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Epson's New LS10500 Laser Home Theater Projector - 4K HDR Support

The LS10500 dual laser home theater projector from Epson will ship this fall 2016.  In most ways it is the same as it's predecessor. The LS10500 is a $7999 list price projector sold through Epson's authorized installing dealers in the US.  This model adds additional 4K support.  When the older version first shipped about 20 months ago, it was the first 1080p home theater projector to support 4K content, including commercial content requiring HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 copy protection.  This allowed for working with the - at the time, still un-released requirements for 4K Blu-ray UHD, and as it turns out, for 4K HDTV. With 4K compatibility comes all kinds of new protocols and standards, such as DCI, BT2020, HDR (High Dynamic Range), and additional color depths.  The new standards are upgradeable, as most things are these days, so even today's true 4K projectors may not support everything out there 4-5 years out.  Suffice to say, though, that HDR, is the big update for the LS10500, compared to the earlier LS10000.

Looking down the barrel of the $7999 LS10500 projector, which sports lens memory, 4K compatibility and pixel shifting...

  This now puts Epson's dual laser projector on par, in terms of supporting the latest and greatest, with other 4K content capable 1080p projectors (at this time, that's basically only JVC with three models shipping, none with a laser light engine, and the benefits it brings).
The Epson is rated 1500 color and white lumens, plenty of power for 1080p or standard 4K on large screens up to, and beyond 150" diagonal.  Like all projectors - and for that matter, LCDTVs, in theory, this Epson does come up short of the full brightness that HDR calls for, but, like I just said, so is everything else out there.  We're all playing with HDR, trying to generate the full benefits, but even the calibrators are scratching their heads this early on with HDR.  (Remember, the first HDR capable Blu-ray UHD player has only been shipping for about 5 months, while a couple of additional ones - Philips and Panasonic are just starting to ship.  BTW that Samsung first player has been a bit problematic, frustrating many folks, so perhaps when I get in one of the others (ordering right after I see them at the show), life will be simpler - especially with HDR. Back to the LS10500.  This projector uses dual blue lasers, rated 30,000 in Eco mode.    Warranty is 3 years parts and labor with 3 years of rapid replacement program, should a warranty issue crop up in those first three years.  Great warranty and support.
The LS10500 supports lens memory for those of us who prefer to use wide "Cinemascope" type screens with the correct aspect ratio for most movies. This is a pixel shifting projector, it's 1080p panels fire twice, shifting pixels 1/2 diameter, up to the right, to double the number of pixels to 4 megapixels.  By comparison, true 4K is native 8 megapixels.  Some folks call projectors like this one "Faux-K" rather that 4K, which is fair.  Even the first crop of 4 megapixel native projectors are still "Faux-K".  In other words, true 4K - still $9999 and up, has smaller pixels, which is fair, considering that's more money, and this projector is more advanced (including being a laser) than the lowest cost true 4K models.  We of course will discuss all the trade-offs when we review the LS10500. Let's say, this Epson has a good pedigree, the older LS10000 won our Best In Class Award in 2015 for the best projector from $3500 to $10,000.  With the addition of HDR, and other refinements, the LS10500 can only be better still. We definitely will be reviewing this Epson (hopefully in my theater, for many, many, months)!  -art  

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