Epson Pro Cinema 6040B with 4K “Enhancement” named best projector of CEDIA 2016 Expo
Stephan Jukic – October 14, 2016
The recent CEDIA 2016 consumer home entertainment technology expo in Texas has now come and gone but some home entertainment news from the event is worth covering a bit more.
In this case, let’s talk about 4K home theater projectors and more specifically, one of Epson’s powerful new products from the convention.
Just yesterday, Epson, a key manufacturer of home theater projectors and more recently 4K upscaling and native 4K projectors announced that the highly respected rAVe 2016 Best of CEDIA Awards gave their Pro Cinema 6040UB 4K Enhancement home theater projector the prize as the “Best New Home Entertainment Projector” of 2016. According to Epson’s recent press release on the matter, the CEDIA rAVe editorial team put some 500 projectors from the exposition to their consideration and settled on Epson’s model as the winner due to its “premium performance, design, features, and overall value.”
This new model from Epson is the company’s first consumer projector with 4K UHD signal input and high dynamic range support. This is also where a slight rub lies.
In contrast to “true” native 4K projectors for the consumer market from Sony and even JVC now (both of which presented their newest real 4K projectors at the same CEDIA show), the 6040UB offers what the company calls 4K enhancement technology This is basically a type of pixel shifting technology in which what is an actual projector sensor resolution of 1080p Full HD gets expanded out to something more like 2K resolution through the rapid shifting of pixels for extra detail in projected video sources. In other words, though the Epson 6040UB offers the ability to read a native 4K UHD video input and delivers HDR display specs for its video sources, the actual display resolution it offers on a surface in which content is being viewed does not amount to a full 4K UHD grain like that found in many of Sony’s 4K consumer home theater projector models.
On the other hand, the visual difference between what the 6040UB offers and what a real 4K projector can manage is small as far as the human eye is concerned and the 6040UB does offer the seriously enticing ancillary benefit of costing far, far less than its native 4K cousins.
Epson has also packed this projector model with plenty of powerful features and specs to make it even more attractive. These include support for playback of content from native 4K streaming devices like set-top boxes, 4K Blu-ray players and 4K gaming consoles such as the Xbox One S. Additionally, the projector supports both the display of native 4K Blu-ray disc content and the HDR specs encoded into it.
As far as its display chops are concerned, the 6040UB offers up a high contrast ratio that’s well into the HDR standards range for HDR10 and with its 2,500 lumens of peak brightness, it should have little rouble in also simulating high levels of peak HDR brightness. Color support is also superb with claimed coverage of 100% of the DCI-P3 color space which is so crucial for high dynamic range Wide Color Gamut standards.
For the sake of “maximum” installation flexibility, Epson has given the 6040UB a powered lens position memory which can be put to 10 different preset positions for motorized zoom, focus or lens shift in either standard projection or wide cinema display ratios.
As for the 4K-simulation chops of the 6040UB, the rAVe selection panel seemed pretty convinced by them, and Epson’s own senior product manager for Projectors at Epson America has this to say:
“By pairing our proprietary 4K Enhancement technology with HDR and an advanced 3LCD light engine, the Pro Cinema 6040UB delivers picture quality virtually indistinguishable from any native 4K projector – at a radically more accessible price point.”
Perhaps most importantly for you readers out there, the Epson 6040UB is retailing for only $3,999. Yes, this is a hefty price for a piece of home theater technology which doesn’t even offer real 4K resolution but the 4K is the less important spec here as far as the human eye is concerned. The addition of HDR standards, 4K content input reading capacity and wide color gamut should all make sure that the 6040UB delivers one impressive picture quality if user feedback that we’ve heard so far is to be believed. For comparison, even the cheapest Sony true native 4K projector, the VPL-VW350ES, costs $7,999.
Story by 4k.com