Projector Reviews

Epson Pro Cinema LS10000 Home Theater Projector Review – Performance 2

PRO CINEMA LS10000 LASER PROJECTOR – PERFORMANCE, PAGE 2:  Sharpness and 4K, Image Noise, Audible Noise

Sharpness - Including 4K Processing and Pixel Shifting

It’s all about the pixel shifting and advanced processing.  The first four pair (roughly full frame, and a close-up)  are true 4K content.  That’s followed by the football pair (1080i) and then a slightly bloody pair from the movie Divergent, and the Enterprise.  The football, Enterprise, and Divergent, all processed at 4K-3, the middle setting with pixel shifting and 4K processing.

The Scrabble info on the coffee cup is pretty easy to read with the Epson, (scene from Skyfall).  The second cup of coffee is the JVC X500R/RS49.   and then the usual Playstation 3 icon, again, Epson first then the JVC.  In both cases the Epson is definitely more defined, and with the relative crispness, is more hardness.  I don’t recall what setting was used with the JVC but it would be using e-shift3 at least at its default setting which is significant.   If the Epson looks to hard on these stills, then, of course it can be dialed back, but it does seem to have the advantage.  Next JVC to come in, we’ll make sure they are direct comparisons.  Still, it’s images like these and others than make me give the advantage to the Epson pending a direct side by side shootout.

The last few images are just good ones to observe.

A reminder, this Epson’s pixel-misalignment is significant, due, no doubt to its early sample status.  The pixel alignment, though helps a great deal.  Looking forward to doing some more viewing with a more tightly aligned production version.

For those of you who skipped the Special Features section you’ll find two sequences showing the effects of incremental Super-Resolution changes, in one case looking at all 10 positions and off.

LS10000 sharpness:  Next best thing (so far) to true 4K projectors.

Image Noise

I didn’t notice any particular noise artifacts.  Background noise levels on video were very modest.  I saw no problem with normal 24fps or 60fps content.

Implementing Epson’s Super-Resolution as reported with other Epson’s will enhance noise as well as the good parts of an image.  Therefore the more you crank up the image processing to get a sharper, more detailed looking image, the more obvious any noise will be.  I repeat here the priest images from The Fifth Element.  Just three this time.  Off, regular Super Resolution 3, and 4K-3.  Again, this frame chosen, because it is so grainy, and therefore serves sort of as a “worst case” for all that processing.  For all the noise at 4K-3 also admire the perceived difference in sharpness.

Look at the background noise in the soft focused wall to the left of the priest, and see how that noise becomes more evident.  Of course you can see the noise in his face equally get enhanced.   As I pointed out, this frame is very grainy on the original movie, and whatever you watch it on.

For perspective, the faces in the last two images look almost infinitely smoother and noise free.  Both are at the  same 4K-3 setting, the Victoria Secret model starting out 1080i, and the other from The Hunger Games, 1080p from Blu-ray.  Close up, you can see some hardness in Jennifer Lawrence’s face, but when moving it looked outstanding, without that feel of hardness, just sharpness.

And as always – looking close up at a still makes flaws much easier to see than watching the scene play out on your screen.

Audible Noise

It’s been years!  Years since Epson has sold a relatively quiet home theater projector.  Virtually all Epson projectors top 30 db at full power, mostly claiming 30 to 33db.

Those aren’t quiet numbers they are on the noisy side of average for home theater projectors.  This goes back to Epson upping the brightness so that most of their models were at least 1600 lumens, and that’s probably 6 years ago.

But here we have a laser projector.  The large dual exhaust out the front barely whisper.  Epson’s a little unclear in that they don’t publish the maximum noise. What they claim is 19 db, with pixel shifting (4K processing or 4K content) turned off.  They don’t publish a number with it on.  No matter, I’ve hardly had that stuff turned off, and this projector is certainly quiet.  It’s almost certainly below 25 db, and that’s quiet enough that essentially no one will complain.   No dynamic iris to make noise either.

Bottom line:  A very quiet projector.  You’ll have to look elsewhere for noise to complain about.