Epson Home Cinema 6500UB - Review Summary
A summary of the Epson Home Cinema 6500UB projector's pros and cons and capabilities.
Epson Home Cinema 6500UB Projector - The Bottom Line
The 6500UB improves on the older, and top rated Home Cinema 1080 UB. It accomplishes this with more brightness, a sharper image, and even better black levels. It even got a little quieter in operation.
While good right out of the box (better than most) with a basic calibration the Home Cinema 6500UB improves even further. None of the other LCD projectors near its price range can match its brightness or its stellar black level performance.
Nor can the DLP projectors out there touch its black levels. That pretty much leaves the JVC projectors - JVC is the reigning black level champ, but none of theirs is close to the price of this Epson. Sony's new HW10 comes up a little short, although the much more expensive VPL-VW70 (VW80 overseas?), may match or even beat the Epson. This we will find out when we review one of those Sonys.
The only real issues with the Epson are the Frame Interpolation problems, which for some will be important, but for most of us, I'm not overly concerned about a feature that can do some good, but adds/subtracts something from the original, when our normal goal is to faithfully reproduce the original.
The Epson should work well on screens up to 110 inch diagonal for movie watching in dark rooms, without having to go to very high gain screens. It has more lumens than all but a handful of competitors when it comes to delivering maximum lumens ("brightest mode") for working in moderate ambient light conditions.
The combination of great blacks, good dynamics and a very sharp image provide more depth to the image than many competitors as well.
Overall, I really like the Epson for its rich, dynamic look. In this regard perhaps it isn't as "film-like" as some other projectors, but then, it does have a lot of wow factor - pop, but without being over the top. Some of the other projectors I ran side by side, seemed a bit dull and lacking, by comparison.
We give the Epson our Hot Product Award, and, as of this writing, it looks to be a serious contender for a Best in Class award in our upcoming comparison: The 1080p Projector Comparion Report. I'll start working on that late January, after the last four "must include" projectors have been reviewed.
There's plenty of competiton for the Epson Home Cinema 6500UB, but this projector seems up to the task. Of the LCD projectors, it is now my favorite, with or without a fully functional Frame Interpolation capability. With a starting street price of under $2800 (after rebate), the Home Cinema 6500UB is going to be really tough to beat from a price/performance standpoint.
Epson Home Cinema 6500UB Projector: Pros, Cons, and Typical Capabilities
Epson Home Cinema 6500UB Projector: Pros
- Very good color accuracy post calibration in best mode
- LivingRoom mode provides very good color accuracy for a brighter mode, great for HDTV, Sports, and for movies with modest ambient light
- Dynamic mode is brighter than all but a very few projectors can produce
- Good shadow detail performance
- Black level performance the best of the under $3000 projectors, and better than most more expensive ones, including all DLP projectors we have reviewed
- An overall very impressive image - lots of "pop" and "wow" factor
- Two HDMI 1.3b inputs, full support for 24 fps, Deep Color, etc.
- Very sharp image
- More user savable settings modes than anyone will ever need
- Very good remote control
- Excellent placement flexibility due to 2.1:1 zoom and lens shift
- Long life, 4000 hour lamp (in full or low power lamp modes) - longest lamp life of any home theater projector with lamp at full power - reduces cost of ownership
- Very good menus
- Best overall picture of any under $3000 projector (thanks to black level advantage)
- Excellent price/performance
Epson Home Cinema 6500UB Projector: Cons
- Apparent problems with Epson's frame interpolation scheme, with frequent jerkiness to the image, and "live digital video" look to movies when engaged
- Darkest shadow details lost, compared to the projectors best at shadow detail - but ultimately very respectable shadow detail
- A third HDMI input would be nice
- Slight (but acceptable) pixel mis-alignment
- Some uneveness of background color, however, this is not unusual when working with late pre-production units
- Documentation is weak in terms of explaining the many settings features and modes (typical of most manuals)
Epson Home Cinema 6500UB Projector: Typical Capabilities
- Selection of inputs
- Documentation ( as noted, though, it's thin on explanations of many features)
- Physical appearance - basically a box, but with a little bit of styling, no award for good physical looks
- Average audible noise levels, very quiet in low power, a little noisier than average at full power
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