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Epson Pro Cinema LS10000 Laser Home Theater Projector Review - Special Features 3

Posted on September 9, 2014 by Art Feierman
PRO CINEMA LS10000 LASER PROJECTOR:  SPECIAL FEATURES PAGE 3:  Lens Memory, Pixel Alignment control, Networking for firmware updates.  3D

Pro Cinema LS10000 Lens Memory

Epson's been making home theater projectors back to about 2002 or 2003 if I recall correctly.  In all those years Epson has never offered a home projector with powered lens features.  Now for the most part, no one would care, except that if you have power lens zoom, focus and lens shift, it gives you the ability to choose to go with a "Cinemascope" shaped screen - basically 2.35:1 or 2.40:1 (the two most popular shapes), instead of 16:9 (1.78:1).   (Note, you can do lens memory with only power zoom and focus, and a lot of vertical digital image shifting, as Panasonic has for years, but having power lens shift makes more sense.)

Finally, Epson delivers all three powered features in the LS10000 (and LS9600e), and the ability to set up  to 10 different memory settings (more than necessary, but why not).  I immediately set up the Lens Memory to support 2.35:1 to match my Stewart Studiotek 130's aspect ratio.  I then set another memory to fill the same screen with 16:9 content (letterbox on the sides).  Then, just because I have a second screen behind the first one, I have the option of using two more memories to match my 100"  16:9 screen as well. The bottom line is that with Lens Memory, its easy to own a true widescreen screen, to match most movies.  

Pixel Alignment Controls

Like many very good 3 panel/chip projectors (including Epson's UBs), there's a panel alignment feature, since three panels are never perfectly aligned.  This Epson's panel alignment works like the other Epsons (and very similar to Sony, etc), in that you select a color say, red to start, and it puts up a grid.  If the red is a little below the green and blue components of the white grid lines, you adjust it up/down, left/right.  You start in the upper left corner, followed by upper right, lower right, lower left.   Then repeat, adjusting blue.   You can then, if still not satisfied, realign the grid near the center.  It takes 5 minutes or so to accomplish a good alignment.

With this type of digital alignment the projectors use image processing to try to compensate.  It's not an ideal solution, a single chip design (DLP only), is inherently is superior in this one regard.  Still it definitely helps.  Most HT projectors 3LCD, LCoS or 3 chip DLP over $2000 these days seem to offer it. One thing to note, the controls made noticeable improvement on this particular LS10000.

 

One interesting thing of note, you can align the projector panels for 2D, but when you put on 3D content, the Pixel Alignment feature does not work, or rather, the alignment is turned off.

This engineering sample has a lot more mis-alignment than I would expect on any decent production projector, so when I switch to 3D, it becomes easily noticeable when you are looking for it.  The two images here show 2D, and 3D.  2D is post alignment and looks darn good. That menu in 3D is a mess, with red looking to be off by more than 1 pixel vertically.  I repeat, I don't believe Epson would consider anywhere near this much alignment to be acceptable in a production unit.

And yet the picture looks great in 3D as well.  I therefore expect final production LS10000 projectors to appear even sharper than this one, by virtue of a cleaner alignment since it won't have to start with so much error.  The improved sharpness will be subtle, of course, but considering the image this LS10000 is already capable of, I can't wait to see one at it's best.

Networking Built-In

I'll keep this one short.  Thanks to the ethernet RJ45 connector, and built in networking you can plug the LS10000 right into your router.  This will allow you to do firmware upgrades easily if they are provided. It also offers up opportunities to use apps to control the projector, wirelessly from phones and tablets, to the router, and from there to the projector.

In the time I've had the projector here, I have not yet tried to plug it into my home network, even though the projector currently sits less than 10 feet from my router.  I did, however include some networking menus in the menu section on the Hardware pages.

3D and 480hz technology

3D capabilities of the LS10000, vary depending on the source material, which is not too surprising. First of all, the projector does not support 4K 3D source material, and that's reasonable since there are no consumer standards, we're just finally getting 2D 4K standards.

When viewing 1080 resolution content, there's still variation. If you put in a 3D movie on Blu-ray (24fps), the LS10000 allows you to use the Super-Resolution 4K settings that use the pixel shifting.  You can also use CFI at the same time as both of those.

Switch to 60fps content that I recorded off of HDTV, and the 3D works fine, but does not allow either CFI or Super-Resolution. As 3D is its own magic, I'm not overly concerned on the limitations of 60fps considering the limited HDTV in 3D. More importantly how does the 3D look?

This Epson has excellent 3D.  It is virtually crosstalk free as best I can tell from viewing.    Again, I stress, the Epson does not support 3D with 4K content.  Epson pointed out there are no consumer standards for that, at this time.

What's interesting is that unlike the other Epson projectors the LS10000 (and LS9600e, I presume), do not have a "brightness" control for the 3D glasses.  In the past there were Low, Medium, and High settings, High being the brightest, with the most crosstalk.  I favored the middle setting, very modest crosstalk still bright.

 

Click Image to Enlarge

As mentioned above, the projector does NOT have support for 3D source material in 4K. Also of note, is that when watching 3D with 24fps content, you can use CFI (smooth motion) and Super-Resolution (including 4K pixel shifting).  When switching to 60fps 3D though you lose the ability to use both Super-Resolution, and CFI.  Note that standard and advanced Sharpening, and Detail Enhancement features still work.

I have no idea why this Epson looks so clean on 3D, it's about as good as I think I've ever seen on a non-single chip DLP projector, and those have no crosstalk at all.

Epson offers their own light weight, rechargeable RF glasses for 3D (shown above), but there are plenty of 3rd party universal glasses that work with Epson projectors, I know, I've have a couple models of XPAND glasses and two pair of Samsung 3D glasses for group viewing with the LS10000.

Let's talk 3D processing from a different angle.  That would be 480hz processing.  By processing that fast, there are narrower slices of on and off possible than slower processing.  Since crosstalk occurs when one eye is seeing (briefly) what was intended for the other eye, this helps.  As Epson explains it, this means when one eye needs to be closed while the other side of the glasses are open, they can control the "how long" it's closed (or on) in shorter increments.  They've been doing that for several years though, so, while that helps explain improved crosstalk, it doesn't explain why this Epson seems so much more crosstalk free than Epson UB's and others.

Gone are the three glasses settings that determine how long the glasses shutters stay open, that are found on other Epsons (Sony uses two "speeds").  On other Epsons, there's a High setting with a lot of crosstalk, Medium with a more modest amount, and Low, which is the cleanest, but the LS10000 is a lot cleaner than the Low on the Epson 5030UB.   Perhaps they dropped the control, because its not needed, or because 3rd party glasses always ignored those choices.

That means you can buy extra 3D glasses from under $20 each!   Invite the friends!

I'd guess that the LS10000 is cleaner than the 5030UB even in the UB's low (cleanest mode - Low, and the UB's are pretty darn good for non single chip DLPs).  Brightness in 3D and

3D Brightness:  Dynamic mode is sufficient to do a reasonable job on brightness at 124" diagonal.  No one will accuse it of being too bright, but it's not bad.  It's comfortably But I'm writing this section while toggling between Hubble 3D on my DVR, (I have it on disc too), and The Hobbit on Blu-ray 3D.

Now I've never considered my self very sensitive to crosstalk, but I really do find it virtually undetectable.  I'm not sure what technology is responsible, but I am truly impressed. There's definitely a dramatic difference between this projector's 3D and the JVC's (RS49/4910/X500R we reviewed earlier this year.  JVC had made some major improvements to their, but had previously been trailing the competition.  I'm pretty certain that the last JVC here is not even close to the LS10000 when it comes to how clean the 3D is.

The Epson to me seems virtually as clean as a good single chip DLP.  If you like 3D, you will love it on this projector.  I'm viewing The Hobbit (actually the 2nd part - Desolation of Smaug), with CFI on Low and Super-Resolution on 4K-3.  Awesome! A thought - perhaps Epson dumped the 3 settings because they don't need them with this design, or perhaps its both that and 3rd party 3D glasses couldn't understand those differences (ignored that setting).

This is the sharpest looking 3D I've seen since watching 3D (1080p material) on Sony's true 4K VW600ES.  That's saying a lot.  There are additional comments about 3D in the 3D section under Picture Quality, where I discuss color.

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