Posted on July 8, 2016 By Art Feierman
The Epson Pro L1505 is a 12,000 lumen, large venue, pixel shifting, laser projector with WUXGA resolution, that can accept a full range of 4K content! It seems almost bargain priced at $21,999!
It is one of seven laser projectors announced spring 2016. All are just starting to ship except for the flagship L2500 (yes, with 25,000 lumens) which will be available later in 2016. This black finished L1505U has an identical twin finished in white: The L1500U. (I’m not counting them separately when I say 7 laser projectors.) Consider that everything in this review about the L1505 also applies to the L1500 Epson laser projector. My understanding is that the L2500 will also be available in both black and white finishes.
Note: Watch our short video review of these projectors here.
Epson sure isn’t the first player with high powered laser projectors. Panasonic, I believe got the ball rolling perhaps 3+ years ago, and there’s plenty of competition these days, but Epson, long known for having the largest overall marketshare of the projector industry, and by far the most models (over 150 different projectors listed on their website), is now fully committed to large venue solutions, with a full lineup from 6000 lumens to 25,000 lumens. The feature sets are pretty similar across the lineup but there are a number of differences besides brightness. The L1505 and L1500 are almost, but not quite as feature laden as these Epson laser projectors get. But even the lowest end models are well endowed.
Let’s concentrate on the L1500 and L1505 going forward, with just the occasional comment about the others, where they differ. I will almost certainly review one of the lower powered laser projectors several months from now, probably a 7000 or 8000 lumen projector.
This review is a bit shorter than normal. In part that’s due to our only having use of the L1505 projector for a single week, before having to return it so Epson could show it at Infocomm. (June 2016.) In fairness, they provided a pre-production sample unit. If pre-production laser projectors are similar in how they perform compared to full production, then we can expect production units will have slightly improved color tables (for better color) and perhaps more brightness. As a result we did not do the usual measurements of brightness and color temperature in the different modes.
Even without adjustment, most modes (as is the case with most Epsons, and for that matter most other high end projectors), provided extremely good color performance in line with what we would expect.
This is one massively powerful projector. It’s geared for large and medium sized auditoriums, the largest university classrooms, mega (and just plain really large) churches, museums, command and control centers, airports, rental and staging operations and more.
When Epson says these two versions can easily handle a 25 foot diagonal screen, they aren’t kidding.
Of the photos in the player above, the last four are of 4K content, with one (the runways) being a super close zoom in on the image before it, to demonstrate the 4K/pixel shifting abilities.
In addition to traditional large venue presentations, these Epsons are ready to be used in groups of up to nine projectors for edge blending and projection mapping applications including some serious digital signage. The selection of inputs and connectors is seriously impressive, and it must be noted that the HDMI is 2.0 with support for HDCP 2.2 which means the latest – and means support for commercial 4K content such s Blu-ray UHD.
It worked fine with my 4K UHD player, I re-watched The Martian on the L1505U last evening, (one of several 4K UHD discs I own). Very interesting, as the last time I viewed it, I was using a 2000 lumen projector, but this time, on my 124″ screen, The Martian, with the brightness dialed way down, at times was almost too bright to watch. BTW with the pixel shifting on and set to WUXGA+ (4K), the image was impressively sharper looking compared to watching it in 1080p. It may not be true 4K, content appears much sharper than a normal 1080p projector. More on that in the special features and picture quality sections, as there are always some trade-offs.
I have to apologize for this ridiculously long (yet truncated) list, but when you get into these larger commercial projectors, there are a whole lot of capabilities. The L1505 laser projector is especially well endowed:
How would this compare to the Epson 5040 for Home theater use? I’m planning on a 190” wide scope screen and will be using lens memory/zoom to go between formats so I need a lot of lumens. I am thinking the l1100 with 6000 lumens might be a good option for now but sure how much worse black levels would be
Mark, no the L1100’s black levels will not be like the 5040UBs – definitely not as good overall. I just don’t know what to recommend that’s in the 5000 or more lumens, but really good home theater black levels. Oh there’s Sony’s $60K VW5000ES (5000 lumens 4K). Unfortunately while there are some bright 4K UHD DLP laser projectors they are geared for business not home. Again, not great black levels. -art
Thanks Art! I’m still not sure what I’ll do but if I do get one I’ll be sure to pass along any feedback. I read some posts on AVS Forum about someone getting a BenQ LK970 and used a Oppo 203 to process HDR and the added lumens supposedly made for a great image. Hopefully we’ll see more high lumen projectors hit the sub 10k mark for Home theater soon
Mark, I’m with you. we need some well thought out high brightness projectors. I use an Epson Pro Cinema G6550 in my very bright living room, (5200 lumens) but it’s just a big old commercial projector with some home theater marketing. Nothing is optimized for home, and the dynamic iris is a clunker, in more ways than one. We never use it for movies, but its a hit for superbowl. The setup you describe sounds interesting, the Oppo 203 is highly regarded. Not familiar with that BenQ. -art
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