The Pro Cinema 6050UB is 4K content capable, but at its heart are three pixel shifting 1080p 3LCD panels (aka chips). The projector supports HDR (both the HDR10 and HLG standards) and claims it can achieve the new higher standard P3 color – rare for lamp-based projectors (and the standard for commercial movie theaters).
Epson fires each pixel a second time (aka pixel shifting) to put 4.15 million pixels on the screen. That’s still half of the 4K UHD standard of 8.3M, but the differences are relatively slight, especially compared to what advanced image processing can accomplish.
The low-cost DLP 4K UHD projectors are also 1080p pixel shifters but hit the screen four times for 8,300,000 overlapping pixels. For example, the BenQ HT5550 and the LG HU85LA (4K UHD laser) – both recent reviews – have the same native resolution, but pixel shift four times. Such differences, when looking at sharpness and detail are, at most, slightly detectable. If anything, the usual disadvantage of 3LCD and LCoS projectors compared to DLP is that the three color paths (Red, Green, and Blue) are never 100% perfectly in alignment, making “single-chip” DLPs inherently sharper, all else being equal. Trade-off #1: DLP causes some folks (like poor me) to see rainbows, etc.
The truth is that both technologies, 3LCD and DLP, have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. Note that PRO-UHD is the name Epson uses for their suite of 4K capabilities. The DLPs are 4K UHD (UHD, of course, means Ultra High Definition), while Sony and JVC now both off a lineup of true, Native 4K projectors; that is to say they have 8.3+ million pixels, with no overlapping pixel shifting, and projecting pixels that are ¼ the size of 1080p based pixel shifters (whether PRO-UHD or 4K UHD).
I’m not a big fan of trademark names it comes to describing technology – the terms are quite convoluted and they all essentially say the same thing, while trying to say that a particular manufacturer is the only one with a feature that everyone else offers, if slightly differently.
For example, when one company describes their technology with “We’re the only company with ‘SuperDuperSmooth’ processing” which is true because it is trademarked – but in reality, it’s still just someone’s name for their variation of good old CFI – creative frame interpolation!
Epson 6050UB 4K/HDR/P3 - full frame. next image is close-up to show great sharpness.
When it comes to Native 4K versus 4K UHD, it is true that if you are not sitting particularly close to your screen, say 15 feet from a 100-inch diagonal screen, you almost certainly can’t tell which is sharper. But the same image at 8 feet, the difference will become much more apparent, with one image appearing slightly sharper than the other. Here’s the kicker though – due to the large amount of image processing that’s going on here, the image we perceive as sharper may not actually be the one with the higher native resolution.
Zoomed in higher res photo of previous 4K/HDR/P3 image. Looks as sharp as almost any 4K UHD projector.
Bottom line: The Epson, which has some very good optics, appears very sharp on 4K content using pixel shifting. The Pro Cinema 6050UB image processing is definitely extremely well done, often making it seem sharper than 4K UHD competition, although other aspects including optics quality are also factors When comparing to other projectors at a similar price point, your final decisions should likely be based on other features, as any perceived sharpness differences will be minor - or not visible at all – especially if you aren’t sitting relatively close.
[sam_pro id=1_65 codes="true"]