Epson PowerLite 8500UB

Many home theater setups include a large TV as the centerpiece and with the wide assortment of different HDTVs available more people are willing to achieve those dream setups but only some of them are successful since some people suffer from room and lighting limitations while others simply want a very large display but do not want to take too much space. This is where home cinema projectors come in and they are not too popular because many of the models have some weaknesses usually related to the overall image quality or brightness and contrast. Witnessing the real advantages of using a home cinema projector is only possible if one of the three high end 1080p Epson PowerLite models is chosen. The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8500UB falls in between the two models making it a popular choice for quality and price to be in consideration.

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8500B

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8500B

Design

The Epson PowerLite 8500UB looks like several of the other high-end and midrange models. It is only available in white since this is a Home Cinema projector and the minimal controls show that this home cinema projector is not very difficult to use. The back part of the projector shows all of the available connections including 2 HDMI ports so both a gaming console and a media player can be hooked up or a pair of gaming consoles. The rest of the standard ports are present as well to avoid incompatibility issues with older devices.

Actual user review:
“We received our 8500 projector yesterday and it is fantastic. The best I have ever owned/demo’d. Right out of the box, the colors are beautiful, the blacks are intensly black, and its brightness is excellent and more than enough for both the 137″ and 106″ screens we tried it out on.

I have owned several projectors for quite a few years now (the Infocus X1 and most recently the Optoma H79). Each impressed me in its time, but there is really no comparing either of these two to the Epson. I can’t see how anyone could be disappointed in this purchase. It feels like it should be thousands of dollars more for the performance.

Last night, we watched Avatar, and to us, it was better looking than when we saw it in the theater (probably owing to the 3D presentation dimming the colors and blurring the action somewhat).

I’ll rate this thing a solid 10. Could not be more happy with it.” – The Jabberwocky (Seattle, WA)

 

Features

The 8500UB has that “UB” suffix putting it in a separate category of premium 1080p projectors. This is because the 8500UB has improved specifications and a few extra technologies that is enough to make this projector a decent HDTV alternative. This is a very good thing because many of the lower-end PowerLite models received positive recognition because of their overall performance.

One of the main features that are present in many Epson devices including the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8500UB is the 3LCD technology. This technology alone drives the detail and amazing color quality regardless of the size of the screen. Other projectors make use of a single chip only and that results to increased power consumption so the lamp has a longer lifespan of up to 4,000 hours. The PowerLite uses an E-TORL lamp which also plays a major role in minimizing the energy consumption by reducing the light leakage and diffraction. The 200,000:1 contrast ratio also ensures deeper blacks and finer details than other competing products at this price point.

The PowerLite 8350 is truly intended for the living room because it features a few technologies that are exclusive in the UB series. It uses the Silicon Optix HQV Reon-VX processor to handle the scaling and deinterlacing tasks. This processor promises blazing speeds as it uses the Floating Point Gate Array technology so it can compute more than a trillion processing operations every second. These methods also smoothen out the jagged edges and helps remove some of the compression artifacts resulting to clearer images. Those that watch DVD and Blu-ray titles or play console games will enjoy the work that the Enhanced FineFrame Interpolation Processing Technology performs. It basically repairs the source recordings of 1080p frames to reduce judder and eliminate some of the annoying flickers.

With all of these features and technologies combined, the 8500UB stays ahead of the competition by managing to display very bright pictures while still keeping the colors in balance. Larger living rooms will benefit from this high-end projector since it project screens as large as 300 inches. The exact experience varies depending on the select setting and fortunately it is not hard to change these presets. For instance, the Dynamic setting is very bright measuring 1835 lumens. The color temperature and overall balance can be emphasized if the Living Room setting is used. There is also a special THX-certified operating mode which should help users get the THX quality sound from their home theater.

Bottom Line

The Epson PowerLite 8500UB rightfully deserves the THX certification and customers need to note that this is one of the more inexpensive models that have the label. Although there are no powered zoom controls, the 8500UB is one of them best non-portable projectors.

Average User Rating:
More user reviews:

This projector is really something else; if you haven’t seen a mid-range projector in a few years, you’re in for quote a shock. I’m using mine in a dedicated/light controlled media room on a 100″ 1.1 gain screen. The image is really beyond what I expected, it’s pretty incredible. A few things that I’ll highlight (good and bad).

First off, the projector is white. Most media rooms are dark colors, so this thing sticks out like a sore thumb. A black/dark color would be much better. Also, this thing is BIG. If you haven’t seen one in person, be prepared for how large these projectors are. It’s not bigger than I expected, but it’s a big device (and reasonably heavy), just be ready for it when you place your order. Finally, this thing (and all projectors) makes some serious heat. It’s usually mounted on the ceiling, so not that big a deal, but you certainly wouldn’t want this thing right behind you; it’s pretty hot.

In my light controlled room, the image is almost too bright in normal mode; in “Eco” mode it’s perfect. I’ve got about 17′ of throw and a 100″ screen; and I’ve never taken it out of eco mode; it’s more than bright enough.

Overall, I’m very happy with it; I’ll have to update this review in a few months (and give a more long term view), but, as it sits right now; it’s a great device; truly breathtaking picture.. For the price, certainly a 5 star item. ” – Michael J.Fink (West Palm Beach, FL United States)

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I did quite a bit of research on this projector and a model from Panasonic.I ended up going with this one and I am thrilled with it. Avatar Blu-ray on my 100″ screen is more stunning than it was in the theater–I saw details that I couldn’t see in the theater. The colors are amazing! The THX mode and the black-level 2 modes have been perfect for me without any color-correction from me. The Settings menu is intuitive and easy to use. I haven’t taken my projector out of eco-mode yet, and I don’t see any need to. The picture is bright, crisp, color-accurate. The only less-than-perfect thing I have noticed is a very very minor amount of screen-door effect on white portions of the image only. I have to be looking for it to notice it and it doesn’t distract me during a movie at all. Most all LCD projectors have the screen-door effect, so I don’t really consider it a problem or a flaw–especially since it is undetectable most of the time. “ Stephen Wells (SLC, UT)

This machine is BIG, but its also very quiet which is in part a function of the size of the case. Build quality is on the flimsy side (the lens horizontal and vertical offset for instance) but these issues won’t affect you once it’s set up and in place during your normal viewing.

Loaded with features and indeed with very good black level, the machine is killer bang-for-the-buck, and Epson’s hot-swap exchange policy cannot be valued highly enough. The main inherent shortcoming of the projector for me was “screen door effect”. Don’t be fooled by folks who say you can’t see it on these 1080p LCD machines… you can. The difference is that rather than a clearly defined “grid” of squares, the SDE looks more like a haze or slight graininess to bright areas of the picture. It’s not terribly distracting if you’re used to Plasma and other displays that may already impart a signature of grain/screen door, but if you’re used to silky-smooth LCOS or SXRD images, you won’t be able to tolerate it here. I didn’t see the Panny 4000, but folks who were bothered by the SDE of the Epson said that the Panny solved their problem. Of course, the feature-set of the two projectors is quite different, and if black level is your primary goal, the Epson may be your better choice.

In this realm of $2000-$2500 1080p projectors, it’s astonishing how far we’ve come. Don’t sweat your decision too hard, because you’ll probably be buying a new LED and/or 3D projector in just a few years for the same price, and retiring whatever machine you buy today to the kid’s room for gaming.” – David Boulet (Washington, DC USA)

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