Posted on September 9, 2014 By Art Feierman
The Epson Pro Cinema LS10000 is a breakthrough projector for Epson, on several levels: 4K processing, and viewing 4K content, dual laser light source, and quartz reflective panels. All great, but its the picture that truly impresses. The Pro Cinema LS10000 is a 1500 lumen projector that starts shipping in the second half of October 2014.
Update: We received a full production LS10000 for testing in December. After 6 weeks and over 100 additional hours of viewing, it turns out there were only minor differences. An additional LS10000 Review Update was created and published on Feb. 2nd 2015. Click here to read the update.
This projector review is based on extensive use with a pre-production engineering sample, which performed exceptionally well, considering it was one of a handful of early prototypes on a major new projector, not a new version of an existing projector. The LS10000 projector at the time of this writing, (pre-CEDIA) does not have an official price yet, although Epson assures it will be “under $8000.” As a Pro Cinema series, it will not be available online, that it comes with some extras in the box, and a 3 year parts and labor warranty with 3 years of rapid replacement program, for what has to be the best warranty of any projector near its price.
The LS10000 has a lower cost sibling, also price not set yet. That would be the Pro Cinema LS9600e. There are primarily 4 differences between the two. The LS9600e will cost less, it will have wireless HDMI, and it will not have the 4K pixel shifting and 4K source capability. Finally, the LS9600e is rated 1300 lumens compared to the LS10000’s 1500 lumens.
Most impressive, almost dazzling, giving Epson’s LS10000 our Hot Product Award was a no brainer.
I’m not going to discuss the three new technologies/capabilities now, that I mentioned above, other than to say that this Epson uses upscaling, processing and downscaling on 1080p and other “lower resolution” material, but will accept true 4K content, not just movies, and eventually HDTV, but also photos. Those technologies will be covered in depth on the Special Features pages. There’s other things to mention though.
The LS10000 is one cool looking projector. It’s very “euro.” Physically its a bit taller than the competing JVCs and Sonys, but has a smaller footprint.
I should mention now that as a Pro Cinema series, it comes with these extras in the box: Ceiling mount, cable cover, two pair of lightweight 3D glasses. Gone, of course is the usual spare lamp that Epson has been providing for years with Pro Cinema projectors.
Pricing is not formally set at this time. I will probably have this updated within a day or two of the formal announcement at the CEDIA show. For the moment best I have is “under $8000”, which could mean $7999, or, it just might be less.
Let’s talk resolution for just a second. This Epson projector has new panels, using Liquid Crystal on Quartz (not silicon like others). As I mentioned in an earlier blog, that’s sort of fitting since Epson’s watch division – Seiko pioneered quartz watch movements.
While the LS10000 does upscale and offer processing at 4K, ultimately, it must downscale back to the panels which are 1080p. 4K processing, but not true 4K. That’s cool though, considering that in the US, the lowest cost true 4K projector is $14,999, Sony’s VPL-VW600ES. While perceived sharpness is excellent, it still can’t do detail as finely as a true 4K solution. Still, one could say the picture’s sharpness gets closer to true 4K, than it is to un-enhanced 1080p!
So, who’s the competition? Rumor has it Sony’s replacing their 3 year old VW95ES, which started close to $10K, and ends its life at $5999 (lamp based). The most obvious competitors though are the two top of the line JVC’s, listing for $7999 and $11,999 (same basic projector, the expensive one gets hand selected components). These two JVC’s use pixel shifting (JVC calls theirs “e-shift3”. Pixel shifting is what this Epson is doing, when projector in “Super-Resolution 4K.” I don’t have enough details but per Epson, the two brands are doing something similar, but Epson says there are some definite differences as well. Certainly, Runco and perhaps SIM2 offer projectors that compete price wise, but those are much higher end brands, their projectors in the under $15,000 range are relatively basic projectors, so won’t be sporting any sort of 4K processing, etc.
Now that I think about it, projectors are getting scarce in the over $5000 price range, and under $20,000, so it’s good Epson’s jumping in with new projectors to heat up the competition.
OK, let’s get serious! Special Features time…
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