It is no secret that Wicked Home Theater has been at the leading edge of projection home entertainment, starting 6 years ago with the Optoma GT5500+ UST projector. Since then, slowly, the Ultra Short Throw (UST) projection part of the industry has grown with almost all the major projector manufacturers having their own take on UST projection. What was originally deemed for the education (mount the projector above the screen and give a bigger image for the class without having to project from the back of the classroom) has now become the standard for large screen TV replacement in locations that don’t require a full home theater setup (large dark room). Hisense back in 2018 coined the phrase “laser TV” and pretty much that is what it is; a laser projector that can be placed in a room with ambient light and be larger than some of the largest TV’s. UST projectors sit inches from the wall instead of across the room, they are all laser now (major development over the past 5 years), many have built in applications for Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and others. Some (Samsung/LG) have their TV OS built into the projectors. Just like TV’s, this is convenient, but in most cases, adding a separate streaming box (Roku/Apple TV) will give you the best results.
UST projectors have several advantages over both standard projectors and TV’s. For one, as mentioned, they do not need a dedicated room with controlled lighting. It can be put into any room, or even outside, as it has another advantage, portability. We have used UST projectors in our outdoor projector rentals for 3 years, with screens ranging from 100″-120″ for sporting events, birthdays, memorials, reunions and presentations, just to name a few. Also these projectors normally have a built in soundbar on the front of them, so you don’t need to have a separate sound system.
Screen technology has also advanced for UST projectors, beyond the plain white screens as shown above. Specialized screen material specifically created for light being projected from below the screen, that also has the ability to cut out the ambient light coming from above, also known as Ceiling Light Rejecting. If you look at it, it looks a lot like window blinds, reflecting the light from the projector directly at you, while cancelling the light from above.
This will allow for increased contrast and a brighter picture without it being washed out by ambient light.
When a TV is turned off, it looks like a big black reflective monolith on your wall (unless you have a Samsung Frame). With a UST projector and appropriate screen, it does show up as being a mid-grey color, but not reflecting all the light in the room. Since a lot of people have an issue with this, a couple of screen manufacturers (Vividstorm and Elite Screens) have developed floor rising UST screens, while Screen Innovations has drop down UST screens. They start in a metal case, then when needed, rise up to full height (100″-120″). When you are done, it lowers back into the case so you don’t have a large screen on the wall. We have even had customers who have a regular TV for normal viewing, and have the floor-rising screen and projector for movies and gaming (playing video games at 100+” is incredible).
Two cabinet companies (Aegis and Salamander) have developed credenzas that incorporate the ability to have a UST projector in it, and Aegis has models that have the self-rising screens built in.
What is also great with these projectors is you don’t have a bunch of wires that have to be run through ceilings, in fact, you generally never see wires, which makes significant others and interior designers very happy.
This is great not only for homes, but also apartments, where doing things like hanging a big heavy TV is not an option. Contact us and we can demonstrate in your own home this technology.