Projector Reviews

Epson Home Cinema 6500UB – Brightness – and new meter

Greetings everyone,

Ahh, issues, issues.  As many of you know, in the first blog on the Epson Home Cinema 6500UB, I reported preliminary brightness readings, taken by Mike, with his new light meter.  Since we know, historically, that our measurements with his (or my) Optic One setup typically reports brightness measurements about 10-20% higher than other reviewers, it becomes important that we provide all of you a basis for comparison.

To do that, we wanted to measure both the Epson, and the Panasonic PT-AE3000 with both our old, and new setup.  That way, you could see, for example, that measurements using the new meter are x% lower than the old meter, so you could compare, say the 1253 lumens on the Epson against the 1116 of the Panasonic.  If the new meter produces 20% lower lumens, then to compare apples to apples, increase the new measurements by 25% or drop the old ones by 20%, etc…

When Mike came over to do that, we discovered that the new meter measurements were not only significantly lower than the old, but to a rather drastic amount, in that we are getting numbers with the new gear, that are now significantly lower than others are reporting.

We suspect the meter.  Again, it’s the holidays so not much we can do about it until next week.

Bottom line, for now, however, is that here are our measurements for the Epson with both the old, and new, equipment.  Use the “old” Optic One measurements, to compare the Epson with previous reviews.  We’ll sort out the metering problem in the next week or two. 

Conclusion: The Epson Home Cinema 6500UB is brighter (relative to other projectors) than the first blog reported.

Here’s the scoop:

Best mode (TheaterBlack 1): 
Old system (Optic One): 682 lumens
New system: 421 lumens

Brightest mode (Dynamic):
Old system: 2175 lumens
New system: 1253 lumens 

The TRUTH and reality, is apparently somewhere between the two different sets of measurements!

The Epson Pro Cinema 7500UB and the international version, the TW5000 should have the same brightness as the Home Cinema 6500UB, although some of the mode names are different.

Now, according to Epson, thanks to the new, and brighter lamp 200 watts vs 170 watts, the 6500 UB should be brighter than the older 1080 UB (despite the same published spec from Epson), and, that too, would tend to support the idea that the new meter is coming up with low readings, as the 1080 UB, was about 468 lumens, if I recall correctly.  Also, the uncalibrated Dynamic mode of the 1080 UB was about 1818 lumens.  

The new meter is measuring significantly lower than other reviewers are reporting.

All sets of measurements above were taken with the lens at the mid-point zoom.

My recommendation.  Until we check the new meter, use the old measurements for comparing with other projectors measurements.  Our measurements will be consistent from review to review, even if consistently higher than other reviewers’ published measurements. 

Our comments regarding brightness relative to screen recommendations and sizes, are subjective, and are based on extensive viewing, not on measurements, so those recommendations are not affected by what meters we use.

The important thing – relative to the first blog, is that this Epson is very bright.  Of the 4 “top of the line” 3LCD projectors – 6500UB, Mitsubishi HC7000, Sanyo PLV-Z3000, and Panasonic PT-AE3000, the Epson is definitely the brightest in brightest mode, and in best mode, although not by great amounts, depending on which projector you compare it to.  That said, there are DLP and LCoS projectors that are brighter in best mode, and only a couple of DLP projectors that can best it in brightest mode, the InFocus IN83, and the Optoma HD81-LV.

Regardless of which set of lumen measurements you stare at, the Epson still doesn’t have the horsepower to fill my 128″ Firehawk G3, in TheaterBlack1 (best) mode.  The Epson does look really good, though when I reduce the image size to the 110″ diagonal range, and I’d say it can be pushed a little more, but, remember the lamp will dim over time, so 110″ is my recommendation, at least for a high contrast gray surface, and a room that doesn’t have dark walls (Dark walls are coming, the room gets painted in less than two weeks).

I will report the measurements from both in the final review.  -art