The Art of Home Theater Projectors

Slight delay on Epson projector review publication

UPDATE: The Epson Home Cinema 8500UB and Pro Cinema 9500UB review has been posted!

Greetings all,

I had hoped to post (and mentioned in a previous blog) the Epson Home Cinema 8500UB and Pro Cinema 9500UB review this afternoon, but encountered a few difficulties.

No, none have anything to do with the projector itself, which seems to be working rather flawlessly.  On the weekend, when I projected Wednesday as the publish date, I had mistakenly thought I had a concert tonight – but it turns out it was last night – cutting into writing time.  (That said, the band was Grizzly Bear, a rather excellent, and unusual alternative rock band.  I’m no music critic, but I’d put them somewhere between Arcade Fire and Moby, with a touch of Radiohead perhaps, and maybe a smidgen of Coldplay.)

Even more significantly, we are behind in the processing of the photos.  Lisa, my day to day webmaster, and high school senior, daughter, got slammed with homework and tests.  It normally takes her about 3+ hours to do all the cropping and resizing of the images.  She was only able to get about 1/3 of them done, as of now.   She’ll finish them tonight, she tells me.

So, the bottom line, look for the Epson Home Cinema 8500UB review to publish tomorrow – Thursday, probably early evening.

Sorry about that!  Hang in there!  -art

News And Comments

  • Hayati Akbas

    Thank you for the heads up Art:)
    its amazing how you tell things as it is. we all appreciate your honesty and adding your twist and humor to things. pleasure to read you as always.

  • Robert Walker

    Art have you heard back from Benq concerning the W6000 iris issues.


    • Lisa Feierman

      I’ve been asking, still waiting for any update at all. -art

  • Bjorn

    Yep agree completely with previous poster, cool to hear it’s a family business :) Keep up the good work Art, and Lisa! ;=)

  • Jeff

    Since you are still in the middle of it, I hope it is not too late to include some thought on the SDE? I have a 120″ diagonal 16:9 screen that I sit 9 feet away from. My old Panny 900U was not a problem due to the smooth screen technology, but it is time to upgrade, I am leaning towards the 8500UB, but I am worried about pixelation from that distance and screen size. I also know you do not have the Panny 4000U yet, but when you do, I am interested in a comparison to the video processors. They are getting to be a big selling point, and since the 8500UB uses the HQV, I am curious how Panny’s no-name compares to it with jaggies, pull-down, etc. Thanks!

    • Lisa Feierman

      Hi again, Jeff -

      REgarding processing, yes, I’ll touch on that but honestly, most of these projectors have really good processing whether Silicon Optix, Pixelworks, etc (there are at least a half dozen recognized names. More to the point, though, is that these days, at least with projectors like the Panny and Epson UBs, there is a lot of processing going on, not only for the usual scaling, jaggies, etc., but dynamic contrast, CFI, and a host of other items. So it really comes down to the “whole package”. For example, on the Epson, they use the SO Reon VX – HQV processing, for most of the “standard stuff”, but, for example, Epson’s CFI is from Pixelworks… When you start using a bunch of “smart” or “dynamic” features, all kinds of things come into play. -a

  • Lance

    I’m really delighted to be informed by you about the delay :-)))) Thanks for taking time to let us know.

  • Jeff Hurst

    Just looking at the number of comments, the Epson’s must be highly anticipated. There are 50% more comments so far than there are on the AE4000 blog and up to 30 times as much as some other previews! That says something about the community’s opinion of the Epson line in general and the 8500UB in particular. Sometimes things are popular for a reason.

  • Andrew C.

    Did you receive the RS25 as expected? If so, any ET on a review for it?

    Thanks for the great reviews!

    • Lisa Feierman

      Loaner agreement signed, it should be either in transit, or on it’s way today or tomorrow. I’m just waiting for the tracking number, at this point.

      I prioritize projectors – and all of the new models from last year’s best, are at the top of the list. The JVC is my #3 highest priority review this season. (hey, I love my RS20)

      Hi Andrew,
      I’m posting the Epson 8500UB/9500UB tonight. (That was priority #1) I’m not expecting the Panasonic PT-AE4000 (priority #2) for at least a week. I’m in the midst of also working with the Optoma HD8600 (but lower priority). If the JVC arrives this week, I’ll be right on it. If not, I’ll finish the Optoma. If the JVC arrives next week it is the top priority projector, unless the Panasonic PT-AE4000 arrives within a day or two of it, in which case, the Panny moves to the head of the class, and then the JVC.

      By any stretch of the imagination, the JVC review should be done before mid-November (if the Panny goes first), and most likely right around Nov. 1.

      Hang in there, I’m just as curious as you are. Darn, I’ve only had my RS20 for 7 months! -art

  • Kev

    Hey arty I bet your going to sell that jvc . This question is off topic but I wonder about it often. What kind of sound system do you have ie. speakers , processors and amps . Audio and video go hand in hand so I’m thinking youv got somthing amazing for a setup . I also think what does arty look like because theres never been a cheezy mugshot posted . I just imagine you look like vinny jones cursing in a british accent about how great the picture quality is wilst flicking through review scenes . Arty if it wasn’t for your greatly indepth review procedures I would never had a passion for movie watching like I do now . I read just about everything you post just waiting for the right pj to come along as a replacement for my panny 200 . Art your the greatest review guy in the business and the whole community of pj enthusiasts owes you a beer

    Thanks Kev.

    Audio – OK, you asked for it:
    Speakers – I run a “5.1″ surround sound system with just four speakers. My 30+ year old IMF RSPM MKIV speakers (considered by folks like Stereophile and Absolute sound back then, as about as good as conventional speakers could get). (They are image pairs – left and right speakers are not identical.) Because the image beautifully, and create a pretty precise soundstage I do not use a center channel, and don’t miss it. Because they use a 7×10 “flat-piston, oval woofer (KEF), loaded into a 1/4 wave transmission line enclosure, they offer extremely tight bass, that also goes very deep (if I recall, the spec was either 22hz (or 26hz) to 20khz frequency response +2/-3 db. That’s lower and tighter than all but a few of today’s top quality sub-woofers.

    That covers the front. For the rear – a pair of KEF’s top of the line Reference In-walls. And that’s it.

    My receiver is my weak link. A 5 year old Marantz THX cert receiver. While it’s probably a very good receiver, it really doesn’t sound very good compared to my old separates, which consisted of a heavily modified Audio Research SP-3-1a tube pre-amp, and one of three amp solutions – a HK Citation 19, an old Apt-Holman (it died), or – tubes – Marantz 9B (sold for big bucks).
    Sadly, the Marantz receiver really sounds like a transister radio compared to the beautiful airiness, and detail of my old gear (what’s left of my old electronics is all waiting in the garage until I get my act together).

    I have a turntable, too, but haven’t used it since I bought the AV receiver. It’s a classic – the Transcriptor Skeleton. I imagine there are only handfuls of them still around. One of the first “heavy” and fully isolated platter turntables, and gorgeous as an added bonus. The earlier version, was made famous when Stanley Kubric featured it in a couple of scenes in A Clockwork Orange. For a tone arm, the only one I have left is a modified (lower mass) Grace 707 arm. Cartridges I used to use – Sonus Blue Denon 303, 305, Decca Mk V, Grado, etc. Mostly either moving coil, or cartridges of the low mass variety. (Levinson phono pre, was my primary, but I have several). (go tot the gallery page (last one is the Skeleton folder)
    About the IMFs

    And as to whether I look like a Vinny Jones – I think not. I’m way to laid back, and not a jock!
    I thought there was a picture on our About Us page, but apparently not. I’ll see what I can dig up add it to the blog.

    and that’s the story. -art

  • Ivan Nunez

    Hey Art,

    By when do you think you will have the Mitsubishi Hc6800 review up. I think it is critical to have this review up asap since it’s competition is the Panasonic Ae4000u, Epson 8500ub and Benq w6000. It has been out for some time now, just wondering why you haven’t mentioned anything about it. Projector central loved its picture quality. The only things that this projector doesn’t excel in is its price and black performance capability according to Projector Central. I am actually considering this projector because of its brighter cinema mode. I plan on using a 120″ screen with a gain of 1.0 in semi light controlled room. I can only hope that you have it in already.

    • Lisa Feierman

      Hi Ivan,

      I’m catching up, on blog comments – as I literally finished the first pass at the Epson review, and then left for Las Vegas for the weekend for a wedding, and basically wasn’t online, or on computer until this afternoon.
      To answer one of your questions. Still haven’t received a Mits HC6800. They are going to get one out to me, but I’ve got 2 projectors with “higher priority” that are likely to get done before I can tackle the HC6800. The Panasonic PT-AE4000 (which I’m also still waiting for), and the JVC DLA-RS25, which arrived Friday, and which Mike is calibrating tomorrow… -art

  • Ivan Nunez

    Hey Art,
    I have notice that you haven’t responded to any of the comments I left you but I am sure you are busy reviewing other projectors. I have a question regarding the whole Panasonic ae4000u v Epson 8500 ub comparison analysis so far. Supposedly everyone is raving about these projectors offering better picture quality and a brighter picture than its previous model. Well, I’ve noticed based on your reviews that the new Epson really isn’t any much brighter because you are still recommending a the same size screen as its predecessor. For example, the epson 6500 ub was recommended with a 110″ screen ; the same goes for the new epson 8500 ub. I am referring to its best mode, for movie purposes. Isn’t it ironic that its brightness still yields about the same measurement as its previous model when supposedly these new models are supposed to be like %20 brighter? The same goes for the new Panny, considering that its predecessor managed 400 lumens in its Cinema mode (calibrated), whereas the new Panny claims to be at least %40 brighter. If that is the case shouldn’t it be able to handle a larger screen assuming the projector is set in the same conditions that the ae3000u was measured in. A little clarification might do me some good.

    • Lisa Feierman

      Hi Ivan,

      Hmm, you’ve got me confused. I’ll have to reread my review, but I honestly don’t remember, at any point, referring to the new Epson’s as brighter than last year’s UBs.
      And for that matter, Epson hasn’t changed their claimed lumen measurements. In “best mode” this year, the Epson measured a couple dozen lumens brighter than last, and that’s not in any way significant. If this year’s Epson proves to be brighter than last year, it would be because I was measuring a sample unit, not full production, so there’s more variation. Still, I quoted the same screen sizes, etc., because the old and the new, are for all practical purposes, the same brightness, as far as I can tell.

      Who said the new Epson’s were supposed to be 20% brighter? I hope it wasn’t me? I did a fair amount of speculating in my blogs, before I received the projector. (In brightest mode, btw, it actually didn’t measure as bright as last year, but since the color was much better… Hmm, I may have made some comment (blog?) about the 9500UB being about 20% brighter when I was viewing them side by side. If I did, however, I probably would have mentioned the lamp. The 6500UB that Epson allowed me to hang on to, has a good 700+ hours on the lamp, and that definitely means it’s lost significant brightness. That may be what I was referring to, if it was I?

      As to the Panasonic, since I haven’t laid my hands on one yet, I have no reason to believe it’s any brighter than the old PT-AE3000, other than what I read online, and so far that’s one review, so far, and that one done, I understand, on a pre-production (or sample) unit hand delivered to the reviewer from Japan, not even from the US team. How that one will differ from a full production projector, we’ll have to wait and see. There are always some differences, as I have speculated on, in the 9500UB/8500UB review, relating to the projector I have, vs. the full production projector they’ll send me once they are shipping. -a

      Hope that helps.

      If there’s any statement that probably should have been redone, it was with the PT-AE3000 review. Back then, I said that 110″ diag was as large as I could recommend, but it probably should have been stated more like “while you can push it to 110″ diagonal in a good room with proper lighting control, 100″ is probably the best recommendation with a fairly normal screen type.

  • Ivan Nunez

    Thanks Art for clearing things up for me. I guess all I can do is wait for your review on the new Panasonic ae4000u projector. Let’s just hope it arrives by the end of this week. Looking forward to see what better suits me, since I plan to use the projector for upcoming fight (Manny Pacquaio v Cotto). Since it’s going to be my first projector I want make sure best bang for my buck and I want to make sure I impress my audience that day. So I will be curious to see if the dynamic mode for the Panny delivers a better image quality than the epson 8500ub.