Posted on November 25, 2022 By Philip Boyle
The Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS800 is a 4,000-lumen 4K PRO-UHD ultra-short-throw home theater projector that retails for $3,499 MSRP.
The LS800 uses Epson’s award-winning 3-chip 3LCD technology and high-performance laser light source to deliver a dynamic contrast ratio of over 2,500,000:1, allowing this projector to reproduce extraordinary black-level details and out-of-the-box color performance. The LS800 is one of the best out-of-the-box 4K ultra-short-throw projectors I’ve ever seen.
Epson has been driving the innovation of ultra-short-throw projectors since the introduction of their milestone Epson EB-450 education projector in 2010. Epson has continued building on that legacy of innovation and engineering experience with some of the best home theater projectors in the industry. The EpiqVision LS800 is the latest example of an Epson milestone product.
Epson has taken a new approach with its two most recent EpiqVision projectors. The newest LS800 and its barely older Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) little brother, the LS300, features an all-new sleek modern design that allows these two projectors to fit into a wide range of visually diverse-looking living spaces. The new EpiqVision Ultra chassis looks more appealing compared to previous ultra-short-throw models that use the same chassis that Epson uses on their professional ultra-short-throw projectors.
The new design allows these cutting-edge EpiqVision Ultra LS800 projectors to sit significantly closer to the screen than previous Epson ultra-short-throw projectors. In my testing, I placed the LS800 less than seven inches from my 120-inch screen.
The LS800 is one of the best examples of Epson leveraging different in-house hardware and software to create a great viewing experience. Epson calls this 4K PRO-UHD.
Epson uses its proven blue lasers + phosphor as the light source for the LS800. The LS800 laser light source produces an impressive 4,000 white and color lumens (brightness). Laser light sources are tremendously reliable, so it’s no surprise that Epson rates the light source life of this projector at a very competitive 20,000 hours at full light output. Click here for a more detailed explanation of projector light sources.
The LS800 provides a dynamic contrast rating of over 2,500,000:1 and supports 10-bit HDR10 and HLG-encoded content.
One of the most significant visible changes to the two new EpiqVision Ultra projectors is that the lens housing no longer protrudes four inches from the top of the projector. Instead, Epson has developed a new low-profile, ultra-short-throw lens allowing the LS800 to be much shorter than its predecessor, the Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS500.
For a variety of reasons, which I will provide more detail on in the Hardware-Chassis section of this review, the width of this projector has increased. It is also heavier than all previous Epson ultra-short-throw projectors.
The LS800’s new lens design uses a multi-element glass structure that minimizes lens distortion and provides excellent image uniformity. Epson is so confident in this new lens that they have increased their recommended maximum screen size to 150 inches diagonally. Most ultra-short-throw projectors recommend a maximum screen size of 120 inches.
Epson’s 3-Chip 3LCD sensors take full advantage of the laser light source’s brightness displaying exceptional out-of-the-box color performance without any distracting rainbowing or other color brightness issues seen in many Digital Light Processing (DLP) projectors.
The new version of Epson’s 4K PRO-UHD (pixel-shifting) utilized in the LS800 is noticeably better than the previous versions. It is quicker and quieter even though the projector rapidly shifts 1/4 of a pixel diagonally and horizontally, and it does so faster than the human eye can see. This 4K PRO-UHD version quadruples the visible pixels onscreen, allowing one pixel to do the job of four while displaying a beautiful 4K image.
The LS800 uses Epson’s advanced video processing to manage color and contrast adjustments, HDR, frame interpolation, and resolution enhancement.
Epson has equipped the Epiqvision Ultra LS800 with three HDMI 2.0 (HDCP 2.3) inputs that accept 4K HDR signals at 60 fps. For gamers, the LS800’s HDMI input #3 can process 1080p signals up to 120 fps with an input lag of 16.7 ms for a smooth, high-quality gaming experience. The LS800 supports gaming with the latest generation of gaming consoles like the PlayStation 5 and XBOX Series X, as well as gaming PCs.
Epson has wholly revamped the projector’s onboard sound system through a partnership with Yamaha. The EpiqVision Ultra LS800 uses the new Yamaha-designed, 20-watt (5 Watt x 5 Watt stereo with 10 Watt sub-woofer) 2.1 virtual surround system introduced on the EpiqVision Ultra LS300 earlier this year. This new EpiqVision sound system is one of the best-sounding, built-in audio systems I’ve heard on an ultra-short-throw projector.
The Epson EpiqVision LS800 features a fully integrated Android TV 11 operating system. Unlike most pf Epson’s previous projectors, the LS800 uses a very intuitive and user-friendly Android TV interface. To be clear, this is not a version of Android built on top of Epson’s traditional operating system. Android TV 11 is the projector’s operating system. Users can access Google features such as built-in Chromecast and the Google Play Store. Google Assistant allows voice commands to search for content, control smart home devices, and even access specific projector functions. Android OS should provide the average consumer with a familiar-looking menu system that is easy to navigate and makes the new EpiqVision Ultra projectors simpler to operate.
The LS800 is the most advanced model in Epson’s new EpiqVision Ultra Series of ultra-short-throw projectors. It is feature-packed and sells at a price that should be within reach of most consumers looking for a large flat-panel television replacement for their living room.
The new LS800 does not have every feature of the previous model, the LS500. For instance, the LS800 has no 3D capability, which is likely not a big deal to the average consumer.
Epson also removed the projector’s wired LAN and RS232 ports. The only downside to these removals is that owners are entirely dependent on wireless network connectivity. Honestly, that should be fine with the dramatic improvement in the speed of newer Wi-Fi routers.
You may ask yourself, “What about native support for platforms such as Control4, AMX, or Crestron for projector control and management?” The LS800 is a home theater projector, so the average consumer does not need to integrate the projector into an advanced management and control platform. For the much smaller segment of home theater owners who want to integrate the projector into a home-based control and management system, the good news is that you can do so on the Epson LS800, even without the wired LAN or RS232 ports. I’ll discuss this in more detail in the review’s Hardware – Inputs and Connections section.
The one feature Epson has left off the LS800 and its little brother, the LS300, is the advanced color and gamma adjustments necessary to have the projector professionally calibrated. I’ll discuss this further in the review’s Performance – Calibration section.
© 2021 Projector Reviews