Epson is Serious About Colour Light Output

To the right of Lang, you can see Epson’s controversial DLP vs LCD demo area. We have a bigger image belowWe stepped on to Epson’s stand in middle of a presentation by Karl Lang, a colour specialist at US-based Lumita Labs. We have met Lang before (Is There a New Number for Projector Performance?), when he began to bring us around to the idea of Epson’s colour light output as a serious metric for projectors. However, at ISE he was mostly going over the same ground, so read the article for more information.

One of the newest projectors from Epson was – as most other big makers were showing – a laser model. It is called the EB-L25000U, and is said to be the first 3LCD model with 25,000 lumens of both white and colour brightness. The projector is the first in Epson’s new Pro L-series.

Resolution is 1920 x 1200 and the supplied lenses are UltraHD-capable (they can also be used on UltraHD projectors). This is important for rental and staging projectors, which is the target market for this model. Additionally, Epson provides a 20,000-hour warranty for the projector. This is an unusual step, as most LCD panels will begin to degrade before this point. Product manager Daniel Rose explained that the company uses inorganic material in its LCD panels and phosphor wheel, which extends the lifetime; most other companies use an organic phosphor, he said. The L25000U can also operate 24/7.

The L25000U features an integrated camera for automatic image correction. It will be released in Q3, and more details will be shared at InfoComm in June.

We were told that the projector’s lifetime is 20,000 hours, or 56,000 in constant brightness mode. We are questioning this with Epson, as maintaining a constant brightness involves driving the light source harder and thus impacts its lifetime; for example, Panasonic’s ‘Brightness Priority’ mode (Panasonic Emphasises Laser Cost-Savings).

Epson L25000U LCD projectorAs well as the Pro L-series, Epson introduced the Pro L1000-series of installation projectors, ranging from 6,000 to 12,000 lumens. These laser projectors feature nine optional lenses, including what is said to be the world’s first ‘zero-offset’ UST lens. They can be operated 24/7 and all feature 1920 x 1200 resolution.

Although there are six models in L1000 range, two of them are simple colour variations of the 8,000 and 12,000 lumen projectors.

Epson’s L1000 range consists of the Pro L1100U/NL (6,000 lumens); Pro L1200U/NL (7,000 lumens); L1300U/NL and L1405U/NL (white/black; 8,000 lumens); Pro L1500U/NL and Pro L1505U/NL (white/black; 12,000 lumens). Again, Epson supplies a five-year, 20,000-hour warranty. These products will be shipped in July.

Alongside the laser projectors was a range of lamp-based products called the EB-G7000 series (EB-G7800, EBG7200W, EB-G7000W, EB-G7905U, EB-G7900U and EB-G7400U). They are intended for higher education and premium corporate use. Epson will begin to ship the projectors from May.

Analyst Comment

Lang gave us a demo of part of the CLO set up. This showed how, in a rental and staging application, under very high levels of ambient light, from spotlights, the Epson three panel projector maintained much more accurate colour. Of course, three DLP projectors would do the same. As we arrived, a couple of technicians from Panasonic were leaving – they had been trying to improve the look of their unit, but couldn’t do much. Lang told us that he was representing 3LCD rather than Epson.

We discussed the RGBW LEDs that we had seen in Samsung’s meeting rooms. Lang said that he had no objection to RGBW or other pixel formats, if its well implemented, it can save power and still produce good CLO. He reinforced the point to us that the only way to know is to measure the CLO.

As we report in this week’s issue, Lang has become chair of the ICDM Front Projector Measurements subcommittee.

TI, and its partners, were showing that single chip DLP can show accurate colour. There is no dispute over this, but the 3LCD/Lang position is that if they use RGBW colour wheels, they can’t do this at the rated maximum brightness. (BR)

Epson CLO DemoEpson’s CLO Demo has the Epson projector at the bottom left. Projectors were set up in the mode at which they produce the rated highest brightness. Image: Meko