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Epson Home Cinema 6500UB Projector: Pros, Cons, and Typical Capabilities

Posted on October 23, 2013 by Art Feierman

Epson Ensemble 6500UB: Pros

  • All in one solution that should work in most rooms that have at least 14 feet of depth
  • Saves the time and hassle of investigating separately AV receivers, projectors, speaker systems, and so on.
  • Using the channels, the complete system should be installable by a professional in under 5 hours - talk about "Instant Theater"
  • Excellent picture quality, with superb black level performance
  • Includes the 6500UB, one of the brightest projectors in its price range, so not only excellent for movies, but with enough horsepower to watch sports and TV with more than a little ambient light present
  • Easy to use - thanks to overall design and included Univeral remote control
  • Great warranty
  • Two spare HDMI 1.3 inputs (figure one for your TV source - cable or satellite box, and one for a Blu-ray player).
  • Additional inputs for adding other devices
  • Very sharp image
  • Excellent placement flexibility due to 2.1:1 zoom and lens shift
  • Long life, 4000 hour lamp (in full or low power lamp modes) - longest lamp life of any home theater projector with lamp at full power - reduces cost of ownership
  • Excellent value for those that want a quality solution without the hassle

Epson Home Cinema 6500UB Projector: Cons

  • Arguably, you could buy individual components and get more bang for the buck (however, if you plan to pay others to install a home theater, it's probably a bargain.
  • While color and skin tones are really very good, there are a few projectors that can do a bit better - though none near the 6500UB's price can match its black levels
  • They could have pre-programmed in all the projector's controls into the Universal remote
  • Projector screen only comes in one size - 100 inch diagonal. Offering a choice of screens, including an 88 or 90 inch, and a 110 inch would offer consumers a few more options. Including making the Ensemble HD viable in many smaller bedrooms. Since many folks consider converting an unused bedroom to a home theater, the Ensemble HD would work for more of those folks
  • Screen casing and projector cradle only available in white. A black option would be nice

Bottom Line: Ensemble HD 6500UB

This is the way to go for those that want a first quality, but not outlandishly expensive projector based home theater, but aren't into the effort needed to learn about and select all the components separately. It's simple - if you buy it locally, order it in the morning, watch it that night (assuming it can be scheduled that quickly). The point is, it's less than a 1 day job, whereas normally installing a full home theater system is a multi-day, and more typically a multi-week experience, rather than the minimal disruption in your life that an Ensemble HD installation should make.

For most folks, the total cost of a full HD system around the Ensemble HD 6500UB (which means adding a Blu-ray player), should total between $8000 and $8500.

That $8000 - $8500 would include the $6899 Ensemble HD, $250 - $400 for a Blu-ray player, about $500 for installation, and sales tax.

My theater 2 in my home has an Ensemble HD (with the older projector). I love it. For me, it also keeps my wife and daughter out of my primary theater, my wife loves it (and she can turn it on and use it all by herself) . She's much too intimidated to run my main theater (all those remotes, etc). My daughter loves it too, not just for the picture but for the "rock'in sound quality.

I will continue to be a huge fan of the Ensemble concept (and similar products from other brands that likely will hit the market), because, as I like to say, "this is the solution for everyone else." "Everyone else" might be defined as those who just want a painless way to get a quality, large screen home theater system in their house, with the minimum of fuss, and without requiring a ton of research to come up with a good solution. In other words, the kind of folks who have considered a projector based home theater system, but were too intimidated, and instead plunked down the bucks for a big LCDTV.

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