Epson Pro Cinema 6020 Projector - The Bottom Line
This Epson Pro Cinema 6020 is a great projector. For a little extra money, you get a couple of additional features compared to the Home Cinema 5020 UB, a spare lamp, and ceiling mount (and like the 5020, two pair of 3D glasses), a best in class warranty, and the same outstanding picture quality as the 5020 and 5020e projectors offer.
Epson Pro Cinema 6020 3D, Overall: I'm starting here, because considering 3D considers all the individual topics such as brightness, color...
Pro Cinema 6020 3D brightness is improved, noticeably from older generations. That's not so much the projector's native brightness but improvements in 3D handling and new glasses.
Pro Cinema 6020 Color in 3D. Again, improved by virtue of the addition of the THX 3D mode. OK it's not near as bright as 3D dynamic, but if you can deal with the lower brightness, we're looking at some very respectable color, something that has been a real problem with 3D projectors.
What really makes the Epson Pro Cinema 6020 UB better in terms of 3D, though, (besides brightness and color), is drastically better black level performance. This year Epson has allowed dynamic features - most importantly, the dynamic iris, to function in 3D. It really makes the blacks as close to black as you could hope for in 3D.
In summary, in terms of 3D: Better color, brighter, and dramatically better blacks! Not bad for a projector we expected to have only minor improvements over last years. You are definitely getting your money's worth in 3D.
I should also point out, that this is by far the brightest projector we've seen in 3D (for the home). While the Panasonic has similar brightness in 2D, due to glasses, or other aspects, the Epson is significantly brighter in 3D.
Speaking of glasses, this year they are much lighter, more comfortable, and, they are rechargeable, rather than battery. And they are RF, not infra-red. When you look over to your friend, you won't lose the sync, and have to wait a fraction of a second for it to return when you look back to the screen. That's a very nice touch, that makes the projector "more invisible" that is, less intrusive during your viewing experience, which, in this case, is the best yet, in 3D, when you combine all the elements. Not to mention your projector comes with 2 pair!
Picture Quality of the Epson Pro Cinema 6020
Out of the Box - the Epson's THX mode assures you of really impressive, well balanced color, to start with. Gamma is accurate, and very adjustable, including custom settings, should you have the desire.
Color, however, is the key, and THX looks great, if the slightest bit cool. Mike found it easy to adjust, and calibrate properly (better than the older 5010/6010), and the result was very close to dead on color.
OK, color looks great, but that's just the beginning. There's still no projector near the price that can best this Epson in terms of black level performance, even if the Sony can be considered it's equal. Shadow detail was equally excellent. The combination of the two are unmatched so far, with only a JVC to review under $5000 that might compete. If you want better blacks, you'll probably have to start with Sony's much more expensive VW95ES - a $6000 projector - yes, over twice the price, and a higher cost of operation.
Pro Cinema 6020 UB Competition
That Panasonic projector is $700 less, $2799 vs $3499, but does not come with a spare lamp, or ceiling mount. At the time of this writing, Panasonic's rebate ends in a few days. Without that, the Panasonic does not come with 2 pair of 3D glasses (the 6020UB does), and Panasonic's 3rd year warranty (3000 hours max) goes away as well when the rebate ends. Without the rebate, the net pricing is very similar. The Panasonic with the rebate matches up with the Epson Home Cinema 5020.
Will the Pro Cinema 6020 work in your room?
Sporting a 2.1:1 zoom lens, and more vertical and horizontal lens shift than almost anything else out there, nothing can match this Epson as long as you are purchasing a 16:9 screen. If you want to go "wide screen" (2.35:1), you can, because it has an anamorphic lens.
This means you can place the projector relatively close, or, in almost any room, instead, place on a shelf in the back of the room. (you will be giving up some brightness placing it far back as is always the case.)