What is 4K PRO-UHD? Epson 4K PRO-UHD is not just a resolution specification, it encompasses all the key factors impacting image performance, including color and white lumens, CONTRAST, HDR10, and other advanced image processing, as well as the capability of receiving, processing, and projecting 4K content. As a result, images are more lifelike.
I've seen some criticism of the ability of this projector to produce detail, but my experience with the LS800 and the matching Epson SilverFlex screen is the opposite. Images appear pleasantly sharp. Obviously, the source material can have much to do with individual experience, but I had no issues with the projector's overall image detail.
Take a good look at the screenshots in the color section below. In particular, the detail in Tom Cruise’s face, the material of Spiderman's costume, and the material details from the Wheel of Time screenshot.
When it comes to color reproduction, Epson nailed it with the LS800. Out-of-the-box, the color of the projector's CINEMA and NATURAL modes were the best, with the NATURAL mode testing as the most accurate. And, as it comes from the factory, better than most laser TVs I have tested. Overall I did prefer the CINEMA mode and how it displayed the majority of the content I watched.
DYNAMIC: This is the projector's brightest mode and is best for a bright space. It maintains good color even though the projector outputs light at its most luminous levels. This mode is excellent for areas with high ambient lighting.
VIVID: This mode is best for venues that benefit from dynamic colors, making smaller items such as text pop.
CINEMA: This mode is best for movies and other entertainment-style content projected in a dark venue.
NATURAL: This is the most color-accurate mode on this projector and the closest to a calibrated image of all four out-of-the-box picture modes.
The LS800 produces a nice, sharp 4K image with plenty of brightness to punch through reasonable amounts of ambient light for improved daytime and lights on viewing. I only had to close the blinds in my living room, which was very far from a dark room, and the projector still created an excellent image.
The skin tones produced in the LS800's CINEMA and NATURAL modes were much better than I'm used to seeing, especially in an ultra-short-throw projector. My preference was CINEMA mode, even though the NATURAL mode is closer to a calibrated image. I kept returning to CINEMA mode because CINEMA's preset mode is slightly more neutral in color temperature than NATURAL mode's overall warmth.
While the out of the box picture quality of the Epson LS800 was better than most Laser TVs, we did attempt to calibrate the unit. To test the color accuracy of the LS11000, we use Portrait Displays Calman color calibration software.
Color Tracking and Grayscale
We calibrated the NATURAL mode for SDR viewing in a room with low ambient light.
While the LS800's Grayscale (RGB balance) and color tracking were very good out of the box, unfortunately, they can't be fine-tuned further.
The LS800 uses a new Android-based menu system. While this resulted in improved smart feature integration, several picture quality settings are no longer present.
Epson Home Cinema projectors usually offer gamma, grayscale, and CMS adjustments, but these were not offered on the LS800. This means you are limited to the basic picture adjustments like BRIGHTNESS, CONTRAST, SATURATION, TINT, and SHARPNESS.
The pre-adjustment Gamma measurement was 1.97. Reducing the Brightness setting brought the gamma closer to my target of 2.2.
The default COLOR TEMP setting of 7 delivered 6447K which is quite good out of the box.
Picture Mode: Natural
Color Temperature: 6447K
Average Color Tracking dE: 1.98
Average Grayscale dE: 4.62
Delta E as a measure of grayscale/color accuracy of 3 and under is considered ‘Excellent’ and imperceptible by the human eye. Even before calibration, the LS800 had an average Grayscale dE of around 4.62, which is better than average and the projector’s average Color Tracking dE was just 1.98 which is very good.
When it comes to out-of-the-box color reproduction, the LS800 delivered one of the most accurate images that we have seen from a laser TV. While detailed picture adjustments might be missed by a reviewer like me, the fact is most Laser TVs are not calibrated. Most of the LS800's target customers would be more than happy with picture quality.
BLACK LEVEL AND SHADOW DETAIL
The Epson EpiqVision LS800 has a manufacturer's dynamic contrast claim of 2,500,000:1. Based on my most recent reviews of other Epson projectors, I had a reasonable expectation that the LS800's contrast (which refers to black-level performance, or "how black" the blacks are) would be in the range of these other Epson projectors. By clicking on their links, you can see my reviews of the Epson PowerLite 805F, the Epson EB-PU1008W, and the PowerLite L730U. The EpiqVision LS800, black level performance is at a level I've typically seen in LCOS projectors such as Sony and JVC. It's that good, especially when paired with the Epson SilverFlex Ultra screen.
Black levels on the LS800 are excellent, with details in the dark areas of the projected image still evident. Also notable was the lack of a blue or green hue so often found on projectors displaying darker images.
When I let some light into my room, the contrast quality was visibly reduced but in no way unwatchable, thanks to a combination of this excellent Epson projector and the Epson SilverFlex screen. The LS800 also comes with an ambient light sensor that automatically optimizes the picture brightness according to the amount of environmental light. This sensor creates more contrast and a better sense of depth in the image, making this the closest I've ever seen an ultra-short-throw projector come to competing with a good LCD panel television.
The Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS800’s default adjustments do a great job of maintaining bright highlight details while delivering good full-screen brightness. The LS800 does not offer dynamic HDR tone mapping, but all but the most challenging HDR looked good. If necessary, you do can make quick tone-mapping adjustments.
While some home theater projectors come equipped with color filters that can reproduce a wider color gamut, this feature noticeably reduces overall brightness. I believe when viewing HDR on a projector, a projector like the LS800 that features a higher brightness capability can have a bigger impact than just a wider color gamut.
Since the LS800 is a 3LCD projector, it can reproduce an equal amount of color lumens as white lumens, which results in brighter, richer-looking colors, which is beneficial when viewing HDR content on this projector.
The brightness of the LS800 is excellent, with good uniformity and no visible hot spots on the scree (as I have found with other Epson ultra-short-throw projectors and other projector brands). The LS800's performance is on par with the high-quality light output of much more expensive laser projectors.
I took 3-4 readings about 15-20% out from the center of the lens. That gives a pretty good approximation of ANSI lumens unless a projector's brightness rolls off excessively at the edges, which this projector does not.
Epson claims a brightness of 4,000 lumens for the EpiqVision LS800. Epson EpiqVision LS800's brightest picture preset is DYNAMIC. How close did the EpiqVision LS800 come to reaching its target of 4,000 lumens?
According to my testing, the Epson EpiqVision LS800 measured 4,194 ANSI Lumens in its brightest mode. This is 194 lumens brighter than the manufacturer's rated 4,000 lumens of brightness.
The chart below shows my measurements of the projector's out-of-the-box picture modes.
4,194 ANSI Lumens
3,586 ANSI Lumens
3,280 ANSI Lumens
2,932 ANSI Lumens
The EpiqVision LS800 is the second ultra-short-throw projector in which Epson has partnered with Yamaha to create the sound system. Frankly, the results are well worth it.
It's no secret that I've not been a fan of Epson's built-in projector sound systems in the past. Despite having everything they need to provide decent standalone sound, Epson has historically produced lackluster on-device sound offerings. But not anymore.
Yamaha and Epson worked together to create a built-in, 20-watt 2.1 virtual surround system with two full-range 5 Watt speakers and one 10 Watt subwoofer. The system uses Yamaha DSP technology resulting in one of the best ultra-short-throw projector sound systems available today. Yamaha created custom presets for TV, sports, movies, and music. Also, users can connect smartphones via Bluetooth to use the projector as a standalone speaker.
In situations where an external sound system is not feasible, you will be more than pleased with the audio performance of this Epson and Yamaha collaboration.
The Epson EpiqVision LS800 is a quiet projector. It’s not that I never noticed fan noise because I did, especially when the projector was in its most dynamic light output settings. Most of the time, the fan noise was not an issue for me, and it did not become a distraction.
If users don’t mind a visible reduction in brightness, the fan noise becomes almost imperceptible when the projector runs in QUIET mode.
Compared to this projector's predecessor, the EpiqVision Ultra LS500, this new version is far quieter more of the time.