Leica has just unveiled its first ultra-short-throw (UST) projector called the Cine 1 that can beam an 80- or 100-inch image while parked as little as six inches from a wall. While it might seem a bit strange for a camera company to build a projector, UST models require precise optics to create a square image while beaming straight up — and that's right up Leica's alley.
The company said it's using its Summicron lens tech with aspherical elements "manufactured in accordance with Leica standards. It also uses a triple-RGB laser with a 25,000 hour service life (built in collaboration with HiSense, according to The Verge) and a Texas Instruments DLP chip.
Leica has two versions of the Cine 1 designed for 80-inch and 100-inch screens, with the former positioned about six inches from the wall and the latter about 12 inches. Leica recommends setting them at exactly those positions and using the suggested screen sizes, as the optics were designed for that. To that end, it's also selling 80- and 100-inch ambient light-rejecting (ALR) screens. They output 2,100 and 2,500 lumens for the 80- and 100-inch models, respectively.
On the audio side, it offers built-in Dolby Atmos-powered speakers for surround sound. It comes with a TV tuner for for linear TV and HiSense's VIDAA OS as a smart TV platform. You can also install external storage, Blu-ray players or consoles via the HDMI and USB inputs.
Other key specs are still missing, like color space coverage and HDR support. However, they're reportedly priced at $6,900 for the 80-inch and $7,900 for the 100-inch model, so you'd expect all the bells and whistles possible. Currently, the most advanced UST projectors out there are Samsung's LSP7T 4K with HDR10+ starting at $3,500, the $3,000 Formovie Theater with Dolby Vision and HiSense's L9G 3,000-lumen Laser TV projectors with Dolby Vision priced at $5,000 with a 100-inch ALR screen.