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Epson HC5040UB, PC6040UB Projector Review - Performance

Posted on August 11, 2016 by Art Feierman

EPSON HC5040UB, PC6040UB HOME THEATER PROJECTOR REVIEW PERFORMANCE Page:  Out-of-the-Box Brightness, Color Temperature, and Post Calibration Results

Maximum brightness measured for the 6040UB sample we have here measures 2387, slightly below the 2500 lumen claim.  A Home Cinema 5040UB should produce the same results (give or take unit to unit variation).

Of course, this is an early engineering sample, so it will probably differ from production units.  Interestingly another review site measured just over 3000 lumens max for their 6040UB!  Now that's too big a difference, so we'll have to see...

I should also note, that since Mike our old calibrator has retired, the 2387 lumens number I measured was with my own gear.  My meter typically measured about 7% lower than Mike's did.  Also of note, we tend to measure projector when they first arrive, and are "brand new" out of the box.  In this case, the 6040UB had just over 130 hours on it when measured.  As most lamps dim a bit over the first 100 hours or so, there might have been another 3% - 6% more lumens had we measured it with only 1-10 hours on the lamp.  No worries.  We plan to remeasure as soon as we have a production model, and then will update the review.

Out-of-the-Box Brightness Different Modes and Lamp Settings

These brightness numbers below are in low lamp mode, which is the default.  High lamp is about 30% brighter, but check out the calibrated brightness in that section!

 THX 3D**  897**  Not Measured
Epson 5040UB/6040UB (sample) Brightness, Color Temperature:
Mid-zoom, and Medium lamp power
 Picture Mode Brightness (lumens) Avg. Color Temp.
 Dynamic (full power, wide zoom) 2387  6641K
 Measurements below are mid-zoom, medium lamp
 Dynamic  1652  6468K
 Bright Cinema  1115  6983K
 Natural  1120  6497K
Cinema  501  6575K
B&W Cinema  1027  5324K
Digital Cinema  559  7203K

We will remeasure and calibrate a full production HC5040UB or PC6040UB when one becomes available.

That's because it is my belief, since this projector's measurements aren't as "tight" to spec either before or after calibration, that we will find changes made to the color tables on the production versions.

That's not to say that the color is significantly off, post calibration, but rather that from experience, Epson projectors normally end up with better "numbers" than these - closer from 100 IRE to 20 IRE to the target 6500K (and D65), than this sample could deliver.

Lamp Modes, Zoom Effect

This is the easy part:

There are three lamp modes.

Normal is "full lamp," that is, the brightest, then comes Medium, and Eco.

Switching from full lamp to Medium results in a drop in brightness of just over 29%, while Eco results in a drop of 34% from full power.

In other words, not much difference between Medium and Eco - about 5%.

Lens Position vs Brightness (Lumens)

Changing the lens from wide angle (shortest throw - closest to the screen):  Reduces brightness by about 13%.

Changing from wide angle to full telephoto produces a lot more drop off in brightness - Reduces brightness byjust over 31%.

This, folks is another indicator of improved optics design compared to the older 5030UB's lens.  That lens lost over 40% going from full wide angle to telephoto.

Effect of zoom on lumen output (Dynamic mode, bright lamp):
Zoom out 66" tall 2137@6641K
Mid-zoom 48.75” tall 1850@6570K
Zoom in 31.75” tall 1463@6504K

Note: The grayscale (of Dynamic mode) appears to be great, at near 6500K but it’s heavy on green and nowhere close to D65. Remember 6500K is not the same as D65.

More importantly, that means you'll have more brightness to work with if you are rear shelf mounting, (where you are likely to be at the telephoto end of the lenses zoom range.

Since the measurements posted above in the table are mostly in Medium power and mid-zoom, for a quick estimate of full power you can multiple these numbers by 1.4.  Being able to place the projector at full wide angle on the zoom, will buy you at least an additional 15% as well.

[sam_pro id=1_35 codes="true"]

Pre-Calibration Color Table, Cinema Mode

Color Temp:  Cinema Mode - Pre Calibration
IRE (Brightness) Temperature (Kelvin)
100 (white) 6570K
80 6288K
50 (medium grey) 6231K
30 6200K

Cinema mode, pre calibration, in terms of color is a little too warm (favoring reds) throughout the brightness range, except at full 100 IRE (white).  This corrects reasonably well with the calibration, but we will expect better results with a full production projector.

Post Calibration Results

Post calibration results improved picture accuracy in both Bright Cinema mode (for 4K and HDR)  and Cinema mode for standard 1080p, 1080i content.

I am not 100% happy with the final product, for either, but I do attribute this to the sample nature of this projector, for Cinema mode, and in addition, when it comes to Bright Cinema mode doing 4K with HDR, due to still figuring out the best way to get these new projectors 4K calibrated. As Eric pointed out - it's still the "wild, wild, west out there, when it comes to all these new standards and options coming to today's 4K capable projectors.

I do, however, expect that when we revisit, we'll get the kind of calibration accuracy we're used to from Epson, which is to say, "great right out of the box" (instead of "pretty good" this time around), and virtually dead on color, post calibration.

Post Calibration Cinema, Bright Cinema
IRE (Brightness) Cinema Color Temp
(Mid Lamp)
Bright Cinema  Color Temp (High Lamp)
20 6467K 7267K
30 6474K 6503K
40 6304K 6527K
50 6368K 6383K
60 6417K 6422K
70 6415K 6487K
80 6379K 6516K
90 6559 6502K
100 6519K 6487K
Gamma 2.17 2.01

Gamma measurements for Bright Cinema reveal a big spike in gamma which is unusual.  I expect that this relates to one of two possibilities:  First, this could be something that will be improved before first shipments of finished projectors, but I'm leaning toward the other possible explanation - which is the spike is intentional, because it brightens up the mid-upper ranges, which would help things out if there's a fair to a lot of ambient light.

Bottom Line on Performance

Eric also calibrated the projector with a 4K signal generator, with HDR.  We've had the 6040UB back to Epson for a discussion of the results.  We'll recalibrate again, with a production unit, with better numbers I expect!

I have those 4K numbers and will add over the next day or two.


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