Projector Reviews

Epson Home Cinema 3200 Home Theater Projector Review – Summary

Epson Home Cinema 3200 Projector Review – Summary: Highlights, Value Proposition, Pros and Cons

Highlights

4K pixel shifting, HDR compatibility combined with high brightness makes the Home Cinema 3200 a great value. Unlike most new 4K UHD TV’s it is also 3D ready. The ability to deliver a rated 2900 lumens ensures the HDR and 3D looks good even in rooms with higher ambient light.

It has dual HDMI 2.1 (18Gpbs) so it can accept 4K@60P HDR content. It can also playback both HDR10 and HLG so you can enjoy both prerecorded and live HDR content. Epson’s proven pixel shifting technology delivers more visible resolution than a standard 1080P 3LCD projector. While Home Cinema 3200 doesn’t offer a motorized lens, it does utilize a high-quality multi-element to ensure a crisp sharp picture.

Overall, the Home Cinema 3200 provides a good balance of performance and value. It proves that a good projected image doesn’t have to be overly expensive. Just add a projection screen and for under $3000 total, you can bring a compelling home theater experience to any room.

VALUE PROPOSITION

The Home Cinema 3200 strikes a fine balance between performance and value. Yes, Epson sells projectors with better black levels, higher contrast, and more features but the Home Cinema 3200 is not designed for those customers.

As a I mentioned earlier, many higher-end home theater projectors like the Home Cinema 5050UB have better black levels and higher contrast, but these things are only beneficial in a darkened theater or room with lots of light control. In a family or game room, where a HC3200 would probably be utilized, brightness is probably more important than black level. The Home Cinema 3200’s rated brightness of 2900 lumens ensures that images pop even in rooms with high ambient light.

The Home Cinema 3200 uses high-quality lenses but shift and zoom is done manually. This is fine because in most applications those adjustments are utilized just once when the projector is first set up. If a projector includes lens memory the power lens adjustment would be utilized continuously to adjust aspects and zoom. Power lens adjustment is vital when utilizing a masking screen or an external anamorphic lens. It is doubtful that anyone looking at a projector in the Home Cinema 3200s price point would be incorporating an anamorphic lens or auto masking screen which costs significantly more than the Home Cinema 3200 itself.

In my home theater, I have a fixed 16×9 screen, so adjusting zoom and focus is a one-time activity. Many customers in my situation would gladly trade power adjustment for better lens elements. If someone wants to use a 3rd party anamorphic lens for $200 more, they can step up to the HC3800 which includes additional aspect ratio mode adjustments to ensure compatibility, but still requires manual lens adjustment.

Stepping up to the Epson Home Cinema 5050UB gives you better black levels, higher contrast, power lens adjustment with memories, and anamorphic lens compatibility.

While the Home Cinema 3200 doesn’t have these cool features, it does offer pixel shifting, 18Gbps HDMI compatibility and a rated brightness of 2900 lumens for $1500 less.

The Epson Home Cinema 3200 includes most of the features that customers in this price point need, while removing those that probably would not be utilized. Epson’s ultimate goal is to deliver the best bang for the buck.

Pros

  • 2,900 lumens (color and white)
  • 3LCD with 4K Pixel Shift
  • Good color out of the box (calibration controls available)
  • HDCP 2.2 (18Gbps) compatible with 4K@60p HDR content
  • Good motion performance and 4K upscaling
  • AptX Bluetooth Transmitter
  • 3D Ready
    • Optional wireless glasses (PK-AG3)
  • Picture Setting Memories (9 memories)
  • 3-year parts/labor warranty

Cons

  • Black Level and resulting native contrast could be better
  • High Lamp Power mode could be quieter
  • No motorized lens adjustments (Zoom, Focus, Shift)
  • Not compatible with 3rd anamorphic lenses
  • Not available in black finish