Epson Powerlite Pro Cinema G6550WU Commercial and Home Entertainment Projector – Review

The Epson Pro Cinema G6550WU and Powerlite Pro G6550WU are near identical, 5200 lumens bright, and feature laden.

Epson G6550WU Overview

This is a dual review – covering both the Pro Cinema and Powerlite Pro versions of the G6550WU.   There really are no performance differences, just some slight variations in the naming, and one of the Color modes.  For example, Sports mode on the Pro Cinema G6550WU is Photo mode on the Powerlite Pro.  All other aspects in terms of hardware and performance are identical.  You may find that some dealers carry only one of the versions, others may offer both.

What we have here is a very bright projector – claiming 5200 lumens, that is designed for larger venues, or bright media rooms.  These projectors are very capable, offering a selection of interchangeable lenses, a lot of lens shift, a great three year warranty with 3 years of rapid replacement program, advanced networking and a host of features, many of which we will cover here.

We previously reviewed the Pro Cinema and Powerlite Pro G6900WU, which is a bit brighter and does have two additional features.  We’ll mention those later, in case you need one of those features.

I recently installed a G6550U in my living room, which is, to say the least, a very bright room.  Surfaces are all light colored, sunlight floods the room in late afternoon.  At night, over 30 ceiling recessed flood lighting plus other lights can light up the room.  To put a projector in this room, it needed to be both bright, and paired with the right screen.  It was interesting to try to create a workable projector based media environment where even LCD TVs have trouble with the room brightness at certain times of the day.

G6550_install_split-screen_distance_off-angle
Sunlight pours into the room, yet the Epson G6550WU and Slate 1.2 gain screen handle it.

 

G6550_install_split-screen_close
Bright day – Bright room: Still a easily watchable picture! Exposure adjusted to show how the image really looks.

G6550_color-mode_presentation

It all worked out just great.  We even created three videos. The first is basically a summary of this review, but the second one covers the installation of the G6550WU and the motorized screen, while the third shows how well that combination performs during room conditions that vary from almost impossible to controlled night time lighting. Check them out.   G6550WU handling tough room conditions.

Like all Epson projectors, these G6550WU models use 3LCD technology – three panels one with red, one green, one blue filter.  The light from the light source (in this case an ultra high pressure lamp – UHP), is first split into 3 beams.  One passes through (transmissive) each of three LCD panels, one with a red filter, one with a blue, and one with a green filter.  The three beams of colored light (at this point) are recombined using a dichroic prism.  The light then passes through the lens and provides a color image on the screen.

So much for the technology.  On the next page we’ll look at some of the special features (and important mainstream ones).  Meantime, in the next section, find a quick summary of the highlights of these two Epson projectors, the Pro Cinema G6550WU and Powerlite Pro G6550WU.

One more thing first:  what are the differences between the two?  Basically, two different distribution channels as one is sold for business/education/government use, the other for home.  After that, best I can tell, the only other difference is that they have slightly different color modes – two of the many. But notably, the Powerpoint Pro has one the Pro Cinema lacks.  That’s a DICOM mode for medical imaging which will be described on the next page.

We wish to thank Epson America for sponsoring this year’s Best Classroom Projectors report, in which this projector is considered.

G6550WU Projector Highlights

  • 5200 lumens
  • Interchangeable lenses
  • Extensive horizontal and vertical lens shift
  • HDMI and Display Port
  • Split screen capability
  • Advanced Networking including Crestron RoomView compatibility
  • Optional wireless networking (low cost plug in module
  • Long life filter system
  • Reasonably powerful sound system
  • 3 Year warranty, with 3 years of rapid replacement program
  • Projectors are stackable for double the brightness
  • Multiple projectors can be used in conjunction for larger display area
  • Edge blending and Image Mapping (Projection Mapping)

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News and Comments

  • David Jacobs

    Hello Art. I have been viewing your website for many years now. I want to thank you first and foremost for providing us with a birds eye view and the objective and sometimes subjective detailed packed reviews. I Have a Media Room that I Call , ” The Impossible Room” that is, a rather small room. The Room has ambient light and is not a dedicated HT room. The current Display is a Pioneer KURO Pro Signature 60″ Plasma Display. That was surely one of the best displays ever made. I am considering adding a SI Series 5 Retractable Flush Mount .8 Gain Slate between 92 and 100 inch. I have a bit of an issue with Projector Selection due to limited Throw Distance in the room. It will be between 8.5′ – 9′. I am considering placing the projector in a Projector Drop that lowers from the Ceiling so as to hide it when not in use. I think that the Epson Powerlite Pro Cinema G6550WU may be my choice. I know that the Black Levels are not the Best. It seems my only other options Are BENQ’s 1070 or 1075 but am concerned by rainbow effects. I am interested in how the G6550WU lag time compare for gaming purposes and the 2D Image Quality comparison between the BENQ 1070,1075 and the Epson Powerlite Pro Cinema G6550WU. Thanks again!
    Allrighty Then,
    David

    • ProjectorReviews.com

      Hi, I didn’t test the G6550WU for lag time, but I presume it would be identical to the G6900WU which puts it around 50-51ms. (or 3 frames of 60fps).

      That’s acceptable for most, although 33-34 is two frames and considered good for almost all… and 17ms (1 frame) should satisfy all but the .1% craziest gamers. 50ms is probably not what you want if you are playing competitively at the national level of WOW or COD.

      The G6550WUs strength is its sheer brute force and good color. I do wish the black levels were better. Since I have a separate theater with typically a projector with great black level performance, I’m happy, but if I was doubling up for movies with the lights off, this projector is just too bright, even with a .8 screen, at your 100” or less size. You might consider as an alternative? Epson’s own 5030UB. It can muster up half the brightness of the G for daytime viewing, but calibrate its theater mode and you have a great home theater projector. To help make up the difference, consider the 1.2 gain instead of the .8. The .8 will give you blacker blacks (any room lighting conditions), but, the G6550 still won’t be remotely competitive on blacks even on the .8 screen compared to the 1.2 with the 5030UB. The Epson UB, using living room and doing a basic calibration on it should put out 1800-2000 lumens. That would be 2700 – 3000 lumens equivalent to the roughly 4000 lumens with good color on the 6550. But for night viewing, you end up with about 700 lumens fully calibrated, for a much better experience (and more suitable brightness for a fully darkened room. Anyway, that should give you some food for thought… -art

      • David Jacobs

        Thanks for the reality check, That is what I needed to hear.
        Cheers… David

        • ProjectorReviews.com

          You’re welcome. Good luck out there. -art

  • Vlad

    Hi Art,

    First of all, thank you for your work and the web site. I have finally made up my mind after I saw your review of G6550 and thought this should work beautifully for my room until I read your comments re night time viewing. Here is my problem:

    I have a room full of windows (it’s about as bright as can be), but I tend to mostly watch movies, at dusk/night, and I don’t really have the TV turned on during the day. Although even at night time, the room is not fully darkened; there is some ambient light from the street (this is a living room).

    I can’t install the projector on the ceiling; it’s just too high. My only option is to put it on the wall behind, which is 21 feet away from the screen. The wall size would be adequate to 100″ to maybe 115″ screen max. So it’s a long throw for a normal size screen. I have had difficulties finding a projector that would be able to satisfy this requirement. In addition, as I mentioned above, there is plenty of light, but maybe not so much when it really matters. Also, I was thinking of pairing it with SI Slate of Black Diamond but not sure about the choice or gain yet.

    I would appreciate a sanity check and any projector/screen recommendations.

    Thank you much!
    Vlad

    • ProjectorReviews.com

      Hi Vlad,

      The key here, is how bright you need. Long ago (last house) I had my gear in a great room. (I did have a pole at first hanging down from a 16-17 foot ceiling (cathedral type), but when I got projectors with more zoom range, I went to rear shelf.

      Here’s my thought – spend less on the projector. I would try the Epson Home Cinema 5030UB. It’s got a 2.1:1 zoom, so even for just a 100” diagonal screen you can place it far enough back that the front of the lens is 21 feet from the screen. So, in your case, at 21 foot distance, the lens would be about 19.5 feet back from the screen – a fit.

      At night when ambient light is minimal you could run THX or Cinema modes, but when more than a little light is present, use Living Room which will give you about 1500 lumens with very good color. It’s not 5000 lumens, but then if you look again at the G6550 and Slate video with the stills from different times of the days – “room conditions” I’m mostly using 3000 lumens or less except for that “worst time of the day” which I’ll bet you can’t come close to matching…

      With the right screen (Slate is an excellent choice, Black Diamond (more money) even better.

      You might want to try a 5030UB, since it will work distance wise. Bring one in, place it, see how it does, and if it work well, your problem is solved. Living Room mode can do really good color, even be fully calibrated, but still won’t be quite as good as the THX mode (about 730 lumens), but close enough that color accuracy will still be as good as a typical, good, LCDTV. Good luck. -art

      • Vlad

        Not sure why I haven’t thought about 5030 before, but this should work nicely. Thanks again!
        Best
        V