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CEDIA - Epson Launches High Brightness Projectors for the Living Room

By Art Feierman
The New, Ultra Bright, Epson Pro Cinema G6970WU, G6570WU, G4855WU and 1985 turn your living room into a home theater.  Awesome!

More new home theater – home entertainment – projectors from Epson   This summer I wrote short blurbs on several new projectors Epson introduced. Like the four announced projectors here at Cedia: The new Pro Cinema G6970, G6570, G4855 and the Pro Cinema 1985, those previously announced models offered a lot of brightness.

Epson is trying to drive the home “theater” projector conversation out of the dedicated home theater, aka “cave” and into your family room, spare bedroom, living room, or designed media room.

The presumption is that today’s projectors can now be so bright, that in many cases they are brighter than the typical LCDTV. Of course it depends of the size of your screen, and how bright a particular model is.

I’ll run through the new Epson projector models, quickly, to position them, then return to ta conversation of how well these can work in rooms you never would have previously considered for a home theater projector.

BTW, the images above are from our reviews of the previous generation, but they should give you a pretty good idea, of the capabilities. First is a photo of the G6900 and several images taken using it, then the G6550, and finally the 1985 and some of its images!

Let’s start with the flagship Pro Cinema G6970WU Projector

This model replaces the G6900WU which we reviewed almost two years ago. When we reviewed that model, we did separate reviews, one as a commercial projector, and one as a home version. Be advised, the G series started out only as commercial projectors, the Powerlite Pro G… – ones designed for larger venues, such as auditoriums, hotel ballroom presentations, even night clubs. With a few tweaks, Epson created the Pro Cinema versions, with more of a home slant.

We’re talking 6000 lumens – both white and color lumens from the G6970WU. Theis model and the G4855WU come finished in black cases, the other two are in white cases, with some black trim, but mostly white.

Back to the G6970WU. 6000 lumens is a lot of horsepower. Consider that a decade or so ago, 2000 lumens was the standard for most auditorium and hotel ballroom presenting!

The G6970WU is pretty feature laden, including:

  • Multiple preset modes
  • Faroudja image processing
  • Split screen
  • Interchangeable lens options
  • Lots of vertical and horizontal lens shift
  • Built in speaker
  • Long life filter system
  • Advanced networking
  • Optional wireless networking,
  • Dynamic iris for enhanced black level performance
  • And of course 6000 color, and white lumens

For quality processing of your source material, Epson has gone with Faroudja, a highly respected name in home theater image processing, for many years.

Some of those additional features include HDBaseT (HDBT), and HD-SDI, which allows easy interfacing with HD video sources, over long lengths of low cost coaxial cable – more than a couple hundred feet in length.

Pro Cinema G6570WU Projector

The Pro Cinema G6570WU, still awesomely bright with 5200 lumens, shares almost all of those features, except the HD-SDI, but still has the HDBaseT and other advanced networking. I installed it’s similar predecessor, the G6550WU in my rather ridiculously bright living room, less than a year ago, and reviewed it, as well. More on that installation and how it worked out, below.

Pro Cinema G4855

Then comes the G4855WU. It’s a bit less featured, for example it has a wide range zoom lens, but no interchangeable lenses (which most home setups wouldn’t need anyway).

It’s still impressively bright with 4000 white, and 4000 color lumens for rich, saturated colors, and the ability to cut through significant amounts of ambient light.

Basically the G4855WU offers a much more affordable package for those that don’t need a lot of those extra features that most of us won’t require.

New High Brightness Pro Cinema Projector Pricing

MSRP Pricing looks like this (US):

Pro Cinema G6970WU: $6999

Pro Cinema G5570WU: $5499

Pro Cinema G4855WU: $3099

Pro Cinema 1985:           $2499

Pro Cinema 1985

That brings us to the Pro Cinema 1985WU The 1985WU is from a smaller series.   We have previously reviewed the business/education version – the Powerlite 1985WU, and, quite honestly, loved it. It even won a top award in the 2015-2016 Best Education Projectors report, as it is a great choice for larger, university classrooms. The home version is no lightweight either, (well, it is under 10 pounds, and far smaller than the others), in that it is still exceptionally powerful, claiming 4800 color and white lumens.

Many people will find that the 1985 can be a great, smaller, far lower cost alternative, with a price point of only $2499.  Yhere are some features missing in the Pro Cinema 1985 compared to the G series projectors, such as that it lacks lens shift, or interchangeable lenses.  You get the idea!

Look out LCDTV - The Projectors are Coming, the Projectors are Coming

Why have to get by with a modest 60 or 70 inch LCDTV (or, something even smaller - gasp!) in your living room or family room when you can probably have far larger image, and a far superior experience with one of today’s ultra-bright projectors.

Projectors, In Your Home – And Mine

As I touched on, I have the older G6550WU mounted, and operating in my home. First, realize that I have a dedicated home theater, with a killer setup. But, our living room had no TV, and was a bit under utilized. Now with a projector and screen, a lot more time is spent there. My living room accesses my patio, so now, if the weather’s nice in the daytime, during football season, my friends and I watch in the living room so we can step right out side when we want, instead of in a pretty dark theater, in another part of our house. It’s great having both setups.

If you really want to get a good handle on what you accomplish, visit the three videos I created about getting the G6550WU, installing it and a Screen Innovations Slate screen, and, my all time favorite video that I’ve created, which shows how the Epson projector, and screen combination handles bright lighting, both daytime and night. Even under near impossible conditions (that happen only a couple minutes a day, only a few months of the year, it works! Even watching a typical LCDTV would be near impossible. Check it out!

With these extremely bright projectors, home entertainment takes a giant step forward. Football on a 90 or 110 inch screen in your living room, or family room – awesome. Movies at night, great.

Time for everyone to rethink what makes a nice sized “TV.” Epson apparently wants to lead the charge to bringing projectors into everybody’s homes, not just those who have a room they can set aside as a dedicated home theater.

OK, that's it for now, for Epson's brightest home projectors and using projectors in bright rooms.  Stay tuned for more.

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