Epson Pro Cinema 6020 UB - Review Summary
Time to wrap everything up. For those of you who have gone though all the previous pages, this could be a good bit redundant, but then we know that the first page and the summary are the most read. (Yes, not everyone reads every word I write - alas!).
1/27/2013 - Art Feierman
Epson Pro Cinema 6020 Projector - The Bottom Line
This Epson Pro Cinema 6020 is a great projector. For a little extra money, you get a couple of additional features compared to the Home Cinema 5020 UB, a spare lamp, and ceiling mount (and like the 5020, two pair of 3D glasses), a best in class warranty, and the same outstanding picture quality as the 5020 and 5020e projectors offer.
Epson Pro Cinema 6020 3D, Overall: I'm starting here, because considering 3D considers all the individual topics such as brightness, color...
Pro Cinema 6020 3D brightness is improved, noticeably from older generations. That's not so much the projector's native brightness but improvements in 3D handling and new glasses.
Pro Cinema 6020 Color in 3D. Again, improved by virtue of the addition of the THX 3D mode. OK it's not near as bright as 3D dynamic, but if you can deal with the lower brightness, we're looking at some very respectable color, something that has been a real problem with 3D projectors.
What really makes the Epson Pro Cinema 6020 UB better in terms of 3D, though, (besides brightness and color), is drastically better black level performance. This year Epson has allowed dynamic features - most importantly, the dynamic iris, to function in 3D. It really makes the blacks as close to black as you could hope for in 3D.
In summary, in terms of 3D: Better color, brighter, and dramatically better blacks! Not bad for a projector we expected to have only minor improvements over last years. You are definitely getting your money's worth in 3D.
I should also point out, that this is by far the brightest projector we've seen in 3D (for the home). While the Panasonic has similar brightness in 2D, due to glasses, or other aspects, the Epson is significantly brighter in 3D.
Speaking of glasses, this year they are much lighter, more comfortable, and, they are rechargeable, rather than battery. And they are RF, not infra-red. When you look over to your friend, you won't lose the sync, and have to wait a fraction of a second for it to return when you look back to the screen. That's a very nice touch, that makes the projector "more invisible" that is, less intrusive during your viewing experience, which, in this case, is the best yet, in 3D, when you combine all the elements. Not to mention your projector comes with 2 pair!
Epson 6020 Brightness:
Light canon! Expect the Pro Cinema 6020 to share the same almost 700 lumens calibrated, that the 5020UB measured.
Picture Quality of the Epson Pro Cinema 6020
Out of the Box - the Epson's THX mode assures you of really impressive, well balanced color, to start with. Gamma is accurate, and very adjustable, including custom settings, should you have the desire.
Color, however, is the key, and THX looks great, if the slightest bit cool. Mike found it easy to adjust, and calibrate properly (better than the older 5010/6010), and the result was very close to dead on color.
OK, color looks great, but that's just the beginning. There's still no projector near the price that can best this Epson in terms of black level performance, even if the Sony can be considered it's equal. Shadow detail was equally excellent. The combination of the two are unmatched so far, with only a JVC to review under $5000 that might compete. If you want better blacks, you'll probably have to start with Sony's much more expensive VW95ES - a $6000 projector - yes, over twice the price, and a higher cost of operation.
Pro Cinema 6020 UB Competition
That Panasonic projector is $700 less, $2799 vs $3499, but does not come with a spare lamp, or ceiling mount. At the time of this writing, Panasonic's rebate ends in a few days. Without that, the Panasonic does not come with 2 pair of 3D glasses (the 6020UB does), and Panasonic's 3rd year warranty (3000 hours max) goes away as well when the rebate ends. Without the rebate, the net pricing is very similar. The Panasonic with the rebate matches up with the Epson Home Cinema 5020.
Will the Pro Cinema 6020 work in your room?
Sporting a 2.1:1 zoom lens, and more vertical and horizontal lens shift than almost anything else out there, nothing can match this Epson as long as you are purchasing a 16:9 screen. If you want to go "wide screen" (2.35:1), you can, because it has an anamorphic lens.
This means you can place the projector relatively close, or, in almost any room, instead, place on a shelf in the back of the room. (you will be giving up some brightness placing it far back as is always the case.)
The Very Bottom Line on the Pro Cinema 6020 projector:
For the last year, I have been using the older HC5010 as my primary projector for comparisons, as well as the projector I watched most when not reviewing. That worked out great, and I was always pleased, especially as someone big on black levels, and brightness.
The combination of excellent overall performance in terms of brightness, color, blacks, shadow detail, and 3D, with a price lower than most of the most direct competitors, makes this a top value. That it sells for a good deal less than the Sony and Panasonic (my next two choices in this price range), should seal the deal for many folks.
Bottom Line: The Epson Pro Cinema 6020 is likely to be the best choice for pretty large chunk of the folks that can afford it.
Are you ready for some football? and movies, music videos, Discovery HD, sitcoms, and plenty of sports, and 3D too?
You can investigate further, but if the Epson Pro Cinema 6020 UB is about what you want to spend, you probably don't have to.
Epson Pro Cinema 6020 Pricing:
Epson set the MAP (minimum advertised price) of the Home Cinema 5020 at $3499 with two pair of glasses, ceiling mount and spare lamp.
Epson Pro Cinema 6020 Projector: Pros and Cons
Epson Home Cinema 5020 Projector: Pros
- Brightest 1080p, 3D capable projector we've seen
- Clean 3D
- Excellent black level performance (2D and 3D)
- 3D glasses are some of the lightest, and brightest, plus they are RF and rechargeable (figure 20+ movies between charges) a quick charge good for a 2 hour movie takes 3 minutes
- Split screen viewing, for whatever fun "floats your boat"
- CFI - smooth motion, (2D only) good for sports and other non-film based content (leave it on for movies if that's your taste)
- Calibrates extremely well
- 2 HDMI 1.4a inputs
- 480hz panels for faster response time, including gaming
- Lagtimes improved for gaming compared to the older 5010 now about 50ms (switch to "fast" image processing)
- Very good, but large, remote control, good backlight and range
- Excellent lamp life (4000/5000 hours)
- Very quiet operation in eco-mode
- Color filter in best modes for improved color accuracy
- Excellent menu layout (which they haven't changed in years)
- A truly excellent value proposition
- Anamorphic lens
- Black finish
- 3 year warranty with 3 year replacement
Image above, from Moneyball
Epson Home Cinema 5020 Projector: Cons
- One of the noisier projectors at full power, but not exceptionally so
- A second HDMI circuit to allow two HDMI sources for Split Screen, would be nice, especially for Picture in Picture
- Those with dark ceilings (many home theaters) would prefer a black case (consider the Pro Cinema 6020 instead)
- Super-Resolution does not work in 3D nor CFI
- Small control panel on the side, not so easy to use when you cant see it, I prefer a top mounted control panels with more room
- Longer than average locking onto HDMI source changes
- Lens shift dials lose/imprecise (but they hold once you get it where you want)
- Those upgrading from a 3010 or 5010 can't use the old 3D glasses
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