Dell S718QL 4K projector will definitely light up your life

We just talked about one of Dell's new fancy monitors, but we realized that it's a puny 38" across. Surely that in this day and age a person can't possibly be expected to watch a postage stamp-sized display like that, so we found something a little better: Dell's new S718QL 4K projector.

The S718QL combines a laser backlight with a DLP system to create what Dell says is "the world's first high-brightness, 4K UHD, ultra short throw" projector. The company claims this thing can throw up a 100" diagonal image when it's just four inches away from a wall. The projector's native resolution is 3840×2160, and it supports up to a 120 Hz refresh rate. The powerful laser backlight can purportedly produce up to 5,000 lumens. Dell also says the S718QL is compatible with the HDR10 standard and has a typical contrast ratio of 1300:1.

That kind of visual performance would be fairly impressive for a monitor, but for a home projector it's pretty bonkers. Brightness of 5,000 lumens means the projected image should be bright enough to be visible almost anywhere. Despite the high power, Dell says the backlight should last for 20,000 hours, or around 10 years of typical usage. The projector can accept video signals from up to three HDMI inputs, although only one of those is HDMI 2.0. Alternatively, the projector can be used without a PC, displaying media from USB or across a wired or wireless network. It even supports Bluetooth connections to external speakers.

This might be one of the fanciest projectors we've seen, but it'll cost you. The Dell S718QL comes out July 19 and will run you $6000 when it hits.

Comments closed
    • derFunkenstein
    • 3 years ago

    Curse my textured living room wall and lack of six thousand bucks.

    • nickmandler
    • 3 years ago

    That’s a super impressive projector if it can project black onto a white wall.

      • ozzuneoj
      • 3 years ago

      Seriously, what were they thinking with that picture?

      • jihadjoe
      • 3 years ago

      Uh, any projector can do that. It’s all psychovisual, so “black” can be created by having a few white spots surrounded by dark pixels.

      A few years back Sony actually had a projector just like the Dell in this article, except much more expensive. Here’s a video of it projecting stuff including dark scenes onto a white wall.

      [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bk9dvWT8xOU[/url<] At 39 seconds it's projecting a nearly black image.

    • dpaus
    • 3 years ago

    We’ll be putting a boatload of these into Emergency Operations Centres…

      • chuckula
      • 3 years ago

      YAY!

    • Chrispy_
    • 3 years ago

    I’ve not used a laser projector. What are the noise levels like?

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      Thanks for the upvotes but are they quiet?
      One of my biggest pet peeves in home-cinema is noisy display equipment.

      Films seem to have vast dynamic range in their soundtracks which means that a neighbour-irking volume for the loud scenes can still leave you struggling to hear subtle dialogue over the fan in your PC or projector in the quiet scenes.

      Media players sort of correct for this with dynamic range normalisation, but all the implementations I’ve used suffer from lag, so the first part of a loud scene is usually even louder than without normalisation for a second or two, and likewise the first part of a quietly-mumbled sentence is even quieter than it would normally be. Normalisation neither protects your speakers/eardrums, nor does it help with hard-to-hear subtleties.

      So yeah, back on topic, quiet home-cinema projectors are extremely important unless you live alone, away from neighbours, and don’t have to worry about aggravating or waking people when watching movies.

    • blahsaysblah
    • 3 years ago

    I definitely noticed, putting my projector a little above head height so light hits wall and bounces into sitters eyes to be best experience versus having it on cofee table for example and bouncing up into ceiling.

      • Thrashdog
      • 3 years ago

      You should be using specialized projection screen material for this kind of application, though — a super-flat paint at a minimum. Eggshell or semi-gloss house paint is naturally going to lead to some hotspots.

    • Welch
    • 3 years ago

    120hz… Now for FreeSync support 😛

    • Laykun
    • 3 years ago

    Everything was looking good till DLP was mentioned. That’s a shame.

      • chµck
      • 3 years ago

      genuine question: whats wrong with DLP?

        • drfish
        • 3 years ago

        Some of us are driven crazy by [url=http://hometheaterreview.com/rainbow-effect/<]DLP rainbows[/url<]. Not sure if that's what Laykun's concern is though.

          • Laykun
          • 3 years ago

          It’s this, I hate the rainbows. You get it on some plasma screen TVs too.

            • Liron
            • 3 years ago

            Even at 120 Hz?

            • DPete27
            • 3 years ago

            Is the Dell S718QL a single chip setup though? I doubt it.

            • Laykun
            • 3 years ago

            There are no details either way.

            • Deadsalt
            • 3 years ago

            Laser DLP projectors can have no rainbows as it is possible to eliminate the color wheel.

            • Laykun
            • 3 years ago

            That’s not true if it’s single chip DLP, the light source has nothing to do with the rainbow effect. If it’s a 3 chip DLP projector then it wont have the rainbow effect.

          • psuedonymous
          • 3 years ago

          DLP rainbowing only occurs with single-chip colour-sequential devices. Three-chip devices with independent light sources do not exhibit this effect, as all colours are projected at the same time.

          • Chrispy_
          • 3 years ago

          I’d imagine that this system with a 120Hz refresh is much faster than the old 60Hz colour-wheel models. Colour wheels are [i<]sooo[/i<] last decade, even in cheap models. I'm expecting this to be all digital with very rapid colour cycling, possibly even multiple colour cycles per frame, which means minimal or zero rainbows.

            • drfish
            • 3 years ago

            I’m fairly certain that such a fancy gizmo won’t suffer from the problem. I was just offering a general explanation for why DLP is a four letter technology for some folks.

            • Chrispy_
            • 3 years ago

            My bad, meant to reply to Laykun.

    • synthtel2
    • 3 years ago

    Whoa. 4K120 HDR, 100″ without the pain of moving around an actual 100″ surface, and short throw meaning the specular properties of the projection surface won’t cause weirdness? I think I know what display tech I’ll still be looking forward to after my next monitor upgrade.

    That big laser is only good for 20,000 hours though? That seems weak, considering how expensive that part alone probably is. I wonder if it can be made to last significantly longer by turning down the brightness.

      • UberGerbil
      • 3 years ago

      Uh, 20,000 hours for a bright projector is [i<]amazing[/i<]. Bulbs typically last 2000 hours in very bright projectors; the more mainstream (and cheaper and dimmer) are more like [url=http://www.projectorreviews.com/articles-guides/lamp-life-and-brightness-2/<]3 - 4000 hours[/url<]. Some offer an "Eco" mode that gives you as much as 6000, but typically that's only usable in a dark room. And even that's not bad compared to where we used to be. Back in the 90s I can remember budgeting for a new bulb every three months or so assuming 40 hour week duty cycles, and those things cost over $100.

        • synthtel2
        • 3 years ago

        20,000 hours is good in terms of normal projector bulbs, but 5000 lumen lasers (I presume laser diodes)? The S718QL laughs at your puny $100 replacement bulbs. Measured in $ per hour, I’ll bet this doesn’t look good.

          • UberGerbil
          • 3 years ago

          Per morphine’s link in response to your question elsewhere here, there’s an “eco mode” that uses about 60% of the power (and probably gives a little better than 60% of the lumens) — I’d bet that doubles the life of the unit (unless in grand marketing tradition they’re already assuming that when quoting the 20K hours).

          Anyway, you don’t replace the laser you just replace the unit — when it dies several years from now, the equivalent projector will probably cost a quarter as much.

            • synthtel2
            • 3 years ago

            Before I saw the power usage, I was thinking of it in the monitor terms of “if I pay six grand for the best monitor ever, I kind of want it to last forever-ish like a normal monitor”. They just don’t improve fast enough to not think of longevity as a really big factor. With that power usage in the picture, though, I could get behind the tech improvements over time being a really big deal.

      • the
      • 3 years ago

      20,000 hour is roughly 2.25 years of [i<]uninterrupted[/i<] usage. For businesses, this model can probably last ~10 years. Also this has no replaceable lamp like a traditional projector. Then again, those lamps have life times rated about ~2000 hours depending on make/model/type.

        • TwoEars
        • 3 years ago

        Yupp. It’s 4.5 years of keeping it on for 12 hours every single day.. I don’t think this is going to be a problem.

        • synthtel2
        • 3 years ago

        There are monitors around here from the 90s that not only still work fine, but aren’t even that bad (other than being big and heavy). If I had one of these and it didn’t draw more power than my fully-loaded computer, would it still be nice to have around in 2037? It seems likely enough to me. The power draw of this is analogous to the size and weight of those CRTs.

        It’ll be quite a long time before these specs are looking significantly behind the curve, barring the lack of freesync. I still think it’ll probably hit EOL from laser death before it will from image quality. The power bill may well be ahead of both, but when I made that OP I wasn’t aware of how much power it used.

      • curtisb
      • 3 years ago

      [quote<]considering how expensive that part alone probably is[/quote<] It's not a part you can replace. 20,000 hours is pretty standard for laser/LED projectors, well...any projector really. We've been purchasing Panasonic 1080p Laser/LED projectors at work for a few years now, and they're all rated at 20,000 hours as well. I'm perfectly fine with that. "Standard" projectors that use a bulb will last you about 6-8 bulb changes at roughly 2,500-3,000 hours per bulb before it's time to replace the projector. You might be able to push them a little further, but they will start getting to a point where they're not as bright, even with a brand new bulb.

        • synthtel2
        • 3 years ago

        Ah, I didn’t know that projectors were all like that. If the LED ones are also rated for about that long, that’s another good indication the light source isn’t the limit, since you’d have to drive the LEDs pretty hard to wear them out that fast.

    • PrincipalSkinner
    • 3 years ago

    Speaking of Dell and lighting things up :
    [url<]https://www.pcper.com/news/Displays/Dells-8k-UP3218K-display-good-luck-GPUs[/url<]

    • Bumper
    • 3 years ago

    I love the short throw.

      • UberGerbil
      • 3 years ago

      That’s some crazy keystone compensation.

      But I’m guessing they’re fudging a little: it looks like the lens is in that notch on the top near the front of the unit, and I bet they’re saying the [i<]back[/i<] side of the unit has to be four inches from the wall. I don't have a great sense of how big the thing actually is but I suspect that means the lens is more like 10" - 12" from the wall. Still impressive, but not quite the crazy angle that atan(50/4) would suggest.

    • JosiahBradley
    • 3 years ago

    Wait, HDMI 2.0 doesn’t support 4k@120, so does it have a DP input?

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 3 years ago

    AMAZING! I want one. Is this capable of throwing a traditional projection image for less distortion?

      • the
      • 3 years ago

      If the optics are similar to the Epson ultra short throws I deal with, the answer is no.

      • Chrispy_
      • 3 years ago

      I don’t think there is any distortion.

      The image is assembled at the DLP chip with zero distortion and bounced around through prisms/lenses to project undistorted on a wall.

      It’s not like you’re aiming it up with a traditional forward-prjoection and adding a boatload of keystone correction, these systems produce evenly-lit images and a nicely-aligned, square-pixelled grid. All the magic is in the [b<]fixed[/b<] lenses and prisms.

    • slowriot
    • 3 years ago

    Going to have to find a way to sneak one of these bad boys into the next purchasing cycle with Dell.

    • cmrcmk
    • 3 years ago

    $6K actually seems reasonable for all that. It’s still way out of my price range, but reasonable nonetheless.

      • TwoEars
      • 3 years ago

      I agree. And if this tech gets down to 3k in a few years I might actually buy one.

      • davidbowser
      • 3 years ago

      I saw 4k 100″ diagonal, and immediately thought $8k-$10k

    • DrCR
    • 3 years ago

    I wonder what the noise level is though, particularly due to it’s close proximity rather than being ceiling mounted or some such.

      • Fieryphoenix
      • 3 years ago

      If it’s FRIGGIN LASERS (sorry), does that not mean high efficiency and hence less waste heat to deal with? Here’s hoping, anyway.

        • synthtel2
        • 3 years ago

        Laser diodes are pretty crazy efficient, but at 5000 lumens, this is probably still going to burn substantially more power than the average monitor. (The theoretical max efficiency for neutral whites is around 250 lm/W, IIRC.)

          • morphine
          • 3 years ago

          For what it’s worth, the spec sheet we have from Dell lists power consumption as around 500W, or 280W in Eco mode.

            • synthtel2
            • 3 years ago

            0_o

            Welp, there’s one big disadvantage then.

            • morphine
            • 3 years ago

            Depends on the perspective. A Samsung 110″ 4K TV [url=http://www.samsung.com/sa_en/consumer/tv-av/tv/uhd/UA110S9ARXUM/<]will eat 890W at peak brightness[/url<]. An old Portuguese saying goes like this: "big picture, big power bill."

            • synthtel2
            • 3 years ago

            I guess the power consumption to area ratio is about in line with normal monitors. I guess I just assumed that more of that was in processing or something, since the actual light emitted by monitors is so low, but in retrospect that doesn’t make much sense. It probably also didn’t help my on-the-fly calculations for this sort of thing that I run my monitors at much lower brightness than most people do.

            • Neutronbeam
            • 3 years ago

            Wow, those wise, old Portuguese REALLY knew their power ratios! I guess they must have been talking about movie theaters. 🙂

            • the
            • 3 years ago

            That would be for the entire unit though, just not for the laser. (Though the laser engine will be the biggest power consumer by far.)

            Typically there are some electronics inside to assist in things like a digital keystone and digital zoom if necessary. HDMI audio de-embedded and routing also takes a few watts. Wi-fi and Bluetooth and wired NIC take a couple of watts themselves too.

            While this unit doesn’t appear to have it, projectors can also provide up to 30W of power over a HDBaseT connection to a remote transmitter, which is nice for installations.

            Edit:
            While certainly not the same projector, I do have a few pictures of what the [url=http://imgur.com/a/cV3Hw<]insides of a 30,000 lumen, 4K projector looks like.[/url<] That gives you an idea of just how much else is in there besides the light engine.

    • Kretschmer
    • 3 years ago

    This is insanely cool; I didn’t realize that projector tech has gotten so advanced!

      • cynan
      • 3 years ago

      The first decent ultra short throw projector I’ve come across is the [url=http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2492874,00.asp<]PF1000U[/url<]. 4K for 4x+ the price...

    • chuckula
    • 3 years ago

    [quote<]The projector's native resolution is 3840x2160, and it supports up to a 120 Hz refresh rate.[/quote<] Say what?!?!?

      • BoilerGamer
      • 3 years ago

      Not both at the same time, since it only have 1 HDMI 2.0 input(which don’t support 4K120) and no display port input, so you either have 4K60 or lower res 120

        • chuckula
        • 3 years ago

        I will cry in the corner now (but it’s still pretty sweet).

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