Epson Powerlite Pro G6900WU Projector Review – Special Features 2

POWERLITE PRO G6900WU SPECIAL FEATURES PAGE 2:  Color Lumens, Split Screen, DICOM (medical imaging) Presenting, Electrostatic air filter, Edge blending

Color Lumens and White Lumens

In the image above, the projected image on the left is from a 3LCD projector (that just happens to be a much less expensive Epson), the one on the right, from a single chip DLP projector (a Mitsubishi).  Both projectors were in their brightest modes).  No wonder that 3LCD and LCoS projector makers love to pick on single chip DLP projectors that use color wheels, especially those with clear slices on the color wheels.  Why is this important?  Well, if you don’t have as many color lumens as white lumens, things can never be fully right.

Short version is that Epsons including this one, offer an equal amount of color and white lumens, while some projectors offer a lot of white, but can’t muster up as much color.  For openers, that makes colors harder to see if there’s ambient light.

As a result, many DLP projectors with such color wheels measure lots of white lumens in their brightest modes, but typically have a real problem producing a decent red or yellow in those brightest modes.  Over the years, even before the new Color Lumens standard was established in 2012, we had shown and discussed the these differences in many reviews, going back about a decade.

Often with projectors without lots of color lumens, you have to surrender as much as 50% of total brightness to end up with reasonably good reds and yellows.   But those whites are bright.  Of course, 3LCD and LCoS projectors don’t put their best colors up, in brightest mode, but most will have some good looking color, just 10-15% below maximum brightness.

One result, therefore, of not as many color lumens, is that in a picture (projector in bright modes) let’s say there’s a bright scene, and a balloon that’s supposed to be almost pure red in color.  With low color lumens, the balloon would definitely not appear to be as bright as it should, and likely not as pure red.  For those interested, we created a video to demonstrate the color vs white lumen issue (the image above is from that video), so for those interested, click on Color Lumens!

Although we only measured color lumens for our video and a few other times, this Epson does have good, saturated color in all of its modes.  The brightest mode (Dynamic)  is the least accurate in terms of color, but still not bad at all, capable of respectable reds and yellows, just a bit too much green.  The other color modes, all more accurate/better balanced, are within 20% or so of the brightness of Dynamic mode.

Split Screen Viewing on the G6900WU

The G6900 is very capable at split screen viewing.  It allows for two equal sized images to be placed side by side, using computer or video content.  As is typical, not all combinations of inputs will work, but there’s several good combinations that do.

Both screens are “live”, that is you can, for example run videos in both simultaneously.  We’ve seen some projectors in the past that could put up one active window, and one frozen one.  That’s not near as capable.  The Epson’s split screen works very nicely.  Both images can be the same size, or one image can be roughly twice the size of the other.  You can switch which image is on which side, change which audio is used, or exit from the Menu button once you are in the Split Screen mode (which happens when you hit the Split Screen button on the remote).

The only issue with the Split Screen viewing, is that it can take some time. Typically it seems to take 6-12 seconds to do it’s split screen thing, from the time you press the button on the G6900WU.   I only tried feeding two sources, one was HDMI, and the other a standard computer “VGA” (analog), the HDMI was 1080i, while the VGA was WUXGA, the max output from my MacBook Pro.   Sometimes it takes a while.   On one or two occasions, when I tried to switch the left side to the right side, I got a lot of flashing of the VGA, source, and it still wouldn’t stabilize after 30 seconds.  But, I started all over, and the next time, it grabbed it correctly in about 10 seconds.  So, it works well enough, once you have your two sources set up, but can have a bit of a problem locking on, on occasion, so you probably don’t want to be going in and out of Split Screen a lot, during a presentations if this is typical.  Only the VGA gave me problems, the HDMI had not issues..

DICOM Presenting

DICOM is a standard for viewing medical images such as CAT-scans, MRIs, X-rays, PET-scans etc.  A number of commercial projectors out there today do support DICOM Simulation, which means they are rated to be able to project such images at a quality level suitable for presentations and instructions.

The bottom line is that the G6900WU is more than suitable for medical presentations by all types of radiologists, neurologists, and so on, be the presentation for other doctors, or for patients.  Epson certainly isn’t the only player with DICOM abilities.  Canon, for one has been offering DICOM on a number of projectors for years.  Today a small but noteworthy portion of the over $3000 projectors seem to offer it.  That’s a lot more than a year or two ago.

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10,000 Hour Electrostatic Filter

Epson uses an electrostatic filter on the G series projectors.  The 10,000 life is, of course, exceptionally long.  Even in Eco mode, this projector claims 4000 lamp life, so we’re talking about only changing the filter every two lamp changes or longer.

That should keep the cost of operation under control. And while no filter at all, is even simpler, if you’ve ever looked inside an old PC to see “inches” of dust and dirt covering everything inside, you can appreciate that no filter at all, can’t be a good thing, as the more such dust that exists, the hotter the device is likely to operate.

Thus, a long life filter that easily outlasts the lamps, makes really good sense.

Edge Blending

With edge blending, you can stitch the images of multiple G series Epson projectors together to create extremely wide images, such as a 120 degree curved surface.  Or you might have something to display on a wall that works best at 5 feet tall, and 20 feet wide.

Edge blending done properly provides a seamless transition from one projector to the next, so you can’t tell where one projected image stops and the next one begins.   To really pull that off, of course, you also need the color between the projectors to also be close to identical.  Epson has engineered a Multi-Projector color mode, however, we’ve had no ability to try such things, as we only have one projector.

In the old days – 4-5 years ago, to do edge blending you would buy an external processor, and spend a lot of money on it, more than most of these G series projectors sell for.  Today, even the least expensive of the Epson G series projectors have edge blending built in, but this G6900WU, the flagship of the series, is more advanced than the others.  Having edge blending integrated into the projector adds flexibility for digital signage usage, as well as specialty uses such as museums, which in particular seem to love edge blended projections onto curved walls,  even around corners.

Edge blending is just one more feature that Epson has in the series to make sure there just aren’t too many things that this projector can’t do.

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