Pixel Shifting - A Plus for 2K, an Alternative to 4K
Pixel shifting can do good things. I want to first say though, that taking a 2K projector and adding pixel shifting cannot match a true 4K projector! The question is, how close can it get when fed 4K content?
All but the last two images in this player used 4K content (and show pixel shifting/processing On, Off), those last two are 1080i doing pixel shifting Off, On). While there's noticeable improvement with pixel shifting on on 2K content, the end result is even better when the Pro G7905 is fed 4K content.
The differences on the screen were greater - more visible - because the heavy compression and scaling of these images for the web, takes a real toll, by reducing overall quality of all these images, thus rendering the differences less noticeable!
The Epson G7905U projector can accept content up to, and including true 4K content (multiple 4K resolutions). When fed 4K content, this Epson projector will use pixel shifting to fine tune the image to more closely resemble 4K sharpness and detail. That's because the pixel shifting fires each pixel twice, but shifting the location by 1/2 pixel diagonally. With good image processing, that can more closely emulate the original 4K content. Still each pixel is 4X the size of a true 4K pixel, so while the benefits are clearly visible, the G7905 cannot match a true 4K projector when extremely fine lines are being reproduced, (even if a noticeably superior to basic 2K), but it can come shockingly close on more general images.
It really comes down to what makes the most sense. As you can see in these images above, there are pairs of 4K content, with pixel shifting turned On and Off for comparison. The difference is impressive. I will reshoot some of these images the next time a true 4K projector comes through here (that will be in the next month or so), using a true 4K projector for comparison.
The point is, that small type, fine details that can't be made out with a basic 2K - WUXGA (or 1080p) projector, can often be resolved with pixel shifting. Is it a night vs day difference? No, not quite, but enough to make a real readability difference on CAD, engineering, and scientific drawings, renderings, and anything else demanding max detail, by taking items that are just not quite readable, and turn them into just readable!
Where does this pixel shifting Epson get us, compared to a true 4K projector?
Depending on what you are looking at, I'd say, perhaps half way there. Give or take.
Why is that important? Well, mostly because true 4K projectors cost at least 4X-5X their 2K counterparts. Consider this. Sony 5,000 lumen true 4K laser projector: $60,000. This Epson pixel shifting 7000 lumen G7905U is $6499.
These Epson's do lose some advanced features when 4K pixel shifting is used