Posted on October 6, 2010
Epson’s Home Cinema 8350 will shortly be replacing the 8100 (which had received awards from us, and other reviewers/editors). Each year there are a few basically all new projectors, but most are simply minor imrprovements, with sometimes minor additional features. The Home Cinema 8350 is an improved and slightly refined version of the older projector.
The short version, is that last year’s Epson Home Cinema 8100 was a very good projector, and the new Home Cinema 8350 an improved, updated model, so we expect good performance.
It should be noted that the older Epson Home Cinema 8100 received two awards from us: The Best In Class Runner-Up Award in our annual Home Projector Comparison Report in April 2010, (and received our Hot Product Award, when reviewed). Although primarily the same as last year’s model, the Home Cinema 8350’s slightly improved black levels, combined with a lower price, (plus the usual very bright image in brightest mode), and a very long life lamp, made this Epson a likely Hot Product Award candidate.
What’s important about this new projector? The Epson Home Cinema 8350 is very bright in “brightest” mode, has overall good color, and a lot of “pop” to the image. I watched football all weekend on the Epson 8350 – sports looked killer… You’ll get all that, plus, a low cost of operation! And other things, including a very reasonable price. Those are the key reasons this Epson picked up a Hot Product award.
Before I go further, the Home Cinema 8350 has some siblings that should be mentioned. There is the more expensive Home Cinema 8700UB (MAP $2199), which has a bigger price tag, higher contrast, better blacks and a number of “dynamic” features. Then, the two of them have almost identical siblings in the Pro Cinema series, The Pro Cinema 9350.
I mentioned that the Epson is especially bright, at its brightest. In fairness, I must also report that when in its best possible picture mode for movie viewing, the Epson’s brightness is just about average.
This Home Cinema 8350 is the slightly less expensive replacement for Epson’s Home Cinema 8100. At $1299 MAP, this 1080p 3LCD projector claims 2000 lumens (doesn’t get there, but few projectors actually achieve their claims). This Epson projector has excellent placement flexibility and a 2 year warranty. From The Fifth Element:
The Home Cinema 8350 claims 50,000:1 contrast ratio, which will be discussed at length elsewhere in the review. Overall, the Home Cinema 8350 is an improvement over the popular 8100. It is certainly one of the best lower cost 1080p projectors out there, so the real questions are, is it in your budget, will it work for your room setup, the types of content you watch, or is there something else out there, for the same, more or less money, that makes better sense?
The lowest cost 1080p projectors start at several hundred less. Or you can spend more. For a bit less than $1000 additional, there are several projectors that pretty much have to be considered overall better, including, of course, the roughly $800 more expensive Home Cinema 8700UB
The Home Cinema 8350 is shipping this month (October). Time to explore the finer points.
Would you recommend this project to purchase today for around $500 or suggest something else. I can also purchase a Powerlite 1040 for around $300. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Grove Street! If you need lots of lumens, the 1040 is a significantly brighter. But the 8350 is the more elegant home theater projector. And while the 8350 can’t match the black levels of the Epson UB models, it’s still a good deal better at black levels than the 1040. Also, if I remember correctly it has CFI – smooth motion, a nice “extra” but also lens shift, better optics. Good hunting. -art
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