Pseudo-Review: Beamer Baby Boom

Title two: Review of the LG Cinebeam 1400 Lumen Wonder

As you may or may not know, dear worst-reader, I’m a typing nut. That’s right. Even though I’m not all-that interested in what’s been typed (by worst-moi), as long as I’m doing it, life’s almost good. The only other thing that’s better in life than typing… Wait for it. Wait for it. Are you guessing what I’m gonna say? Well, you’re wrong. It ain’t xes (spelled backwards). Only riding a motorcycle is better than typing, which I haven’t done for twenty years. Wow. Life can suck, eh! Anywho. What am I on about today?

Last summer as the COVID b.s. was hitting the $hit-fan here in good old Germania, my better half came up with the idear, even though we’re not allowed to have a TV in our living, that she was now willing to entertain a beamer–as long as it’s not hooked up to cable. For that’s the thing, dear worst-reader, we don’t watch TV. Wait. That’s ain’t quite right. Here, let me try that again.

Since the get-go in this relationship, we both decided that we don’t want any sort of TV connection and we especially don’t want a TV in our living room. As time has past, though, we have become more and more accustomed to all-things #Interwebnets. Meaning, of course, we watch movies and TV shows, we just don’t want to watch them via something that would/could be installed in our living room–that takes up space, kills time and uglyfies life. And so. That’s right. Our living room is a place where most of our reading and music listening takes place. At least it did, to my worst-surprise, until COVID and my better-half came up with the idear that it’s time to “entertain” a beamer.

Beamer of choice from the get-go has been one from LG. Reason? The bulb. The main mechanism of a beamer (projector) is how it produces the necessary light beam. This particular series of beamers uses a lighting source that is supposed to last for thirty-thousand hours. Other sources of lighting for these projectors have only hundreds of hours of capacity before the bulb has to be changed. An expense that sometimes nears the cost of the device itself. According to the limited research I did, including price shopping, that pretty much sealed the deal for the brand we ended up buying. But then I had to learn about the whole “lumen” thing. My better-half set a budget for such a device at about a thousand Euros. That may sound like a lot but I can assure it’s not. Also. Being el-cheap-o, I kinda knew I could get one for cheaper than that because I also knew that we didn’t need 4k video and 1080p would suffice. What to buy, what to buy, what to buy.

Our first-try was the pico beamer from LG that produced 600 Lumens and cost about 500€. I used it for about two weeks and although it wasn’t very bright, I was impressed with what it could do. Also, it was about the size of a Mac Mini which meant I could easily hang it from my bookshelf. But I ended up sending it back because of the limitations of wife-approval and wall space (we have flat, white walls so there is no need for a screen). The biggest problem I had with the pico beamer was that it couldn’t properly “keystone” the image it was projecting. Also. In the end my better-half was kinda peeved that I didn’t spend more money. Can you believe that?

Of the 1080p beamers being offered in the product range, I bought the next one up which just happened to be on sale from 1000 to 750€. It is a 1400 Lumen projector the size of a child’s shoebox and, of course, weighs a bit more than the pico device. As you can see from the pics above, though, the jimmied photography equipment I use to attach it to our bookshelf works just fine supporting it. Although it offers limited up-down, right-left keystone-ing, it is enough to project quite a large image on a perpendicular wall that is about ten feet away, which is another thing the pico couldn’t do. The difference between 600 and 1400 Lumens is also significant, which means, unlike the pico device, this one we can use in daylight. Meaning, unless we have bright sunny weather, we don’t have to pull down any shades to see the image. Evening movie watching with this thing is pretty impressive too when you consider the five figure cost of a hundred inch flat screen TV.

After just over a half year of use, I’m still very impressed with this beamer. Connected to an AppleTV4, where my better-half can access her German TV news and shows via apps, it works great. That means it’s also connected to our home network so we can project lots and lots of movies from our media server. But more important, when it’s not in use, we don’t have an empty black screen on a table top or attached to a wall that always begs to be turned on and thereby kill beautiful empty, minimalist space. Oh, and if you’re curious about all the trickery LG offers in this device, you’ll have to go else where. I’ve not messed with any of it. It’s literally only a screen for the AppleTV. As long as that works, I don’t give a hoot about the rest.

Rant (and consume) on.

-T