Epson HC5040UB, PC6040UB Projector - Calibration & Settings

August 16, 2016 / By Art Feierman

EPSON PRO CINEMA 6040UB PROJECTOR: CALIBRATION SETTINGS and POST CALIBRATION MEASUREMENTS FOR 1080 AND 4K CONTENT

This page contents measurements and pre-post calibration settings and results. In addition there are several paragraphs of notes from Eric, our new ISF Certified calibrator.  This has been his first projector calibration for us, so naturally we thought we'd give him a challenge:  A projector with HDR and BT2020, P3, support, etc.  Challenging in that calibrating and working with HDR is new to basically - everyone!   As Eric explains, the manufacturers - both projector companies, and device makers like Blu-ray UHD player maker Samsung, are all scrambling to get it right.

This calibration was done using an early engineering sample of the 6040UB.  We believe that full production projectors - which are shipping as of early Sept 2016, will have improved color tables.  As a result we plan to revisit these projectors, bringing in a full production version, so we can update our review and provide revised settings due to changes made.  We will update any and all recommendations here, as needed.

Editor’s note:  Update 8/16/17:  (Previous updates removed)  OK, the production Home Cinema 5040UB loaner from Epson that I currently have mounted to my ceiling, as been freshly re-calibrated by Eric.  All the measurements and settings from this page from original pre-production 6040UB calibration we started with a year ago, remain in place.  The new settings are at the very end.

You may find interesting info in all those old measurements and charts.  The new calibration settings we have, and the measurements should be similar to the originals, but we’ve learned a whole lot about HDR, and BT.2020/P3 implementation in the last year (as has everyone).  At the time, we simply stated, that we were unable to really achieve what would call comparable quality results with HDR, to that of good old 1080p SDR, etc.  

I now have for you settings that we believe make the Epson HC5040UB or PC6040UB look great on standard and also 4K HDR, BT.2020 content.  To be fair, the tendency (vs SDR) is still that lower brightness areas can look a little dim relative to the brightest areas, when comparing with SDR, but far less so, and it now looks pretty great – certainly for a $2500ish projector.

So, the last section is just one happy media player (for you to scroll through with about 30 images.  These are a full set screen shots of settings our three calibrations – a “brightest mode” for non 4K content, a “best” mode for non 4K content, and a mode  for 4K with HDR, and all the trimmings.

Perfect? No, today’s projectors simply aren’t bright enough to fully implement HDR the way intended (nor are most 4K LCD TVs).  But HDR implementations are impressive, and superior to SDR, when the lack of brightness is effectively compensated for.  

Caveat:  I’m still not 100% happy with the “gamma” of the image / settings – some movies still come out too dim, including a lot of scenes on the Enterprise in Star Trek (4K version of course).  We had the Gamma setting on 0, so I’ve tried instead using 1, which lightens, but lightens upper ranges a bit too, so I didn’t care for that.  The very last slide provides an alternate custom gamma you can plug in, which I am still fiddling with, but that I’ve used on any movies where I get that too dim feeling.  Feedback is appreciated on that.  Update: I am now using a custom gamma with the 4K settings, instead of the default 0 setting.  It’s similar to the one in slide 31 in the media player belowRe, but I have reduced the second and third from the left points on the graph, each by 2.  Put that into your Saved memory for 4K, and you have what I’m using.  I will eventually replace that slide 31 with an updated one.  

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