Since I’ve been pounded with emails about the Home Cinema 8350, here, in a nutshell, is the important knowledge I’ve acquired so far.
Black levels have definitely improved. Whether, however, this is an ultra high contrast projector I still can’t make the call. It’s close.
Last night I did some quick viewing, and took some photos of the Home Cinema 8350 side by side with the Pro Cinema 9500UB/Home Cinema 8500UB, the Sanyo PLV-Z4000 and the Panasonic PT-AE4000.
The 8350 is no match for the Epson UB. (I’m figuring the same iris, so a native 4:1 advantage in contrast for the UB, by my math.) And I didn’t expect it to be. Where I was surprised was that the Panasonic PT-AE4000 still does better blacks. The HC8350 is a bit closer to the Panny, than the Panny to the 9500UB, but its still definitely not the Panasonic’s equal.
The Sanyo PLV-Z4000 – the Z3000 update, did not improve on the 3000′s blacks, and they were always the lightest – of the projectors I call ultra high contrast. In other words, the Sanyo was the entry level of the ultra high contrast projectors.
This new Epson is very close to the Sanyo, and on a couple of scenes could beat it, but overall, the Sanyo PLV-Z4000 has the edge.
My thought so far is that, the Epson improvement in blacks, is like that of the Mitsubishi HC4000′s (getting a Darkchip3 upgrade compared to the HC3800′s DC2.) That is, its a real improvement, small, but significant, and yet, not enough to catapult either projector into the middle of the pack, one price point higher – around $2000. I see the Epson as potentially canabalizing Sanyo sales, but not too likely to take from either the Panasonic, the more expensive Epson, BenQ W6000 and others.
That’s it for now. -art