if you ever Considering buying a projector to live out your home theater fantasies can quickly be thwarted by basic logistics. Installing projectors, wiring, and finding a compatible surround sound system is a pain.
Projector makers know this. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a huge increase in so-called “short-throw projectors” – simpler all-in-one systems that you typically place on a TV stand a few feet away from the wall, rather than placing them Hang from your ceiling.
As long as you don’t want to watch Netflix, Hisense’s new PX1-Pro is the best of them all. This beautiful 4K laser projector runs on Android and has a built-in Dolby Atmos soundbar, so you don’t need to worry about audio. Get yourself a screen (and a Roku Stranger Things), then you can enter the competition.
all for one
For a device that can project screens up to 130 inches and fill your room with surround sound, the PX1 Pro is surprisingly small. It’s a rectangle about the height of any projector you’ll see in schools and offices, 20 inches wide and 13 inches deep.
The 20-pound, sleek silver rectangle is easier to position than any TV. Just place it in front of the projection screen, use the adjustable feet on the bottom to level it, and turn it on. Voila! Movie time!
The PX1 Pro is a trichromatic laser projector, which means it has different red, green, and blue lasers that bounce off a mirror and then onto the screen at close range. This makes it super bright, which means it actually has the best color accuracy I’ve seen on any projector out of the box. And don’t worry about blinding yourself! It detects when you get too close and turns off the laser. Sorry, Doctor Evil. You’re welcome, OSHA.
Its peak brightness of 2200 lumens means you can technically use it during the day too. Like the vast majority of projectors that don’t operate in a dark room, the image looks washed out when you do, but the shorter throw distance makes it better than most.
Completing the spec sheet is 30 watts of built-in Dolby Atmos sound, which provides enough volume for small to medium rooms. You’ll probably need a more powerful surround sound system or soundbar for “true” movie audio, though.
Plug and Play
Once set up and plugged in, simply log in to Wi-Fi and your various accounts on the built-in Android TV interface and you’re ready to go. A quirk? The Android version that comes with the PX1-Pro does not have a compatible Netflix app. That’s a big oversight for a… streaming projector. If I live with this thing long term, I’ll buy a Roku. This version of Android TV isn’t bad, but Roku is still better, with all of its apps in one place.
Using the projector with an external audio system like the Platin Audio Monaco (8/10, WIRED recommended) is a breeze thanks to the included HDMI eARC (Audio Return Channel) port on the projector. With a single HDMI cable, I got improved audio. But if you’re just throwing all your bread at this projector, you really don’t need to cheer up for a huge surround sound system. The included 30-watt sound is actually well tuned for clear dialogue and even some nice low-pitched rumble.