Epson Pro Cinema 810 Home Theater Projector

Epson Pro Cinema 810 Projector Reviews: Summary, Pros, Cons

Well, by now you’ve figured out that I like the Epson Pro Cinema 810. It’s solid on movies, especially those in HD, and it really shines on quality HDTV content, be it Discovery HD, INHD, Leno, or football…

This review isn’t quite finished, as noted earlier, due to the slight color unevenness, a 2nd, this time full production projector is inbound. Look for updates shortly.

It’s finally time, however to consider the price, and very relevant in this case, Epson’s distribution strategy.

I believe the Epson is the most expensive of the 720p LCD projectors right now. Epson doesn’t use a standard MSRP, but what they call UMAP. Essentially Epson sets the selling price with UMAP, something, I believe, legally pioneered by Bose. As a result, if you try to by the Epson Pro Cinema 810 all by itself, without cables, screens, speakers – etc., you are likely to find yoursefl paying $2999. Reality however is that if you are buying the Epson with other equipment, a dealer is likely to give you especially generous discounts on some of them, to offset holding the projector’s price at $2999. This keeps the local dealers happy, Epson happy, and I imagine the small handful of online A/V home theater resellers happy. It’s very difficult to sell to both online (or places like Costco) and also sell to the small specialty, heavy support oriented local “Cedia” dealers. Epson is trying, however.

Now that you have some idea of what the Epson can cost, the next question is – how does it compare to lower priced LCD’s notably the Sanyo PLV-Z5, the Panasonic PT-AX100U, and Sony HS-51A (HS-60), as well as the more expensive BenQ PE8720 DLP projector.

Epson Pro Cinema 810 vs. Sanyo PLV-Z5

The Sanyo, as mentioned appears almost oversharp, but does provide an extremely sharp image. Out of the box color of the Epson is better than the Sanyo but not perfect by any means. And perhaps one of the biggest differences – the Epson has a lot more lumens to toss around. The Sanyo is good for smaller screens, the Epson can tackle larger screens or face more ambient light, although its dimmest mode Silverscreen isn’t particularly bright for a “best mode”.

Epson Pro Cinema 810 vs Panasonic PT-AX100U

Well the Epson and the Panasonic are pretty close in lumens. The Panasonic has the edge in out of the box color, and invisible pixels, but the Epson has the sharpness, and a great warranty and it should prove to have exceptional quality control. Panasonic seems to have more issues with minor problems with some units, the forums report a small but significant number of buyers having issues and replacing them.

Epson Pro Cinema 810 vs. Sony HS-51A

The difference in brightness is almost overwhelming. The Sony is a very respectable projector but I have to opt for the Epson – on almost any sized screen the Epson will just be more enjoyable to watch by virtue of brightness and dynamics. Unless you believe that a home theater projector can be too bright.

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