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Formovie THEATER Projector Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Mar 18, 2024 at 09:44 am
Latest change: Writing modified Apr 03, 2024 at 11:09 am

The Formovie THEATER is an ultra-short throw (UST) 4k HDR laser projector. It uses the latest ALPD 4.0 triple laser light source, which is supposed to output up to 107% of the Rec. 2020 color gamut, delivering bright and colorful images in HDR10, HDR10+, or Dolby Vision. It can project content at an extremely short distance from the screen or wall: it projects an 80" image at a distance of 5.5" and up to a 150" image at a distance of 19.3". It has three HDMI ports and can passthrough advanced audio formats from Dolby and DTS through its eARC port. It also supports Dolby Atmos. Its MEMC motion compensation technology smoothes out fast-moving content like sports, and it has an Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) to automatically switch the projector to a low input lag mode when gaming. It has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support and comes with the Android TV 11 smart interface with full Chromecast integration. Finally, it comes with an integrated 30W Bowers & Wilkins sound system.

Our Verdict

7.1 Movies

The Formovie THEATER is decent for watching movies. It's bright enough to look good in dim rooms but not bright enough to handle moderately lit rooms. Its contrast is great, however, so content looks deep and punchy when the lights are off, so close the blinds and turn off the lights for maximum impact. It has a wide color gamut, but unfortunately, it's not bright enough to make them pop. The projector's color accuracy is inadequate out-of-the-box, with magentas looking too red and cyans leaning strongly toward green. You'll have to invest in a calibrator if you care about color accuracy.

Pros
  • Wide color gamut that looks especially good in HDR.
  • Fully-featured projector with Android TV, three HDMI 2.1 ports, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.
  • Ultra short throw capabilities, so you can place it very close to the wall or screen.
Cons
  • Not bright enough to make colors pop.
  • The unit's color space setting is buggy, requiring users to manually adjust it based on the content if they care about color accuracy.
  • Inadequate image accuracy out-of-the-box.
  • 7.1 Movies
  1. Updated Apr 03, 2024: Mentioned the newly reviewed Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS800 in the Brightness section of this review. We also added links to some of our recommendations in the Compared To Other Projectors section.
  2. Updated Mar 18, 2024: Review published.
  3. Updated Mar 14, 2024: Early access published.
  4. Updated Mar 12, 2024: Our testers have started testing this product.
  5. Updated Mar 06, 2024: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  6. Updated Feb 15, 2024: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We bought and tested the Formovie THEATER projector. This projector has no variants and is the only model in Formovie's UST Laser Projector line. They sell this model on its own, or you can buy it from them with the 100" Formovie Fresnel Ultra-Thin ALR projection screen.

Compared To Other Projectors

The Formovie THEATER is a decent UST projector, but it's very expensive for the performance it provides. You can get projectors with better image quality for less; the XGIMI HORIZON Ultra, Epson Home Cinema 3800, or BenQ X3000i are cheaper with better image quality, with the XGIMI and BenQ both coming with equally as good, if not better, feature sets. If you're shopping specifically for a UST projector, the Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS300 is cheaper and better. Ultimately, this projector isn't worth the asking price.

Check out our recommendations for the best 4k projectors and the best projectors for home theater. If you'd prefer to shop for a cheaper product, look up the best projectors under $1,000 instead. 

Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS800

The Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS800 is better than the Formovie THEATER, although the Formovie has more features; it supports both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, as well as passing through advanced audio formats through its eARC port, while the Epson is limited to ARC and HDR10. The Formovie also has the better contrast between the two. Still, the Epson is much brighter than the Formovie and is a much more accurate projector out-of-the-box. It's also capable of both 4k @ 60Hz and 1080p @ 120Hz on one of its HDMI ports, while the Formovie is limited to 4k @ 60Hz on all of its ports.

Hisense PX1-PRO

The Hisense PX1-PRO is a bit better than the Formovie THEATER, although the Formovie has much deeper contrast, so it looks punchier in pitch-black rooms when watching movies. Otherwise, the Hisense is much more accurate before and after calibration, has a slightly wider color gamut, and has better gaming features than the Formovie due to its two HDMI 2.1 ports, which can do 4k @ 120Hz.

Epson Home Cinema 3800

The Epson Home Cinema 3800 is much better than the Formovie THEATER for watching movies, as the Epson is much brighter and is vastly more accurate than the Formovie. The Formovie does have more features, as it comes with Android TV 11, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, while the Epson requires you to purchase an external streaming dongle if you need any smart features. However, the Epson isn't a UST projector, so you must install it further away from the wall or screen than the Formovie.

XGIMI HORIZON Ultra

The XGIMI HORIZON Ultra is better than the Formovie THEATER. The XGIMI is smaller and lighter, so it's much easier to carry around, especially with its full suite of image correction features, which the Formovie lacks. The XGIMI also has better brightness and color accuracy, although the Formovie has a slight edge in contrast and color gamut. However, the XGIMI isn't a UST projector, so you must install it further away from the wall or screen than the Formovie.

BenQ X3000i

The BenQ X3000i is much better than the Formovie THEATER. The BenQ is smaller and lighter and has auto keystone correction on the vertical axis, while the Formovie is bulky and has no image correction features, so the BenQ is easier to move around if needed. The BenQ has much better brightness and color accuracy and has more gaming features than the Formovie due to its 1080p @ 240Hz capabilities. However, the BenQ isn't a UST projector, so you must install it further away from the wall or screen than the Formovie.

XGIMI AURA

The Formovie THEATER is slightly better than the XGIMI AURA, but it's close. The contrast, color accuracy, and color gamut are marginally better on the Formovie, leading to a more vibrant and punchier image overall.

Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS300

The Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS300 is better than the Formovie THEATER. The Epson is much brighter and has far superior color accuracy. Still, the Formovie does project a sharper image than the Epson due to its pixel-shifting 4k technology, while the Epson is limited to 1080p. The Formovie also has better contrast and a wider color gamut, but it's not enough to compensate for the Epson's brightness and accuracy advantage.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
4.0
Design
Portability
Height 4.8" (12.3 cm)
Width 21.7" (55.0 cm)
Depth 13.8" (35.0 cm)
Weight
21.7 lbs (9.8 kg)

The Formovie THEATER isn't designed to be portable as it's big and heavy and lacks an integrated battery, so you need to plug it into an outlet. It also has no automatic image correction feature, so you'll need to manually adjust the focus and image geometry. It does have a 30W speaker system from Bowers & Wilkins, so you won't need to worry about connecting it to a soundbar if you move it.

Design
Projector Technology
Imaging Technology
DLP
Light Source
Laser
Resolution
Pixel Shift 4k
Aspect Ratio
16 : 9
Minimum Throw Ratio
0.23
Maximum Throw Ratio
0.23

This projector uses a laser light source, which requires no maintenance and will last for 20,000 hours or more, according to Formovie. It's not a true 4k projector, as it uses pixel shifting to create a higher-resolution image. This offers better quality than a pure 1080p projector but isn't as good as a native 4k projector. It's a UST projector, so it can project an 80" image at a distance of 5.5" and up to a 150" image at a distance of 19.3".

Picture Quality
6.7
Picture Quality
Brightness
White Light Output
1,065 lm
Color Light Output
730 lm
Brightness Uniformity
86%
Screen Brightness
114 cd/m²

This projector has okay brightness, with good brightness uniformity, although we had a hard time getting the top right corner to focus when compared to the rest of the image, as you can see here. It's capable enough for a dark room, but it looks washed out when a few lights are on. Unfortunately, the projector isn't bright enough to make its colors pop even with its wide color gamut.

Our brightness measurements were done post-calibration. You can reach up to 1800 lumens on the unit using the projector's default 'User' color temperature settings while setting the projector's 'Brightness Mode' to 'Office' with the 'Max Vivid' and 'Local Contrast Control' modes enabled. This results in a very inaccurate image, however. We couldn't get the unit near the manufacturer's stated 2800 lumens.

If you'd prefer a brighter projector, consider the Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS800 instead.

8.2
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
234 : 1

The projector has great contrast, with deep blacks when watching content in a dark room.

5.4
Picture Quality
Pre-Calibration Color Accuracy
White Balance dE
3.99
Color dE
5.35
Gamma
2.17
Color Temperature
7,379 K
Picture Mode
User
Color Temp Setting
Warm
Gamma Setting
Middle

The projector has inadequate color accuracy out of the box. Its color accuracy is poor, with magentas looking red and cyans leaning towards green. The color temperature leans very cold, and you can further see this through the projector's mediocre white balance, with most whites leaning towards blue.

8.4
Picture Quality
Post-Calibration Color Accuracy
White Balance dE
0.23
Color dE
3.61
Gamma
2.19
Color Temperature
6,494 K
White Balance Calibration
11 point
Color Calibration
Yes
Picture Mode
User

The projector has full color calibration and 11-point white balance calibration, and it's vastly more accurate after adjusting these settings. The projector's white balance and color temperature are now fantastic, with barely any accuracy errors. Sadly, while improved, the color accuracy is still only okay, with cyans and purple still slightly leaning towards green and red, respectively, and most colors are somewhat undersaturated.

8.1
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Rec. 709 xy
87.27%
Rec. 709 uv
90.78%
Rec. 2020 xy
84.88%
Rec. 2020 uv
90.62%

The Formovie THEATER has a wide color gamut, although you need to adjust the TV's 'Color Space' setting based on the content to get the most out of this projector. We took our Rec. 709 measurements with the 'Color Space' setting set to 'On,' and the Rec. 2020 measurements were done with it set to 'Off.' When the 'Color Space' setting is set to 'On,' it limits the projector's color gamut to the Rec. 709 color space, which overclamps the color space, as it can't fully portray the Rec. 709 color space.

Inversely, when 'Color Space' is set to 'Off' or 'Auto,' it sets the projector to its much wider native color gamut, which is now oversaturated in Rec. 709 but works very nicely with Rec. 2020. 'Auto' is supposed to switch the color gamut based on the content, but it doesn't work correctly as it just expands all content to the native color gamut of the projector.

Features
Features
Inputs & Connectivity
HDMI
3
ARC/eARC
Yes (eARC)
Wi-Fi Yes
USB Data Ports
2

The projector has three HDMI ports, with one of them doubling as the eARC port. The projector also supports Bluetooth.

Features
Smart Features & Sound
Smart OS
Android
Cast Capable
Yes
Speaker(s)
Yes

The Formovie THEATER has Android TV 11.0 built-in with Chromecast support, so you can share your phone or laptop screen directly with the projector. The projector has a 30W Bowers & Wilkins speaker system with two full-range speakers and two tweeters.

Features
In The Box

  • Power cable
  • Remote control
  • Microfiber cloth
  • User documentation