Posted on March 14, 2008 By Art Feierman
The trade-off between these two projectors is primarily one of price versus performance. Overall I consider the Home Cinema 8500UB to be the better projector. It has a distinct advantage in terms of brightness, and a very visible advantage in black level performance, although the Sanyo’s black level performance is still very good. Still, the Epson’s black levels are more typical of $5000+ projectors and better than many of those.
Price is not much of an issue. Yes, you’ll probably pay $250 – $350 more for the Epson, but with the savings on lamps, over time, if anything the Epson is almost certain to cost less of the life of the projector.
When it comes to wanting an anamorphic lens, of course that eliminates the Epson (or requires you spend about $800 more for an outboard processor to support the lens, or about the same to go with the Pro Cinema 9500UB). For those who really value CFI, at the moment, the two projectors offer about similar performance for sports, with the Epson Home Cinema 8500UB having a slight edge. While I’m not a big fan of CFI with film based movies, if you are working from 24fps on blu-ray, the Epson can apply CFI, the Sanyo cannot.
I should note that the Sanyo also offers a larger selection of assorted dynamic features. There are so many combinations, of course, that it’s essentially impossible to look at more than a few combinations when we review a projector. The Epson has a smaller set of dynamic features, although this year closes the gap a bit with their Super-res feature. Our opinions are based on the end results of those features we decided to use as part of our “best” mode viewing. See the individual reviews for more details.
Click to enlarge. SO close
Click to enlarge. so close. The Dark Knight shows the Epson projector on the left, Sanyo projector.
Choose wisely, you are likely to want to live with whichever you select for a number of years. If, on the other hand, you are already a hard core enthusiast, you might just be considering these two as just a temporary projector as you seek an even higher level of performance. If you work on the assumption, for example, that performance levels found in more expensive projectors like the JVCs, Sony VW85, InFocus SP8602, etc., are where you want to be down the road, then the two should cost about the same.
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