Epson Pro Cinema G6900 WU Home Theater Projector
PRO CINEMA G6900: SUMMARY PAGE 1
I’ve always used the term “light canon” to describe particularly bright home theater / home entertainment projectors. Typically any projector that could muster up 1500 measured lumens with decent color qualified. The Epson Pro Cinema G6900 WU projector definitely raises the bar. It may be a “cross-over” projector – a business/education/commercial projector drafted to do duty in the home, but it does it rather well, especially for the type of situation it is tackling.
Considering you need about 400 lumens in a really darkened home theater for a 100″ diagonal image, here’s a projector that measures about 5400 lumens – nine times as bright. Wait, this Epson calibrated, measures 3794 lumens, that’s almost six times as bright as the Epson Home Cinema 5030 UB/ Pro Cinema 6030 UB projectors. So, basically the G6900 doesn’t belong in a home theater.
Epson saw the market to put this projector in bright rooms in the home. One thing about using a very bright projector like this one in a home, is the projector’s audible noise. While almost 40 db is considered on the loud side of things, consider that in low lamp power (Eco mode), the projector claims 31 db. That’s actually quieter than Epson’s UB projectors when they run at full power, so consider that acceptable.
Let’s see, we’ve established that the Epson is massively bright. But for the home you want more than just enough brightness to see a good image, you want the image you are seeing to look really good.
Picture quality, overall is most impressive. Color, even in brightest modes is very good, with roughly 5000 lumens available with really good color (a tweak to the brightest mode to improve the color a little, reduces brightness by roughly 10%)
Even fully calibrated, there’s still almost 3800 lumens under the hood. Those purchasing this projector, see our calibration page for the basic and color temp settings, try them out. And only for subscribers, you can view the CMS “Advanced” settings, the calibration of the individual colors.
So, no issues with color!
That brings us to dark shadow detail, and black level performance. The dark shadow detail of the Epson G6900 WU is first class, as can be seen in the images on the Picture Quality page. Black level performance, not so good. True black level performance is just above entry level. No problem finding some $1000 range projectors that can match these.
But, when there’s ambient light present, and that is a major presumption for owning one of these Epsons, the difference between great black level performance, and mediocre, becomes relatively small, compared with when viewing in a really dark environment.
So while the black levels certainly could be better, you aren’t likely to notice when watching House of Cards, with friends, and at least some lights on.
That does, however make the Pro Cinema G6900 WU a better projector (from a purist standpoint) for watching Sports and other HDTV, rather than movies. About the only time you might be disappointed is if you are watching in your media room at night with no outside light, and if you turn off all the interior lights. Then you would miss the better blacks, if you were used to them. But, at the same time, remember, that this projector really would be considered too bright to watch in a room that dark, unless, perhaps your screen size is at least 150 inches or larger (a lot larger).
G6900 WU Useful Features
The Epson G6900 WU is dripping in features, but many of them just aren’t likely to be needed in your home. Some though, are cool. The first photo above, for example shows a split screen setup. I’ve got the DirecTV guide on the left, and a browser window from my laptop on the right. You’ll note that the left image is about twice the size of the right. You can set them to be the same size, you can switch them, and more. Should work great for next year’s fantasy football. My 8 games (NFL GameMix, on the side with the larger image, and my fantasy football tracking from my computer on the other… What could you use split screen for? Birthday parties? A news feed while watching TV? The Olympics? (Sochi is ending today!)
Nothing like a blindingly bright projector for gaming! The Epson G6900 WU projector is up to the task. Using our usual input lag test, we found that the G6900 WU managed a respectable 50 ms lag. 35 ms, or 10 ms, of course would be better, but most serious gamers seem to be satisfied with a projector that’s no slower than 50 ms.
For those who have need, you can even have family computer night. Four computers each displaying in one quadrant of the projected image. (OK, that’s a stretch for home use!)
Epson included their dynamic detail enhancement solution: Super-Resolution on this projector. That’s a real plus. Intelligent use of it definitely has made those Olympics seem sharper, and more detailed than otherwise.
Dazzling placement flexibility: There’s plenty of lens shift and a choice of 6 different lenses, so that this projector should be placeable almost anywhere. It has a long life air filter that easily out lasts a couple of lamps, making maintenance easy. For some, the HDBaseT and HD-SDI might come in very handy (those two features only available on the G6900, not the G6550 or G4855).
Epson Pro Cinema G6900 WU: The Bottom Line
This Epson is no home theater projector, but it is a beast of a projector capable of doing an exceptional job as a powerful home entertainment projector that can tackle (with the right screen), almost any room in your home as long as sunlight or very bright lights aren’t trained directly onto the screen.
Great color, sharp image, creative frame interpolation and a host of other features and flexibility should make this an excellent choice for that media room with minimal lighting control. The only short comings of note are the less than stellar black levels, and that the G6900 WU is only available in a black case, which may not work in your room, if you have a white ceiling and a “boss.” That’s true in my case, so I’ve opted to get the only slightly less powerful, white cased G6550 instead. That projector, it should be noted again, claims 5200 lumens, and is priced about $1500 less, at $5999.
Ultimately, though this G6900WU is the flagship, the most feature laden, and the brightest projector for your living room, media room, family room, or bonus room. Hey drag it outside and it can probably tackle watching sports on your garage door if it’s shady around it.
The real bottom line though, how it works out in my horrendously bright living room, you can read about in the spring of 2014. That’s when a G6550 is installed here. At that time I’ll blog extensively and add pictures of the projector in action, to this review and the forthcoming review of the G6550. Remember, the screen I used in these pictures was not really suitable for the room.
Are there better commercial projectors for home use? I’ll be looking, now that Epson has “promoted” this category, but the G6900 WU projector sure looks like a really strong candidate, and one with an unbeatable warranty and support program as well. After all, you don’t just want bright, you want bright, with at least very good color… Epson has done a fine job of taking a commercial projector and making it suitable for media type rooms.
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