Having a 100-inch TV in your home might sound like something left for the rich and famous but the Hisense 100-inch laser TV aims to deliver this experience to the mass consumer at a cheaper rate than say purchasing an LED, or if you are rolling in money, OLED TV. For just R79,999, you can turn your home into a dream cinema or glorified gaming room with this laser TV.
Check out our Hisense 100-inch laser TV video review below to see the TV in action
Now before you scroll down to the comments section and complain about the price there’s something you need to know. When looking at investing in a TV that is around 100-inches big, you aren’t going to pay pennies for the display. Any brand that sells a TV at 100-inches or bigger will charge you an arm and a leg for it mainly because these panels are all custom made and cost a lot more money to make. Most of the time, you can’t just walk into a store and grab a 100-inch TV off the shelf. These displays need to be ordered and produced for you which makes them a very expensive investment.
An LG OLED at 77-inches costs R120k. Even a Samsung 75-inch 4K QLED will set you back R75,999. Let’s compare apples with apples. So if you put the Hisense 100-inch laser TV into perspective and compare it to the same size and quality on the market, Hisense’s value for money is pretty darn impressive here. Sure, if you are looking at mass-produced 65-inch panels, you are going to save a load of cash going with say a Sony X90H instead of this laser TV.
So is this Hisense 100-inch laser TV an actual TV? Well, no. The company may label it as a TV but it is actually a glorified projector. Emphasis on the “glorified” here because this display boasts some impressive advances over a standard light-bulb projector. It is brighter making it ideal for non-cinema room setups, has some incredible visual quality, great contrast and the display’s installation takes a lot less effort than mounting a projector onto your roof.
Hisense 100-Inch Laser TV (100L5F) Design
The Hisense 100-inch laser TV comes in two parts. Firstly, there’s the 100-inch ambient light rejection panel that gets mounted onto the wall. Then there’s an ultra-short-throw projection box that is technically the brains and muscle of the display. Hisense came over and installed the panel onto our wall. It took a couple of minutes to drill holes into the wall and mount this massive display. Once up, it sticks out about 2cm off the wall so it is a pretty snug fit.
The second component, the ultra-short-throw projection box goes right underneath the display. Instead of a typical projector that shoots an image across the room, this one shoots it upwards from right underneath the panel. There are multiple advantages to this. It means you need less room to install the box, people won’t walk in front of the light while you’re gaming and watching TV. But most importantly, you can just put this box on a counter under the display without having to completely redesign your household to accommodate it. We’re off to a good start here.
There are some technical guides I had to follow in order to align the Hisense 100-inch Laser TV up with the ambient light rejection panel but these were pretty easy to follow. As long as the thick white border is inside the panel, the image calibration worked and it looked great. Hisense also includes a way to upload an image to the network from your phone in order to help fit the image snug into the borders of the display. There are also a few tweaks to move each border angle around in case you need to fine-tune the placement. Honestly, this was a dream to set up and much easier than a projector. Best of all, there’s no manual focus needed to tweak here either.
As I mentioned before, the Hisense 100-inch laser TV comes in two parts. You have a sturdy ambient light rejection panel and an ultra-short-throw projector box. The box is where the magic happens. It is a fairly large unit that incases the laser, fans and all the components needed to function the display. The box itself includes 4 HDMI ports at the back. All four boast 4K 60FPS and one of them includes ARC support. There’s also VGA, your standard video component cables, two USB A ports, optical audio and auxiliary ports. All of this is powered by a kettle plug.
As for the overall design, the box itself is quite a giant piece of tech and while it may take some time getting used to, it looks great on your shelf. The front of it includes a chamfered indent that tucks into the box where a glass sheet protects the laser projection. The feet underneath can be lowered and heightened to adjust to your display and the back of the box includes a grey shell for style. There’s also a lot of vents on this box that helps keep it cool because it gets hot and loud. We will talk about that in a bit. At the front, there’s also a built-in sound system.
As for the panel, it is massive and includes a matte-like sheen on it that helps reduce the light that hits it from windows and such around the house. The black border also gives it that “TV” look so you’re not just starring at a standard blackboard in your home. When people see it, they will think it is a TV and Hisense has done a great job here creating the illusion.
Hisense 100-Inch Laser TV (100L5F) Performance
While Hisense has built Android TV into its new laser displays, this model made use of the VIDAA OS which is a custom UI and app store. Of course, you can’t install your own custom APKs and the home screen is cluttered with apps and previews of videos you probably don’t care about. Redbull sports being one of them. Thankfully, the VIDAA system lets you install all the apps you will probably use including Netflix, Showmax, DSTV and other streaming apps.
It is easy enough to get around and understand. Even those without much technical knowledge will be able to find their way around the system without getting lost. It is all about getting your app, signing in and start watching. Everything that supports 4K HDR worked in 4K HDR even YouTube which was nice to see.
The Hisense 100-inch laser TV has a range of settings that can be tweaked across every HDMI input and app. This means you will have to adjust your picture setting for every console and app you install but once done, it will store this information.
One big advantage of the Hisense 100-inch laser TV is the sheer versatility of the display. If you have ever used a projector before you would know that these viewing experiences rely on dark rooms with very specific layouts in order to get the best viewing experience. However, the Hisense 100-inch TV is not as demanding. Even in a bright room, the image was clear and bright enough to see. There was no need to shut the curtains during the day to accommodate for the extra light although it is ideal if you do anyway. Most TVs are best viewed in darker rooms.
The Hisense 100-inch laser TV is 4K if you have not guessed by now. The internal chip can produce a 3840×2160 resolution without any hassle but it is achieved through pixel shifting which means it is not true 4K. This is done by taking a 1080p image and sampling it to 4K through a method Hisense calls Pixel Shifting. I need to stress that while the image quality is not on the same standard as say a 4K LED display, it goes a long way to deliver a UHD experience that is quite impressive. If you did not know this not true 4K, you would not even know the difference.
The aim of the Hisense 100-inch laser TV is to deliver high-image quality with a high brightness level while packing in vibrant colours and a decent contrast ratio too. The display does all that and more. Hisense advertises the display with a light output of 2700 lumens but after calibration, this reached 2500. This is technically around 790 nits give or take. Even if Hisense does not measure the brightness of the display in nits, it is important to know that it does not reach 800. Keep in mind that this sort of display can’t really be measured this way due to its light source not coming from the back of the panel.
This is still pretty impressive for a “projector”. This means the display can produce a bright image to combat bright rooms that are not technically designed for a cinema experience like this.
Image quality was still great even in this bright room with a back-facing window
When it comes to the wide colour space, the Hisense 100-inch laser TV covers about 83% of the DCI-P3 spectrum which is also impressive. This means you will play games and watch content in the way it was meant to be viewed. This is in addition to the HDR modes that offer enough freedom to tweak the image output the way you want.
Given that it is a projector, there are no real pure black levels on the display either. With that being said, the black areas of the image were dark enough to give the illusion of a “turned off” display. Black areas were dark enough without having a glowing issue around objects. This was especially apparent at night in a dark room. The laser projector does a great job focusing on the brightest area on the screen without compromising the rest of the image to get the quality.
I need to stress once again that these measurements are tough to nail down. You can’t measure a light-reflective panel and score it solely on the max brightness and colour spectrum. There are multiple factors involved that reduce these numbers and affect the overall image quality. Ambient light is one of them. I can just tell you that the image quality was darn impressive and once I tweaked the apps and outputs, everything looked amazing. I especially loved the HDR Dynamic Mode that pumped up the brightness of the scene while enhancing colour and deepening the blacks. It was my go-to setting for everything I did on the display. Everything looked so much better with this enabled.
As for the viewing angle, the Hisense 100-inch laser TV suffers from the same issue most TVs have. From the side, things get washed out and you lose colour accuracy. You will still be able to see what is happening but if you’re sitting in front of the panel, that is where the best viewing experience will be. Like most TVs.
Hisense 100-Inch Laser TV (100L5F) For Gaming
Hisense knows how important gaming is and the 100-inch laser TV does not compromise on the experience either. While the device does not support 4K 120Hz, it does have its own dedicated gaming mode that helps reduce latency while still delivering low input lag and all the benefits of HDR.
Before I enabled the Game Mode, input lag was quite bad sitting at 78ms. After it was enabled, this dropped to 16ms which has some of the best readings I have seen on TV. Not to mention this is a projector so the light latency needs to be accounted for too. I was blown away. My Sony Bravia X90H ranges between 15-16ms too and that is an LED TV. Well done, Hisense.
This meant that playing Outriders (when I could get into the server) was pretty great on a 100-inch TV. Everything I tested worked well and looked fantastic. Be it Zombie Army 4: Dead War and its super-dark environments that still popped on the display during the day or Destiny 2, a game that thrives on its pitch-black corridors and its use of smaller lights to lead the way. It is also important to note that most of the time, I simply unplugged my PS5 or Xbox Series X from my Sony TV and plugged it into the Hisense. There was no need to readjust HDR in these games or anything to achieve a viewable experience.
The Hisense 100-inch laser TV comes with a speaker set in the front of the box and it is okay. Hisense boasts Dolby Atmos but the general speaker fails to deliver any sort of spatial height or depth. Instead, there are only 2-channels of sound being left and right. It is just stereo and nothing spectacular. Even when I enabled the Atmos toggle while watching Netflix content, it was basic. You will probably want to couple this with a sound system of some sort.
The sound setup is also limited to its ARC channel across the one HDMI port which means you can’t pass through uncompressed Dolby Atmos sound from the box to your sound system. This is something you need to keep in mind. The Hisense 100-inch laser TV does not have eARC and a pretty mediocre sound system. Still, it is levels above a projector but still not up to standard when it comes to surround sound.
Speaking of sound, you also need to know that the box itself makes a noise too. During operation, the fan can get as loud as 60dB when it is cooling down. However, its idle fan sound sits at around 38dB. Just don’t get a freight when you hear it rev up.
Hisense 100-Inch Laser TV (100L5F) Verdict
There’s a lot to unpack here when it comes to the Hisense 100-inch Laser TV but you need to weigh up what the display is trying to achieve. This TV promises 25,000 hours of life compared to the max 5,000 hours in a mainstream projector which is already a day and night difference. This alone should put the display on the top of your list when looking at a cinema or ultimate gaming setup. You also need to keep in mind that this 100-inch display is competitively priced compared to other 100-inch LEDs on the market. Another big tick.
Most important of all, the display is able to deliver a top-notch viewing experience with some impressive visuals and brightness levels. It is extremely versatile and anyone who wants the biggest possible way to watch and game should definitely keep this in mind. If you have the right space in your home, you can turn it into your comfort zone with a lot more benefits than using a standard projector. It will also work out cheaper than buying a 100-inch TV. Sure, the display has some mediocre speakers and no 120Hz or VRR but the size and sheer scale of it should make up for some of the compromises that come with it.
This Hisense 100-Inch Laser TV (100L5F) review was based on a unit sent to us by Hisense South Africa. The display is available now in South Africa starting at R79,999. Find out more here. Give the video review a watch here.