Epson Powerlite Pro G6900WU Business Projector Review
POWERLITE PRO G6900W SPECIAL FEATURES PAGE 1: HDBaseT, SDI, Display Port and HDMI, Stacking Projectors and 3D, Interchangeable Lenses
HDBaseT, also known as HDBT, is a quickly catching on protocol for delivering HD resolution information over long distances (over 200 feet) use CAT5 or CAT6 cables, rather, than, for example, very expensive HDMI cables which aren’t designed to run such long lengths.
Epson also offers a booster transmitter for the HDBaseT solution, as seen in this photo.
What info does the CAT 5 or CAT 6 cable carry? In addition to HDMI (video and audio), it will transmit LAN (networking) info and also RS232 for command and control to a room control system. Overall, a very elegant solution for short, medium and long distances between projector and sources, control units, etc.
SDI allows for full speed video streaming of HD source material. This can be a real plus in some commercial environments. One example might be a direct internet feed of a corporate video or presentation, streamed directly without a computer in the middle to handle processing.
In other words, you could have a HD camcorder, let’s say a professional one, set up filming the speaker of an event, run the SDI up to 300 feet, to a projector that directly projects the image on to a screen so that the audience can better see. That works for corporate presentations, houses of worship, and many other places where a live feed needs to be fed to a large display.
Perhaps a sports bar could feed a sporting event directly from the web, rather than via a satellite box. We are not experts on the use of SDI, nor have tested it, however, SDI is considered a viable, reliable solution. Of the seven G series projectors, this G6900WU is the only one to offer SDI.
HDMI and Display Port
In this day and age, we expect virtually every projector to offer HDMI (or DVI), however Display Port is also catching on. Display Port apparently moves data in packets, much like the internet. More to the point it is an alternative high resolution interfacing solution. My understanding is that Display Port is gaining traction in schools (the largest projector market), and elsewhere.
The good news, is that the Powerlite Pro G6900WU offers both a Display Port, and an HDMI port.
The bad news, is that this Epson offers only one HDMI input. I understand a smart adapter can convert so you can put an HDMI source into Display Port, but how hard would it have been to have a second HDMI connector sharing a single HDMI circuit, as so many projectors do, including many less expensive Epson business / education projectors.
More good news: The “missing” extra HDMI connector is one of the “big” items on my Con’s list for this projector. Well, if I can’t find anything worse than that, it must be an otherwise truly well thought out projector! (My conclusion!)
G6900WU - Stacking Projectors and Passive 3D
Let’s start with stacking. Virtually every projector setup (where the projectors have adjustable lens shift), can almost double its brightness when two projectors are properly stacked, instead of using just one. That makes a stacked pair of these Epson projectors roughly 12,000 lumens claimed. Stacking is a plus for rental and staging, The staging company can use just one projector when its brightness is enough, or when needed, double up, gaining reliability and brightness.
3D is not something a G6900WU does, out of the box. Rather, you stack two of these projectors together, and you install a different polarizing filter in front of each, and use those with 3D content, and passive glasses. (Don’t forget, passive 3D needs a polarized screen.)
This approach is perfect for the larger venues that the G6900WU is likely to end up in. Doing active glasses 3D would be prohibitively expensive, say, in a university classroom with 300 students, whereas stacking two allows you to instead use very low cost passive glasses (just a few dollars a pair at most). The issues and savings are similar to 3D movie theaters which in the US, are all passive 3D. Even with the loss of brightness when viewing 3D, a pair of 6000 lumen projectors can produce 3D that’s nicely bright on some seriously large screens!
Although we did not have two projectors, filters, etc., we have worked with another Epson projector stack in a review of the Epson W16SK two projector 3D system that is geared for 3D in the classroom. To learn more check out the W16SK projector review.
Interchangeable Lenses for the G6900WUNL
When it’s time to purchase, you can order the G6900WU projector (list price $6499) which includes the standard zoom lens, or you can order the G6900WUNL for $6199. The other difference, besides $300, is that the NL stands for no lens. So, if you want a G6900 equipped with one of the other five lenses – a fixed very short throw (for rear projection), a short throw zoom, different medium throw zooms, and one long throw zoom lens for this Epson, you would order the NL version. Epson zoom lenses retail from about $1399 to $2899. Those are reasonable prices for interchangeable lenses for commercial projectors of this capability. Lenses on significantly more powerful projectors tend to cost a good deal more.
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