If you want to supersize your movies but can’t afford a humongous TV and would rather not turn your viewing room into a fully-fledged home theatre, the PX1-Pro should be right up your street. It can project gigantic images, offers a friendly Android TV interface, and is a doddle to set up. However HDMI provision is meagre and it looks its best in a darkened room…
- Razor sharp image
- Dolby Vision HDR support
- Convenient form factor
- Impressive sound
- Limited apps
- Lacks true black levels
- Limited connectivity
- HDRSupports HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision
- AudioCompatible with Dolby Atmos/DTS:X sound
Hisense has been a big advocate for ultra short throw Laser TV projectors, but has typically bundled models like the L9 and L5 with fixed ALR (Ambient Light Reflecting) screens, making them a very considered purchase.
The Hisense PX1-Pro comes without a screen, making it a good deal more accessible
Offering a crisp 4K picture, integrated audio and Android smart TV functionality, the PX1-Pro can turn virtually any room into a home cinema, as you don’t need to factor in a throw distance; it works fine just a metre or so from a wall.
The PX1-Pro supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos audio, looks smart and is easy to live with. So is it time to get into projection?
- Stylish gun metal grey cabinet
- Integrated sound system
- 2 x HDMI inputs
Build quality is impressive. The PX1-Pro is smartly finished in neutral grey, with a perforated plastic grill disguising the sound system. There are no on-body controls, beyond a power button, with the light engine and lamp just visible through the projection window.
Rear side connectors include two HDMI inputs, of which one supports eARC. There’s also an optical digital audio out, and stereo analogue minijack, Ethernet to support built-in Wi-Fi, plus a USB 3.0 port and USB- C, both of which are provided for service use only.
It may be dubbed a ‘laser TV’ but there’s no tuner on-board.
Don’t expect to use this projector for High Frame Rate gaming. It’s limited to a 4K 60Hz refresh rate. Input lag is specified as 60ms.
The supplied remote control is not quite as handsome as the projector itself. A standard TV-style black wand, it has dedicated buttons for YouTube, Disney Plus, Prime Video and Google Play.
- Android TV smart platform
- Proximity sensor
- Automatic geometric correction
Like most ultra short-throw projectors, installation is relatively straightforward. Simply position the cabinet a metre or so away from the wall or screen you intend to use for the display, and give it a bit of a shuffle to optimise picture size.
For a 90-inch picture, it needs to be placed 27 cm from the wall/screen. For 110-inches, you’ll need around 38 cm and for 130-inches 49 cm.
Hisense includes an Auto Geometric Correction function to help square up the image, but using it is a faff. AGC involves casting an alignment grid and then taking a picture of the projected display on your smartphone, then uploading it to the Hisense site, and activating the upload with a corresponding PIN code (both the projector and the smartphone need to be on the same network).
For me this process failed a few times before apparently making a minor adjustment.
Usability is akin to any standard Android TV, albeit the addition of some extra menu items, like variable laser luminance. You can activate an optional automatic light sensor, but I found that even in a reasonably darkened room, this light sensor dimmed the image. For optimum brightness, I would suggest leaving this sensor off.
While the projector has access to the Google Play store, the choice of apps available is actually quite limited. Sure, there’s Pluto TV, DAZN, Apple TV+, Paramount+, ITVX, Lionsgate+, Mubi and Crunchyroll amongst the bigger titles. But there’s no Netflix, BBC iPlayer or Channel 4, so you’ll almost certainly want to supplement your viewing (and use up an HDMI input) with a media streamer.
The projector is compatible with Google Assistant and Works with Alexa. It’s also Control4 capable, which means it can be integrated into a larger smart home system, if you know professional installers who do that kind of thing.
The projector has an eye safety proximity sensor that dims the light output if you get too close. When you approach, a large warning flashes on screen and begins a countdown from ‘5’ which is your warning to back off.
Hisense has been integrating WiSA wireless audio support into its TVs for some time now, most recently on its U7K and U8K screens. Here it means that the projector can be integrated with a wider WiSA collection of wireless speakers.
- Crisp, colourful images
- Sounds better than the average TV
The PX1-Pro has considerable curb appeal right out of the box. Overall picture brightness is high, and contrast is punchy.
At the heart of the PX1-Pro is a TriChroma laser light engine. This offers near instant on, and offers full coverage of the BT.2020 colour space.
Built around a DLP 4K solution, the projector uses clever pixel shifting techniques to deliver an eight-million-pixel dense image. Not that you’ll be able to spot that it isn’t native 4K as images are brilliantly crisp.
To see the projector at its colourful best, I recommend Avatar: The Way of Water (Disney+). This Dolby Vision stream is a blisteringly sharp viewing experience, and colour vibrancy is excellent.
The vibrant hues of Pandora are beautifully realised – it’s easy to get lost in the bluey greens of the Pandoran forest and the iridescent HDR sparkle of the Tree of Souls.
Projectors are unable to handle HDR with the level of pixel precision found on flatscreens, but the best do manage to present content with a sympathetic boost. This is particularly noticeable here with Dolby Vision material.
Brightness is rated at 2000 Lumens. While the projector undoubtedly looks at its best in a fully dark room, you’ll get away with watching in the afternoon with curtains drawn.
The triple laser light engine, dubbed X-Fusion, has an expected life at 25,000 hours, which means it is effectively maintenance free.
The PX1-Pro’s ability to present near black along with artfully graduated grey, is clearly evidenced in ‘The skeleton dance’, a 1929 monochromatic cartoon from Disney’s Silly Symphony archive, available as a 4K remaster on Disney+. Presented in a 4:3 aspect ratio, the image has tangible picture depth, with some lovely greyscale backgrounds.
While pure black eludes this projector, it gets pleasingly close. Letterbox bars are solid enough to blend into the background.
Picture presets comprise Vivid, Standard, Energy saving, Sports, Theatre Day and Theatre Night. There’s also a purist Filmmaker mode.
For most content I recommend Standard or Vivid, which work equally well with studio fare and sports.
For those that want it, there’s also a deep dive calibration setting, which lets you alter gamma, white balance and colour saturation.
Operating noise is noticeable but consistent, and the 2 x 15W sound system is beefy enough to drown out any operational noise. Indeed, it sounds a good deal better than the average TV. Able to recognise a Dolby Atmos bitstream, you can always use eARC HDMI to route encoded immersive audio into a separate sound system.
The sound system is also DTS:X compatible. Hook up a Blu-ray player and spin a Blu-ray with DTS soundtrack, and you won’t be left wondering what everyone is saying.
Should you buy it?
Convenient form factor: If you’re hankering after super-sized images but have neither the space nor inclination to build a traditional home theatre, this Laser TV is an excellent option. It’ll work on white walls or a dedicated ALR screen, and partners well with a media streamer or Blu-ray player.
Limited HDR benefit: While the average picture level is bright, and contrast high, the PX1-Pro doesn’t have the ability to present TV-style pixel precise HDR.
I reckon the PX1-Pro is a tempting alternative to a super large flatscreen. It’s obviously far less intrusive than a giant telly – when switched off, it looks much like a music console – and it’s certainly more convenient than a traditional long throw projector; you can run one in a relatively small room, as the casting distance is literally just a metre or so, and no one can walk in front of the beam.
Picture quality is great, with caveats. While the projector can’t manage a deep black (very few do), images are reassuringly sharp, and colour rich, and at 2000 lumens the PX1-Pro is bright enough to use in a moderately lit space. The system’s stereo sound system is also fulsome enough to negate the need for additional speakers.
However, this should be considered more a lifestyle buy than a hardcore home cinema product. Convenience trumps absolute performance.
Overall usability is good, although with a limited choice in streaming apps, you’ll almost certainly want to use one of the two HDMIs for a streaming stick or media player Recognising that this is a TV replacement, a third HDMI port would have been a sensible addition.
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Tested for more than a week
Tested with real world use
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There is no support for 3D technology on the PX1-Pro laser projector.