I just wrote an article about the new Epson printers and Ultrachrome HD ink for my printing workshop web blog.
It seems the hardware and printing head of the new 44 inches printers are the same as the "old" Stylus Pro 9890 and 9900. So, I think that just informing the "old" printer about the new inks, we could keep the actual printers and use new inks if we wished. Technically we would only need a new printer firmware, new ink chips on cartridges (physically the same), ICC profiles and provably an upgraded printer interface.
Instead, Epson want us to throw away preatty recent printers as ours from just a year and a half ago.
I do not like neither the increase of ink shades. To me it does not have much sense as the print quality or wider gamut is very subtle and only on certain images.
Increasing ink cartridges, also increase the risk of cartridge failures and undoubtely we have more ink lines and nozzels to keep unclogged. We all know the "liquid gold price" of the actual inks. So I think Epson want us to make us think "the more ink shades the more quality" and make us use as many cartridges as possible to increase their income.
Writing that article, I came across a fact, a nightmare to me that I have never seen in one single post complaining about the following: when the smart ink cartridges get to an approximate volume level of about 5%, the cleaning action is not possible and new cartridge/s with proper ink volume must be installed to perform cleaning. Once the cleaning is done with the new cartridge/s, then should be replaced again for the low level ones. With eight or more inks installed on a printer, this becomes a nightmare because there are often one or more cartridges that have not enough ink to perform such cleaning.
It is popularly known that Catalans are savers (Catalonia is on the North Eastern part of Spain, at the moment) and we do not discard any cartridge until the message "replace cartridge" appears on screen. Perhaps the rest of the world, throw the cartridge away when appears "not enough ink to perform cleaning" on screen. This would mean a very unhealthy habit for common environment, as well as a considerable economic loss. If we discarded all the ten cartridges on a Stylus Pro 9900 when they reach 5% of ink level, we would be throwing away 50% of a full ink cartridge in each cycle !!!
Please read the full article HERE