There will be a time that all electronics in our houses will be Chinese!Remember that …
It’s quite sometime now that a new fashion has come to the field of video projection, the UST projectors.
There are many reasons for that, but the main one is that this type of projectors can give us a great image without having to have a lot of space, or to hang on our roof cables, projectors, etc.
One of these projectors came to my hands and I took the opportunity to give you a presentation just to get an idea of what UST projector means.
Let’s get started …
Xiaomi (the brand Xiaomi is not mentioned anywhere on the projector casis of course ..) is one of the many “copy” models that come with this chassis. You will find this projector (with some small specs differance) as Mijia, VAVA, Fengmi, Wemax, and I do not know how many more brand names.
Disassemble the Xiaomi I discovered the truth behind this frenzy of models with the same chassis …Appotronics, a VERY serious company and leader on the evolution at projection lazer technology.
Appotronics is a Chinese company founded in 2006, believed in Laser technology and from the following year, in 2007, began the development of Laser technology with focus on video projection.
This technology is called ALPD (Advanced Laser Phosphor Display) and is currently the leading Laser technology in the world on video projection.
ALPD technology started in 2007 and to date has reached its fourth version
And this is how we get to 2016 where Appotronics concludes a commercial agreement with the Chinese giant Xiaomi and together they found the company Fengmi technology with the aim of commercial development of Laser projectors. On the one hand, the excellent Laser technology of Appotronics, on the other hand, the leading manufacturer and manufacturer of electronic devices and the definition of “value for money” in the global Xiaomi market, created an explosive duo. The projector you will see in this review is nothing more than the fruit of this collaboration.
For the quality of ALPD technology in the world of video projection, suffice it to say that Barco, the company that holds 55% of the global market for video projectors in cinemas, uses this Chinese technology in its projectors. Did you say something?
The main innovations of the ALPD engine in the projection are two. Its amazing color performance …
..and the excellent value of lumen / watt (brightness / power) that has reached a point where it now exceeds the high pressure lamps traditionally used by most projectors. Indicatively I will say that there is an ALPD Laser optical block in a projector that produces 60,000 lumens, do not put a key in the ear (unless you have itching), you heard right …
The Xiaomi that you will see in this review uses the ALPD 3.0 Laser engine and the features that the company states are the following
Enough with the technical details though, let’s move on to the “juice” of this review here, which is none other than the Xiaomi projector, let’s go …
Xiaomi is a perfectly symmetrical rectangular box, nothing stands out, nothing spoils the symmetry. Its size with 41 cm width, 29 length and only 9 cm height makes it a clearly “gathered” projector that in no way will disturb the harmony of the furniture that we will place it to play.
It has exactly what you need from ports, maybe a little more …
Your first word after you set up Xiaomi and turn it on, it just will not come out, silence, absolute silence. It is almost impossible for your brain to comprehend that this “dodge” produces this 3-meter image from a distance of centimetres. It is a small shock, your brain needs time to process it, I lived it, I convey it to you.
After overcoming the initial shock I described to you, I connected directly to my computer to observe the sharpness from end to end. We are talking about the Xiaomi lens throwing light at distances from a few centimeters at the bottom of the image to “meters” at the top corners! Can hold a homogeneous clarity on all the screen surface?No, it can’t, i am sorry…
And i am explain, notice that the closer we get to the corner, the worse it gets the focus … (do not pay attention to the imperfections of the wall)
The next shock is the Chinese in the projector’s smart menu. I did not look for it if it changes, but … come on my Chinese friends, for God sake, … put there an English menu for all versions of the projector and you done! Are you waiting for me to tell you that?Come on…
My next question is … will it be able the projector to focus from 80 inches to 150 without an adjusting lens ??? I think it is a reasonable question.
Oh yes, it does, okay, you can see that it tends to lose focus slightly when you go to 140 inches, for example (I think the ideal focus is set at 100-120 inches), but there is no particular problem.
Also, the “issue” with the focus on the corners disappears when a movie is shown, it will never bother anywhere. Basically, if I did not try to see how it goes in the corners, I would not take it lightly in a movie for sure.
Light output? I was expecting how and how to deconstruct the “great” brightness that I read right and left in various reviews abroad but … the projector is bright, very bright finally, what to do? Swords to swallow?
(you see 100 “which is the dimension I chose to do this review here)
In a UST there is also the issue, where you place the instrument! It throws the light at such a great angle, that it is difficult to find the ideal place to place the instrument. We are talking about countless experiments …
I will not confuse you with the mounting points of the instrument or the multiple measurements at different points and at different angles. I’ll just tell you a number. The projector actually produces about 1600 lumens. We are talking about a brightness that at 75 inches that I played reminds me of an ultra-bright TV, and the 140 inches it has …. just for fun. The ALPD Laser optical block produces light, it’s not jocking…
I measured on the Xiaomi on / off contrast 2.600: 1. I remind you that the company is talking about contrast 3000: 1, the Chinese, apart from being good manufacturers of projectors, have also become honest in the specifications they announce ?? That’s nice!
The 2,600: 1 in a DLP with the classic low budget 0.47 “DMD chip I would say is an unreal number if I wanted to exaggerate a bit ..
But in relation to the 700 and 800: 1 that the classic DLP projectors produce with the specific DMD chip, I really exaggerate? I leave it to your judgment ..
Conclusion, contrast? Excellent … (it is something that can be seen with a naked eye after all, you do not even need a measuring instrument ..)
Now let’s go to the main measurements, ..
I took measurements from all the default modes..
Let’s see them …
As we can see from the measurements, the projector comes in the factory quite “off” in terms of RGB. It is quite confusing and the dE2000 error algorithm is at its highest allowable levels.
I would say that Xiaomi needs adjustment out of its box to give the best picture possible.
But the important thing is one, does it have the sliders to be able to adjust it? And secondly, do these sliders work properly to collect the uncollected?
We are talking about a Chinese projector, that’s why i am wondering…
Unfortunately Xiaomi has only the basic sliders. Only gain adjustment in RGB and no CMS slider.
But… the regulatory gain works! And it works well! Within half an hour of adjustments, I achieved the following result.
I also accept congratulations … (as a basis I used the mode movie)
If you can not understand the diagram, I will just tell you that it reaches perfection so that I can take you out of trouble …
I quote the settings in case someone wants to place them on their projector ..
If you activate the dynamic contrast option in the menu, the measurement gets the following value …
There are also 2 settings in the Laser. One is called Movie (in this I set the projector) and the other is called highlight, and gives the following measurement and a very small pushing at the light output
Somewhere here to say that Xiaomi fully tuned in movie mode as you saw in the measurements above, its brightness drops to 1250 lumens. That is, even when set, it still has brightness capable of opening up to the maximum 150 inches of image it promises. Hey guys, only me i am happy as if I discovered the wheel?
And now we come to where my big question from the beginning was, the colors.
Having seen and measured several Laser projectors in recent years (mostly professional models) I would say that the conclusion I have reached is that this technology is somewhat clinging to the issue of color triangle. This is not the case with Xiaomi with the ALPD 3.0 Laser optical block. And I explain …
The color triangle of Xiaomi does not resemble Laser projector and even Chinese! The coverage of the REC709 is impressive.
I sat down and carefully studied all the measurements to fully understand its color behavior.
Brightness above ideal (Y), saturation slightly higher (DeltaC) and Hue (DeltaH) slightly closed (yellow). I would also call it “perfect” green for Laser projector!
And here the ALPD 3.0 Laser optical block gives a brightness of red higher than the target, just unbelievable (red is a weakness in any Laser projector).
And here the color is supersaturated, with ideal brightness except for 100% which due to a big error in DeltaH produces a fairly low price
And let’s move on to the secondary colors ..
DeltaC is high, in Laser projector, these Chinese will drive us crazy, finally. “this much” yellow, you will hardly see in another projector … look at the brightness (which is probably the most important parameter in color), the Y in the bottom panel (in relation to the target Y), we are talking about ideal values .. .
And here ideal brightness except for 100% which lags slightly. Saturation (DeltaC) high, which you can only perceive as positive ..
Cyan has the biggest error (it “bangs” as we say in the DeltaE2000 algorithm) and this is due exclusively to Hue (DeltaH). It has a clear deviation from the basic blue color, however it also maintains its brightness levels very well, although slightly dropped compared to the ideal.
I would characteristically characterize the Xiaomi revelation, always in relation to its light source. Appotronics has done an excellent job on the ALPD 3.0 Laser machine. This is for sure.
In terms of sharpness, Xiaomi comes in the factory quite pushed. Notice the difference when I lowered the sharpness slider a few units …
And the time of truth has arrived …
Even on a normal white wall with imperfections, Xiaomi produces an EXTREMELY impressive image. I did several tests, and dare I say it, I was impressed. Despite its shortcomings as a UST projector (moderate focus, moderate light uniformity) the image it gives to the viewer is excellent. I did not expect it, but I saw it, and I was convinced.
In 4K material, its behavior is classic that of DLP projectors with the 0.47 “DMD chip. Enough noise if the material is not good, great image if you feed it with the absolute 4K material. In general, I would say that it also impresses in UHD playback, maybe more than expected.
Finally, let me say here that Xiaomi is a smart projector. It has 16Gb of internal memory to save your videos and of course a built-in media player that plays EVERYTHING in a second. Just put in the USB 3.0 your stick with your movie and Xiaomi will play it in a second completely without problems even if it is 4K with a huge bit rate. Well done Xiaomi!
For the end I left something that may not concern many, but it is definitely worth mentioning. The sound.
The projector has 2 speakers and 2 sub woofers and their performance is simply amazing. I can only compare this performance with the performanve of a good soundbar.. Its sound is loud, clean.,full, the bass is incredible and it does not “clog” even if you work it at the maximun level! Meanwhile, because it is a short throw and is essentially in front of the image, you really feel like you are listening to a well-designed high-performance sound system. Personally, if Xiaomi was in my living room, I would see and HEAR from it.
I created a video just to get an idea how the Xiaomi performs. Only … do not misunderstand me for the end, I couldn’t help my self guys…i am sorry 🙂
And Part II
The Chinese will prevail, no one has the slightest hope to stand by them. They will be the first to send a man to Mars for sure 🙂
Xiaomi was a GREAT revelation for me. In none of the cases did I expect what I saw. Of course I did not know from the beginning that Appotronics is hiding behind, so I am somewhat justified. What I saw and was impressed was on a white wall and at a special UST screen, i just remind me that. I honestly can’t imagine this projector playing on a special CLR screen. But my question will be answered soon as Vividstorm send me its famous electric CLR screen for testing. I am almost terrified of what to expect …. of course I will inform you..as always …
God bless you all
Thanks for the review.
I would like to add something.
I have tried this projector but forgot to measure the spectral distribution of the light.
I think it does not have a red laser because if it were, its gamut would be wider for this color. Furthermore, ALPD 3.0 claims DCI-P3 which is not fulfilled here.
Another important thing is that it always works at 60hz, if you send 24 or 50hz, you will have judder.
It also bothered me that you can’t send a full RGB signal because streaks appear on the screen.
When you send RGB in 4k it disables all video processing. The image and motion (with smooth motion of madvr) looks amazing like this.
I sold my unit for this reason.
“The Chinese will prevail, no one has the slightest hope to stand by them. They will be the first to send a man to Mars, it is a given for me.”
Oh well – I don’t think they are beating Musk to Mars 😉
Is this projector new for 2020 or is it the same as the ’19 one ?
This is the 2019 model
Just chanced upon your site last night. Nice reviews.
I’m in the market for my first home theater projector, used mainly for movies & occasional sports. My main criteria is of course picture quality and I’m looking to pull the trigger on an Epson EH-TW9400 or TW7400 (Was also looking at JVCs & Sonys but decided not to spend that much due to current Covid recession).
How would you rate the new crop of UST home entertainment projectors versus the above Epsons?
I’m also looking for a projection size between 120″ to 150″. Would the Epsons be your definite recommendation? Thank you
If you are looking for the best possible picture the order is JVC, EPSON, XIAOMI. The TW9400 will give better picture from any UST for sure. But the distance is not so big. Keep in mind that the UST will need a UST ALR screen (1000-1500$), the Epson can play well in any screen, even in a wall.
Hi Nikos, thanks for the reply. So basically the Epson over any UST.
However today I was just offered a used (circa 2014/2015) JVC DLA-RS67 for around 60% of a new Epson TW9400. In your experience, would the JVC be worth it over the modern Epson?
Sure!go for it!
Thank you for the article! Can you tell us which device you used for calibration? 🙂
Is this the 1S version?
I’m trying to decide between this and W2700(HT3550). My primary use of it will be movies and occasional gaming. Which one would you recommend?
For a short throw projector i say that the xiaomi 1s 4k is a nice model. If you want a normal throw projector i suggest the new viewsonic X100 as the LED viewsonic projectors always plays really good. The W2700 is a moderate 4k model, personally is not my choice.
Mind blowing blog post.
I was looking for the exact information about this concept. It boosted my knowledge and I am happy to read your article. Do post more content regarding this topic. Thank you.
Amazing and informative post Tsolas, thank you!
I currently own the Epson Home cinema 2030 which I project on a gray wall and looking to upgrade to a laser projector. Is there a laser projector that I could use on a wall? And would you recommend that I upgrade given the fact I am, as of now, not willing to splurge on a screen?
thank you for this “real” review.
But, do you know what is the difference between models? Price range is very wide and I cannot get what to check to distinguish models: all are laser 4k and some other strange model numbers.
Thanks to all the good and informative content provided here. It’s fantastic reading. I purchased the Xiaomi 4k 1S a couple of months ago, very pleased with it’s quality so far, I’ve not experienced any of these symptoms yet but I’m going to be ahead of it just in case.
I’m just wondering if anyone can provide the exact dimensions of this metal plate or even better maybe a 3D file – so I can reproduce it with CNC.
If not possible sharing this information I’ll be happy purchasing it of course.
Hello, I bought this product for the first time and I will use such a product for the first time. Is it enough to adjust the settings in the pictures so that I can increase the quality of the picture?
The product is XMJGTYDS01FM global version my mail adress email@example.com
There is also a global version in this product, my product does not seem to have netflix and 3d. Is it possible to activate them?
Long press the menu button on the remote and the 3D option will pop up… Hope will help.
Great review. Covers the picture aspect really well. So much so i bought one and it is a major upgrade from previous Optoma GT1080!
However, a couple of things I wish I knew beforehand:
1) I cant get it to work with the Logitech Harmony Hub. I’d have expected the hub would be able to work with the BT remote, but the device isn’t recognised
2) HDMI ARC is great, but is only sending stereo sound. It took a lot of effort to get the optical output working (I needed to plug the AVR’s HDMI into one of the non-ARC ports) but again only stereo.
This is a shame as the Android TV that my european unit has is otherwise extremely capable.
Tsolas Nikos, that is how all reviews should written and performed! My compliments.
I’m looking for put a part my BenqW1000 for a 4k.
Does it worth buy used Mijia 4K (2019 same as your review) for 1200€ or go for a new 1S for 1450€? The first one I can pick up by hand from a person, the 1S I have to wait shipping a pray to not pay duties taxes.
I’ve got an other option: Acer 550M for 600€.
What should I buy?
Very good review.
Some questions, as I have the same projector (internal version with Android TV).
I find that the brightness & contrast are quite poor, and I’m not sure what to do… I bought a screen frame (a normal one, not ALR) and the projection is essentially the same as it was on my wall.
It’s even worse with HDMI input – on my PS4, the image is so dark that I struggle to play games. I have ordered a new HDMI cable in the (unlikely) event that the issue is cable related (no issues with the previous TV).
Do you have any advice on how to make it sharper? Otherwise, I fear I will have to return to my TV ways…
My friend if your projector is dark and have poor contrast you it is a DOA piece. The 1S is VERY bright and with good contrast projector. If you can send it back and ask for replacement!
Hi – I have just bought the 4k version (MiProjL1) and updated the software – I cannot find how to switch to 3D mode – any help greatly appreciated
I also have the same 4k model. I do not see a custom color option, can’t change the RGB gain. It’s running android tv 9.
Are you able to access that? I get to the user defined and have the other sliders, just no color option.
Where do you purchase from? banggood? Is there duty or vat? Changes
Hi, thanks so much for your review. Because of your review I just bought this from Banggood. Excellent service, arrived in Australia within a week, despite saying that it would take more than a month!
The version I have is the global edition. It doesn’t seem to have quite as many customisation options as the version you’ve reviewed: it doesn’t have the advanced settings for the colour option for the Red, Blue and Green gains. Is there software that can be downloaded that allows for more customisation?
I have two main questions.
First, we watched Star Wars Episode One with the kids this weekend. The screen was about 120 inches in a mostly dark room. The picture was pretty good, but the colours seemed a bit washed out. This is my first projector experience, so maybe I’m expecting too much, but I wasn’t all that impressed with the brightness or colours. Do you have any suggestions?
Secondly, I’m wanting to hook up a 5.1 surround sound system to this machine. What is the best way to do that? It seems like my options are the optical audio out, or the 3.5mm headphone jack out. Are these my only two options, or can I use the HDMI ARC as an output to a sound system?
Any help here is much appreciated!
Sorry, another question. I read someone above saying that it is only stereo output. Is this true? Does it not support 5.1? Thanks again!
Dear Nikos, thanks a lot for your review and sharing. very useful and informative, I enjoy reading it.
I have been using an Xigimi Lune 4K for 2 years (purchased from Taobao when it was released in the market around Dec 2018). The only problem with my unit is the ”light frame/border” around the projected picture which some people said is a design issue with the earlier model of the 0.47” DMD chip. Do you know if this Xiaomi model uses a newer version of the chip and produces better quality video in terms of contrast performance (from your photos I don’t see any light border issue at all)?
Thanks again. Cheers
Thanks for the review, Nikos! I got a Vava 4K 2nd hand, which I believe is a clone of this same 2019 unit. It has an alpd 3.0 module inside, was looking forward to seeing the screen awesomeness….except the light never powers on. Fans go, opened it, and have some red lights on the motherboard, called Vava support who said it could be the motherboard, but since it’s secondhand, not covered. Any pointers on spare replacement parts?