Projector Reviews

Epson Home Cinema 4010/Pro Cinema 4050 4K Capable Home Theater Projector Review – Calibration Settings

Epson Home Cinema 4010/Pro Cinema 4050 4K Capable Home Theater Projector– Calibration Settings: Calibration Presets Notes, Best Mode 1080p Calibration, Best Mode 4K/HDR Calibration & Brightest 4k/HDR Calibration

Epson 4010/Pro Cinema 4050 Calibration Notes

Normally I do two calibrations for 1080p and one for 4K/HDR. For this review however, Art wanted me to do two calibrations for 4K/HDR (Best & Brightest Mode) and one calibration for 1080p (Best Mode).

The HC4010 has 7 presets (Dynamic, Bright Cinema, Natural, Cinema, B&W, Digital Cinema) plus 2 for 3D. The lamp had over 60 hours on it before I made any measurements or performed my calibrations.

Note: The terminology used in this calibration page, Brightest Mode and Best Mode, refer to two modes of this projector. “Brightest Mode” refers to the brightest (calibrated) mode the projector has, while “Best Mode” refers to the mode with the best calibrated color offered by the projector. These modes will often not be named “Brightest” or “Best” in the projector’s menu – these are merely terms we use to describe the brightest mode and the mode with the best color.

Best Mode Calibration for 1080p and REC.709 – Natural Mode

Epson HC4010 Calibration Images
Natural Mode Post-Calibration RGB Balance / Grayscale Tracking (target D65)

For my Best Mode (1080p) calibration I started with Natural mode (lamp medium) and saved it to memory 1. With Contrast set to its default value of 50 the whites clip around 229. I’d like to see white detail to be resolved beyond its max target of 235 to 240 or so. Lowering the Contrast on the HC4010 did nothing to improve the clipping. Thankfully though Epson has a way to fix this problem. Super White to the rescue. The idea of Super White is to give you white levels up to the PC max level of 255. With my clipping target set to 240 I was able to actually raise the contrast to 60.

With the color temp set to 6500 and skin tone to 4 the pre-calibration white balance was a little bit blue on the high end of the grayscale with the DeltaE ranging from 1.25 to just over 3 at 50IRE. The 2-point white balance calibration controls work fine but are a bit course especially the lower (offsets), but I was still able to achieve excellent results with a DeltaE (error) no more than 1.5. The default gamma was a little on the bright side at a 2.08 average. With my target set for 2.3 I lowered gamma to -1. Usually my target is 2.4 but I had issues trying to attain a flat gamma at 2.4 so I lowered my target slightly to 2.3. After calibration averaged a 2.26 with a slight bump in brightness at 90IRE. Overall, I was very happy with my post Best Mode (1080p) calibration and its 1553 measured lumens.

Epson HC4010 Calibration Images
Natural Mode Post-Calibration Gamma Log 2.26 Average Gamma (target 2.30)

IRE Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
10 IRE 6437K 6819K
20 IRE 6349K 6404K
30 IRE 6440K 6380K
40 IRE 6500K 6406K
50 IRE 6636K 6451K
60 IRE 6651K 6525K
70 IRE 6717K 6525K
80 IRE 6715K 6511K
90 IRE 6713K 6508K
100 IRE 6678K 6503K

Measurements taken at Mid Placement with Medium Lamp.

Average Gamma Pre-Calibration: 2.08

Average Gamma Post-Calibration: 226 @ 1553 Lumens

Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Contrast 50 60
Brightness 50 50
Color 50 50
Tint 50 50
Color Temp 6500 6500
Skin Tone 4 4
Gamma 0 -1
Super Whie Off On
Dynamic Range Auto Auto
Auto Iris High Speed High Speed
Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Sharpness 5 5
Frame Interpolation Off Off
4K Enhancement On On
Image Preset Mode 1 1 or 2
Noise Reduction 2 Off
MPEG NR 1 Off
Super-resolution 2 2
Soft Focus Detail 2 2
Detail Strength 18 18
Detail Range 20 20
RGB Gain Offset
Red 51 50
Green 49 50
Blue 45 51

White Balance calibration settings for Natural mode.

Epson HC4010 Calibration Images
Natural Mode Post-Calibration DeltaE 2000 (target below error of 3)

Delta E is a metric for understanding how the human eye perceives color difference. The term delta comes from mathematics, meaning change in a variable or function. The suffix E references the German word Empfindung, which broadly means sensation. Simply put, look at Delta E as a measure of grayscale/color accuracy. 3 and under is considered ‘Excellent’ and imperceptible by the human eye.

Best Mode Calibration for 4K/HDR – Digital Cinema Mode

For my Best Mode 4K/HDR I used Digital Cinema Mode (high lamp) and saved it to memory 2. On the HC4010 It is necessary to use either Digital Cinema or Cinema because they employ a color filter that allows the projector to achieve near P3 color gamut used for 4K/HDR content. The down side of this filter is that you lose more than 50% of light output (compared to Natural) which we so dearly want for HDR. So, one could make an argument for using Natural for 4K/HDR. Which is why we did exactly that for this review. (see below)

Epson HC4010 Calibration Images
Digital Cinema Mode (HDR Mode 2 / Auto) Post-Calibration RGB Balance / Grayscale Tracking (target D65)

The default white balance (color temp 5, skin tone 3) had a blue push ranging from 7600K to 8300K. I found setting the color temp to 3 and skin tone to 7 got me the closest to D65 but was still a bit blue. After adjusting the 2-point white balance controls the white balance improved a bit but not to the same accuracy I got with my Best Mode (1080p) calibration. I left Super White off and increased contrast to 65. With HDR set to Auto/Mode 2 the EOTF (gamma) tracked quit well with the low end overly bright and the high end a little dark. With that said, most viewers will prefer the brighter image you get with HDR Mode 1/Auto (Bright). Post calibration DeltaE was excellent averaging 1.5 except for 40IRE which was a 3. Overall, I was impressed with the post calibrated image even though the light output was low (for HDR) at 993 lumens.

Epson HC4010 Calibration Images
Digital Cinema Mode (HDR Mode 2 / Auto) Post-Calibration (Electro-optical Transfer Function) aka gamma

IRE Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
10 IRE 10335K 8691K
20 IRE 7882K 6689K
30 IRE 7642K 6195K
40 IRE 7833K 6205
50 IRE 8119K 6412K
60 IRE 8301K 6470K
70 IRE 7858K 6582K
80 IRE 7848K 6582K
90 IRE 7852K 6594K
100 IRE 7850K 6581K

Measurements taken at Mid Placement with High Lamp.

ETOF (gamma) Post-Calibration: HDR Mode 2/Auto tracked flat except for the low end which was slightly brighter and the high end which is a little darker @ 993 Lumens.

Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Contrast 50 65
Brightness 50 50
Color 50 50
Tint 50 50
Color Temp 5 3
Skin Tone 3 7
Gamma 0 0
Super White Off Off
Dynamic Range Auto Auto
Auto Iris High Speed High Speed
Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Sharpness 5 5
Frame Interpolation Off Off
4K Enhancement n/a n/a
Image Preset Mode 2 1 or 2
Noise Reduction n/a n/a
MPEG NR n/a n/a
Super-resolution 2 2
Soft Focus Detail 2 2
Detail Strength 18 18
Detail Range 20 20
RGB Gain Offset
Red 50 50
Green 50 46
Blue 49 45

White Balance calibration settings for Digital Cinema mode.

Epson HC4010 Calibration Images
Digital Cinema Mode (HDR Mode 2 / Auto) Post-Calibration DeltaE 2000 (target below error of 3)

Brightest Mode Calibration for 4K/HDR – Natural Mode

My last calibration was a Brightest Mode for 4k/HDR. I used Natural Mode (high lamp) and saved it to memory 3. I kept the color temp to 6500 and skin tone to 4 just like I did for my Best Mode (1080p) calibration. This combination gets you the closest to D65 but like color temp 6500 its still runs a little blue on the high end of the grayscale. After using the 2-point white balance I was able to improve grayscale and achieve a DeltaE that was not as good as I had achieved using Digital Cinema. The high and low end was excellent averaging around 1 but 40 to 60IRE bumped up between 3 to 5.

Epson HC4010 Calibration Images
Natural Mode (HDR Mode 2 / Auto) Post-Calibration RGB Balance / Grayscale Tracking (target D65)

Like with my Best Mode 4K/HDR calibration I left Super White off and increased contrast to 65. With HDR set to Auto/Mode 2 the EOTF (gamma) tracked a little brighter as you would expect without employing the color filter with the low end overly bright and the high end a little dark. Again, most viewers will most likely prefer the brighter image you get with HDR Mode 1/Auto (Bright). As I mentioned earlier using Natural mode for 4K/HDR will gain you more lumens compared to Digital Cinema mode (2077 lumens to be exact) but at the peril of DCI/P3 color accuracy (see advanced calibration page for details).

Epson HC4010 Calibration Images
Natural Mode (HDR Mode 2 / Auto) Post-Calibration (Electro-optical Transfer Function) aka gamma

IRE Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
10 IRE 9930K 10234K
20 IRE 6489K 6674K
30 IRE 6370K 6321K
40 IRE 6418K 6413K
50 IRE 6602K 6530K
60 IRE 6725K 6596K
70 IRE 6791K 6620K
80 IRE 6801K 6620K
90 IRE 6795K 6626K
100 IRE 6790K 6626K

Measurements taken at Mid Placement Normal Lamp.

ETOF (gamma) Post-Calibration: HDR Mode 2/Auto tracked a little brighter than Digital Cinema exhibiting the same overly bright low end and dimmer high end @ 2077 Lumens.

Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Contrast 50 65
Brightness 50 50
Color 50 50
Tint 50 50
Color Temp 6500 6500
Skin Tone 4 4
Gamma 0 0
Super White Off Off
Dynamic Range Auto Auto
Auto Iris High Speed High Speed
Type Pre-Calibration Post-Calibration
Sharpness 5 5
Frame Interpolation Off Off
4K Enhancement n/a n/a
Image Preset Mode 2 1 or 2
Noise Reduction n/a n/a
MPEG NR n/a n/a
Super-resolution 2 2
Soft Focus Detail 2 2
Detail Strength 18 18
Detail Range 20 20
RGB Gain Offset
Red 50 49
Green 50 49
Blue 46 50

White Balance calibration settings for Natural mode.

Epson HC4010 Calibration Images
Natural Mode (HDR Mode 2 / Auto) Post-Calibration DeltaE 2000 (target below error of 3)