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Performance
5
Features
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Intended Use:
Home Theater
Epson Pro LS9600e Projector Epson Pro LS9600e
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Street Price: n/a
Lumens:1300
Weight: 39.7 lbs
Resolution:1920x1080
Aspect Ratio:16:9
Technology:3 LCD
Lens:2.1x powered
Lens Shift:H + V
Lamp Life:30,000 Hrs
30,000 (eco)
Lamp Cost:n/a
Warranty:3 year
Connectors:  Composite, Component, VGA In, HDMI, HDMI (MHL), Network, Wireless Networking, RS232, 12-Volt Trigger
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 1080p/24, 1080p/30, 1080p/50, 576i, 576p

Epson Pro Cinema LS9600e
1080p Laser Projector

Bill Livolsi, December 4, 2014

Key Features

Reflective LCD. The LS9600e is a three-chip reflective projector. Epson calls their new imaging technology "3LCD Reflective," similar to Sony's "SXRD" and JVC's "D-ILA." They are all essentially LCoS, though Epson describes their chips as using a quartz substrate. Quartz is a silicon oxide crystal, and the silicon found in electronics is crystalline already, so it's not clear if there's a meaningful difference between 3LCD Reflective and other forms of LCoS. In any case, the LS9600e demonstrates all of the familiar strengths of LCoS, such as impressive contrast and a minuscule inter-pixel gap.

Laser light source. Epson's LS series projectors are the first 100% laser projectors for home theater, and their performance is encouraging. The LS projectors use a combination of laser diodes and a phosphor wheel to create red, green, and blue light. Unlike LEDs, lasers can easily match the lumen output of high-pressure lamps. And unlike some LED/laser hybrids, pure laser projectors have accurate, life-like color. Like other solid-state technologies, laser diodes will last much longer than high-pressure lamps. Epson estimates laser life at 10,000 hours in full power mode and 30,000 hours in eco-mode. The laser source will continue to run beyond these limits, but this is the point at which lumen output is anticipated to reach 50% of its initial brightness. By industry convention, this is considered "end of life." High-pressure lamps also tend to lose about 25% of their lumen output in the first 500 hours of use, whereas lasers degrade linearly, so they tend to stay brighter longer.

Customizable brightness. In a properly light-controlled theater, you don't need a super bright projector if you have a smaller screen. To this end, the LS9600e includes a manual lens iris that can cut light output by up to 65% in roughly 5% intervals. There are also three power settings for the laser: High (100%) power, Medium (80%) power, and Low (60%) power. Combining these two options allows you to fine tune the lumen output for a wide variety of screen sizes and types.

Lens Memory. The LS9600e is capable of 2.4:1 constant image height (CIH) projection without the use of an external anamorphic lens. Lens Memory allows you to save up to ten zoom, focus, and lens shift locations and then return to those saved settings with the push of a button. When paired with a 2.4:1 screen, the LS9600e can zoom and shift for perfect placement of super-wide movies, then zoom back down for 16:9 content. The Lens Memory system is quick and quiet, and there are direct-access buttons on the remote for memory locations 1 and 2.

Detail. The LS9600e includes two separate but interrelated systems that enhance fine detail in source material. The first, Super Resolution, helps to better define edges to give the image a sharper appearance without ringing or other ugly artifacts. Super Resolution has been a staple feature of Epson's home theater projectors for years now, and each year's system is better than the last. The second system, Detail Enhancement, claims to refine surface detail. The combined effect is, in a word, stunning. Even reference-quality Blu-ray movies benefit from this processing, giving them a sense of clarity and texture not found in the original source.

The Super Resolution and Detail Clarity systems are adjusted independently, and there are no "correct" settings. Live television benefits from higher settings, while movies look more natural with less enhancement.

Frame Interpolation. Epson was an early adopter of frame interpolation, and they've had a lot of time to get it right. So it's not surprising that the LS9600e has a frame interpolation system that is both effective and subtle, with little digital video effect in the High setting and none at all in Low. We use Low for 24p film and it drastically reduces judder in camera pans and rapid motion. The Medium and High settings are more aggressive, but are well-suited to digital video, television, and live performances.

Excellent noise reduction. Traditionally, noise reduction has involved a trade-off between noise and fine detail. On most projectors, using noise reduction results in a softer picture. But the LS9600e's noise reduction system, even on its lowest settings, removes a surprising amount of digital noise from the picture without softening the image in any perceivable way. Pushing NR to maximum will still soften the image, but we never found it necessary to do so, even on particularly noisy transfers.

Great Placement flexibility. The LS9600e uses a 2.1:1 zoom lens with powered zoom, focus, and lens shift adjustments. The lens shift is especially generous, allowing a total range of 2 2/3 image heights and two image widths. During adjustments, the shift will stop itself upon reaching center position, easily allowing you to find the neutral position again if needed.

Panel Alignment. All three-chip projectors run the risk of convergence issues, which occur when one or more of the imaging chips drifts out of alignment. The Panel Alignment feature of the LS9600e allows you to make small adjustments to the projector's convergence without sending it in for service. This reduces downtime and ensures the best possible picture for years to come, even after your warranty period ends.

Low Audible noise. The LS9600e is among the quietest projectors we've (not) heard recently. The projector's fan rises to a low hum during startup, but after a minute or two, the fan settles down and the projector is whisper quiet. If you are more than a foot or two away from the projector, you won't hear a thing unless you turn off your speakers and listen really hard.

WirelessHD. The LS9600e uses the same WirelessHD transmitter included with other Epson "e" projectors, such as the Home Cinema 6030UBe and the Home Cinema 3600e. The transmitter has five HDMI inputs, one HDMI output (to connect to a TV or other display), one optical audio output, a USB port (for charging 3D glasses), and some buttons up top for changing sources. All of the transmitter's functions can be controlled from the projector's remote control. The integrated controls, internal receiver, and abundance of connections give WirelessHD on the LS9600e a significant advantage over an after-market wireless HDMI product.

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Comments (11) Post a Comment
gil arroyo Posted Dec 5, 2014 10:47 AM PST
please review the production release of the LS10000.
Darin Posted Dec 5, 2014 11:48 AM PST
It would be interesting to hear how the images from the LS9600e and LS10000 compare to the JVC RS49 (or RS4910). It looks to me like the best street prices on the JVCs are a fair amount lower than either of these Epsons even though the RS49 and RS4910 are more expensive than the Sony HW55.

Thanks, Darin
gary cubeta Posted Dec 7, 2014 8:19 PM PST
How does the Epson LS10000 look if you use ECO mode and try and save the laser? Is it just a dark mess on a 135 inch screen?
Joe Smith Posted Dec 8, 2014 1:48 PM PST
the 9600 seems way overpriced as the review says. It is excellent but not much different looking than the Sony 55 and even the JVC500, both are much cheaper than the 9600 and the JVC will have 4k eshift on it the LS10000 is the one in the Epson line; I am baffled why they released the 9600; I don't think it will sell very well
JonnyBlaze Posted Jan 2, 2015 12:10 PM PST
The Epson is a reflective laser projector capable of true black like an OLED TV plus it does not require bulbs. It out classes a Sony 55 by a mile.
Alex Posted Jan 5, 2015 12:13 PM PST
IMHO anyone that is interested in one of these babies for their home theater would also want to know the 'price' of the replacement lamp as compared to Sony or other competitors... hopefully the price will auto-adjust (be dynamic) as it drops that way the review content remains as relevant as the 'real-life' cost of ownership.

Just a suggestion of what I am looking for in a review.
Jacob Posted Feb 28, 2015 12:07 AM PST
^^Alex

The cost of the bulb is not present because it is a bulb-less projector. The second section of this review in addition to comments from others have clarified this most explicitly.
John Posted Mar 3, 2015 8:14 PM PST
Okay, there is no bulb... so, is the laser itself replaceable? If you run it in high mode and get only 10k hours out of it... well, bulb-less isn't much of a selling point in that case, if it means you have to replace the whole projector.
Jack Posted Mar 4, 2015 5:33 PM PST
I am impressed with the video the price is a setback. Being the first of its kind,I'm sure the next generations will be cheaper, more featured, brighter and true 4K.

I think I will wait until the price comes down drastically. I think that would be about a year now.
Wayne Posted Jan 1, 2016 6:20 AM PST
Warning - this projector is noisy and noticeably louder than the previous 1080UB that I own and this is in Mid or ECO power mode. Don't even consider running this projector in High mode unless you don't care about projector noise. Reviewers must be listening to this projector with relative high ambient noise conditions. Currently I have hand built a hush box, as I had for the 1080UB to contain the noise. In a 1/2 inch thick wooden frame containing the projector I can still hear it 15 to 20 feet away. Note that I am awaiting arrival of 1 inch thick damping material that has not been installed yet. Not sure why reviewers state that no one should complain about the noise. I am primarily an audiophile and require minimal background noise in a dedicated home theater room located in the basement.
Ryan Posted Apr 8, 2016 12:44 PM PST
Wrong. We the LS9600 hanging in our store...dead silent. You have something wrong with yours.

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