Epson Home Cinema 8500UB and Pro Cinema 9500UB Projector Review

Below are a number of additional images we typically use in reviews, that should give you a good feel for overall skin tone handling. There is still a slight color shift in the photos compared with the original on screen image, mostly a touch too much green.

I particularly like the second image (usually a tough one because the background is so bright), and the night shot of Aeon, right below it.

Epson Home Cinema 8500UB Black Levels & Shadow Detail

Click to enlarge .  so close

Wow! Last year’s Epson UB projectors had the best black levels of any under $5000, or for that matter, under $8000 home theater projectors, with the exception of the relatively pricey JVC models.

This year’s Epson’s, the Home Cinema 8500UB and Pro Cinema 9500UB, are even better. For those looking for another drastic improvement, as we got two years ago with the first Epson UB – the 1080UB, that’s not going to happen. This, like with the 6500UB, is an incremental improvement. Since the projector relies, in part, on a dynamic iris, one expects the biggest improvement in the darkest scenes, and that’s exactly where you get it.

Click Image to Enlarge

If you are expecting blacks to be blacker in generally bright scenes, you are pretty much out of luck. If you want blacker blacks and more “pop” in dark scenes, that’s something the new Epson projectors deliver on. Quicktip: Someone very recently asked me about what made more sense, buying a 6500UB at closeout, or getting an 8500UB, in terms of the black level improvements that I’ve been discussing here. I think my comment to him might be helpful to others: Unlike trying to compare two projectors (say the Epson vs. the BenQ) where there are always trade-offs, in picture quality, color accuracy, placement flexibility, etc, that’s definitely not the case comparing the Home Cinema 8500UB with the older 6500UB. When I view the two, side by side, post calibration, they are almost identical. Skin tones on the 8500UB look more like the 6500UB, than, say any other 3LCD projector or any DLP projector. And they are similar in brightness. In other words, there’s nothing really about the 6500UB that the 8500UB doesn’t do the same or better.

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