EPSON EB-PU1006W 6,000-Lumen Laser 4K Projector



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EPSON EB-PU106W 4K Laser Projector Impressions

What is important to us? What is enough for us? And what makes us happy? I believe these 3 questions are important to ask in everyday life and every time we make huge purchasing decisions - like for home theater projectors.

In addition to having an amazing audio system, watching great movies and TV series on a giant screen is the ultimate definition of home theater to me. So what’s important when it comes to projectors? For most of us, the cost has to be within the budget. We definitely want something reliable with a long half-life. We want the projector to reproduce beautiful vibrant HDR-caliber colors, beautiful deep dark blacks and beautiful effortless brightness that doesn’t feel like someone put shades over our eyes at night - especially when HDR is engaged. How about convenience features like powered lens (focus, zoom and lens shift), instead of manual focus, manual zoom and manual lens shift? The physical features are also important – projector fan noise, dimension, weight and variety of projection lens to accommodate almost any placement requirement.

Okay, so we’ve touched on what’s important. But how much of these salient points are enough? How much contrast is enough? How many billion of colors and millions of pixels are enough? How many lumens are enough? How many hours of laser or lamp half-life are enough? How many decibels of fan noise and what kind of dimensions and weights are acceptable?

One of the most important facts I’ve learned in the healthcare field as a hospital pharmacist is that we treat the patient, not just the lab numbers. These numbers are extremely important as a whole, but we have to focus on the entire clinical picture, not just a single number. It’s the same way when it comes to projectors and other things in life.

How much contrast is enough? And which contrast numbers are important, Dynamic, Native or ANSI? It is up for debate and companies make their cases. But the salient question is, how much contrast is enough to produce those beautiful deep dark blacks? Barco and Christie are two of the biggest and most renowned and respected commercial cinema projector makers. They make Laser 4K projectors that cost up to $160,000 with a native contrast of 2,000:1. JVC is famous for their black levels, yet the JVC NX9 has an ANSI contrast of 145:1. I would say that these numbers are most likely great enough for most of us humans. Native and ANSI contrasts beyond these numbers are great for making us sleep better at night or helping us win forum debates. But when I watch movies and TV series and I see a beautiful deep dark black level, that’s great enough to make me happy.

How many billions of colors and millions of pixels are enough? Can humans actually see the difference between 8.3 million pixels and 4.6 million pixels? The Epson EB-PU1006W (MSRP $7,160 with the standard ELPLM08 Lens) can display up to 1.07 billion colors and 4.6 million pixels with a maximum 4K resolution of 4096 x 2160. Wait, for $7,160 MSRP, why 4.6 million pixels, instead of 8.3 million pixels like a $1,500 BenQ projector? There are many cheaper projectors with 8.3 million pixels. It probably goes back to the saying that we treat the patient, not the numbers. Perhaps the number of pixels isn’t the whole story. But for people who are hung up on pixel numbers, there are a lot cheaper $1,500 projectors that can display “Native 4K” resolution at 8.3 million pixels. I think Epson is not hung up the number of pixels or any particular number. Instead, they focus on total image quality – beautiful vibrant HDR-caliber colors and beautiful deep dark blacks.

What good are beautiful vibrant HDR-caliber colors and beautiful deep dark blacks if the projector doesn’t have enough lumens/nits/brightness, especially for bigger screens beyond 150”? The 2 biggest argument points against HT projectors are that the picture is too dim and the color/black levels are more grayish/washed-out compared to TVs. Projectors have matured significantly and most HT projectors can produce beautiful color and black levels in a darken room. But the one area that still plagues HT projectors is that color-contrast-lumens. Even a $25,000 8K laser projector from some big brands can only claim a max brightness of 3,000 lumens, which means it’s actually less than 3,000 lumens in Cinema-calibrated mode. And then when HDR is engaged, the lumens decreases significantly to probably 1,800 lumens, which is still not bad especially for smaller screens in a darken room. But how does that brightness compare to a good TV?

To be the best, you have to match the best. If you’ve only experienced a 10” subwoofer all your life, you won’t know what you’re missing until you’ve experienced some hardcore dual 18” subwoofers. Is one subwoofer enough for you? Are 10 subwoofers enough for you? If you’ve only experienced cheap little speakers all your life, you won’t know what you’re missing until you’ve experienced world-class towers of power. It’s the same way with everything else in life, including projectors. If you’ve only experienced 1500-3,000 lumen projectors all your life, you won’t know what you’re missing until you’ve experienced a high quality high-power high-lumen 6,000-lumen projector. It’s like sitting in room for years not being aware that someone has dimmed the lights. And then someone comes into the room and increases the lights to full power. With a high quality high-lumen projector, every visual sense is intensified. The colors pop even more. The HDR colors pop even more. Even the deep dark blacks pop even more. Everything is intensified.

So how much lumens/nits is enough? The Epson EB-PU1006W has a max brightness of 6,000 lumens, which is equivalent to about 1,675 nits. When I watch SDR movies and TV contents on my 150” screen (projection distance 24FT, 26’ x 22’ x 14’, dark-gray room, darken), I usually set the brightness power to 60% (~3,600 lumens). But when I watch HDR contents, I use 100% brightness power (~ 6,000 lumens). The reason is because HDR requires a lot more lumens than SDR. So how much is enough? If all you’ve ever experienced in life is 1,500-3,000 lumens, then that’s all you know and that’s enough whether it’s SDR or HDR. If you have a smaller screen than 150”, then you won’t need as much lumens. But for my HT room, based on what I’ve seen, I would be happy with 6,000 lumens for HDR. For 175-200” screens, I would recommend 7,000 lumens for HDR.

The EB-PU1006W is a 6,000-Lumen Laser Light cannon. It has a maximum resolution of 4K/60Hz (4096 x 2160) with 4.6 million pixels for both HDR and SDR. The light source is laser with a half-life of about 20K hours at 100% brightness power mode, 37K hours at 60% brightness power mode.
  1. 4K HDR10 and SDR Performance look great (Panasonic UB-150 and HTPC)
  2. Black levels and Contrast look great
  3. Colors look great - very vivid colors and extremely eye-popping
  4. 6000-lumens - I use 60% brightness for SDR, but 100% brightness for HDR
  5. Excellent picture quality for contents that have excellent picture quality
  6. Small Incremental Zooms - movies of different ratios can fill screen
  7. Capable of 4k/HDR at 60Hz
  8. Powered Lens for zoom, focus and lens-shift (67% vertical, 30% horizontal)
  9. Long Laser half-life (37,000 HR at 60% brightness, 47,000 HR at 50% brightness)
  10. Not heavy or bulky for 6000-lumen projector - 34 pounds, 21.5” x 17.2” x 6.5”
  11. Quiet (28dB at 70% power, 30dB at 100% power) for 6000-lumen projector
  12. Optional 11 powered lens to accommodate almost any placement requirement
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