Leica Launches its First Laser UST Projector

Posted on 9th September, 2023

Leica Launches its First Laser UST Projector

Lens specialist Leica Camera is the latest brand looking to carve a niche for itself in the fast-growing Ultra Short Throw Laser TV market.

The Leica Cine 1 4K resolution projector is a collaboration between the optical innovator and Hisense, which has been pioneering Laser TV for several years. Hisense currently holds around 1,700 Laser TV-related patents.

The Leica Cine 1 utilises a triple-RGB laser developed by Hisense, coupled to a 0.47-inch 4K XPR DLP DMD, but uses proprietary Leica Image Optimization (LIO) technology, which works in tandem with a smartphone to correctly align image geometry, and a proprietary Leica Summicron lens. 

This Summicron lens actually incorporates four aspherical lenses, manufactured to Leica standards. This assembly is fixed to the specified image size, theoretically reducing the potential for image distortion.

Consequently, the projector comes in three fixed size iterations, projecting images of 80-, 100 and 120-inches respectively. The 80-inch model is only available in the EU.

The Leica Cine 1 projector has a 3,000 ANSI Lumens output, bright enough for it to be used for daylight viewing, and has support for Dolby Vision HDR, as well as HDR10 and HLG. The colour gamut covers 100 per cent of BT2020. The UST projector uses pixel shifting and upscaling techniques to project a 4K resolution image; it's not native 4K.

Living room friendly, the Leica Cine 1 boasts a premium aluminium housing with automatic dust cover, and a wrap-around perforated speaker cover for the built-in four-channel Dolby Atmos sound system. The cabinet size measures 600 x 378 x 149 mm.

As befits its Laser TV moniker, the Cine 1 runs the Hisense Vidaa 6.0 smart platform, with integrated streaming app support (including Netflix, Prime Video, Apple TV+, and Disney+) and Vidaa voice assistant control. Wireless support covers Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 and Apple AirPlay. There's also Ethernet for wired network connections.

Connectivity includes three HDMIs, with ARC support, a digital optical audio output, two USBs and a triple TV tuner. Latency is said to be less than 60 ms with 4K@60Hz.

Ultra Short Throw Projectors have gained traction through their ease of use. Unlike traditional long throw projectors, they don't need 2-3 metres to cast a supersized image. Indeed, they can be parked close to a wall, which can then also double as a screen. They can also be used with ALR (Ambient Light Reflecting) fixed screens for maximum brightness and clarity.

Launched globally this month, the Leica Cine 1 sells overseas for £8,495/US$8,995 for the 100-inch model, and £8,995/US$9,495 for the 120-inch version. Australian pricing has not yet been confirmed but we have requested a review sample so hope to get eyes-on very soon.

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    Steve May's avatar

    Steve May

    Steve is a home entertainment technology specialist. Creator of Home Cinema Choice magazine, Steve is also the editor of the lifestyle website The Luxe Review and has an unconditional love of glam rock.

    Posted in:Home Theatre Visual
    Tags: leica  hisense 



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