In the apple of 4K, if you appetite a built-in 4K projector, the options are limited, and the amount tag is high. Add in adorable appearance like Aerial Activating Ambit and DCI-P3 blush support, and the amount tag gets alike higher. For instance, Sony’s atomic big-ticket HDR- and P3-capable built-in 4K projector costs $15,000.
If you’re accommodating to accommodation on that accomplished built-in thing, you can save a lot of money by activity with a “4K Enhanced” projector–which is technically a 1080p projector that uses pixel alive to actualize a added aing pixel anatomy and simulate a 4K image. Until recently, the everyman priced pixel-shifting archetypal to action both HDR and DCI-P3 blush abutment was JVC’s DLA-X750R that we advised here, which carries an allurement amount of $6,999.95.
With that in mind, you can see why Epson angry a lot of active with its contempo accession of the Pro Cinema 6040UB, Pro Cinema 4040, and Home Cinema 5040UB LCD projectors. All models use Epson’s 4K Accessory pixel-shifting technology and abutment 4K arresting ascribe with HDR and DCI-P3 color. The allurement amount is $3,999 for the 6040UB, $2,999 for the 5040UB, and $2,699 for the 4040. These projectors don’t accept the laser ablaze antecedent that you get in the top-shelf LS10000, and they’re acceptable LCD designs, as adjoin to the LS10000’s LCD Reflective technology that’s afterpiece to LCoS in functionality. But afresh again, the LS10000 archetypal doesn’t abutment HDR.
Epson beatific me the Pro Cinema 6040UB for review, which boasts 2,500 lumens of ablaze output, a 1,000,000:1 activating adverse ratio, bigger eyes compared with its predecessors, ISF certification, 3D playback, and powered zoom, focus, and lens memory. (The lower-priced 4040 is rated at 2,300 lumens and a 140,000:1 activating adverse ratio, lacks the Ultra Atramentous designation, and omits the ISF certification.) All Pro models are awash alone through Epson dealers and appear with a three-year bound warranty, a beam mount, a cable cover, and an added lamp. The Home Cinema 5040UB is about the aforementioned projector as the 6040UB, awash through absolute retail channels like VisualApex.com afterwards the account (and it has a two-year warranty).
The HookupThe Pro Cinema 6040UB is a bit added abundant than its predecessors, in both admeasurement and weight. It measures 17.7 inches aerial by 20.5 avant-garde by 6.7 abysmal and weighs 24.3 pounds. The angled chiffonier has a simple matte atramentous finish, and it appearance a center-mounted lens (with an automated lens cover) belted by fan vents on both sides. The 6040UB uses a 250-watt UHE lamp, rated at 3,500 to 5,000 hours depending on which lamp approach you use. A ascendancy console is amid on one side, with ons for power, source, menu, lens control, escape, and navigation.
Around aback you’ll acquisition bifold HDMI inputs; alone HDMI 1 is 2.0a with HDCP 2.2 archetype bump for use with Ultra HD sources, while HDMI 2 offers MHL abutment to affix accordant tablets, phones, and alive sticks. The affiliation console additionally includes a PC input, but there’s no analog basic or blended video inputs. Two USB ports are available: one allows for firmware updates and is powered to affix a wireless HD dongle, while the added is advised for use alongside an HDMI cable that needs a 300mA adeptness accumulation (a third USB anchorage is for account only). None of the USB ports abutment media playback. There’s additionally an Ethernet anchorage to acquiesce for IP control, and RS-232 and a 12-volt activate are additionally included.
As is usually the case with Epson’s higher-tier projectors, ambience up the 6040UB was a allotment of cake, acknowledgment to its acceptable 2.1x zoom and /-96.3 percent vertical and /-47.1 percent accumbent lens shift. The bandy arrangement is 1.35 to 2.84. I set the projector aloft my accepted angle in the aback of the room, which is 46 inches alpine and amid 12 anxiety abroad from my drop-down, 100-inch Visual Apex screen–and I got the angel positioned and focused in about one minute’s time (the automatic focus ascendancy and easy-to-access Arrangement on on the alien ascendancy helped, too).
The 6040UB has six aspect-ratio options, including an anamorphic approach to acquaintance the projector with an anamorphic lens to appearance 2.35:1 images afterwards confined on the top and on. A new accession this year is the powered lens memory, with the adeptness to abundance up to 10 altered configurations.
Epson offers a avant-garde array of account adjustments, alpha with six blush modes: Dynamic, Ablaze Cinema, Natural, Cinema, B&W Cinema, and Digital Cinema. (As I mentioned, this is an ISF-certified projector, so installers can configure ISF Day and ISF Night modes and lock in the settings). Avant-garde account adjustments include: assorted color-temperature presets, bark accent adjustment, and RGB gain/bias controls; a six-point blush administration system; bristles gamma presets and the adeptness to adapt gamma; three Adeptness Consumption modes (Eco, Medium, and High) and an Auto Iris with Normal and Aerial Speed options; and a 4K Accessory card that allows you to enable/disable the pixel-shifting function. The 4K card additionally includes controls for Noise Reduction, Super-resolution, and Detail Accessory functions. Anatomy departure is accessible to advice advance motion resolution and abate blur judder; there are settings for off, low, medium, and aerial (we’ll allocution achievement later).
Beyond those basics, there are some noteworthy new additions to the Settings menu. Epson has added a 20-step chiral lens iris to fine-tune the projector’s ablaze achievement to clothing your examination environment. I adulation this accession because anyone who uses the 6040UB in a committed amphitheater ambiance may not charge all the accurateness this affair is able of all the time, and a chiral iris gives you a abundant bigger amount of ascendancy than the auto iris and the lamp modes.
Explore the avant-garde options in the Arresting menu, and you’ll acquisition controls for Blush Space and Activating Range. This is area you can acclimatize the bureaucracy for the 6040UB’s Avant-garde Blush Area and Aerial Activating Ambit features. Thankfully, Epson has included Auto options for both, acceptance the projector to automatically ascertain aback it receives an HDR arresting and Rec 2020 blush from a UHD antecedent and clothier its achievement accordingly. However, you can additionally manually set the projector for either BT.709 or BT.2020 blush and accept amid four HDR modes. The aberration amid the four modes is primarily in the accurateness administration (as best I can tell), with HDR1 actuality the brightest and HDR4 actuality the darkest. Aback you leave the projector in Auto mode, you get the HDR2 achievement by default. Be warned, if you about-face out of the Auto modes, the projector won’t backslide aback to the actual achievement settings for SDR content. You’ll accept to do that manually.
Finally, back this is a 3D projector, there are additionally two 3D blush modes (3D Activating and 3D Cinema), as able-bodied as the adeptness to acclimatize the 3D abyss and brightness, alter the glasses, set your awning size, and accredit 2D-to-3D conversion.
PerformanceI consistently activate my official appraisal action by barometer anniversary of a display’s account modes to see which is the aing to advertence standards appropriate out of the box. It’s generally a safe bet that the approach alleged Cinema or Amphitheater will be the best accurate; however, in the case of the Pro Cinema 6040UB, the Accustomed approach was the aing to HD advertence standards…very close, in fact.
Using my Xrite I1Pro 2 meter, Spectracal CalMAN software, and DVDO Duo arrangement generator, I abstinent the Accustomed mode’s best grayscale Delta Error at aloof 4.04 (anything beneath bristles is advised good, annihilation beneath three is advised imperceptible). The RGB blush antithesis was adequately even, with aloof a slight advance adjoin dejected at the brighter end, and the gamma boilerplate was 2.17. The Accustomed mode’s blush accurateness was abnormally impressive; all six blush credibility had a Delta Error able-bodied beneath three (the atomic authentic was blooming at aloof 1.35). If you don’t ambition to pay for a able calibration, the Accustomed approach will get you best of the way there appropriate out of the box.
For those who ability accede calibration, I ran through a accepted arrangement and acquired alike bigger results. I anchored up the RGB blush balance, adapted gamma to a added theater-worthy 2.33 (our ambition for projectors is 2.4), and bargain the best Delta Error to 3.66. I didn’t acclimatize the six blush credibility because they were accomplished as is. But for the record, I additionally approved calibrating the Cinema account mode, which had awful oversaturated blush points, and the CMS absolutely couldn’t do abundant to fix that.
The Accustomed approach is additionally actual ablaze out of the box, barometer about 52 foot-lamberts with a full-white acreage on my 100-inch-diagonal, 1.1-gain screen. That’s abundant if you plan to watch a lot of agreeable during the day or with the allowance lights on, but it’s apparently too ablaze if you’re activity to primarily watch agreeable in a absolutely blurred room. The acceptable account is, I was able to calmly punch that bottomward to about 20 to 25 ft-L during arrangement by switching to the Eco lamp approach and afresh manually fine-tuning the lens iris to get appropriate area I wanted.
The Ablaze Cinema approach is addition solid best for daytime or bright-room viewing. It’s a little beneath authentic than the Accustomed approach in both blush and grayscale, but it abstinent appropriately bright, at 53 ftL. The Activating approach is absolutely bright, barometer a whopping 95 ft-L, but it’s additionally awful inaccurate.
Given the aerial accurateness capabilities of this projector, one ability accept that it would attempt to cede a accurate theater-worthy atramentous level. One would be mistaken. I did a head-to-head allegory amid the 6040UB and the BenQ HT6050, which additionally boasts acceptable angel accurateness (although it’s not as ablaze as the Epson), and there was absolutely no comparison. The 6040UB produced a conspicuously darker atramentous akin in every audience arena I used, including Gravity, Flags of Our Fathers, The Bourne Supremacy, and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation. For movie-watching in a aphotic room, the bigger atramentous akin added that added amount of affluence and angel saturation, and the 6040UB additionally did a abundant job apprehension the finest atramentous capacity in intricate scenes. Yet it additionally had the ablaze achievement to accomplish the brighter scenes pop, so the account looked aloof as saturated with HDTV as it did with Blu-ray.
When I advised the BenQ HT6050, I commented on how brittle and abundant the BenQ account looked compared with the earlier Epson 5020UB. Now, pitting it adjoin the new 6040UB with 4K Accessory enabled, I begin the Epson’s account to attending a bit bluff and added detailed. I saw greater accuracy in accomplished accomplishments details. The 4K Accessory action includes bristles presets; the college you go in number, the added “enhancement” you’ll see, and that includes seeing bogus bend enhancement. I adopted Preset 1 or 2, which provided a abundant faculty of added detail afterwards authoritative the angel attending too artificially processed.
With the 6040UB’s Anatomy Departure action angry off, the projector’s motion resolution on par with added LCD projectors I’ve tested. With my FPD Benchmark analysis pattern, the 6040UB produced apple-pie curve to DVD 480 during motion sequences, but the curve for HD 720 and aloft were blurry. Again, this is average. Enabling Anatomy Departure will advance motion resolution, but you absolutely charge to go with the Aerial approach to see a cogent improvement, and that approach adds a ton of bogus cutting and smearing. The Low approach provides alone accessory improvement. This point is somewhat moot, though, back you can’t about-face on Anatomy Departure aback the 4K Accessory action is enabled. Back I don’t like anatomy departure anyhow, I’m gonna accept 4K Accessory every time.
Next up were a few 3D demos. The Pro Cinema 6040UB does not appear with any 3D glasses; I affective an earlier brace of Epson ELPGS03 RF glasses ($99) I still had from a antecedent review. Not decidedly accustomed the projector’s able achievement with 2D content, my 3D demos from Life of Pi, Ice Age 3, and Monsters vs. Aliens looked great. The aerial ablaze achievement helped 3D images absorb abundant assimilation and pop through the glasses, the blush was rich, the detail was great, and I saw no arrant instances of ghosting or crosstalk.
Now, let’s move on to Ultra HD Blu-ray agreeable and altercate the projector’s administration of HDR and Avant-garde Blush Gamut. On the additional side, the 6040UB had no agitation accepting 4K/24 and 4K/60 arresting achievement from both the Samsung UBD-K8500 and the Philips BDP7501 UHD players. At first, the Epson did not appropriately ascertain HDR signals from the Samsung; alike admitting the amateur anesthetized a 4K resolution, it alone anesthetized Rec 709 blush and Accepted Activating Ambit signals. However, afterwards I performed the latest firmware amend to the Samsung player, it formed aloof accomplished with the Epson to canyon Rec 2020 blush and HDR signals. The Philips formed accomplished from the get-go. Epson told me that the Xbox One does not canyon HDR accurately to the 6040UB at this time.
The aftermost HDR-capable projector I advised was the JVC DLA-X750R, and it was hardly plug-and-play. I had to accomplish all kinds of chiral account adjustments to the projector to appearance HDR agreeable correctly. In that respect, this Epson was abundant better. Acknowledgment to those Auto modes in the Blush Space and Activating Ambit menus, the projector automatically detected the HDR agreeable and adapted itself accordingly.
The one affair it doesn’t do automatically is about-face into a acceptable account mode, and this is area we run into a bind with the 6040UB. Epson recommends the Ablaze Cinema approach for HDR because it’s so, well, bright. No, it doesn’t get anywhere aing to the accepted 1,000-nit ambition that you’ll see on the TV end. I abstinent a max accurateness of 65 ftL (223 nits) with a full-white acreage (unfortunately my beat isn’t absolute abundant to do a 10 percent window with a projector). Still, that is acceptable for a projector, and it’s abundant brighter than the JVC archetypal (which abstinent a max of about 45 ftL or 154 nits).
The botheration is, the Ablaze Cinema approach can’t carbon the beyond DCI-P3 blush gamut. The alone approach that can is the 6040UB’s Digital Cinema mode, which alone has a best ablaze achievement of about 30 ftL. To the appropriate are two blush charts: the top blueprint shows how aing the Digital Cinema approach gets to the DCI-P3 blush gamut, and the basal blueprint shows how aing the Ablaze Cinema approach gets to it. So, you accept to adjudge which you amount added in watching UHD content: college accurateness for HDR or the added blush gamut. You can’t accept both, and that’s unfortunate.
Going on the huge acceptance that lots of bodies will accept the brighter angel (hey, at atomic the blush seems to pop more), I watched UHD Blu-ray agreeable primarily in the Ablaze Cinema mode, and I manually switched to the HDR1 activating ambit approach because it’s acutely the brightest and looks added agreeable than the absence HDR2 mode. (Epson says that it will anon action a firmware amend that gives you the advantage to use HDR 1 as the absence Auto mode.)
I apperceive that’s a accomplished lotta tech abracadabra you aloof had to read. So let me blanket it all up by adage this: Ultra HD Blu-ray agreeable looked fantastic. All the strengths that advance to a abundant HD image–the abundant ablaze output, the abysmal atramentous level, the accomplished detail, and the accustomed color–also produced attractive images with The Revenant, Insurgent, The Martian, and Sicario in Ultra HD. In capacity 12 and 13 of Sicario, aback the agents go through the underground tunnel, the Epson handled the circuitous coaction amid ablaze and caliginosity actual well, and the akin of detail and accuracy was exceptional.
Click over to Page Two for Measurements, The Downside, Allegory & Competition, and Conclusion…
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