Epson Upgrades LS10500 for HDR Support

Epson has a new flagship model for its home cinema line: the LS10500, the successor to the LS10000. The major difference is the addition of support for HDR10, which apparently, cannot be done as an upgrade for the LS10000.

The LS10500 uses a reflective LCD technology that is fabricated on quartz substrates instead of silicon – but it behaves in a similar way to LCoS. It features a dual laser light source that delivers 1500 lumens in the sRGB mode. It also supports the DCI-P3 color gamut, but with reduced lumen output. Lifespan is specified at 30K hours to half brightness – 10K hours more than most other projector makers using a laser phosphor light source.

We asked about some of the details in the HDR processing, but no one could answer our questions. Peak brightness of 1500 lumens will be an issue for HDR projection however as this is quite low – and when illuminating even a modest-sized screen, won’t produce very high nit levels (maybe in the 100-200 cd/m² range). That is not going to create much ‘pop’ – even in a black room.

The projector uses a set of 1080p panels and Epson’s “4K enhancement” technology to deliver a ‘4K-like’ image on-screen. With the HDR10 support, that means it can decode 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray movies and stream 4K content from Netflix and Amazon.

The projector has an incredible range of up to ± 90% on the vertical axis and ± 40% on the horizontal axis, as well as up to 10 presets for zoom, focus and lens shift for both standard projection and wide cinema ratios. The Pro Cinema LS10500 projects 2.40, 2.35, 1.85, and 1.78 aspect ratios on the same screen, without an anamorphic lens, and no downtime switching between aspect ratios. It also comes with a suite of ISF Certified calibration tools. All the projectors at CEDIA were professionally calibrated before the show.

The demo we saw was intended to demonstrate the HDR capabilities of the projector. We were disappointed, however, as the highlights were all blown out in the content they showed. We were told this was a style of the director, not the projector. So why show this content?

Otherwise, the black levels looked very good as did the colors and I saw no resolution image shifting issues.

The LS10500 is available soon for $7,999.

We also saw a demo of the previously released Pro Cinema 6040UB, which is offered for $4K and has 4K enhancement, 2500 lumens and 1M:1 dynamic contrast. It has a very nice projection lens designed by Japan-based Cosina that offers an incredible 100 lp/mm of resolution. It can cover 100% of the DCI-P3 gamut. We were told that HDMI connection 1 can decode HDR content. Content from a Red Ray player was projected onto a matt white, 0.9 gain screen from Cirrus. This is the same projector Sony used in their resolution shoot out. Images looked quite good in the demo.

Epson also announced a trio of much more-affordable 1080p home theater projectors. The Home Cinema 3100 ($1,300), 3700 ($1,500) and 3900 ($2,000) all offer relatively high brightness (2600 to 3000 lumens, depending on the model) with both horizontal and vertical lens shift (up to ± 60% on the vertical axis and up to ± 24% on the horizontal axis). The Home Cinema 3900 meets ISF Certification standards, including specific ISF picture memory modes. – CC

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