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 16x9 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.