Posted on July 8, 2016 Art Feierman
Epson sure isn’t the first player with high powered laser projectors. Panasonic, I believe got the ball rolling perhaps 3+ years ago, and there’s plenty of competition these days, but Epson, long known for having the largest overall marketshare of the projector industry, and by far the most models (over 150 different projectors listed on their website), is now fully committed to large venue solutions, with a full lineup from 6000 lumens to 25,000 lumens. The feature sets are pretty similar across the lineup but there are a number of differences besides brightness. The L1505 and L1500 are almost, but not quite as feature laden as these Epson laser projectors get. But even the lowest end models are well endowed.
Let’s concentrate on the L1500 and L1505 going forward, with just the occasional comment about the others, where they differ. I will almost certainly review one of the lower powered laser projectors several months from now, probably a 7000 or 8000 lumen projector.
This review is a bit shorter than normal. In part that’s due to our only having use of the L1505 projector for a single week, before having to return it so Epson could show it at Infocomm. (June 2016.) In fairness, they provided a pre-production sample unit. If pre-production laser projectors are similar in how they perform compared to full production, then we can expect production units will have slightly improved color tables (for better color) and perhaps more brightness. As a result we did not do the usual measurements of brightness and color temperature in the different modes.
Even without adjustment, most modes (as is the case with most Epsons, and for that matter most other high end projectors), provided extremely good color performance in line with what we would expect.
This is one massively powerful projector. It’s geared for large and medium sized auditoriums, the largest university classrooms, mega (and just plain really large) churches, museums, command and control centers, airports, rental and staging operations and more.
When Epson says these two versions can easily handle a 25 foot diagonal screen, they aren’t kidding.
Of the photos in the player above, the last four are of 4K content, with one (the runways) being a super close zoom in on the image before it, to demonstrate the 4K/pixel shifting abilities.
In addition to traditional large venue presentations, these Epsons are ready to be used in groups of up to nine projectors for edge blending and projection mapping applications including some serious digital signage. The selection of inputs and connectors is seriously impressive, and it must be noted that the HDMI is 2.0 with support for HDCP 2.2 which means the latest – and means support for commercial 4K content such s Blu-ray UHD.
It worked fine with my 4K UHD player, I re-watched The Martian on the L1505U last evening, (one of several 4K UHD discs I own). Very interesting, as the last time I viewed it, I was using a 2000 lumen projector, but this time, on my 124″ screen, The Martian, with the brightness dialed way down, at times was almost too bright to watch. BTW with the pixel shifting on and set to WUXGA+ (4K), the image was impressively sharper looking compared to watching it in 1080p. It may not be true 4K, content appears much sharper than a normal 1080p projector. More on that in the special features and picture quality sections, as there are always some trade-offs.
I have to apologize for this ridiculously long (yet truncated) list, but when you get into these larger commercial projectors, there are a whole lot of capabilities. The L1505 laser projector is especially well endowed:
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