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Epson Pro Cinema G6900 WU Projector - Picture Quality

Posted on February 24, 2014 by Art Feierman
PRO CINEMA G6900 PROJECTOR - PICTURE QUALITY PAGE 1:  Out of the Box Performance (including color modes), Skin Tones, Black Level Performance

Pro Cinema G6900 - Out of the Box Picture Quality

The Pro Cinema G6900 has multiple modes, and to be honest, not a bad looking one in the batch.  Oh, there's variation, and certainly none looks quite as good as once the projector is calibrated.  That said, even Dynamic, the brightest mode, looks pretty good, untouched and even better with just slight adjustments.

All the modes but one, Presentation, have color temps near the theoretically ideal 6500K specified for movies, etc., but that doesn't mean R,G, and B are in perfect balance.  Presentation mode, compared to the others is a bit cooler, with the color temp at 100 IRE (white) tending to be a bit thin on reds, strong on Blues and also a bit too much green, but not a whole lot.  The image player here shows our test spreadsheet, with it's color charts showing primary, secondary, and in between colors, as well as a woman's face for viewing skin tones.  Note that all the images look a little contrasty (on my computer screen) compared to how they appear on the original projection from the G6900.

One mode:  Multi-Projection appears to be essentially the same as Theatre mode.  Theater mode, Mike determined to be the best one to base his calibration on.  That mode is normally used when more than one of these projectors is used together in an edge blending environment, not something that you find in a home (more likely a museum, or art gallery, or…)

While calibrating the projector gets the colors just about dead on, almost any of these modes is fine for casual viewing, including sports, gaming, and less than critical movie viewing.

Each of our test images displays it's mode in the upper right corner.

All of the images were taken with the same exposure so that you can see the relative differences in brightness.

G6900 Projector - Reproducing Skin Tones

All of the images showing in the player above were taken post calibration.  That said, the G6900 projector wasn't that far off, uncalibrated, especially Theatre mode.  There's probably more color shifting from our processing, and your computer/tablet/smart phone display, than between calibrated and uncalibrated Theatre mode, so know that skin tones are going to look at least very good, even without calibration.

It should be noted that all of these images but the first one in this sequence are from movies off of Blu-ray. Those movies include The Hunger Games, Casino Royale, Spiderman, The Fifth Element, RED (Ernest Bourgnine), and again, The Hunger Games.  The first image is recorded off of DirecTV (1080i), is of a Victoria Secret fashion model from one of their commercials.

Since this projector is more likely to be used with at least some ambient light present, and also more likely to be used for HDTV and especially sports, than movies, you'll have to decide whether it's worth it to you to calibrate this projector.  I would think most of you will be fine, without, and besides, there's always the option of using our calibration settings.  (Both are basic calibration settings, and the Advanced - the CMS calibration of individual primary and secondary colors.

Black Level Performance: G6900 Projector

Not a whole lot to cheer about here, as black level performance is rather basic.  On the other hand, it should be fine when this projector is set up in the type of room, with ambient light present, that it is best suited for.  While we'd like to see every projector that goes into the home have great (or at least very good) black level performance, from a practical standpoint one has to consider the situation, and the content.

Again, this is no home theater projector.  No matter what you would do - eco mode, plus least bright mode, in a fully darkened room such as a home theater, this projector would just be too bright for most folks.  Even on my 124" screen (1.3 gain), I run eco mode, and with all lights off it is a little too bright for my taste, and I'm one of those that really likes bright.  As a result, in the dozens of hours of viewing, it wasn't too often that I didn't have at least some rear lighting turned on.

In a media room or living room where room surfaces are often light colored, and where real darkness may never be achievable due to windows without black out shades, or other reasons, that's a room where the G6900 WU projector would thrive.  And thrive it can, on screens up  to, or even larger than 150" diagonal, if you have any kind of lighting control.  200" diagonal certainly is doable!

So, back to the blacks.  Epson claims a 5000:1 contrast ratio.  That's in conjunction with it's dynamic iris.  All and all, that means we have a projector just a little better than typical business projector black level performance.    Of course, if you've got any ambient light at all, it's going to make huge differences in black levels seem like minor ones, as all the darker areas get washed out a good bit but he ambient light (even small amounts).

Those of you who do want to, and can, fully darken your room, to watch a movie, who are hoping that the black level performance is something akin to Epson's famous UB projectors like the 5030UB and 6030UB, will be disappointed.  Rather, expect blacks to be rather entry level, something along the lines of Epson's 2030 and 3020 projectors.  Or perhaps a DLP projector without an iris, such as the BenQ W1070, all under $2000 projectors.

All's fair, considering that this was first, and foremost built as a large venue commercial projector.  I'll discuss more about the practical side of this Epson projector's black levels on the next page, under Overall Picture Quality.

The gallery here shows you a couple of images that we normally use to demonstrate black level performance.

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