Epson PowerLite Pro Z8000WU NL Dual Lamp Widescreen 3LCD Projector Review
A detailed review of this Epson PowerLite Pro Z8000WU NL projector. Images and related commentary, added by Art
October 2009 - Mike Rollett
Epson PowerLite Pro Z8000WU NL Projector Overview
The Epson PowerLite Pro Z8000WU NL is a high brightness (6000 lumen rating), high resolution (WUXGA – 1920 X 1200), dual lamp, 3LCD projector that is designed for permanent installation in a large scale venue, like an auditorium, boardroom or conference room. Its size and weight (almost 50 lbs.) make it unlikely to be used as a portable projector, except when placed on a cart. The Z8000WUNL has a complete set of connection options for a PC, Mac and other video sources, including the traditional VGA cable, DVI-D, HDMI, 5-BNC component video, S-video, composite video and wired LAN. Its specified output of 6000 lumens is aimed at filling large screens in large rooms or auditoriums, where total light control may be impractical or undesirable.
The NL at the end of its name indicates that it comes without a lens. For convenience, we'll often shorten the name throughout this review, to Z8000 or Z8000WU.
Similar to the previously reviewed Epson G5350NL, the Z8000WUNL can be purchased without a lens (the “NL” stands for “no lens”), giving the customer the option of choosing between six different lenses. The projector we tested was a pre-production model that came with the standard lens. The other lenses are explained in more detail later.
The Z8000 is network connectable, allowing for control of one or more networked projectors, as well as monitoring the projector’s status, scheduled maintenance and problem notification remotely. There is no wireless networking ability.
Epson will also be launching a Z8050W early next year that will have the same features as the Z8000, but with the much lower WXGA (1280 X 800) resolution and will be rated at 7000 lumens. The Z8050W will also have wireless networking capability.The Epson PowerLite Pro Z8000WUNL is designed to compete in a market dominated by 3-chip DLP projectors (see our review of the Sharp XG-P560W). In this review we will see how it stacks up against the competition.
Epson PowerLite Pro Z8000WU Projector Highlights
Very High Brightness – 6000 lumen rating
High resolution – 1920 X 1200 (WUXGA)
Closed captioning capability with built-in decoder
Wired networking capability, with full set of notification and monitoring features
Single off-axis installation — 30-degree tilt operation
Flexibility of installation – Motorized zoom, focus and lens shift, plus choice of six lenses
Rapid Power up and nearly instant shut off
Long lamp life – up to 3500 hours, Dual lamp operation
Specs for the Epson PowerLite Pro Z8000WUNL
MSRP: $21,898 (when packaged with standard lens valued at $1399)
Native Resolution: WUXGA (1920 X 1200)
Brightness: 6000 lumens
Contrast: Up to 5000:1
Zoom Lens ratio: 1.61:1 (standard lens)
Lens shift: Horizontal and Vertical
Lamp life: 2500 hours (Normal mode), 3500 hours (Eco mode)
Dimensions: Including feet and standard lens: 21.02" x 28.9" x 8.86"
Warranty: 3 years Parts and Labor on projector, 90 days on lamp
Epson PowerLite Pro Z8000WUNL Special Features
When using the Z8000’s network connection, EMP Monitor software allows you to control multiple projectors from one or more networked computers. It lets you turn the projectors on or off (individually or collectively), switch image sources and check on their status.
When using the networking ability of the Z8000, it can be set to notify the owner of the projector status, reminders or any problems via email. This can be done via EMP Monitor or directly from the projector without using EMP Monitor.
When using multiple projectors lined up to present a continuous image (like a wide spreadsheet), this feature allows the user to correct the brightness and color tone of each projector's image so that the colors of images from each projector match closely. It can be done from the remote for each projector individually or collectively.
Closed Caption Capabilities
Many projectors are not equipped to display closed captions. While not a widely needed feature, it can be invaluable to organizations that work with or employ hearing-impaired individuals. Bottom line is if you need closed captioning, the Z8000 has it.
For the ultimate customizability of installation, the Z8000WUNL (again, the NL stands for “No Lens”) does not come with a lens. Epson offers a choice of six bayonet-style lenses to choose from, depending on your installation needs. The standard lens (which was used for this review) has a throw ratio that ranges from 1.74 to 2.82 (this means the projector can be placed at a distance from the screen that equals 1.74 to 2.82 times the screen width). In addition to the standard lens, there are five optional lenses. There is a long throw zoom lens, two middle-throw zoom lenses and a wide zoom lens.
There is also a wide lens available for rear projection applications. List prices on these lenses are $1399 for the standard lens and $2899 for the other lenses.
Quick Corner Keystone Correction
As we noted on the previously reviewed G5350, the Z8000 has a specialized keystone correction feature called “Quick Corner”. In addition to the usual full-image horizontal and vertical keystone correction, Quick Corner allows you to adjust each corner of the projected image. This can come in handy if the projector is tilted up (as much as 30 degrees) or placed at an angle. As with any digital manipulation of the image, the sharpness and precision of the image will suffer with the use of Quick Corner. However, its effect is less than using regular keystoning (which affects entire sides of the image) and can be useful for making minor corrections. That being said, if the projector is to be permanently mounted, it’s better to get it placed properly to provide a square image without the use of keystoning or Quick Corner.