Epson Home Cinema 8500UB and Pro Cinema 9500UB Projector Review
The Epson Home Cinema 8500UB (above) is a mid-sized, rectangular projector with slightly rounded corners. It comes in a white finish with white end caps. The Pro Cinema 9500UB (right) is physically identical looking, but for the charcoal gray finish, and dark gray endcaps. Most of the images on this site are of the 8500UB (actually a 6500UB), as it’s very difficult to get good photos of what is an essentially black projector. Overall, they are fairly typical looking projectors despite some minor styling touches.
While the newest Epson UB projectors are physically larger than the original Home Cinema 1080 UB, they are physically still a size smaller, than say the Panasonic PT-AE4000, and smaller still compared to larger projectors like the JVCs and Sonys.
If you are facing the front of the Home Cinema 8500UB, you will find that the lens is offset to the right. The 2.1:1 zoom lens is manual, and extends partially from the projector case. Focus and Zoom are accomplished by rotating the trim rings on the lens. To the right, below the lens, is the infra-red sensor, and to the left, is the front air exhaust.
Moving to the top, behind the lens barrel, are dials for vertical and horizontal lens shift. Just forward of the back center are two indicator lamps, the Power button (once for on, twice for off) and a Source button. The lamp door is also on top, so that you will not have to unmount a ceiling mounted projector to change the long life lamp. Behind the Power and Source buttons, wrapping around to the rear, is a second infra-red sensor, providing excellent coverage.
The rest of the control panel is found on the right side (looking from the front). The inputs and outputs are located on the back, as is an intake filter (that can be cleaned/changed). There are two screw thead adjustable feet in the front of the 8500UB.
Click to enlarge . so close As mentioned above, the Power and Source buttons are located on the top by the back. The rest of the control panel is on the right side, near the back. Closest to the front of the buttons is a large Menu button. To its right, the four arrow keys on a rocker (square configuration, with a center Enter button), and finally closest to the back, the Escape button.
Click to enlarge . so close
The Home Cinema 8500UB has a fairly typical selection of inputs and outputs. There are (from the left) two HDMI (1.3b) inputs, a component video input (3 color colded RCA jacks), the basic S-Video and composite video inputs, and an analog computer input (standard HD15 connector), which can double as a second component video input.There is an RS-232 serial port for controlling the projector from a computer or room control sytem. Additionally, this Epson projector has one 12 volt screen trigger.
Epson Home Cinema 8500UB Menus
Epson has been using the same basic menu look and feel for many years now. I guess it figures into the idea of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Pressing the Menu button brings up the main menu, with its six main menus. The first one – Image – will appear to the right, while the names of all six main menus are listed vertically on the left. Scroll down to see the contents of each menu.
In the Image menu, the first item is the Color mode, which gives a choice of the seven preset modes. The names are different between the Home and Pro versions of the projectors. For example:
9500UB Mode same as 8500UB mode:
Vivid is Dynamic
Cinema Day is LivingRoom
THX is the old Natural
Cinema Night – is Theater Black, HD is Theater Black 1 (our old “best” mode)
Silver screen is Theater Black 2 (for black and white moves)
x.v.color is x.v.color.
Control of the usual Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, etc. are on the Image menu, along with Dynamic iris on/settings, and lamp brightness. There’s also an Advanced menu with color management controls, and features like dynamic contrast enhancement and Super-resolution.
The Signal menu is most noteworthy for the CFI and Frame interpolation controls. You can set frame interpolation to simple interpolation: 4:4. You must turn that off to engage Epson’s creative frame interpolation (CFI), which is improved over last year’s implementation (yes, better than even the firmware upgrade).
The Settings menu has a host of feature controls including high altitude mode, projector orientation, sleep mode, child lock features, 12 volt trigger control, and in the Display submenu (of the Settings menu), menu positioning and look, background, and startup screen controls.
The Memory menu, offers up the ability to save, load or rename the 9 User savable memory areas.
Again, a really good menu setup. Easy to navigate, and I really like having lamp brightness on the main Image menu (although I’d also like to see the frame interpolation controls there too).
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