UNIC UC46 1200LM LED Multimedia Projector Review: How Good Can A Sub-$100 Projector Be?

The UNIC UC46 is the company’s latest compact projector. Boasting similar specs to the company’s popular UC40 model, the new model adds improved cooling and UNi-Link, a feature that allows you to stream multimedia via wifi.

I want to say thanks to GearBest for sending me a sample to review. You can purchase the UNIC UC46 from them here.

Check Price at GearBest

What’s In The Box?

UNIC-UC46-Review-Inside-The-Box

UNIC have provided a respectable set of inclusions:

  • 1x UNIC UC46 LED Projector
  • 1x IR Remote
  • 1x Composite Cable
  • 1x Power Cable
  • 1x English User Manual

UNIC UC46 Projector Review: Design

The design of the UNIC U46 is predictably similar to its predecessor. Essentially a large black box, the device definitely nails the projector aesthetic. There’s a subtle geometric design on the top now that looks nice and helps give the projector some style cred.

UNIC-UC46-Review-07

The front of the unit features the projector lens protected by a removable rubber cap. The car’s only held in place with friction and would fall out with a some jostling so if you’re transporting it, you may want to find a better lens cap.

UNIC-UC46-Review-05

The top of the unit has some controls for navigating the menus and controlling media playback. There’s also dials for adjusting focus and keystone correction to get the clearest picture.

UNIC-UC46-Review-06

All the ports are located on the right and rear of the unit. The right side features a 3.5mm audio output jack, composite video output, HDMI In, an SD card slot and two USB ports, although one can only be used for charging devices whilst the other can be used for media playback. The rear has the IR sensor and VGA port (hidden at the very bottom of the unit).

UNIC-UC46-Review-Rear

Underneath the projector, there’s a riser. It’s essentially a long screw that allows you to tilt the projector so you can easily position the projector on a table. It’s pretty handy when you can’t raise the projector high enough.

UNIC-UC46-Review-04

UNIC UC46 Projector Review: Using It

Powering up the projector is done via the power button. It takes a few seconds to boot up before you can access the interface.

There’s a fan to keep the unit cool and it’s not particularly quiet. Thankfully, it’s slightly quieter than UNIC UC40 but you’ll definitely be able to hear it during quiet scenes.

The UI is identical to the that of the UNIC UC40. It’s colorful, with several tiles for each type of content: movies, music, pictures and text.

UNIC-UC46-Review-Menu-01

Oddly, there’s no Settings menu item. Instead, settings is brought up via the menu button on either the remote or projector itself.

The file browser is basic, with icons representing the content. Pausing over a video causes it to start playing. However, you have to hit the play button to actually start playing the video as pressing OK adds the video to the playlist instead. It’s a little unintuitive but you get used to it.

UNIC-UC46-Review-Menu-02

The inbuilt media player does a decent job of playing back the most common formats. I didn’t have issues with 30fps H.264 videos, MPEG2 and the like, though don’t expect more demanding videos to work. Attempts to play 4K H.264, H.265 and Hi10p didn’t work at all. Similarly, Dolby audio isn’t supported so you’ll either need to transcode or add a dedicated media player.

One thing to note is that the UNIC UC46 doesn’t seem to have any onboard memory. Settings will be saved as long as you keep the unit plugged in but it seemed to reset itself as soon as I unplugged it from the wall. That’s not an issue if you’re keeping the projector in one place but could be an issue if you’re wanting to transport it around.

UNIC UC46 Projector Review: Image Quality

Normally, I’d review a projector describing looking at the picture quality relative to something like an LCD TV. However, that’s really not fair to a sub-$100 projector that won’t even get close to units 10 times the price.

The UNIC UC46 boasts 1200 lumens of brightness but that’s still not enough to overpower ambient light. I wouldn’t bother trying to use the projector in a well-lit room.

UNIC-UC46-Review-Picture-Quality-01

However, turning off the lights changes things dramatically. The image is bright and colors are vivid. Too vivid in fact – I recommend turning off the unit’s super color setting it as it tends to overstaturate the image.

UNIC-UC46-Review-Picture-Quality-02

There’s a number of image presets but I found all of the to be pretty awful, with a tendency to oversaturate images. That said, after playing with the settings, I was able to get a pretty nice looking image.

The 800×480 resolution (DVD quality) is definitely lower than what we’re used to in the world of 1080p and 4K television. That said, detail is reasonable enough for movies or gaming.

For watching a movie, playing some games or as a screen for the kids, it’s pretty perfect given its sub-$100 price tag.

You’ll need to focus the image using the focus and keystone correction wheels to get maximum sharpness though sharpness falls off from the centre of the image. Using keystone correction exacerbates this so the closer you can get the projector to level, the better the image quality.

UNIC-UC46-Review-Keystone-01

When I reviewed the UNIC UC40, I complained about the transparent UNIC logo constantly in the top right corner of the screen – even over video. Thankfully, common sense has prevailed and the UC46 doesn’t exhibit the same flaw. You’ll just get unadulterated images.

UNIC-UC46-Review-Picture-Quality-03

You may also notice the black dot in some of my photos. Unfortunately, my unit had a dead pixel which, given the 800×480 resolution, meant that I had an omnipresent black dot on the screen. However, I’d wager it’s just bad luck.

UNIC UC46 Projector Review: Audio Quality

The UNIC UC46 also boasts on-board sound for an all-in-one setup. However, the unit’s tiny 1.5W downward-firing speaker predictably sounds hollow and lacks bass. It’s functional but I’d strongly recommend taking advantage of the 3.5mm output jack to connect the projector up to a better quality speaker like the Blitzwolf F1 Bluetooth speaker.

UNIC UC46 Projector Review: Wireless Streaming

The biggest feature of the UNIC UC46 is “UNi-Link” – UNIC’s wifi-based solution for streaming content straight to the projector without any wires. Miracast, DLNA and Airplay are supported, covering off the most common standards.

After changing over to the UNi-Link input, just connect to the UNi-Link WiFi hotspot using the password displayed on the projector.  Afterwards, navigate to the provided IP address and use the web-based UI to connect the projector up to your wireless network.

The web-based configuration tool is basic at best and looks more like a relic from the MySpace era than anything else – complete with Clipart-style GIFs. It’s hideous and thankfully, setup is probably the only time you’ll need to use it.

UNIC-UC46-Review-Web-UI

There’s also a remote on there that has the key features but keeps the same hideous design. I’d recommend you stick with the physical remote.

The actual streaming features work really well. I tried streaming video from my server using BubbleUPNP and to worked flawlessly. I was able to dream 720p and 1080p H.264 videos via WiFi without any buffering.

UNIC-UC46-Review-Menu-04

AirPlay and AirPlay mirroring worked using my iPhone 6 on iOS9 pretty much flawlessly. I did have the occasional situation where I couldn’t play the next video. However, such glitches are pretty common with unofficial Airplay implementations across the board.

Should You Get One?

UNIC-UC46-Review-01

For its price, the UNIC UC46 is a real bargain. As long as you have realistic expectations of a projector that costs only $75, the UNIC UC46 checks a surprising amount of boxes. Whilst the DVD resolution is on the low side, it’s sufficient for watching movies or playing games on. Combine that with the in-built media player and Uni-Link wifi streaming functions and you’ve got a great package for cheap entertainment.

Getting One

You can get the UNIC UC46 from GearBest for around $75.

 

Check Price at GearBest

Alternatively, it’s available from Amazon.

8.2
UNIC UC46
The UNIC UC46 improves on its predecessor in every way. Whilst it won't blow you away with its image quality, it's an impressive unit for under $100 and a cheap way to get some big screen action going.

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Jorge Ferrari
Guest
Jorge Ferrari

I have a few questions. Is there any compability issue with macbook airplay? Mine won’t mirror the screen nor extend. Also, if i use beamer, it just crashes, and airstream try to stream video over airplay and it freezes at 0%. After airplay i’ve tried DLNA. Is there any way to stream external subtitles (srt, mkv) to the projector along with the video? I’ve tried a lot of things, none of then worked, tried at least 5 apps on the macbook and 3 on my android phone, which by the way is the next topic. Can i mirror my android… Read more »

Krishna Narula
Guest
Krishna Narula

hi! can we watch 3d movies on uc46 with polarized galsses??

Home Theatre Life
Guest

Hi Krishna,

The UC46 doesn’t support 3D videos unfortunately.

Farid Amin
Guest
Farid Amin

Hi , I’m trying to do the airplay thing, the projector connects to wifi easily , but when i chose to airplay it says that it can’t connect .
what should I do

Selwyn Kwek
Guest
Selwyn Kwek

Hi Can I check how come when after updating My phone can AIRPLAY but cannot connect to my home’s WIFI? Cuz have to connect the the SSID Link right? It still shows “No internet” when I alr went to the IP address to connect to internetcomment image

Home Theatre Life
Guest

Hi Selwin,

That seems to be an issue with the connection between your router and the internet which is why you can still use AirPlay as the router is connecting your phone and the projector fine.

Try rebooting the router.

isman diana
Guest
isman diana

how to turn rebort dongle

Home Theatre Life
Guest

From memory, I just powered it off.

YanKe Wong
Guest
YanKe Wong

Hi. Are HDMI and VGA cables included with the item purchased?

Home Theatre Life
Guest

Hi YanKe, they’re not included with the projector as they’re usually provided with other devices such as media players.

Duata Kingbol Ifs
Guest
Duata Kingbol Ifs

HOW TO UPDATE UNIC 46? CAN YOU PLZ TELL ME

Home Theatre Life
Guest

Hi Louspatte,

It’s fine for movies though you’ll need a dark room as you’re right – it’s not super bright.

There’s a VGA port hidden under the fan exhaust so connecting up your old Mac should be fine.

Regarding the image size, I managed to project an image approximately 3m wide in a dark room. Just remember, the bigger the image gets, the darker the room needs to be and the more distance you’ll need between the screen and the projector.

mahesh
Guest
mahesh

Hi
I bought the same.. I have 2 concerns
The first one is some of the movie files audio it doesn’t support like mkv videos with ac3 decode
The second one ..while playing movie there is an option like info in remote and shows goto button… But not able to put any timings…

Home Theatre Life
Guest

I had the same issue regarding AC3 audio Mahesh. I’d recommend transcoding those files as per my review or alternatively hook up a good media player to handle media playback.

Abdellah
Guest
Abdellah

Could you please tell me if i can connect my mobile phone with the projector using cable?

Haris Eliades
Guest
Haris Eliades

Super review! I have it , but the noise is OH MY GOD LOUD! But Is there a way to play Youtube through dlna on this the projector?

Home Theatre Life
Guest

Thanks Haris!
Definitely agree with the noise so I typically just turn up the volume :p

Regarding YouTube, DLNA isn’t supported. You’d be better off grabbing something like a cheap Android TV box or Chromecast to handle that.

Haris Eliades
Guest
Haris Eliades

In the end I have many more problems: screen is focused only at center and no where elseto. Also very poor connection through wifi. The whole connection of my house got ruined 3 times!

Rumesh Kumar
Guest
Rumesh Kumar

how to update the sofware in uc46

Duata Kingbol Ifs
Guest
Duata Kingbol Ifs

me too, i want to know

Dhruv Shah
Guest
Dhruv Shah

very nice description so I bought one… ;)
I still get the UNIC logo while watching movie using HDMI cable from laptop

please tell me if there is any way to remove it

thank you

Daniel O.
Guest
Daniel O.

Hello,
Can anyone assist with a pdf of the user manual? Lost mine. Thanks

SS ASHIQ
Guest
SS ASHIQ

super but how to connect same time castscreen and bluetooth //????

Home Theatre Life
Guest

The only way I can think of would be to use speakers connected to the projector’s 3.5mm jack and install a DLNA server on your PC then get the projector to play the videos using DLNA. You can see the best DLNA servers here: http://hometheatrelife.com/best-dlna-media-server-software-streaming-media/

Home Theatre Life
Guest

You’ll need to configure your laptop to output via HDMI

Srinivas
Guest
Srinivas

Hi
iam using UNIC UC46 1200LM LED Projector, while playing videos throug wifi with android mobile..videos stucks on display. how to solve stukcing problems

Home Theatre Life
Guest

Sounds like an issue with the speed of your wireless network.

Rajib Sinha
Guest
Rajib Sinha

Hi,

I’m facing the same issue. I’ve been using the projector for the past 2 months. The video had this stucking problem. Now the wireless display is not connecting at all with my redmi 2 prime android mobile also sometimes the wireless display is not showing up in the list. checked it both with my phone and laptop. DLNA mode is fine no lag. I’m using 3rd party app to connect. Issue is the mirrorcast option. Any suggestions?

Pushpa Raj Tharu
Guest
Pushpa Raj Tharu

My uc 46 projector is not seen bright seeing it from distance.. how can I make bright projection. Please help?

Home Theatre Life
Guest

The UC46 needs a dark room and further away the projector is from the surface (i.e. the bigger the image), the dimmer the image will be. The only options you have is to make the room darker (biggest effect) or get a proper projection screen (small effect).

Gokul GP
Guest
Gokul GP

How to connect cpu with projector , CPU has no HDMI Port

Abhi
Guest
Abhi

search online there is alternative port for VGA to HDMI cable

Gokul GP
Guest
Gokul GP

What about the performance with pc using HDMI. Is any Issues?

Home Theatre Life
Guest

I didn’t experience any performance issues via HDMI.

Asif Butt
Guest
Asif Butt

Wifi connectivity also share sound?? Or the sound will come from mobile,tablet or laptop? I hope you i understand my question

Home Theatre Life
Guest

Yes it will Asif. The projector handles playback of both the video and audio when using wifi. If you’re using the VGA input, you would need to add your own speakers.

Stanlee85
Guest
Stanlee85

Is it possible to connect it for games like WOW or DOTA2?

Home Theatre Life
Guest

Hi,

Yes, you’d just need to connect up your PC via HDMI or VGA

prasad wuyyuru
Guest
prasad wuyyuru

Hi.How to play 3d MOVIES

Home Theatre Life
Guest

Hi,

The UNIC UC46 isn’t a 3D projector so you won’t be able to play 3D movies.

prasad wuyyuru
Guest
prasad wuyyuru

then why in specifications they mentioned 3D sported

Home Theatre Life
Guest

Hi Prasad,

I can’t see any mention of 3D in the specs but it definitely won’t play movies in 3D.

prasad wuyyuru
Guest
prasad wuyyuru

plz check image

Home Theatre Life
Guest

I suspect this may be an issue with their spec list.

12John34
Guest
12John34

Probably they mean with the help of red-blue, or other combinations, glasses and movies made for use with those glasses.

Raaz kumar
Guest

no 3d seler mentioned wrong

Melchizedek Drunvalo
Guest
Melchizedek Drunvalo

Hi, i just want to ask how to fix the error warning.. its says ” erase user data…” im trying to use wifi to connect my phone.. please see attached picture

Home Theatre Life
Guest

Hi, I haven’t seen that issue. Have you tried rebooting the unit?

Raaz kumar
Guest

i am same situation how to reboot the unit

Home Theatre Life
Guest

When I updated, I just unplugged the unit when it asked to reboot.

Duata Kingbol Ifs
Guest
Duata Kingbol Ifs

how to update ??

MacBet
Guest
MacBet

Hi. Is it possible to use a macbook for wifi streaming?

Home Theatre Life
Guest

I haven’t tested it but you could share content via DLNA.

Rumesh Kumar
Guest
Rumesh Kumar

how to update the sofware in uc46 via usb

Duata Kingbol Ifs
Guest
Duata Kingbol Ifs

Me too, i want to know
i really need it

Adityarama Setiawan
Guest
Adityarama Setiawan

Hi, Can it display the output on screen 3 x 4 meters.?

Home Theatre Life
Guest

Hi,

You should be able to as long as the room is dark enough but that’s probably pushing the projector’s limits. If it’s not pitch black, the image will look washed out.

Charles Farrugia
Guest
Charles Farrugia

How to you get the web-based configuration tool to connect to wifi?

Home Theatre Life
Guest

Hi Charles,

You connect to the wifi hotspot the projector broadcasts, then access the IP address displayed on your PC or smartphone.

thunderjohn
Guest
thunderjohn

Hi,
so for example, i connect my tablet, samsung galaxy tab 3, to the wifi hotspot the projector broadcasts, then i access the ip adress. That means that my tablet wont be connected with my internet connection, since it will be connected to the wifi hotspot, right?

Home Theatre Life
Guest

You only need to connect up to the projector’s wifi to connect it to your home network.

Once that’s done, it’s available to all devices on your network.

rifaioftheyear
Guest
rifaioftheyear

Hi, does usb video player support subtitle srt file..?

Home Theatre Life
Guest

Hi,

I haven’t tested SRT support but I’d be surprised if it did.

Geraldo Coelho
Guest
Geraldo Coelho

Yes, USB video player suport srt files. On player menu, press info and chek subtitle on.

Home Theatre Life
Guest

Thanks for sharing.

Jorge Ferrari
Guest
Jorge Ferrari

Damn, this was consuming me! I was hardcoding subtitle into videos before watching, such a pain, thanks man… (BR? :P)
I’ll test at night!

Dimitrios Boutlas
Guest
Dimitrios Boutlas

Hello. Does it supports a 5.1 sound system? I bought one and I cannot find how to set up? Please help.

Home Theatre Life
Guest

Hi Dimitrios,

No, the UC46 doesn’t support 5.1 surround sound. You’d need to hook your media player up to an amp and then output to the projector.

That way, the amp will handle the 5.1 decoding whilst the projector will only output the image.

Dimitrios Boutlas
Guest
Dimitrios Boutlas

Thank you very much

Home Theatre Life
Guest

Hi Johan,

Generally I turn down the saturation down to around 30. I usually lower brightness depending on ambient light.