Affordable, 4K-capable projectors are very much a reality — Sound & Vision has reviewed several such models plucked from the DLP, LCD, and LCOS camps. And in some cases, “affordable” can equate to $2,000 or less. One drawback you have to contend with when considering such projectors is their dependence on pixel-shifting technology to display a full Ultra HD image onscreen. But given the crisp pictures we’ve seen when viewing with pixel-shifting models from JVC, Optoma, Epson, and others, the lack of true 4K-resolution imaging chips ultimately isn’t much of a drawback at all.
This time last year we reviewed Epson’s Home Cinema 4000, a $2,200 LCD projector that uses pixel-shifting to deliver “4K Enhanced” image quality. That model has since been replaced by the Home Cinema 4010, a new pixel-shifter priced at $1,999, though it can be found online for $1,799.
What do you get when stepping up to the new Home Cinema 4010? According to Epson’s specs, slightly higher brightness (2,400 lumens of color and white light output) and improved contrast. Epson also touts improved 4K PRO-UHD Enhancement technology for the 4010, with 12-bit processing to ensure smooth image gradations. (This feature can be switched off if you prefer viewing 1080p sources with no enhancement, though it will remain on for Ultra HD sources.) A unique 15-element glass lens is said to offer better resolving power across the full screen area, with black coating of the lens chambers to reduce light leakage.
Otherwise, Epson left in many of the features that made 4000 a strong Top Pick contender in 2017. The new 4010 boasts the same near-100 percent P3 color gamut coverage, a 2.1x zoom lens with horizontal and vertical lens shift, and a powered lens control with multiple lens memories. It also supports display of HDR10 high dynamic range content, though only for 4K/24 programs with 4:2:2 encoding and 10- or 12-bit color depth (which happens to cover most of what’s available on Ultra HD Blu-ray disc) via its HDMI 1.4 inputs. The lack of up-to-date HDMI 2.0/18Gbps connectivity on the 4010 is a bit of a mystery, but unless you’re using the projector for 4K gaming, there’s not much there to complain about. Epson’s projector can also be used for 3D movie viewing (requires optional $99 each ELPGS03 RF 3D glasses).
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