LG PH450UG Minibeam Projector review

LG PH450UG Minibeam Projector review
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Last Updated on by Daniel Lawrence

The latest in a line of UHD projectors from the manufacturer, the LG PH450UG Minibeam Projector is a compact design that delivers a highly respectable picture quality. With a super widescreen diagonal of up to 81cm, combined with the ability to tilt it to around 50° and a focus range of up to 10.3m, the PH450UG is one of the best projectors we’ve tested this year.

Housed in a slimline projector cabinet, the PH450UG is a compact design that’s easy to transport. It features a large control panel that includes HDMI inputs, a USB input, and a 3.5mm input. There’s also remote control and the projector can be powered from either a 12V or 24V power supply.

Design

LG PH450UG Minibeam Projector review

In terms of dimensions and weight, the PH450UG measures just 132 x 200 x 80.5mm (W x H x D). This projector is more compact than most of its weight class, but it’s also one of the brightest at 1,450 ANSI lumens. All of this does not compromise its contrast, which is 10,000:1.

With a built-in battery that can run for about 2.5 hours when fully charged, the device’s small size makes sense.

There is a single HDMI port, which also supports MHL for smartphone use, and a USB reader. There is a manual focus wheel. In case you want some privacy while watching your favorite movie, there is a mini headphone jack.

You’re not limited to hardwiring sources. Additionally, you can use Screen Share (Miracast or WiDi) to mirror a compatible device. Mirroring video apps is another option for sharing skills from your mobile device. We were unable to use this feature for a Luke Cage catch-up because of a video and audio sync issue.

Despite the fact that the PH450UG has an integrated sound system, it has just two 1-watt speakers that won’t attract anyone’s attention. Although the projector does have Bluetooth, its less-than-amazing speaker configuration doesn’t really matter. It can be used with Bluetooth speakers of your choice, as well as Bluetooth headphones.

Also included in the box are no 3D glasses, but the projector is 3D-ready.

Configuration

LG PH450UG Minibeam Projector review

Setup is easy. You can project images onto a white wall by positioning the projector in front of it. The projector can be moved back and forth to control the size of the picture.

The image size can be as large as 40 inches from 7.5cm. Keeping the distance around 16cm from the edge, you can get a 50-inch display. This can be increased if you have more space. The 132-inch cinema image is possible at 60cm or thereabouts.

Despite being able to stretch the image out to this extent, you might not want to, as this model is limited to 720p resolution, and clarity begins to suffer once you fill-up the wall.

Only a joystick D-pad is available on the body. Thankfully, you won’t need to use the remote much since it is almost as big as the projector itself.

LG’s PH450UG features a tile-based user interface similar to a Blu-ray player. Quick Menu, which provides a wheel for key parameters, simplifies navigation and menu access.

The UI works fine on smaller screens, but when enlarged, it does not appear very elegant. It becomes more overbearing as the picture grows larger.

Among the preset modes are Standard, Vivid, Cinema, Sport, and Game. Standard is probably the best all-rounder since oversaturation is endemic elsewhere. You can change the contrast, brightness, sharpness, and color of your image – even adjust the dynamic contrast as well as skin, sky, and grass ‘colors’. Furthermore, there are controls for black level and color temperature, all standard features but nice to have here.

Performance

lg projector

The image quality deserves a cautious thumbs-up. From anime to kid’s channels, the LED color palette looks great with animation. The reds are deep and the greens are rich, making it suitable for flat-color scenes.

However, live-action can look gritty. The PH450UG struggled to distinguish noise from film grain on The Walking Dead (via Fox HD), resulting in a rather dirty-looking image. The live studio fare works better, which is good news for fans of late-night television.

The screen does not produce a deep black, but in a darkened room the shadow detail and depth of its images are evident. The screen’s video resolution is predictable, which might make it less appealing to gamers. Fast-moving action titles will result in some screen blur – for that, you’ll still want a standard flatscreen.

Projectors come with three energy-saving modes, which directly affect brightness. If your projector is powered by a wall outlet, keep it at full charge. That said, you should avoid using this in areas with high ambient light, as the image will wash out. If you use a UST projector on a white wall, any irregularities in the surface itself will be highlighted, so smoothness is important. Errors in keystone were also tricky to correct. Other projectors suffer from this problem, but it felt more acute on this model.

As a result, single-chip DLP projectors tend to exhibit color fringing, but this DLP LED doesn’t use a color wheel, so that’s not a concern. It is estimated that the LED light engine will last for 30,000 hours, which is the lifespan of the product.

Last but not least, the integrated USB media player is useful. The program played all the usual file types, including AVI, MPEG, MKV, WMV, and MOVs. Furthermore, operational noise is moderate to low, measuring 23dB in Eco Mode and 30dB in full brightness

Pros Cons
Option for battery power Motion resolution limited
Runs cool and quietly AV sync issues
The form factor is a winner 720p resolution
The image quality is bright and impactful

Final verdict

LG’s Minibeam model is the perfect combination of price and performance. PF1000U may seem pricey for something so patently gadgety, but here we can forgive its shortcomings. As the projector does not run hot, you can leave it with older kids without worrying. Its compact design and ease of use should win it many fans.