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Epson Home Cinema 6500UB - Performance

Posted on October 9, 2013 by Art Feierman

Epson Home Cinema 6500UB Brightness

The Home Cinema 6500UB projector review is the first one Mike did with his new light meter. Unfortunately, the readings seem unrealistically low (our existing gear measures a bit high). We are still sorting this out. In recent blogs on the 6500 UB, we provide both sets of measurements (old and new gear), but we are only reporting our measurements below, with the "old" Optic One setup that Mike and I both use. We will switch to new metering once we solve the new equipment issue. We will then switch over permanently, and will provide a comparison for comparing new reviews against old ones done with different gear, so you will be able to compare apples to apples, in terms of lumens!

The Home Cinema 6500UB is the brightest of the big name 3LCD projectors.

This is true of both "best mode" and "brightest mode" performance. That will likely be a big deciding feature for most of you, certainly any folks looking to use screens larger than 100" diagonal for movie viewing.

Using the same Optic One and Avia Pro setup, here are the numbers for the Epson Home Cinema 6500UB in its different modes. All numbers below are with the lamp at full power (High Brightness), unless otherwise indicated. The lens position is at the mid-point of the zoom range, unless othewise noted:

Home Cinema 6500UB Projector - Uncalibrated:

TheaterBlack1 (best mode): 682 lumens
TheaterBlack2 623 lumens
Theater 715 lumens
x.v.color 736 lumens
Natural 778 lumens
LvingRoom 1688 lumens
Dynamic 2175 lumens

Those comparing to the older 1080 UB may wonder why these numbers are significantly higher.

The answer is the lamp. Not only a newer TORL design, but the lamp is now a 200 watt lamp, up from 170 on the old lamp. Just the increased wattage should yield almost a 20% increase, but other factors in the lamp design add even more lumens.

Zoom out (closest position - wide-angle) 1462 lumens
Mid-zoom 1253 lumens
Zoom in 933 lumens

All measurements reported were done with the zoom at its mid-point. Here are relative numbers from one of the modes, for different lens positioning. (The same ratios would apply to any preset mode):

Low lamp power for TheaterBlack1 measured 531 lumens, about a 22% decrease in brightness, which should be consistent for any of the Preset modes above.

Calibrating TheaterBlack1 (full lamp power) resulted in about a 14% drop compared to the uncalibrated projector - yielding a still impressive, and brighter than average, projected 587 lumens.

Mike's "quick calibration" of Dynamic mode dropped the lumens from 2175 to 1983. The goal of our "quick calibration" is to bring about a slight improvement in that mode's color accuracy, but without sacrificing too many lumens. The desired result is to make watching more enjoyable. We are not creating a "best" mode.

To put the brightness difference between different modes in perspective, the next three images were taken at the same exposure, to show the difference between Dynamic (first), LivingRoom (second), and finally, TheaterBlack1. The differences are so great that Dynamic is over exposed, while TheaterBlack1 is significantly under exposed:


Bottom Line regarding brightness: Those 1983 post calibration lumens in Dynamic mode, make the Epson, by far, the brightest of the 3LCD projectors and provides a maximum brightness that is only beat by a very few projectors, primarily the InFocus IN83 and the Optoma HD81-LV, both are significantly more expensive projectors.

When doing the side-by-side images comparing the Epson Home Cinema 6500UB to the Panasonic PT-AE3000, I had to drop the Epson into low lamp mode, and it still appeared just a tad brighter than the Panasonic at full lamp power. That pretty much says it all.

In "best mode" Epson's calibrated 587 lumens makes it brighter than average for best mode performance, but it can't match the lumens of the Sony VPL-HW10 or the JVC RS1 in their best modes - both are around 800 lumens.

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