AWOL LTV-3500 Short Throw Projector Review: Bright but Expensive

However, this is the first projector I’ve used where I felt I didn’t need blackout curtains (or major adjustments to my home). During the day I could put on music videos or shows and still see very clearly what was happening. Of course, when night falls, the lighting becomes perfect for a movie night, with an overwhelming screen that almost (almost) makes going to a theater unnecessary.

I wish the projector offered more control over color profiles and calibration. I often watch content through my PS5, and while the HDR Vivid preset worked best with other devices, I had to switch the projector to HDR Game to compensate for the PS5s own HDR color calibrations, otherwise bright scenes were blown out overwhelmingly.

While there are a few tools to create custom HDR color profiles, adjust white balance, or set color correction, they’re all relatively fiddly, rather than adapting to a reference template (which, to be fair, is quite common for most TVs and projectors).

However, I was more impressed with the projector frame alignment tools. A correction map helps you physically align the projector itself until a projected rectangle aligns with the screen you are projecting onto. If you need further adjustments afterwards, you can further adjust the alignment in the software using a manual correction tool.

And finally, there’s a focus tool to adjust the motorized lens, in case the projector is out of focus. Mine focused just fine when I set it up for a 120-inch screen, but I had to refocus when I lowered the screen and moved the projector closer to the wall to get a more reasonable 90-inch projection.

The screen

The ALR screen that AWOL also sent for review is a huge benefit, but comes with a significant cost. Without bundles or sales, the 100-inch screen costs $1,100while the 120-inch version – the one I tested – is as much as $1,800. The prices for the screens alone are comparable to the cost of many TVs. But once they’re set up, it’s hard to deny the difference they make.

Setting the screen is quite an ordeal in itself. The massive 120-inch version is so large that I had to move furniture around to lay it flat while attaching the frame. The whole process took a few hours, and it’s definitely best to have at least two people to lift it onto the wall. It also required careful measurements, not only to make sure the screen fit and mounted properly on my wall, but also to make sure it was mounted high enough and the projector was far enough from the wall to cover the full 120 – inch screen.

Once mounted, the projector’s image quality improved significantly. The ALR screen is designed to reflect light from below, where the projector sits, while reflecting light from above (like overhead lights). In practice, it gives the image a much better contrast ratio and a brighter image.

Add Comment