Projector Reviews

Epson Home Cinema 6500UB – CFI revisited with new firmware

Greetings all!

I have now installed the 1.09 firmware upgrade for the Epson Home Cinema 6500UB and Pro Cinema 7500UB, and have preliminary comments regarding the CFI – creative frame interpolation changes.  What a difference!

OK, but first, some of you probably noticed – we had some major problems with the Projector Reviews website today.  It’s mostly fixed now, and should be fully restored in a few more hours (5/6).

Back to the Epson creative frame interpolation.  After getting the new firmware 1.09 installed, I wanted to immediately establish how different it would perform compared to the original CFI.

I am pleased to report initially, that the improvement is dramatic.   Mind you, I’ve hardly played with it, but I started off using The Dark Knight on Blu-ray.  The two scenes I used were from the opening.  The first is the original zoom in shot, of the buildings.  With CFI off it’s not hard to see the continuous, slight jerkiness as the windows came closer and the building on the right zooms past.  I then set the CFI to Normal (the middle position) and watched again. Everything was very smooth.  You can still detect that it’s not perfect, but it is nice and smooth, a major improvement.

Next I viewed at the end of the robbery, the school buses going past.  As each bus goes by you can see the motion artifacts – the “blurring” of the window frames of the buses.

Turn CFI on, and voila’ it’s gone, you can now follow a single window and it’s “clean” without that blurring – almost a doubling.

Bingo!   That’s exactly what was hoped for.  At least in the Normal setting, any motion artifacts caused by the CFI have proved to be very minor, which I would have said the same thing for the Panasonic PT-AE3000.   I have yet to try and spot the differences between Low, Normal and High, but did look quickly at Normal’s performance on one of those scenes, and it too, was much smoother than CFI off.

Next!   The “live digital video” look (soap opera look).  The way over the top affect we saw on the original Epson’s is gone.  I do believe I can see a slight amount in Normal in my viewing, but nothing that I objected to.  I think this is a tendency of all CFI to 120, it has to change something.   Bottom line, looks good so far, but I will spend a lot more time.

Lastly I have not yet tried HDTV, and especially movies coming across on HDTV.  No reason to expect any issues with standard HDTV, but movies (that start as 24fps) converted to 60 for HDTV, completely drove the old firmware crazy, the picture was definitely not something you wanted to watch with CFI on, not even in Low.

From what I’ve seen so far, I expect that the movies over HDTV will be good too, certainly Epson recognized the problem.

After a bit move viewing, probably tomorrow night, I’ll put the Epson up against the Panny for some side by sides with the CFI.

Gotta run, that’s it for now.

PS.  Sony VPL-VW70 in review.  First look blog will likely be tomorrow night. -art