Epson Pro Cinema 800 Home Theater Projector

Projector Brightness

The Epson Pro Cinema 800 projector, is nothing, if not a bright, home theater projector. It is visibly brighter in its bright modes than the Panasonic PT-AE900u, the Marantz VP-12S4, and its closest competition, the Optoma H78DC3 (Darkchip 3 DLP technology). Perhaps the best proof are the following two side by side images, the first compared to the Marantz, the second to the Panasonic PT-AE900u projector.

The football game image on the right was shot with significant ambient light in the room – 4 recessed ceiling lights (50 watts each) are on (although none directly hit the screen). The image is bright enough that the rest of the room still appears very dark in this shot, but the room is bright enough to read a newspaper.

But first, who cares? Most people! Anyone going for the really large screen, such as my own 128″ diagonal Firehawk, will appreciate the extra gain, But for most of you considering a home theater projector, the major advantage of the Epson’s brightness, is its ability to deal with a little ambient light when watching movies, and even more significant, dealing with more than a little ambient light, as many of you prefer when watching “TV” (hopefully HDTV), notably sports, but almost any subject. And gamers, the extra brightness will thrill Playstation and XBox enthusiasts.

The comparison to the Marantz image above has both projectors in their brightest modes. Note, in real life the difference isn’t as great as this photo indicates, but it is still rather sig

The comparison to the Marantz image above has both projectors in their brightest modes. Note, in real life the difference isn’t as great as this photo indicates, but it is still rather significant.

The image below, compared to the Panasonic PT-AE900u projector (again Epson 800 on the left), shows a less significant difference. The Epson is in it’s Cinema Night mode, the Panasonic in Cinema 2.

nificant.

The image below, compared to the Panasonic PT-AE900u projector (again Epson 800 on the left), shows a less significant difference. The Epson is in it’s Cinema Night mode, the Panasonic in Cinema 2.

 

There is real demand out there for bright home theater projectors, not everyone wants a smaller screen, or can fully darken their room, or even have dark walls. The Epson excels at handling situations demanding more “horsepower” (lumens).

That said, it’s not the brightest home theater projector around. Sanyo is just starting to ship their new PLV80, which claims almost double the Epson, with 3000 lumens. There’s a price to pay, though, the Sanyo looks to command an extra $2000 more.

Bottom line. This Epson in almost every way relating to image quality, not only surpasses lower cost LCD projectors, but is also strong competition with the only Darkchip3 DLP HT projector in its price range, Optoma’s H78DC3, which definitely has better black levels, and less visible pixels, but isn’t as bright, and definitely lacks the color accuracy of the Epson (the H78DC3 needs to be calibrated, be it with a basic consumer disk, or a full professional one.

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