Epson Pro-Cinema LS9600e Projector Review – Performance 2

EPSON PRO-CINEMA LS9600e PROJECTOR:  Post-Calibration Grey Scale, Color Performance & Brightness, Contrast Ratio

Post-Calibation Grey Scale, Color Performance & Brightness

 

LS9600e Natural Final calibrated-grey scale

Grey Scale and Color Temperature – The out-of-the-box grey scale in Natural Picture Mode had too high a color temperature, with excessive blues.  Calibration produced the above grey scale results (showing IRE levels 20 through 100).  The grey scale had an average dE of 1.2 and with a maximum dE of 2.3, at 60 IRE.

After calibration the color temperature averaged 6491K and varied between 6429K and 6608K at IRE levels between 30 IRE and 100 IRE.

Color Accuracy – After doing an initial color gamut calibration using 100% color saturation levels I checked for correct tracking at lower saturation levels.  I found that the Blue primary was undersaturated at 75% and lower saturation levels.  This is not really unusual as most projectors will have non-linear tracking of color saturation for one or several of the primary or secondary colors.  Once I saw this, I decided to go ahead and do the final calibration using a 75% saturation level as the reference since having correct color saturations at mid-levels is more important that at just the highest saturation level.  The CIE chart below shows the color gamut results for the 75% reference color saturation level

LS9600e Natural calibrated75-gamut
Post-Calibration Color Gamut at 75% Saturation

After completing the calibration at the 75% saturation level the dE values ranged between 0.4 and 0.7 or essentially dead on the correct color points.

I then went back and checked the color gamut at 100% saturation without further changes to the calibration settings and found that the dE for the blue primacy color measured 3.0 while the dE values for the other primary and secondary colors varied between 0.5 and 2.1.  These values for the 100% saturation level are still reasonably good and the values for the lower saturations levels (i.e., 75%, 50% and 25%) are even better.

The figure below shows the color gamut at saturation levels of 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%.  At saturation levels from 25% through 75% the max. dE was only 1.2 – truly excellent.

LS9600e Natural calibrated75-multigamut

 

Brightness – The calibrated brightness was measured at 809 lumens, with the contrast adjustment set to 0, which allowed the projector to display just up to the video standard white reference level of 235 and not above.  I personally like to have a some of the higher “whiter-than-white” levels above 235 visible.  So I lowered the contrast adjustment setting to -3 which allowed video levels up to 240 to be visible, but at the cost of reducing the lumens to 757 when projecting a reference white 100 IRE pattern.

Contrast Ratio

Here at Projector Review we do not normally report the contrast ratio of projectors, home theater or otherwise.  However, since the LS9600e and LS10000 are Epson’s first projectors using their variation of LCoS (i.e., LCD-Reflective), I really wanted to see how they would measure for this technical parameter.

I first measured the native on/off contrast ratio (CR).  I turned off the dynamic contrast feature because when using a fully black test pattern, the projector would simply turn off the lasers and this would prevent learning what the true native on/off contrast ratio would be.   I first did my CR measurements in calibrated Natural mode and with the zoom lens at it mid-point.  With that configuration, I measured:

16,417:1 on/off Native CR w/manual iris fully open in Calibrated Mode

24,668:1 on/off Native CR w/manual iris max closed in Calibrated Mode

Next I configured the projector to what I suspected would produce the maximum on/off CR.  This is in Dynamic Picture Mode with the manual iris set to it maximum closed position and the lens set for minimum zoom (i.e., as would be used at maximum throw distance).  The results were:

31.822:1 on/off Native CR w/manual iris max. closed in Dynamic Picture Mode

These are excellent on/off native CR values and a better than even the flagship Sony 4K projector and substantially better than Sony’s current 1080p models (e.g., VW55es).  However, they are a little lower than the on/off CR performance for JVC’s entry level models (e.g, DLA-RS4910 or X500).

Next I measured the ANSI CR in the calibrated Natural picture mode and with the zoom at it mid-position.  All projectors measure much lower for ANSI CR where the test pattern is a checkerboard pattern with alternating black and white squares.   The results for the LS9600e were:

334:1 ANSI CR w/manual iris fully open in Calibrated mode

310:1 ANSI CR w/manual iris max. closed in Calibrated mode

As for the ANSI CR performance, the Sonys usually measure a little higher while the LS9600e’s performance is similar to the current generation of JVC projectors.

 

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