Posted on February 14, 2017
The Home Cinema 3700 is one of three projectors launched in September 2016, replacing the older 3000 series. There are significant improvements. Because it has what I felt was the best feature set and value proposition, we decided to review this one. I’ll mention below, the differences between models – some noticeable differences, and point out what types of viewers might prefer each model. All have HDMI with MHL to support streaming sticks and other MHL compatible All of these Epson’s have two years parts and labor, and have a free (freight) rapid replacement program instead of repairing warranty failures.
The HC3700 – aka Home Cinema 3700 – is the middle priced model with a list price of $1499. It claims a healthy 3000 lumens, internal speakers and improved contrast relative to its predecessor. And, it has a healthy amount of vertical and horizontal lens shift, something not common on sub $2000 projectors (although a number of projectors in this range have a small amount of lens shift.) All three models are 1080p projectors.
For $200 less is the HC3100. 2600 lumens (making the HC3700 15% brighter, not huge but a respectable bump.)
Then comes the flagship, which I will want to get a look at, as it has new 3LCD panels, likely the same ones in Epson’s Pro Cinema 4040 (which I’ll write up after this review). That should mean that the HC3900 will have a a nice, but modest improvement in black levels, but still no match for Epson’s more expensive “UB” projectors.
At $1999, Epson sees the HC3900 as more “home theater” than “home entertainment.” So no speakers on the 3900. It has the same 3000 lumens, so the extra is primarily for the black level improvement.
Speaking of pricing, typically Epson projectors are sold at their list prices, but it seems at times Epson runs promotions that are found both on their site and authorized dealers. At one point I saw this projector for 10% off.
OK enough on the family, time to focus on the Home Cinema 3700, which I have logged more than 40 hours watching. Eric calibrated it, so we’ll report our basic settings on the Calibration page, and the advanced settings for our subscribers. Suffice to say though, color is rather good right out of the box.
On last thought here. For those of you who are small business folks, etc., the HC3700 can easily double as a business projector. It’s certainly bright enough, has sound, and pretty much everything else needed, not to mention high resolution.
I’ve mentioned more than a couple of these items above. Consider this just a short, more concise list, most of which is discussed in the review:
On the next page, we’ll discuss some of the special features. That will be followed by our tour of the hardware.
So would feel this is worth the extra $200 if you don’t need the speakers? Is the added brightness a benefit in any room? I will be using both when some ambient light during day but also in dark room at night on 100 inch screen from 10.5 away.
I’d say the overall value of the 3700 and 3100 are comparable, so go with the one that has the feature set you need. Thus you can save the $200 since you don’t need the speakers. As to brightness, the projector has way more than enough even under low lamp, for a fully darkened room. Either of them do. The difference in brightness is not great. For perspective, the difference between the two, at full power is a lot less than the difference between Full and Medium power on the 3700. In other words, it’s a very modest brightness difference. Not enough to be concerned about unless you are already worried that your daytime ambient light will be very challenging with either. -art
Great thanks for your help. Decided on the 3100 to hold me over the next year. Hoping 4K and HDR have some further advancements in the next gen JVC and Epson UB models.
glad I could help! -art
Curious if this would be any better than Epson 8350 from about 7 years ago (110″, dark room). Thanks!
mask – good question. Hard to guess. Many things have improved in terms of processing, The panels today have smaller masks, but contrast between the 8350s and the 3700 panels – probably similar, in which case the 3900 with higher contrast panels (I believe) would probably be superior. And of course you get 3D and some other goodies. I was always a UB fan back in the 8350’s day, but it always had a strong following, and the same 2.1:1 zoom lens as the UBs, far more than the 3700. Brightness notwithstanding, I don’t think I’d really consider replacing an 8350 with a 3700. -art
How does this compare to the 1450?
Hi Josh. I haven’t worked with the 1450, however, it’s the brute force projector, but the not that much less bright 3700 has a better feature set. Go for the 1450 if what you need most is all that horsepower, otherwise, if you are looking at the same price, I’d say 3700 is the better value. -art
Hello, I want to know how this compares to the epson 2040. Will i see a big difference with this one to justify the double cost? My use will be mostly movies 2d/3d and some gaming with good control over the light in my room.
Kostas, it’s a tough call. The 3700 is really bright, but I figure that Epson’s even more expensive models, especially the $2699 5040UB are the real “step up” I haven’t gotten to check them out yet, but Epson just announced their 2100 series (replacing the 2040/2045). You’ll definitely want to consider those, if you are trying to keep the spend down. They should be shipping any day now. I’ll review one of them, but that won’t happen for a full month. -art
Thanks for the answer, the release date is the similar for Europe ? If yes then i can wait for the new 2100 series
Yes, I would expect the new models to be at the IFA show, which is I believe is next week? -art
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