immersive feeling of seeing such a large image really changes the experience. There is no way I could ever imagine having a television this large, but I could picture myself building a room around a large-screen projector system.

Smooth Motion
Smooth Motion

For games, there is a low-latency game mode and, when playing on my Xbox Series X, I had a great time. Even hopping into some competitive multiplayer in Halo: Infinite, the general responsiveness was never an issue. I’m a more casual gamer these days, so the 4K 60 Hz image was plenty for me.

Hisense provides plenty of control over the image.

Audio Experience

There is a lot going on with sound on the L9G. The primary point is that it has a 40W speaker system that supports Dolby Atmos. If you are comfortable with a soundbar, the L9G provides that experience out of the box without any other cables or hardware.

Getting things right out of the box is a nice feature. I currently run an OLED with a soundbar from the same brand connected via eARC, and the timing or sync or connection still goes wrong. With the L9G, I had none of those issues and the built-in system blows away any TV I’ve ever seen.

As for getting the Atmos experience, I don’t know if it is quite so good at getting the directionality as even a traditional soundbar. It just doesn’t have the size and drivers in the perfect locations to even get a little bit of the same sense of things. Still, it does sound great even though maybe you can’t hear things behind you or above you.

If you want to set up your own audio you can, of course, do that. The L9G has eARC support along with TOSLINK and a basic 1/8" mini out. It is also WiSA ready for wireless multi-channel surround sound.

There is one minor point that needs to be made. The projector’s laser and other systems generate a lot of heat. So much heat, in fact, that the L9G has an active cooling system (a fan). This fan can get loud. Sometimes I just throw something on in the background as I work or when my wife is headed to bed, and when the volume is turned down, you can hear the fan. Even at more normal levels, if you focus on the noise, you can hear the fan.

Another thought is if you simply have a great sound system that is configured in a space where you can use it at decent volumes, the fan will likely become less noticeable, if you hear it at all. Overall, I was very pleased with the audio out of the L9G.


No real complaints here―the L9G has a collection of all the expected connections. Here’s the list:

  • 2 x HDMI 2.1

  • 1 x HDMI 2.0

  • RF Antenna In

  • TOSLINK Audio Out

  • 1/8" Mini Audio Out

  • Ethernet

  • USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A Data

  • RS-232 Control

I do have something to note. While they are HDMI 2.1 ports with support for 4K at 120 Hz (it even reads so on the projector itself), you won’t see 120 Hz here. The projector is only capable of outputting 60 Hz at 4K. Weirdly, it will accept a 120 Hz signal—an Xbox Series X shows the L9G is compatible and will, in fact, output at 120 Hz.

I don’t know what the benefit of accepting a 120 Hz signal would be at this point because, while there is the potential for a theoretical improvement in response times, I don’t believe the L9G is taking advantage of that. What you are seeing with HDMI 2.1 is support for newer features like eARC, so there are a few solid reasons to implement it.

Personally, I could always use an extra HDMI port or two, but three is about par for the course on many displays. Add on that most people will likely have a dedicated receiver or other devices connected, and the number of ports is even less of an issue.

The rest of the collection of inputs and outputs is solid. Everyone should have no issues getting their devices connected and set up.

I didn’t get too deep into the Android TV features of the L9G, besides discovering that Netflix wasn’t an option, for some reason, but the controller and navigation are responsive. I think the controller is nice, if simple. If you are a fan of using the built-in menu and navigation, you will be happy, I think.

Final Thoughts

I’m convinced that a modern projector can provide an experience just as good as and, in some cases, better than a television. The picture size is an absolutely more engaging and immersive experience than I could’ve imagined—it makes me feel like my current TV is tiny. The quality itself was great and, even though I have a preference for the true blacks of OLED and mini-LED, the brightness and vivid colors more than make up for it.

Of course, we must discuss value. The Hisense L9G is still pricey for the average consumer. This projector is for those looking to set up a real home theater and, in that case, this offers incredible value for what you get. A 100" or 120" image in your home for a slight premium over a high-end moderately sized TV is a game changer.

I think I need to start paying closer attention to projectors now. I’m excited to see what’s in store at CES.

What do you think about a “Laser TV” and how it would work in your home theater? Any questions about the L9G? Let us know in the Comments section, below.