Projector Reviews

Epson Home Cinema 8700UB Projector – Image Quality-5

I really am not sure what Epson’s been up to, in terms of handling dark shadow detail.

Those of you who are regular visitors and serious enthusiasts, who have read lots of reviews, almost certainly are aware that for years, while I’ve been praising the Epson UB projectors great black level performance. That said, almost in the same sentence, I’ve mentioned that those same Epsons have not been quite as good as the competition when it comes to shadow details. I’ve always felt the Epson’s crush just a little of the darkest detail.

Shadow Detail Performance

That’s not the case with the Epson Home Cinema 8700UB, and therefore also the Pro Cinema 9700UB. The dark shadow detail performance is excellent. I have to admit I was truly surprised. After years of light criticism, I’ve got nothing to complain about with the latest UB projectors.

I say light criticism, because, personally, I believe that superior black levels and less than great dark shadow detail, makes for far better viewing that great dark shadow detail, and merely average to good black level performance.

This Epson’s got both nailed!

Our main comparison uses the night train scene from Casino Royale. Look to the trees and shrubs on the right, especially just above the tracks. The first image is the Epson 8700UB, followed by the Home Cinema 8350, the Mitsubishi HC4000, the BenQ W6000, then Sony VPL-HW15, the Sharp XV-Z15000. I am impressed with the shadow detail. As I’ve never considered dark shadow detail a strength of the Epson projectors, it truly is a pleasant surprise, in that here’s a manufacturer who seems to successfully have corrected one of it’s minor performance issues. . The Home Cinema 8700UB does reveal as much detail as anything else out there, that I get to work with.

Epson 8700UB comparision

Epson 8700UB
Mitsubishi HC4000
BenQ W6000
Sony VPL-HW15
Sharp XV-Z15000
Home Cinema 8350

Bottom line: The Home Cinema 8700UB is, for its modest price, excellent at both black level performance, and, now, we’re pleased to say, also dark shadow detail. At black level performance, it has no equal near its price. It does rely on a dynamic iris for those superior blacks, but then, so does all the serious competition, except for the more expensive JVC projector.