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Epson Unveils New 4K Home Theater Line

Today Epson announced four new 4K enhanced home theater projectors, two of which are priced below $3,000. The four models announced are these...

1. Home Cinema 5040UB ($2,999). Features include:

  • 4K Enhancement, HDCP 2.2
  • HDR Compatible
  • Wide Gamut – full DCI color space
  • Motorized Lens – Lens Memory for auto set of different aspect ratios
  • 2500 lumens
  • Up to 1,000,000 contrast
  • 3D with glasses
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • White casework

2. Home Cinema 5040UBe ($3,299). The 5040UBe is the 5040UB with wireless HD 4K support added.

3. Pro Cinema 6040UB ($3,999). Other than being black instead of white, the 6040UB has the same features as 5040UB with the following extras:
  • ISF Certification
  • A third year of warranty
  • Ceiling mount, cable cover, and extra replacement lamp included
  • Available through CEDIA and specialty dealers only

4. Pro Cinema 4040 ($2,699). Same features and distribution as 6040UB, but with moderately reduced performance (2300 lumens instead of 2500, and 160,000:1 contrast)

Epson Pro Cinema 6040UB
Epson Pro Cinema 6040UB

A couple of points … first, compared to the current 5030UB and 6030UB which the new models will replace, these are all new projectors from the ground up. They have a new optical engine, new casework design, powered zoom, focus, and lens shift for lens memory capability, a higher precision all-glass lens, and of course 4K enhancement and HDR. So practically speaking, the Home Cinema 5040UB is a major advance on many fronts over the 5030UB. Don’t let the minor change in model number fool you into supposing this is just another modest upgrade of an established product.

Second, with 4K enhancement (pixel shift) dropping below $3,000, the debate over whether pixel shift technology is “real 4K” will be reignited. Hence, my two cents on the subject. Having seen the 6040UB set up side by side with a native 4K projector, I will say that the 6040UB's picture simply looks like native 4K when they are both fed a native 4K source. It is difficult to detect any difference at all in detail resolution between the two from a normal viewing distance. In fact if casual observers were shown this side by side demo and asked to guess which was the true native 4K projector, I have no doubt that half of them would guess wrong.

The purist will argue that there must be some difference in resolution, as the 4K images achieved through pixel shift cannot possibly match the exact reproduction from native 4K chips. While this is technically true, if 4K enhancement has improved to where you can't see any difference from a normal viewing distance, what is more important -- how the projector does it or how much it costs?

These new models announced today by Epson will begin shipping in August. They appear to represent a step forward in 4K enhancement precision. Videophiles everywhere will be anxious to set up side by side demos between the 5040UB and whichever native 4K projector they can get their hands on to see for themselves how far this technology has come. We will be doing the same when we get our review samples.

Evan Powell

Comments (14) Post a Comment
DAVID KIM Posted Jun 21, 2016 12:37 AM PST
Finally!!! 3 years to replace the 5030UB
CyberAthlete Posted Jun 21, 2016 3:15 PM PST
I've had the Epson 5030UB since the day it came out. I may have to look into getting this if the backward compatibility works out. Finally a sub-$3000 4k projector, even if it's based on pixel shifting and not an actual 4k chip. Thanks for the info and the update!

Will it work with receivers with HDMI 2.0a ports? Will you still be able to get 4k at all?
steve Posted Jun 22, 2016 5:04 AM PST
The headline should be new "simulated 4K" line. Really guys...
Doug Wendel Posted Jun 23, 2016 6:56 AM PST
I haven't seen anything on which HDR standard(s) might be supported... has anyone figured this out yet?
Todd Thomas Posted Jun 23, 2016 2:30 PM PST
Keywords "Normal viewing distance"... Which is subjective and different for people and their setups.

I'm disappointed in Epson for not coming out with a true 4k projector by now.
Locksley Posted Jun 24, 2016 1:46 AM PST
Still need a deeper understanding of the Pixel shifting techniques. Are there truly 8 million pixels displayed via the shifting or only 4 (which is 2X HD)? To get a 4k signal displayed you would need to shift a HD panel 4 times - does it do that? Looking at some descriptions there seem to be a big overlap of pixels between the shifted images - does that induce more blurriness than a full 4k panel? Descriptions also depict that it is shifted sideways, I've a hard time understanding what pixels from the native signal is being displayed; how much processing is the 4k signal undergoing exactly - seems to me it is more than just splitting the pixels between the different HD shiftings...
Steven Posted Jun 24, 2016 4:30 AM PST
how does the 5040 compare to the 4040 as it's called pro-cinema and the 5040 home-cinema. where's the 300$ plus on the 4040
Brandon Posted Jun 27, 2016 10:14 PM PST
No laser projectors. No thank you. I am sick of having an oven attached to my ceiling.

Wish list - 4k, laser, <6 grand. That is a winning combo. Sony has one for 60 grand. Yeah that is not happening. Epson has one with pixel shift, but that is still too much and simulated. I get that the image is close, but it is simulated so it is impossible to match true 4k. No purest ever be able to hand that up and tell people its 4k. It is a lie that we cannot live with.
Mark Posted Jun 28, 2016 6:59 PM PST
How long is the lamp life on these new projectors?? Are any of these new projectors laser based??
WookieGroomer Posted Jul 6, 2016 11:38 AM PST
I sit about 7 feet from an 125" projection screen. When the author of the article says he's seen native 4k and pixel shifts 4k side by side with no difference, I immediately assume at 65 inches or some ridiculously small size in relation to how big people prefer their projections screen sizes. I'd prefer more information on the viewing environment before I take a comment like that seriously.
Chad Posted Jul 7, 2016 8:05 AM PST
It looks like the emphasis is placed on the word "compatible" in terms of HDR too, implying, it can accept the signal and maybe even deliver some benefit, but, if the projector is lamp based, I don't see how it can achieve the kind of contrast expectations of flat panel HDR displays. The 1,000,000 contrast is undoubtedly just another iris gimmick, which on/off contrast specs mean little to me, as brief flashes of all black aren't prominent enough or important enough to me, not to mention, in my experience, auto iris fail, sometimes before your second lamp replacement, and can bug-out or be less consistent even before your first lamp replacement, completely closing off portions of credits or very dim scenes or not closing when it should, and calibration can make the iris even less reliable, depending on how far you need to adjust from the factory settings.

ANSI contrast specs are much more exciting and informative, which ANSI contrast is as yet unknown for these new Epsons. But with the rather unbelievable specs, I'm less optimistic.

Vaguely using associations like "normal viewing distances" without any clarity or qualifiers is a disservice to your readers or worst, willful regurgitation of obviously deceptive marketing.

Personally, I'm with Brandon - I'm tired of having an oven in our HT. But after 15 years of living with front projection, it's hard to step down to a relatively small 65 or 75 inch screen, despite true 4k and better, more believable, specs.

If nothing else, hopefully these new models will prove the catalyst to more aggressive 4K pricing in the projector market starting next year, as Epsons are some of the most popular, widely carried HT projectors out there, and even though not true 4K, these sound like they've got enough going for them to offer compelling enticement over some of their 1080p competition, like the Sony 45ES. Maybe by next CES we'll see some announcements of genuine 4k in this price range, assuming Sony and others don't decide to develop their own proprietary "enhancement" technology too.
mark Posted Jul 27, 2016 1:32 PM PST
I just pulled this off a google search/ shopping inquire Lamp life is "Up to 3500 hour(s) / up to 5000 hour(s) (economic mode)" By saying "up to XXXhrs" means the bulb may only last that long NOT the point of 50% light reduction. Therefore, using linear regression (being generous) the 1/2 life of the bulb is actually around 2000 - 2500hrs. Please if anyone has more up to date info or better info please post it
Scott Posted Aug 3, 2016 8:24 PM PST
Really Guys??? All this bickering back and forth over pixel shift and true 4K... LOL

Is like you think there's more than a handful of 4K content out there. A $300-$700 Ultra Blu-Ray player with a very limited selection of titles and a few netflix originals to stream does not a library make...

When the content is available then this is relevant. Otherwise it's the same 4K marketing BS we have been fed for the past several years. End users don't care about 4k... Yet... Because "their shows" aren't in 4K.

Bottom line: Epson makes the best projectors on the market in terms of performance for the dollar hands down.

I haven't seen the new epson line in person, but I'm willing to bet if you put the PC 4040 side by side with ANY JVC / Sony / Etc then show the price 95% of buyers will take home the epson.
Jeff Posted Oct 21, 2016 1:48 PM PST
The deal breaker for me is that it can't do FI above 1080p, so no 4k FI...

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