Epson PowerLite Pro Z8000WUNL Projector - Physical Tour
10-5-09 -Mike Rollett
The Powerlite Pro Z8000WUNL has a clean look, with external controls out of sight on the back panel and a hidden connection panel. Facing the front panel of the projector, the lens is mounted in the center with an IR receiving eye to each side of the lens just below it. The front panel tapers back away from the lens. The section of the front panel to the right of the lens can be removed, revealing the various input and output connectors. There are knockouts in both the top and bottom of the front panel cover, allowing for cable routing in either direction.
Removing the front interface cover presents a number of connection options. Starting from the top left and going across and down, there are connections for HDMI (with a holder for a cable tie to strap a heavy-duty HDMI cable down), DVI-D and a LAN port. Then five BNC connectors for analog RGB or component video, S-video, composite video, and computer monitor input and output. Finally, we have a jack for a direct wired remote, RS-232 serial control port and the power cord connector.
There are two large handles on top of the projector, that run from the front to the back, one on each side. These handles also have two threaded holes in each, for ceiling mounting the projector. On the bottom of the projector, there are four adjustable feet, one in each corner, for use when the projector’s table mounted. The feet can be completely removed if the Z8000 is ceiling mounted. One the left side of the projector, running along two-thirds of the side panel, is an air intake vent that also houses the removable dust filter. Its placement on the side of the projector facilitates easy periodic cleaning, without having to unmount the projector. There is also a Kensington lock slot to the left of the air vent. There is nothing on the right side of the projector.
Most of the rear panel is comprised of a removable plastic vent, to which two exhaust fans are attached. The vent/fan assembly is easily removed by pushing down two tabs on the vent assembly. The two fans lie directly behind each of the two lamps, which can be easily removed and replaced once the vent/ fan assembly has been opened. The downside of having the exhaust vent on the rear of the projector is that it cannot be mounted on or close to a rear wall.
To the right of the vent/fan assembly is the usual assortment of projector controls. These include: Power On/Off, Lens (cycles through the various lens adjustments – focus, zoom and lens shift), Source Search, Menu, Up/Down/Left/Right (which also control keystone correction), Enter, Escape and Shutter (to temporarily block projection). Below that are an IR receiving eye and indicator/warning lights for Power, Lamp 1, Lamp 2, Temperature and Filter.
Epson PowerLite Pro Z8000WUNL Setup
The Z8000WUNL is simple to set up. It fires up quickly and with the power lens shift, zoom and focus, it’s easy to size and move the picture to fit the screen. While it’s always best to square up the projector to the screen, the Z8000’s Quick Corner feature (a more refined version of keystone correction) allows you to electronically correct a misaligned image. Ideally, you would not want to use this feature (or any keystoning at all), as it can have a detrimental effect on the image quality. However, if you are limited in your ability to position the projector due to space restrictions, then using the Quick Corner feature will give you a properly proportioned image with minimal reduction in picture quality (as compared to normal keystone correction).
From there you simply set the Picture mode you want, make whatever other adjustments (typically Brightness, Contrast, Color Saturation, Tint and Sharpness) you wish to make and you’re ready to go.As is the case with other Epson business projectors, there is a movable electronic zoom that allows the user to zoom in on a particular section of the screen. This can be very handy for pointing out details in photos or charts. There is also an on-screen pointer that can be controlled by the multi-directional thumbpad on the remote. You can also temporarily freeze or blank out the displayed image via appropriate buttons on the remote.
Epson PowerLite Pro Z8000WUNL Remote Control
The Z8000’s remote is basically the same one we reviewed with the G5350. Power and input buttons are on top, right above a thumbpad, which offers 360 degree response, making it very usable as a wireless mouse (with an optional mouse adapter). The “trackball-like” action of the thumbpad also comes in handy when using the Z8000’s built-in pointer. The pointer display button, as well as buttons to control the electronic zoom and presentation pages, is right below the thumbpad. The “7”, “8”, and “9” buttons are also used to access the power lens shift, zoom and focus. On the bottom of the remote is that standard Epson “Help” button. In general, I found the buttons to be well laid out and spaced sufficiently to avoid hitting the wrong one, even in the dark.
Another feature allows you to control more than one Z8000 at a time independently from a single remote. By turning on the “ID” slide switch on the side of the remote, you can switch the remote between different projector IDs (a total of nine selectable in the projector menu) and have completely independent, full control of each projector.
Like the G5350, the Z8000 may be mounted some distance from the screen, so the remote needs to have some powerful IR emitters. I was able to control the G5350 from a distance of 50’ (as far as could get from it), so I would expect the same performance from the Z8000’s remote. For those installations where it’s not feasible to control the Z8000 via IR from the remote, there is a jack on the bottom of the remote that allows it to be wired to the projector.
Epson PowerLite Pro Z8000WUNL Menus
The menus on this Epson look a great deal like every other Epson we've reviewed in the last few years. I won't go into all the individual features - you can read most of them off of this stack of menu photos.
Of particular note, Epson seems to treat the Pro Z8000 as if it's both business and home theater projector when it comes to the menu features, such as a full range of Color Modes, and a Dynamic Iris to produce blacker blacks.