The Epson EH-LS10000, a high-end home theater projector with laser light source and 4K enhancement technology has now been in a detailed review and we would like to share it with you, dear readers!
The projector Epson EH-LS10000 is sold for approximately 7000€.
Thank you to Epson Germany for having provided us a new projector for this review of the Epson EH-LS10000.
The Epson EH-LS10000 is a Full HD 3D projector with dual laser light source using a new 3LCD reflective technology.
The design of the projector is futuristic and we liked it very much.
Laser light source
The projector has a dual laser light source. Both lasers are blue, but one is transformed to yellow by going through a phosphor wheel. The yellow light is then split into red and green with a special mirror.
Laser as a light source brings many advantages compared to a standard UHP bulb:
very long lifespan (30000 hours according to Epson)
very quick start and shutdown of the projector possible
stability of the colors and calibration
usage heat pipes possible to enable a more efficient cooling system –> more quiet projector
brightness of the laser can be adjusted very quickly –> no mechanical dynamic iris needed
a black picture is perfectly black, because the laser shuts down (that is why Epson claims that the LS10000 has an infinite contrast)
3LCD reflective panels
During the last years Epson has been working on the 3LCD reflective panels similar to the SRXD technology used by Sony or the DILA technology by JVC.
The picture below shows very well the difference between the 3LCD technology Epson normally uses and the new reflective 3LCD-R. The space between pixels is greatly reduced. The new panels also enable a better contrast and a higher motion fluidity.
Here a true comparison between the Epson EH-TW9200 and the Epson EH-LS10000. The picture above is not exaggerated at all, as you can see below on pictures we have taken ourselves.
4K enhancement technology
Epson is also using a new technology called “4K enhancement” similar to the E-Shift by JVC. The picture below explains very well how it works. The result is that the number of pixels is doubled and almost no structure is visible even when looking up close to the screen. The Epson EH-LS10000 accepts 4K content and scales it down to the 2 times full HD resolution.
The projector’s weight is 18 kg and it measures 55 x 55,3 x 22,5 cm. It is a huge projector, the biggest we have ever tested, so be prepared. The throw ratio, which is the distance of the projector to the screen divided by the picture width, varies between 1,28 – 2,73:1. That means that you can get a picture of width 2,5m with only 3,2m between the lens of the projector and the screen.
The Epson EH-LS10000 has a motorized zoom and lens shift with memory function. As usual with Epson projectors, the range of the lens shift is huge: Vertical: 90% max (up and down with horizontal centered), Horizontal: 40% max (left and right with vertical centered). This means that the projector can be set up in every position very easily.
The menu of the projector is accessible with the remote control, but also with a very cool hidden push-to-open side panel on the projector. This can be very helpful in order to use the projector if the remote control is not available or even lost.
The projector Epson EH-LS10000 has all connections needed in the back panel including 1 HDMI 1.4 input and 1 HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 to make it campatible with the coming 4K blu-ray. There is a mini USB connection which is very useful to perform the firmware updates at home (which we used to update to the firmware V130).
The remote control allows for a quick access to all important functionalities like the frame interpolation or the super resolution to improve the sharpness. Also directly accessible are the controls for the motorized zoom and lens shift, which are very responsive. There is also a button to activate the backlight of the remote which is helpful while watching a movie in a dark room. The buttons of the remote control are big enough and as a consequence the remote is pretty large and a bit heavy, but lies easily in the hand.
The projector in action
Full HD Movies in 2D
Our first impression when watching our usual test scenes was: “WOW! The picture seems bigger than usual!” But it wasn’t, our screen didn’t grow overnight We are still unsure why we both had that feeling, but we suspect it was a combination of contrast, brightness and sharpness (without 4K enhancement activated).
Indeed the contrast performance of the Epson EH-LS10000 is impressive with deep black and very good details in dark scenes. Furthermore, with the activation of the dynamic iris function controlling the power output of the laser, it can achieve perfect black on a totally black picture. This feeling to be completely in the dark and see nothing was a new experience that we enjoyed.
Out of the box the natural mode is the closest to the REC 709 norm, but some might prefer the cinema or Digital Cinema mode with very saturated colors and a lot of pop.
After activation of the frame interpolation on the setting “normal”, the picture motion is very smooth even in the most difficult scenes with travelling. There are almost no artefacts and the picture stays natural. For the more conservative people, the frame interpolation on the setting “low” will be perfect for a cinema experience.
The activation of the 2K super resolution allows an increase in the sharpness, but be careful not to overdo it. Our advice is not to use a level above 2 of the 2K super resolution. For the ones using a Darbee, it is totally possible to combine the two, but we advise to use the Darbee on 35% and the super resolution at the level 1. The result is a very sharp picture which allows to show all the details of your favorite Blu-rays.
The 4K super resolution activates the 4K enhancement technology. The pixel structure disappears, but the picture gets somehow soft (even with the firmware V130) and we preferred to leave it desactivated with 1080p sources.
Comparison Natural vs. Digital Cinema
The Epson EH-LS10000 can display both the standard REC709 and the much bigger DCI color space. Here are some examples of what happens with a REC709 Blu-ray source if you switch between the two color spaces.
The colors are much more saturated in Digital Cinema, especially green, red and golden colors.
This effect is visible on the following pictures. However, the camera we used and the screen you are looking at cannot fully show the difference between the DCI and the REC709 color space, but you can still see the trend.
On the left is the natural (REC709) and on the right the Digital Cinema (DCI).
We would not advise to use the Digital Cinema color space with standard 1080p blu-rays for regular movies. However, for animated movies the higher saturation of the Digital Cinema colors is a pleasure for the eyes.
Below you can see a few screenshots taken from the Blu-rays “Casino Royale”, “Lucy”, “Mission Impossible”, “Oblivion”, “The Dark Knight” and “Tron Legacy”. You can click on each picture to open it in the original resolution.
We had the chance to look at real 4K content (with a red-ray player) with the Epson EH-LS10000. As usual with 4K demo content we were extremely impressed due to the feeling of looking through a window into another world.
However it is hard to judge how much of that feeling comes from the performance of the projector and how much from the quality of the demo material (slow movements, impressive colors, close-ups…).
One thing that we missed was the frame interpolation, that cannot be activated when playing real 4K content (it can be activated with simulated 4K with 1080p content).
Movies in 3D
When looking at 3D the Epson EH-LS10000 shows its strength in comparison to the competition we have seen from Sony and JVC. Indeed this projector shows little ghosting and no flickering. For sources Blu-ray 3D at 24 images per second, the Epson has a refresh rate of 120 Hertz while the competition of Sony and JVC use a frequency of 96 Hertz which is a lot more tiring for the eyes. The effects of depth and pop-out are strengthened by the high contrast and the deep black behind the glasses, that you don’t find in the DLP competition even with their ghosting free picture.
Epson uses the 3D RF technology with rechargable glasses, which allows for a user friendly 3D experience. The glasses are sold for about 70€. The projector comes with 2 pairs of 3D RF glasses with a nice design, little weight and a micro USB input for recharging the integrated battery. The glasses can be recharged extremely fast: 5 minutes are enough to watch a whole movie. The advantage of the RF glasses over DLP Link is that you never lose the 3D signal when turning your head and there is also no red tint in the picture like you get with the synchronisation flash of the DLP Link technology.
Analysis of the Sharpness
Unlike the DLP projectors, the 3LCD projectors, as the name indicates, possess three color matrices for red, green and blue, which are supposed to be aligned perfectly. Naturally, in reality the overlap of the 3LCD matrices is not perfect, often referred to as convergence problem.
Our exemplar showed average convergence which could be easily corrected numerically. The numerical correction works well and can be done without much effort.
On the pictures below you can see the sharpness of the picture with the electronical alignment of the matrices not activated.
Below a comparison with the alignment correction desactivated (off) and activated (on). Note how the green around the letters disappears.
Another example with alignment correction desactivated on the left and activated on the right.
4K enhancement technology
If you activate the 4K enhancement function in the super resolution menu, the panels vibrate diagonally by 0.5 pixel. The result is an even finer pixel grid with twice as many pixels. However, it also makes the picture softer.
On the pictures below you can see this effect.
Sharpness vs. Super Resolution vs 4K Enhancement:
Here we make an analysis of the sharpness of the picture with different levels of the super resolution, the numerical sharpness improvement system of Epson, but also the 4K enhancement system.
On the sharpness cross pattern we have increased the level of super resolution from 0 to 2 and switched then to the 4K enhancement on 1 and 2. We see clearly that ringing is appearing around the cross. Additionally , it is visible that the 4K enhancement makes the picture softer.
On the sharpness test pattern of the reference disc AVS HD 709, we have increased the level of super resolution from 0 to 2 and switched then to the 4K enhancement on 1 and 2. We see clearly that the lines but also the numbers show more artifacts as we increase the super resolution. Indeed, on the lines we see more and more crosses and on the numbers some white ringing is appearing. Additionally , it is visible that the 4K enhancement makes the picture softer.
You should click on each picture to open it in the original resolution and zoom in. If you don’t, the resolution of your screen will create some crosses on its own which do no exist in the true picture.
On the screenshot from Oblivion we have increased the level of super resolution from 0 to 2 to 5 and switched then to the 4K enhancement from 1 to 2 to 5.
On the screenshot from Monsters Inc. we have increased the level of super resolution from 0 to 2 and switched then to the 4K enhancement from 1 to 2.
On the screenshot from The Dark Knight we have increased the level of super resolution from 0 to 2 and switched then to the 4K enhancement from 1 to 2.
We advise to use the Super Resolution on level 2 to get a very sharp picture without many artifacts.
Our exemplar of the Epson EH-LS10000 shows on a white pattern with 100 IRE no hint of shading and a perfectly white uniform picture. Also the focus was uniform, which is a sign of the high quality lens.
Colors: Out of the box
Out of the box, the projector has 6 predefined modes: Natural, Cinema, Digital Cinema, Adobe RGB, Dynamic and Living Room. Every mode was analyzed with the colorimeter i1 Display Pro profiled to the spectrophotometer i1 Pro 2 with the software Chromapure.
The mode that is closest to the norm REC 709 is the mode Natural with a relatively flat gamma curve with an average of 2.18 and an average CIE94 dE of 2.4 for the colors (75% saturation & 75% brightness) and 6.7 for the grayscale. That’s a very good performance for the colors, but not so good for the grayscale. With a calibration, you can easily get the best out of the projector and correct a push of the blue color for the grayscale (color temperature of 7282 instead of 6500K).
Ideally, you would like to have a flat gamma curve of 2.2 and a CIE94 DeltaE under 2 for all colors and the grayscale. Furthermore, you want to adjust the brightness and contrast to the right level. With that, the black will not be crushed, the white levels will not be clipped and the color will be natural and as close to to the movie producer’s choice as possible.
Here are the Chromapure results for the grayscale and the CIE diagram for a saturation of 100% and brightness amplitude of 100%. The projector is positioned with zoom MAX. The lamp had 14 hours.
The picture width projected on the screen was 252 cm for all these measurements.
Out of the box: detailed predefined mode analysis:
Digital Cinema (the reference color space is here DCI, not REC709)
Calibration of the projector
The calibration is based on the “Natural” mode with the power put on medium.
For the color calibration, we used patterns of 75% saturation and 75% brightness.
Grayscale & RGB analysis:
The Grayscale after calibration of the preset Natural shows an excellent behavior with an CIE94 DeltaE average of 1.9.
Grayscale (pre=Natural & Post=calibrated):
CIE and color management analysis:
The colors in the CIE after calibration of the mode Natural show a perfect behavior with all CIE94 DeltaE values below 1.5 and 0.6 as average for 75% brightness and 75% saturation.
CIE chart at 75% saturation (pre=Natural & Post=calibrated):
The gamma curve is pretty linear even if slightly increasing with an average around 2.2, which is very good.
Gamma (pre=Natural & Post=calibrated):
In-depth analysis of all saturation levels after calibration:
For 75% brightness, the Epson EH-LS10000 shows an excellent tracking within the CIE diagramm. For all colors and saturations, the deltaE stays below 3. The average error for every color is even below 2!
The calibration is valid not only for 75% saturation, but also for all other saturations!
The projector Epson EH-LS10000 was easy to calibrate. The controls were very responsive. And the end result is perfect with a projector tracking very linearly between all saturations levels for all the colors! It looks fantastic. Thank you, Epson!
We did a second calibration based on the mode Digital Cinema to the reference DCI, that is used in cinemas and the coming 4K blu-rays.
The calibration to the DCI norm went well! The high error of the grayscale could be corrected. Only the blue color has a deltaE above 3, but a deltaE of 4 is still acceptable.
Brightness & Screen size recommandation
After calibration in the medium power mode the Epson EH-LS10000 puts out 816 lumens. This is perfect for a screen width between 2.5m and 3.4m.
Going from Eco power mode to medium power multiplies the brightness by a factor of 1.4.
Going from medium power mode to high power multiplies the brightness by a factor of 1.3.
The highest number of Lumens is achieved in the Dynamic mode, that is in high power mode by default, with 1583 Lumens. It could be useful to watch football on a bright day.
Please click on the table below to get the brightness for all predefined modes and the calibrations. A recommendation for the right screen size is also given.
Advanced contrast measurements
A great number of contrast measurements were made to deliver you results that are unique in the world. Actually, in the different tests of projectors around the world you can often find native contrast measurements (ON-OFF with one picture completely black and one completely white) and sometimes ANSI contrast measurements (checkerboard with 50% white and 50% black).
The problem is that these contrast values are two extremes, but most images from movies are in between.
Have a look at our article where we made a big brightness analysis of 53 movies:
Therefore we have created appropriate patterns in order to give you contrast curves BETWEEN 0% and 50% white in the middle of the screen:
In addition, we have measured the contrast that we get in a perfect dedicated room (optimized room) with black floor, ceiling and walls, but also in a non-dedicated room (living room with white walls) with white walls and ceiling to represent the reality of home theater in many homes.
We have then measured the maximal contrast values (ideal perfect room) possible with the projector by measuring close to the lens.
Contrast curve in the middle of the screen VS quantity of white in % (medium power mode and iris fully open)
The curves confirm our first impressions with a very high on-off contrast which means deep black!
In our optimized room we measured at the screen a modified ANSI contrast value of 227:1 (for 50% ADL). At the lens, the modified ANSI contrast value reaches 251:1.
The ANSI contrast tells you, how good a projector can display black next to white. The Epson EH-LS10000’s ANSI contrast is good, but not the best. That is why you can see vertical streaking in the black parts above and below the white squares in the picture below. This behavior is common for projectors with a very high on-off contrast. Luckily it is not visible in a movie,, except on white writings on black background.
The On-off contrast was around 12500:1 with zoom max (Iris open) and 29000:1 with zoom min (Iris closed). That’s a excellent performance. Congrats to Epson for achieving such a contrast with their first generation of reflective 3LCD Panels.
Remember our results from the ADL analysis (with a gamma of 2.2) of 53 famous movies:
90% of all movie pictures have a brightness below 20% (ADL=% of white)
80% of all movie pictures have a brightness below 13%
50% of all movie pictures have a brightness below 5%
The average brightness/ADL of all analyzed movies is 8%
Illustration of the contrast measurement methods:
Illustration of our optimized room
Illustration of our room with white walls and ceiling
Overall we can say that the Epson EH-LS10000 has a very good contrast performance. Especially in dark scenes you can see the potential of the projector with very deep black and excellent shadow details.
The projector Epson EH-LS10000, currently sold for about 7000€, gives a high end home cinema experience with unique features coming along with the laser source such as instant start and shut down, 30000 hours life expectancy of the light source, constant brightness and colors over time, perfect black…
If you are planning to buy a projector in the price class 5000€ – 10000€, the Epson EH-LS10000 is one of the best choices.
Sharpness and motion:
The Epson EH-LS10000 delivers a sharp picture with a high quality lens. The convergence was not perfect, but could be corrected successfully. The Super Resolution works very well and increases the precision of the picture without amplifying picture noise too much, when set to 2. However we were less convinced by the 4K enhancement on 1080p sources, which does make the pixel structure disappear, but at the cost of making the picture look a bit softer. For real 4K sources the 4K enhancement technology does its job nicely and the picture looks incredibly sharp.
The motion handling is very good, thanks to the new 3LCD reflective panels and Epson’s frame interpolation which is very good with few artifacts on the middle setting.
The contrast behaviour is impressive, especially for dark content, with deep blacks and a lot of details.The infinite contrast claimed by Epson can only be achieved with the dynamic iris (laser dimming) turned on. The effect to be plunged into the dark as the laser shuts off is a experience we enjoyed very much.
The Epson EH-LS10000 is a very quiet projector on Eco and medium power. The high power mode is a bit more noisy, but still very acceptable.
Out of the box colors & calibration:
Out of the box the colors are already very close to the REC709 norm. The greyscale needs to be corrected, because it is a bit too cold. The gamma behavior is already very good out of the box! The projector can be calibrated very easily to the REC709 norm with its responsive controls. Even more impressive is that the projector can also be calibrated to the DCI P3 norm with more saturated cinema-like colors, which makes it ready for the coming 4K blu-rays.
Brightness & Recommended screen size
The Epson EH-LS10000 is bright enough in the medium power mode for projection on a 3.4m screen. In contrast to all projectors with a UHP bulb it has the advantage to keep the brightness over time. So for most applications the medium power mode will be sufficient forever!
– the laser light source
– instant start and shut down
– stability of brightness and colors over time
– very good on-off contrast
– perfect black on completely black pictures
– high quality lens
– motorized lens and lens-shift with memory
– easy calibration
– very good motion handling, especially with frame interpolation
– Super resolution for increased sharpness
– 3D with RF glasses, 120Hz refresh rate and not much ghosting
– 4K compatibility
– calibration in DCI P3 color space possible for the coming 4K blu rays
– huge and heavy (18kg)
– convergence not perfect out of the box on our reviewed sample
– no HDR compatibility (yet)
– 4K enhancement softens the picture for 1080p content
– a calibration is necessary to get the best results