The Art of Home Theater Projectors

Epson Introduces PowerLite Home Cinema 8350 and 8700UB – Press Release

Comment by Projector Reviews Staff:

We are very excited that Epson has today introduced two new 1080p home cinema projectors, the PowerLite Home Cinema 8350 and 8700UB, successors to their very popular Home Cinema 8100 and 8500UB.  We do in fact, have the 8350 in-house for Art to get a first look at when he returns from CEDIA next week.  Stay tuned….

Epson Adds Two High-Performance 1080p Projectors to Award-Winning Home Cinema Line

PowerLite Home Cinema 8350 and 8700 UB Deliver Affordable, High-Definition Home Theater Experiences
ATLANTA (CEDIA Expo 2010, Booth 2406) – Sept. 23, 2010 – Epson America today expanded its award-winning line of 3LCD™ home theater projectors with the announcement of the PowerLite® Home Cinema 8350 and 8700 UB. These two projectors offer native 1080p resolution and Epson’s latest 3LCD technology with C2Fine® chip sets for amazing color and detail, high contrast ratios and road-tested reliability. The value-packed Home Cinema 8350 and 8700 UB also include Epson’s award-winning customer service and support, delivering an outstanding and affordable viewing experience for home entertainment and AV enthusiasts.
As the number-one selling projector brand worldwide[i], Epson has priced the Home Cinema 8350 and 8700 UB in the sub-$1,300 and sub-$2,200 categories, respectively, offering consumers two options for affordable high-definition home entertainment. Both projectors feature state-of-the-art image quality and performance in each of their respective categories with deep blacks and bright images with contrast ratios of up to 50,000:1 and 200,000:1.
“Epson has packed its latest Home Cinema line of projectors with a number of value-add features and technologies in order to deliver high-performing 1080p solutions to the home theater and AV enthusiast market,” said Marge Ang, senior product manager, Epson America. “We are committed to leading the market in terms of performance and value, and these models clearly demonstrate that consumers can get outstanding image quality at affordable price points.”
The Home Cinema 8350 offers a high-quality, affordable big-screen entertainment at home, featuring Epson’s C2Fine chip set for higher contrast of up to 50,000:1 and higher brightness of up to 2,000 lumens color and white light output[ii]. It also has an exclusive Dynamic Iris system that contributes to the enhanced contrast by controlling light on a frame-by-frame basis at up to 60 times per second.
Adding a host of technology enhancements, the Home Cinema 8700 UB offers home theater AV enthusiasts an incredible 1080p big screen experience. With a dual-layered auto-iris to effectively control light reduction rates, as well as Epson’s D7 chip set and UltraBlack technology, the projector delivers superb black levels and vivid images. It also features brightness of 1,600 lumens color and white light output for deep blacks and crystal clear detail.
Also offered with the Home Cinema 8700 UB is Epson’s Super-resolution technology for enhanced picture quality and FineFrame technology for smoother frame interpolation, sharper video quality and the elimination of judder. It also includes a built-in Silicon Optix HQV Reon-VX video processor and PW390 scaler to ensure a smoother picture. New to the Home Cinema line, the Home Cinema 8700 UB now features pre-set color space selection to set color gamut according to geography and source material. In addition, the projector comes equipped with anamorphic lens mode to enable anamorphic viewing without an external processor for true 2.35:1 and 2.40:1 widescreen images without the black bars above and below the picture[iii]. For added value, the projector includes a voucher for a replacement E-TORL lamp ($299.99).
Additional Shared Features of the Home Cinema Line
Epson’s Home Cinema projectors share a range of features including:
  • Advanced, three-chip optical engine for brilliant color and image quality without color break-up
  • Cinema Filter feature delivers larger color space for improved color fidelity
  • Outstanding video image quality with Fujinon OptiCinema™ Multi-Lens Optics System (2.1 zoom ratio); projects clean, precise edges with consistent image quality across the entire screen
  • Real color reproduction feature delivers more natural and precise colors
  • Epson’s exclusive 200W E-TORL® (Epson Twin Optics Reflection Lamp) for up to 5,000 hours of lamp life[iv]
  • Features two HDMI 1.3 connections with Deep Color support, high definition component video input, S-video input, composite video input, and VGA-type RGB input (D-sub 15)
  • Stylish, sleek design featuring white casing and reversible Epson logo on the front panel allow the projector to be reoriented for tabletop, shelf and ceiling mounting
  • Five Color Modes to easily adapt to different viewing environments
  • Manual zoom, focus and lens shift (47.1 percent horizontal and 96.3 percent vertical) ensure a range of installation options and flexibility

Availability and Industry-Leading Service and Support
Both projectors will be available in late-September and can be purchased through authorized Epson projector dealers and select retail outlets. Ranking as the number one Home Video company in the annual “Supplier Loyalty Report” by the consumer electronics industry publication inside track for three consecutive years, Epson offers its industry-leading customer service and support with the Home Cinema 8350 and 8700 UB. Both projectors come with a two-year limited warranty with toll-free access to Epson’s PrivateLineSM priority technical support, 90-day limited lamp warranty, and free two-business day exchange with Extra CareSM Home Service.
About Epson America, Inc.
Epson America, Inc. is a leading provider of an extensive range of printers, 3LCD projectors, scanners and point-of-service printers that are renowned for their high quality, functionality, innovation and energy efficiency. Epson America is a U.S. affiliate of Seiko Epson Corporation, which employs more than 70,000 people in 106 countries around the world. To learn more about Epson America, please visit: www.Epson.com. You may also connect with Epson America on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/EpsonAmerica), Twitter (http://twitter.com/EpsonAmerica) and YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/EpsonTV).
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Note: Epson, C2Fine and E-TORL are registered trademarks of Seiko Epson Corporation. PowerLite and PrivateLine are registered trademarks, FineFrame, OptiCinema and UltraBlack are trademarks, and Extra Care is a service mark of Epson America, Inc.  All other product and brand names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective companies. Epson disclaims any and all rights in these marks.

[i] Based upon Q2 2010 worldwide front projection market share estimates from Pacific Media Associates
[ii] Light output varies depending on modes (color and white light output).  White light output measured using ISO 21118 standard.
[iii] When used with external anamorphic lens option
[iv] Lamp life will vary depending upon mode selected, environmental conditions and usage.  Lamp brightness decreases over time.

News And Comments

  • Ryan Smith

    I noticed the new figures for the lamp for the 8700UB (Epson’s exclusive 200W E-TORL® (Epson Twin Optics Reflection Lamp) for up to 5,000 hours of lamp life[iv]). Is this a different lamp than what was previously used on the 8500UB?

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Greetings Ryan,

      Good question. I do believe that came up in conversation, but I just don’t recall (a lot of info overload) If I had to guess, I believe it’s the same lamp, but I’ll stop by the booth tomorrow and confirm.

  • sven

    I dearly wish manufacturers had to explain their naming conventions. It doesn’t have to be in the press release but maybe on their website or something.
    The 8500UB becomes 8700UB but the 8100 becomes the 8350? Why can’t they just give them names and updates like car companies? If Apple had named their mp3 player the pt-ae4000u no one would remember it. Seriously, why do electronics manufacturers insist we use product numbers to identify their products?

  • Ryan Smith

    ThankS Art. Looking forward to your impressions of the 8350 when you return from Cedia. From all the posts, it appears you were a very busy man. Based on your positive review of the HC400 and the specs for the 8350, we have another good set of options at the $1300 price point.

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Hi Ryan,

      First look watched football on it last night and this evening. Used Dynamic yesterday afternoon, with some windows open. Looks a lot like the previous 8100. Dynamic strong on greens, etc. later on I switched to Livingroom mode for better skin tones. The defaults for Dynamic and Livingroom are very, very cool. I brought them down to 8000K or 7500K for my sports, which brought up the reds a bit – needed. In pure dynamic though, despite the heavy blue compared to red, the 8350 cut through the light with some window shades open (you’ll see the photos in the review.

      Black levels are definitely not a match for the older 9500UB I have here, but it claims 200,000:1 vs. the 8350′s mere 50,000:1. As I expected, the projector’s blacks seem fairly similar to the original Epson 1080 UB, the first of the UB series. With the move to the C2Fine panels, the Epson Home Cinema 8350 moves up a step to “ultra high contrast” calibre projector. It may not match the more expensive UB Epson, but it should prove about equal to the Sanyo PLV-Z4000 and Panasonic PT-AE4000 projectors in terms of blacks.

      I have yet to do pictures (Mike picks it up tomorrow for calibration), but will do side by sides with the old 8500ub/9500ub, PT-AE4000 and whatever else is here that makes sense.

      To your last point, I agree. For the most part, we have two “updated” projectors at that $1300 price point – but, in this case, both have made improvements to move their black level performance up a notch, very good for you enthusiasts on a budget. -art

  • Joe

    So it sounds like if you can get a smoking deal on the 8500ub that it should edge out the 8350 in performance?

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Joe, Absolutely. I’ve seen a few of the deals out there that the big dealers on our site are running.

      Most likely though, you’ll be paying more for an 8500UB unless there are refurbished units around. You will get better blacks with the 8500UB, of that I’m certain. Other improvements are likely minor for the 8350, so I can’t think of a compelling reason to buy a new 8350 over a new 8500UB if they are the same price. If the 8500UB is, say $300 or $600 more, though, then it gets to be a personal call.

      Ahh, and the 8500UB does have creative frame interpolation, the 8350 does not (too bad, I thought that silly, as the 8350 is a very bright low cost projector – therefore in livingroom and Dynamic modes, very suitable for family room type setups, with less than ideal conditions. Translated – family rooms, bonus rooms, etc. to me – probably lots of sports viewing too, where CFI is appreciated. Still, by my reckoning, CFI is not a deal make or breaker. I like low CFI for most sports viewing, but, between two projectors, if (forgetting CFI) I prefer one of them, and then I found out it didn’t have CFI, but the other did, I’d almost certainly decide to live without CFI in exchange for whatever benefit it was, that I liked about the projector that lacked the CFI. (I sure hope that made sense.)

  • Scott

    Hi Art,

    Is the black level even close to the 6500UB, or is it way off from there? I was hoping it would be the equivalent of the 6500UB minus the FI. I need something brighter, but didn’t want to sacrifice too much in terms of black level, and picture quality.

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Blacks aren’t going to be as good as the 8500UB. I’m sure of that, from watching.
      I’m going to shoot the 8350 side by side tonight – against the 9500UB (while it’s still here), and the Sanyo, and Panny.

      As to the 6500UB, it’s slightly better than the 1080 UB, in blacks, and in turn, the 8500UB is just slightly better than the 6500UB (barely detectable).

      You know my thoughts – if I call a projector an “ultra high contrast” projector, then my point is blacks are pretty darn good, enough so, that other factors become more important. For example, if someone asked me which I would prefer to add to a 1080 UB (or an 8350):
      Blacks equal to the 8500UB, or color improvement to match, say a JVC RS15, I’d take the color… If you asked the same question of me regarding the older 8100 or say, a Sanyo PLV-Z700, or Mitsubishi HC3800, I’d say, I’ll take better blacks first, over slight color improvement. -art
      .
      From my viewing on the Firehawk, though, the 8350 is most likely closest to the original 1080UB – still pretty impressive in blacks, and still better than the PT-AE4000 and Sanyo Z3000/Z4000. Tonight’s shoot, though, will verify my beliefs or not. -art

  • Maltin

    Hi Art,
    If 8500UB may still be better that the new 8350 what could you say for 8700UB.

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Well, the 8700UB has to be at least as good as the 8500UB, and it has support for anamorphic lens and sled. If there are great deals on 8500UBs out there, it is probably hard to rationalize the extra price. I’ll know more when I get one for review. Improvements to the CFI and other features could prove to have real value. For example, they showed avatar in 2D, on the new R series – the Home Cinema 21000, with CFI on low. It really was barely detectable and not really noticeable most of the time. That would be an improvement. Of course it adds a sense of depth, but I’m not sure if I’d watch most movies with it on anyway. I guess there’s a touch of “purist” in my blood. -art