Leica, the famed 169-year German company best known for its cameras, lenses, and sports optics, has officially gone to market with its Cine 1 Laser TV ultra-short throw projector.The product of a partnership with Hisense made public in August of 2022 and first announced in September 2022 at the IFA Conference in Berlin , the Cine 1 is described as a luxury product targeted at high-end consumers who know and already appreciate the Leica brand and the quality enhancements the company can bring to bear in the UST space.
As we reported in our video highlight reel for last month's CEDIA Expo 2023 in Denver, where the Cine 1 captured one of our CEDIA Best of Show Awards, the Cine 1 differentiates itself first and most obviously by its exemplary industrial design, which offers a rugged aluminum housing with a sliding dust cover and a wrap-around aluminum front speaker grille that features the famous Leica red-dot logo.
Internally, the projector is based on a triple-laser RGB Hisense light engine and largely mimics the specs, operating system, and menu options found in that company's top-line UST projectors. It's a single-chip DLP using Texas Instrument's 0.47-inch micromirror device combined with XPR four-phase pixel-shifting to achieve full UHD resolution (3840x2160 pixels). The unit is rated for 3,000 ANSI lumens brightness and has a 25,000-hour rated lifetime. Dynamic contrast is listed as 2,000,000:1. Thanks to the RGB triple laser architecture, color gamut is rated to exceed full BT.2020, far wider than the DCI-P3 gamut to which most HDR content today is mastered.
However, Leica has brought to bear is deep knowledge of optics in providing its own 0.25:1 Summicron lens with four aspherical elements to provide the sharpest possible image, which was clearly in evidence—right out to the upper corners—on the 120-inch image displayed at CEDIA as well as at a New York City press event last week that showed off the Cine 1's prowess. Additionally, Leica says it has fine-tuned and tightened tolerances for the picture modes through what it calls Leica Image Optimization (LIO), with the intent to achieve the most natural colors, detailed color gradations, and excellent contrast.
The Cine 1 comes out of the box with both HDR10, HLG, and most notably, Dolby Vision HDR processing. A Google TV streaming platform delivers 4K streamed content from most of the popular services, including Netflix, which is not often found on Android-based projectors. A late-generation Next-Gen TV ATSC off-air tuner is also on board, as well as a Dolby Atmos-compliant on-board audio system with a pair of 25-watt speakers.
Two Cine 1 models are being made available initially, each with a fixed focal-length lens for either a 100- or 120-inch diagonal image. Lenticular ambient light-rejecting UST screens are not bundled, but will be made available as an option, Leica says. The Cine 1-100 model is priced at $8,995 and the Cine 1-120 retails for $9,495. The projectors are available now at Leica's own showroom stores nationwide and at select retailers.
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For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Leica Cine 1 120 projector page.