Projector Reviews

Epson Home Cinema 3200 Home Theater Projector Review – Performance

Epson Home Cinema 3200 Projector Review – Performance: Brightness, Contrast, Audible Noise

Brightness

The Home Cinema 3200 is rated for 2900 lumens and like most Epson projectors, in its brightest mode, the projector delivered more than the manufacturer’s claimed brightness.

I measured its brightest mode, Dynamic, at full wide angle – this is with the iris wide open, so the most amount of light gets through. For the rest of the modes, I measured them at mid-zoom, so the iris is closed halfway. I took 3-4 readings about 15-20% out from the center of the lens.

Epson Home Cinema 3200 Brightness (wide zoom Dynamic mode): 2896 Lumens

The Dynamic mode measured 2,896 lumens at in wide zoom while still delivering good out the box picture quality.  In High lamp mode, all the HC3200 picture modes measured within a couple hundred lumens of each other.

 

Color Mode Lumens (Mid-zoom, High Lamp)
Dynamic 2664
Bright Cinema 2076
Natural 1996
Cinema 1495

We use mid-zoom for most measurements because we believe that is more “real life” than publishing full wide able on the zoom lens. That’s because not everyone with this projector can mount or place it at the minimum distance from their screen.

Switching the Home Cinema 3200 lamp to ECO reduces noise and increases lamp life but  brightness is reduced about 25%.

Contrast

The native contrast of the Home Cinema 3200 was just average. This is because the black level of the projector was just okay. The unit does have an Auto Iris feature to boost the units Dynamic Contrast but even when it is engaged the claim Dynamic Contrast was just 40,000:1.

In a dark environment the ability to produce more contrast offers a massive benefit. However, in a room with higher ambient light, since our eyes are less sensitive to blacks, the contrast benefit is greatly reduced.

In a bright room, higher brightness provides a higher perceived level of contrast. The Home Cinema 3200 rated brightness of 2900 lumens will make both SDR/HDR images pop in a family or game room.

Audible Noise

While we do not measure audible noise, this model seems to be on par with most of the Home Theater projectors. Since the HC3200’s chassis is so compact, it is more difficult to muffle the exhaust noise also I can literally see the fan spinning in the unit. Higher-end models like the Epson 5050UB are quieter than the Epson HC3200. Most of the time, except when watching HDR, I had the projector set to ECO mode and I didn’t find the HC3200 fan noise distracting. There is a noticeable increase in fan noise when switching from ECO (24dB) to high (35dB).