Epson PowerLite 8350
Epson is a company that manufactures all sorts of peripherals that complement computers and other things lying around office environments. Some of their devices like their printers and projectors are suitable for both businesses and homes. In fact, Epson offers a dedicated set of home cinema projectors that are meant to be used for watching presentations, movies, and other quality content on scalable sizes. Scalability is the main advantage of projectors so users with enough space can project the image to a wall to achieve 80-120-inch screen sizes in amazing detail and a bulky HDTV is not involved in the equation. Multimedia enthusiasts that are new to projectors may want to go for a high performing entry-level model like the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8350 to enjoy an immersive high-definition experience.
Because this projector is in the Home Cinema family, the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema has a white design like the rest of the models since the black designs are reserved for the Pro Cinema models. The back side of the projector shows a standard assortment of ports including two HDMI ports so a gaming console or media player can be hooked up, a set of component inputs along with the S-Video and composite video as well as a D-sub for PC connections and an RS-232C port. The controls on the top of the projector are minimal since the only things that are controllable are the lens. The weight is comparable to standard projectors so this 16-pound projector isn’t really meant for travelling.
“I just set this up and replaced my Benq W500 with this… and WOW. What a difference. This picture is super clear, and bright. It is just amazing. Picture is clean, sharp, and bright. Brightness was my big complaint with my last projector and surely, not with this one. I’ve watched a few blu ray movies and it looks awesome. Few key points, price is good, great picture, bright, and super quiet. Also lense shift makes it easy to get everything centered if it is off a little bit. The only thing I noticed with it that surprised me was how much bigger and heavier it was then my last projector, but not a big deal. All in all, excellent projector, especially for the money.” – Bob (USA)
The image quality is excellent for its value thanks to the 3LCD technology that utilizes three different chips to get the color accuracy right. It also manages to do this while saving some electricity. Epson claims up to 25% energy savings per lumen which is a significant amount in the long run. The flexible lumen output is also one of the biggest strengths of the Canon Epson PowerLite Home Cinema. It reaches the required white light output that is laid out by the ISO 2118 standard which really shows that white and color light output look brilliant.
Although the Epson PowerLite 8350 is in the entry-level category, the projector is fully ready to show off 1080p visuals with a 50,000:1 contrast ratio. The projector should work fine out of the box because of its increased light output in ambient light. Black levels are average when used in illuminated rooms and the color is rather decent. Activating the Epson Super White and engaging the auto iris optimizes the projector for use in darker rooms. Adjusting the color temperature also leads to desirable results for the average viewer.
The lumen output is flexible because of the various modes that it offers. When the highest possible lumen output is needed, the Dynamic preset should be used. This is an ideal setting for bright rooms and the overall display quality looks good as long as image is less than 100 inches diagonally. Bringing it down to 60 to 80 inches is better if the brightness and contrast settings are cranked up a bit.
The Living Room preset is a no brainer since the PowerLite 8350 will likely be set up in a home living room. Although it is not as bright as the Dynamic preset, the colors are reproduced much better and the blacks are noticeably deeper. This opens up the possibilities in having larger screens in the 100 to 120-inch ranges without suffering from serious visual penalties.
If the Living Room preset shows a few flaws, the Cinema mode can be tested as well and it looks great when watching Blu-ray or DVD titles. The color balance and black levels look great in light-controlled areas. The Natural preset can be used instead to increase the color saturation. Different types of content look best in different settings but what matters is that every preset has a significant role.
No matter what mode is used, the E-TORL lamp puts the power to good use by offering some lumens per watt while minimizing light leakage and light diffraction so the life of the lamp is extended.
The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8350 isn’t very focused on the zoom features but the different modes and good overall image quality make this high-end consumer device difficult to beat and the $1,300 price tag makes it very competitive against the others. Even if there are weaknesses in some areas, a change of light or a change of mode can fix most of the annoying issues.
More user reviews:
• “You no longer need the budget of Steven Spielberg to equip a home cinema with crystal sharp projected images. This machine, out of the box, delivers excellent quality 1080p motion picture images. At a throw of about 10 feet, you can fill an eight-foot wide screen. Darken the room and lower the bulb’s output to save on it’s expected life and you will swear you are watching a movie at the local multiplex (assuming you have Bluray and a modest sound system. This machine is well worth $4,000, but now available at around $1200, it’s worth every penny. Treat yourself. ” – Mike Bifulco (USA)
• “Highly recommend this. This has several features that makes this a great buy, especially for the price.
- has adjustable lens (up/down, left/right). Makes sighting the lens much easier
- full 1080p, great colors, no noticeable flicker
- runs quiet, easy to setup
The zoom lens let you maximize the screen size. We had basically a 100+ inch diagonal picture.
Summary, combine this unit ($1,200) with a good 7.1 surround system (we used the Onkyo HT-S6300, $500) and a Blue Ray (<$100) and you can have a home theater for under $2,000. I am not sure if you can beat that with a Plasma TV or similar while still creating a +100 inch screen. " David Williams (Cary, NC USA)
• “Things I really really like about this projector: The Picture is phenomenal. I’m projecting a picture 9 feet wide from 13 feet away. The projector is mounted to the ceiling and the lens shift puts it square on the wall under a ceiling fan without having to hang the projector off of an extension. Nice! In the brightest mode I can watch during the day with reasonably good picture quality even though I have 16′ of patio door opposite the projector wall, but at night when the movies come out, the picture absolutely pops! I’ve run HD off of the cable DVR and the Blu-ray and it’s all top notch.” – Greg Acuff (Irvine, CA United States)
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