Epson Announces Pro Cinema 4040 Projector with 4K Support at CE
Epson’s newly designed Pro Cinema 4040 projector, announced two weeks ago, features 4K and HDR support. It is the lower cost Pro Cinema sibling to the Pro Cinema 6040UB (which stands for “Ultra Black”). The PC4040, along with the new UB projectors has pixel shifting, to work in conjunction with the 4K content to provide visibly superior detail when compared with traditional 1080p projectors!
Compared to the 6040UB, the Pro Cinema 4040 a good choice if you’ve got a room that’s never 100% dark where the black level difference is essentially negated, or if your budget is really tight.
In fact, the Epson Pro Cinema 4040, including all the extras (see below), lists for $2699, compared to the 6040UB’s $3999 price point. That makes the Pro Cinema 4040, and the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB (which I blogged about recently) the two least expensive projectors on the market today, to support 4K content, including HDR, and the DCI standards.
As another major benefit, the Pro Cinema 4040’s new lens is motorized, (including focus, zoom, and lens shift).
Despite different LCD panels, the 4040 is almost, but not quite as bright as the 6040UB, and it still has very good black level performance, but definitely not up to the black levels of the Epson 6040UB – (after all, UB = Ultra Black) – with its higher native contrast LCD panels.
The Pro Cinema 4040, shipping shortly, will only be sold by Epson’s authorized installing local dealers and the occasional big-box house like Best Buy’s Magnolia stores – it is not available online. It’s a lot less expensive than the 6040UB. As mentioned, the biggest difference is the 4040’s lower native contrast.
Like all Pro Cinemas, it gets a 3 years parts & labor warranty with 3-year overnight replacement (remember – the Home Cinema white siblings get 2 years for each instead). The 4040 will come with a ceiling mount and a spare lamp, plus there’s a cable cover to keep all those wires neat. The older PC4030 had 2 pair of 3D glasses in the box, the PC4040 does not, so figure you are getting a cable cover instead of those two pair. Not a bad trade-off, considering you can today, buy nice, lightweight 3D glasses for well less than $20 a pair. Back with the PC4030 was launched, 3D glasses were more like $80+ a pair.
These projectors are still native 1080p projectors like their predecessors, but now they have pixel shifting, just like Epson’s $7999 LS10000 flagship laser projector. But what really makes this 4040 a big step up, is that it is fully prepared for 4K content, with support for HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 copy protection. On the image side of 4K, it supports DCI, the same standard as used in your cineplex. HDR is also supported (and auto sensed), for the maximum dynamic range.
If you back out the value of the spare lamp, ceiling mount, etc., this is definitely the least expensive 4K capable projector on the market today. But, better still, it’s not just 4K capable, but has pixel shifting, support for HDR and DCI and other enhancements. This allows the Pro Cinema 4040 to take as much advantage of the new higher resolution content, that is possible with a 1080p projector. Sweet!
Epson Pro Cinema 4040 Highlights
PC4040 Highlights in a Nutshell:
- 2300 color and white lumens
- Contrast of 160,000:1
- 4K HDMI inputs with HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2
- One HDMI supports MHL for streaming sticks and portable devices
- New motorized zoom lens with lens memory, allows users to go with wide screens for larger “cinemascope” movie viewing
- Support for DCI and HDR content
- All the usual: 3D, CFI for smooth motion, Epson’s Super-Resolution, Detail Enhancement features
- New Optical Engine for improved uniformity
- Excellent amount of lens shift: +/- 96% vertical and 47% horizontal
- 10 User savable picture memories (two extra on the 6040UB for ISF calibrators)
- Black finish
- Warranty – 3 years parts and labor, with 3 years of their excellent rapid replacement program
- The all new lens, Epson says, is designed to handle the more demanding imagery that a pixel shifting projector being fed 4K content can produce
- Lowest cost projector yet, with 4K content support, pixel shifting, etc.