Review: Epson EB-G6900WUNL
A stealth-black 3LCD venue projector.
Review:/ Stuart Gregg
Although Epson is one of the world’s largest-selling brands of projector in many markets, it is not a brand I normally think of for projectors in professional AV, so when I opened the box I was almost expecting to see the new printer I had recently purchased for home, not a projector resembling a stealthed aircraft.
The EB-G6900WUNL joins a host of mid-range projectors with a vast array of features making it either too clever for its own good, or just the tool for the job, depending on your needs at the time.
The unit is based a round a 3LCD projection path and delivers a WUXGA image at a claimed 6000 lumens and from my first impressions I don’t doubt its claim. Epson markets this unit as a professional projector for large venues such as conference rooms, stage shows and houses of worship, and while I don’t disagree, I feel that 6000 ANSI lumens only just cuts the large venue tag nowadays. Given some of the built-in features such as HDBaseT, edge-blending, Faroudja’s DCDi cinema chipset and geometry correction, it would serve equally well in the digital signage market and larger home cinema setups.
You have all the regular inputs such as:
• Stereo audio mini jack
As well as some not so standard:
Network and Control inputs:
• RS 232
• Mini jack remote
With the optional HDBaseT transmitter we sent full HD signals over 75m of Cat6 cable with great results. We also hooked up PC laptops and MacBooks via the HDMI and DisplayPorts and the resulting images were clean, punchy and accurately reproduced a good range of colours. We also connected the same sources via VGA and got good results with the auto-setup, without resorting to any advance image settings.
The projector has a number of colour modes including: Photo, Presentation, Theatre Dynamic, sRGB, Multi-Projection, DICOM SIM, 3D Presentation, 3D Theatre, 3D Dynamic and 3D Multi-Projection. We found Presentation mode worked well for all our normal PowerPoint images and the Theatre Dynamic mode did a good job of movie images.
The projector can be installed in any orientation. It can be rotated 360° in any direction off-axis, which makes it useful for floor projection or any of those other odd angles you sometimes need in specialist installations and digital signage applications. Alongside this you have a reasonable amount of lens shift. There is ±67% vertical and 30% horizontal shift, although this is achieved via the manual knobs on the top of the projector, not electromechanically via the remote. Given the additional cooling capacity required to achieve this flexibility the projector was remarkably quiet.
Geometry correction is provided in the form of keystone correction both vertical and horizontal arc, and point correction which allows the removal of any barreling of an image projected onto a curved screen, as well as correcting images projected onto or into corners. With only one review unit we obviously could not test the blending, but the feature was easy to understand and work.
The G6900WUNL comes without a standard lens, but has a full range of optional lenses available. Our review unit came equipped with a 1.26:1-2.3:1 zoom.
If you were to use this unit in a permanent install, it can be controlled and monitored via Epson’s Easy management software or RS232. If it was installed stand-alone you can use the internal scheduler to turn the projector on and off to the time of day.
The unit uses a 380W UHE lamp with a claimed life of 2000 standard-output hours or 4000 in eco mode. Again, I challenge anyone to be happy with the light output at 1000 hours on any unit. Lamp replacement costs online looked to be reasonable at around $300. This price was not from the manufacturer direct, but from a lamp wholesaler.
The projector weighs in at just over 9kg with lens and measures 505mm x 405mm x 171mm, so is a compact unit for its light output. I am not sure about the stealthy matte black finish, but that’s a matter of taste and maybe it will influence where you choose to install it.
In summary, it’s a decent unit with some nice easy-to-use features. Although they’re sold in their millions in other markets, I have not had much personal experience with the longevity of Epson projectors, but this one looked built to last, and would be one to put on the list when considering a 6000 lumens projector.