Samsung announced an 8K resolution ultra-short-throw projector called The Premiere at CES. It’s an updated version of 2020’s 4K Premiere, a single box designed to sit on a low table directly below and just inches from your wall or screen. With special lenses and video processing, it can create an image up to 150 inches diagonal.
There are built-in speakers and Dolby Atmos to fill a room with both sound and light. As you’d expect, it also has Samsung’s smart TV capabilities with Netflix, Disney Plus and so on.
While the idea of an 8K projector capable of producing a giant image on any wall sounds intriguing, UST projectors aren’t the magic they seem at first glance. Here’s what we know so far.
Yes,. That’s four times the resolution of a 4K projector. There is currently no widely available 8K content, a problem that also plagues 8K TVs. Without 8K content, you can’t take full advantage of the extra pixels, although the projector will upconvert whatever you send to 8K, so it might appear a bit sharper than a 4K projector projecting a similarly sized image. Remember that there are more important aspects of image quality than resolution.
The Premiere isn’t the first 8K projector, but there are only a handful on the market. JVC has several models that start at $11,000 and go up from there. These use a 4K imaging chip and a pixel shifter to produce 8K resolution on the screen. This is similar to the way most 4K projectors create 4K, using a chip with a resolution of 1080p or lower and doubling or quintupling the imager’s pixels for an approximate 4K resolution. While Samsung hasn’t revealed the specs of the projector, it’s almost certainly going to create 8K this way too.
On the professional side, Digital Projection has several 8K models, but these are intended for physical cinemas and other large venues.
What is an ultra short throw projector?
Conventional projectors require a distance of about 10 feet to project a 100 inch image. High-end models can sit further away while short-throw models can sit closer. UST projectors are just inches from a wall, yet are able to produce huge images thanks to clever lenses and video processing.
The two main disadvantages of all UST projectors are the price and the image quality. Because of their intricate design, UST projectors tend to cost a lot more than traditional projectors.
The other disadvantage, also a result of how they work, is reduction. UST projectors typically have poorer contrast ratios than traditional projectors, making their images look flatter and with less “punch”. Manufacturers usually try to compensate for this by increasing the brightness significantly, but this does not improve the image quality, but only makes the image brighter.
Samsung hasn’t announced many details about the new The Premiere, but we can guess a few things. The previous model was, and the new model will probably be too. This is because lasers offer better performance in terms of light output (brightness) and color. They also typically last the life of the projector, unlike the replaceable lamps found on most lower-end projectors.
The 4K The Premiere had built-in speakers, allowing it to act as its own soundbar. This is another likely feature as most UST projectors aim to be a focal point when it comes to entertaining in a room. The new model will have Dolby Atmos, which the old one didn’t have.
It’s also safe to assume it will be light. The 4K Premiere had two versions, a “120” version and a “130” version. Neither actually came with a screen and could actually create a range of image sizes from 90 to 120 inches with the former and 100 to 130 inches with the latter. The difference was the light output with a claimed 2,200 and 2,800 respectively. Those are pretty good numbers, although other UST projectors in a similar price range are a lot brighter. The $4,000 Epson LS500, for example, reportedly put out 4,000 lumens. Samsung claims that the new model will be able to produce “150-inch” images, so we’re expecting an increase in lumens.
price and availability
Samsung has not yet announced pricing or availability. Generally, products announced at CES come out in spring or summer. Price-wise, this will almost certainly not come cheap. The previous The Premiere was $3,500 for the “120” version and $6,500 for the “130” version. With the only other consumer 8K pajamas starting at $11,000, and these being for traditional (aka non-UST) designs, it seems safe to assume that the 8K The Premiere will cost at least as much as the previous model, and likely even more.
Keep an eye on CNETsFor more information.