Epson Unveils `Affordable’ 4K Pro-UHD Projector Pair
Epson introduced Thursday three Home Cinema 3LCD projectors including a new ultra-short throw unit based on digital laser display technology and a pair of value-priced, lamp-based pixel-shifting 4K Pro-UHD models.
The new Epson projectors, which are being shown this week at CEDIA Expo 2019 in Denver, include the Home Cinema LS500 Digital Laser Display; and a pair of affordably priced 4K Pro-UHD HDR projectors, including the Home Cinema 3200 (shipping in October at a $1,499.99 suggested retail), and Home Cinema 3800(available in October at $1,699.99).
All three projectors are based on Epson’s 3LCD technology offering 100% of the RGB color signal for every frame. This allows for accurate Rec. 709 color gamut performance with high levels of both white and color brightness. The technology also avoids the “rainbow effect” produced by some other single-chip microdisplay projector technologies.
The trio of projectors also use Epson’s 4K-Pro UHD technology that is capable of displaying 4K Ultra HD content from the native Full HD 1080 3LCD chips. This shifts each pixel on each of the Red, Green and Blue LCD microdisplay chips diagonally back and forth very rapidly to double what the eye sees from the native (1920 x 1080) resolution in 3D Mode.
The Epson LS500 Laser Projection TV is an ultra-short-throw 3LCD-based laser projection system that is billed as “a new generation of digital projection that redefines the everyday television viewing experience.”
The LS500 includes an Epson manufactured ultra-high definition ambient light rejecting screen with optical layering technology, designed for bright high-resolution images projected from a short-throw distance at a low-angle.
Epson said the LS500 Laser Projection TV’s brightness level makes it adept at presenting a variety of content including: movies, sports and playing video games as a big-screen alternative to traditional flat-panel LCD or OLED TV.
The unit is capable of displaying 4K HDR content up to 120 inches, and is said to produce high color and white brightness with a dynamic contrast ratio exceeding 2,500,000:1. It will process high dynamic range (HDR) 4K images with enhanced color and brightness highlights.
Said to produce “outstanding color accuracy,” the LS500 supports 100% of the RGB color signal and Rec. 709 color gamut. Consumers will need to step up to higher performing projectors from Epson to get 90% or better of the DCI-P3 wide color gamut recommended for “premium HDR” color performance.
The LS500 Laser Projection TV’s 4K PRO-UHD 3LCD microdisplay images are further enhanced by the company’s real-time 12-bit analog-to-digital video processing system. Epson said this is optimized for smooth tonal transitions, while helping to reduce or eliminate banding, blocking, and other compression artifacts from the final visual performance.
Powered by Google, the LS500 Laser Projection TV embeds the Android TV operating system providing a simple-to-use remote with voice search capability through Google Assistant.
The OS will enable streaming a wide variety of entertainment apps from services including: Netflix, HBO, Showtime, YouTube, Hulu, ESPN and even live OTT cord-cutting services like PlayStation Vue and YouTube TV.
Inputs include 18 Gbps HDMI 2.0 ports (with Audio Return Channel) supporting 4K/60p content from streaming devices and gaming consoles.
The projector will be available in two cabinet colors – white and black, and packages will be available with the option of a 120-inch ($5,999 suggested retail) or 100-inch ($4,999) Ambient Light Rejecting screen that Epson said has been designed for to be easy to install.
Availability is scheduled for the first quarter of 2020 through CEDIA dealers and Magnolia AV stores.
The company said the new Home Cinema 3200 and 3800 4K Pro-UHD HDR projectors were designed to bring greater affordability and performance to affordable front projectors.
Both models have a high brightness of 3,000 lumens for use in well-lit environments. The HC3800 offers a higher contrast ratio at 100,000:1 compared to 40,000:1 on the HC3200.
Epson said the projectors present both high levels of detail and brightness at the same time without compromises, unlike some other 4K projection technologies.
Both models support 4K UHD content with both HDR10 and Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG) high dynamic range (HDR). Full 10-bit HDR color processing accepts 100% of the HDR source information to reproduce an impactful HDR image with a wider contrast range and richer colors from HDR support content. Full Rec.709 color gamut coverage can be achieved when the projector is set to Digital Cinema mode.
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The internal lamp used in both models has an expected life of 3,500 to 5,000 hours depending on the mode used. For maximum picture quality, it’s best to view images in a darkened environment although pictures will be viewable with some ambient light in the room.
The projectors use a new lens design with a 1.6x zoom affording enough width to handle the expanded pixel resolution.
Both projectors also include Epson’s latest 4K PRO-UHD technology that uses advanced processing technologies for resolution enhancement, color, and image processing.
Real-time 12-bit analog-to-digital video processing used in both models produces smooth tonal transitions, while helping to eliminate banding, blocking, and other compression artifacts. The processor reproduces the source material as the filmmakers intend.
Fans of 3D movies will find the HC3200 and HC3800 support 3D via active-shutter 3D glasses to reproduce 3D information with the dynamic visual effect.
The new projectors feature 18 Gbps HDMI 2.0 inputs inputs to support for 4K 60 Hz video signals and up to 60 fps video gaming from the latest generation of consoles and streaming devices.
Also featured in the HC3800 model are two built-in 10W speakers, for easy out of the box, all-in-one set up. Alternatively both models also can be easily connected to sound bars and external speakers for a fuller surround sound experience.
By Greg Tarr
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