I bought an Epson 5040ub 4k e-shift projector in June in anticipation of the Xbox One X and for the ps4 pro I bought with it. The Xbox One X arrived last night but I didn’t have time to open it, so I was waiting until tonight to do it. While I was at work though, I found out some devastating news, evidently since the Xbox One X outputs 4k at 60 frames per second/10 bit, the Epson 5040ub or 5040ube can’t handle all the data due to it’s chipset not supporting anything higher than 4k60 8 bit. What happens it appears is the Xbox One X then renders everything at 1080p and then up-scales it to 4k 8-bit rather than rendering at 4k and sending 8 bit data instead of 10 bit (evidently, read more below). The picture and text below illustrate the issue:
- Xbox One X thinks that the Epson 5040ub or 5040ube doesn’t support 4k60 10 bit (which is correct due to the HDMI chipset bandwidth limitation)
- Xbox One X then decides that it shouldn’t render in 4k then, it will render in 1080p mode and upscale it to compatible 4k60 8 bit mode (as noted in the dashboard picture above at the bottom game section)
- Hence all the 4k rendering benefits disappear possibly for games (depending on how the Xbox One X is handling things)
The question is, is the Xbox One X display message above correct or misleading? It says that games will be upscaled (meaning from 1080p to 4k I assume) but is that really what’s happening? Total bummer for me, had been waiting a long time for this. We’ll see what the next couple days bring as far as a response from Microsoft but I’m not holding my breath, I’m hoping that someone figures out what is actually happening on this display and other TV’s that are in a similar boat. I would think that the only way to tell would be is if you had a game that rendered at 1080p at 60fps and 30fps at 4k, if you played it and it was 60fps that you’ve confirmed the upscaling, and if you play it and it’s 30fps, then it appears like Microsoft’s game message above is incorrect.
I was going to return the Xbox One X Scorpio edition to Best Buy but I decided that I’d keep and see how it goes after hearing that some of the games I play like NBA2k18 play a lot smoother and that load times on some games are dramatically reduced. I was also thinking about selling my Epson projector after finding this out a couple days ago but have decided to keep it for now because after investigating the alternatives there just wasn’t a good secondary option available in this price range yet. I may try some experiments with my low lag Viewsonic Pro8100 with it to see if that reveals anything.
Hopefully someone will come out with a 4k projector that’s both economical and without bandwidth limitations here pretty soon. In the meantime, we can hope that Microsoft puts out a patch that allows 8 bit mode or at least clarifies the menu if the menu is actually wrong (but from what I’ve heard, that seems unlikely based upon past issues like this). There is a workaround for those that want to spend some extra money, there’s a device from HD Fury that can make the Xbox One X think it’s attached to a 4k60/10 bit signal and then downsample it for the projector at 4k60/8 bit. Not the most optimal solution, but it appears like that is what a large number of Epson owners are going to do. I spent the day looking for other 4k solutions but unfortunately most other projectors are either a lot more expensive or have other gaming drawbacks like lag. The HD Fury is available through Amazon affiliate here:
A lot of people who have the Epson 5040 or 5040ube already have this device mainly for trying to get HDR with 4k/60 from the PS4 Pro and some streaming devices. Unfortunately I don’t have one to try out.