Epson Home Cinema 3000, 3500, 3600e Home Projectors – Launched at CEDIA

Epson is bringing you three new home entertainment projectors – or home theater projectors, if you have the right room.  They are, as noted above, the Home Cinema 3000, Home Cinema 3500, and the Home Cinema 3600e projectors.

hc3600e_projector_medium-res-front
Epson’s Home Cinema 3600e is the flagship of the 3000 series. Wireless HD (hdmi), simplifies installation. MSRP:  $1999. Other 3000 PJs from $1299.

Where to start? These new Epson projectors are pretty bright, with the base model – the Home Cinema 3000 claiming 2300 lumens and the other two projectors both at 2500 lumens.  All three have vertical and horizontal lens shift and 1.6:1 zoom lenses! Think of the line-up this way:  The Home Cinema 3000 is the economy model, while the Home Cinema 3500 and 3600e are the deluxe versions with only one real difference between them.  All considered, the three projectors are very similar. Since I mentioned economy and deluxe, let’s talk price next, which varies tremendously

Home Cinema 3000:        $1299 (no 3D glasses included)

Home Cinema 3500:        $1699 (2 pair of RF 3D glasses included)

Home Cinema 3600e:      $1999 (2 pair of RF 3D glasses included)

I want to mention now that the difference between the HC3500 and the HC3600e seems to be just one feature:  The Home Cinema 3600e has built in wireless networking.  That means you only need to get power to the back of the projector, no cable to run to from your satellite/cable box, sound system, etc.

For a sub $2000 projector, the HC3600e is pretty feature laden, including MHL support
For a sub $2000 projector, the HC3600e is pretty feature laden, including MHL support.  All three models can handle MHL, but only the HC3600e has the wireless hdmi!

External wireless hdmi solutions from most companies run from $199 to $399 at this time, so the $300 jump seems reasonable.  Also, the WirelessHD device has 5, yes 5 HDMI inputs, and an HDMI out.  And an important feature for many is that it also has a digital audio output.  That’s especially important should you make use of MHL (i.e.. plugging in a Roku stick or other streaming service, etc.), so that you can get the audio coming in through the MHL source, out to external speakers. But wait, you don’t really have to!

The HC3500 and HC3600e projectors have a built in speakers – a pair of 10 watt speakers to be more specific.  Still, a nice home surround sound system or fancy stereo system will be better, of course.  With the Wireless HD, the Home Cinema 3600e has a  great that there’s a way to get the audio portion of the source coming in from your wifi, out to those external audio options.

Another cool thing is that Epson can do Picture in picture, with two different HDMI sources – and they both work – doing video, at the same time.

Contrast.  These projectors have dynamic irises.  The Home Cinema 3000 claims 60,000:1 while the two more expensive models do a little better with at 70,000:1.  As contrast is a key factor in black level performance, we’ll take a close look at how those numbers translate, when we review these projectors.

hc3600e_projector_medium-res-beauty
Home Cinema 3500, note the two dials on top, behind the lens, for lens shift.

These Home Cinema 3xxx series projector are typical “home entertainment” in one regard, which is that they are a little noisier than most home theater projectors – those headed for darker, quieter rooms.  In eco mode, which most people should be able to use as their standard unless daylight viewing in far less than ideal rooms, the projectors claim 24 db, which is very good – aka “pretty quiet”  at full power, the 35 db spec should be fine for most, certainly while watching sports and TV.

I expect I’ll have at least one of these three new Epson projectors in here for review and have it published before the end of October, well in time for your holiday shopping.  We’ll take a very close look, including how they perform for movies, HDTV and sports, and we’ll measure input lag times for gaming enthusiasts. Some other basic info:  White and gray finish (obviously, from the photos), 14.9 pounds (try figuring that out from the photos).

And, of course, Epson always touts as a major advantage that their 3LCD designs have over DLP projectors:  The same number of color lumens as white lumens, for rich bright colors.  There’s even a 12 volt screen trigger – after all, projectors more designed for the family room, living room, occasional outdoor use, are more likely to be used with a motorized screen that pulls up out of the way when your not watching the projector.

Finally (for now):  Epson provides their usual, (and excellent) 2 year warranty with 2 years of their rapid replacement program. Shipments are next month – October.  These three new home entertainment projectors from Epson may not be as sexy as their new top of the line models sporting laser light sources, and other cool features, but they are truly, a fraction of the price.  -art

News and Comments

  • eaadams

    These seem a lot less cost than last year. If 5000 drop similarly wow

    • ProjectorReviews.com

      I think they should prove to be a major improvement over the older 3020 and 3020e projectors. We shall see. -art

      • Tim

        How could the 3000 without super-resolution be an improvement over 3020 with super-resolution ?

        • emiliosic

          Super resolution is a digital adjustment by the signal processor. They’re all 1080p
          The 3020 doesn’t have lens shift. These seem more like an upgrade to the 8350; which I consider better than the 3020; except for 3D processor

          • Tim

            With the latest review by Art on new firmware update in 5030, the super resolution really shows its strength. Can the NEW 3000 without super resolution gives similar level of detail as the OLD 3020 with previous generation of super resolution ? I wish Art would compare picture quality of 3000 and 3020 in this aspect.

            Also, how does the noise 32db (3020) compare to the 35db (3000) ?

          • emiliosic

            According to Epson Site: http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/jsp/Product.do?sku=V11H651020
            The 3500 has ‘Super Resolution’. The 3000 does not.
            That and the fact that 3000 doesn’t include audio circuitry nor two pairs of 3D glasses makes the difference in price.
            Currently have an 8350; and the noise level is acceptable. Previously had a DLP; which I cannot tell if it was louder; but produced a higher pitch (probably due to the color wheel).
            When got the 8350, it had lens shifts and trigger out; which the 3020 did not. Those were my deciding factors. The 3500 has all of that and adds discrete power on / off. The toggle in the previous models was a pain; often getting out of sync with the universal remote.

          • ProjectorReviews.com

            Greetings emilosic,

            Thanks for the heads up. I completely missed that the Home Cinema 3000 lacks Super-Resolution. That helps justify the price difference. BTW I would have caught it. Right now I’m working on the review of the HC3500/HC3600e.

            Because of the lower price point, and slightly less features, I had planned to separately review the HC3000. That’s still the plan, because it really is at a significantly lower price point, therefore competing with a mostly different group of projectors. -art

  • Chad Chervitz

    how do these differ from the 5030/6030UB series projectors?

    • ProjectorReviews.com

      Hi, Well, they are a lot less expensive – the wireless 3600e is $1999 vs. $2799 I believe for the 5030ube… the 3500 is $1699 vs. 5030ub of 2499.

      Black levels will not be near as good. Lens has a good amount of zoom range, but well less than the UBs 2.1:1. All have lens shift. All have 3D. The 3500/3600e have built in speaker, UBs do not…

      Working on the review of the 3600e, which will publish in the next week. -art

  • FLC

    I was about to buy the 5030….should i wait?

    • ProjectorReviews.com

      Hi FLC. The new 3000 series should definitely up Epson’s game in the lower price range, but no, they will not rival the 5030UB when it comes to black levels.

      Having not seen them in action, I’ll speculate this. They will be different, but probably still below the performance (even if brighter) than the Pro Cinema 4030 which is a step down from the 5030ub/6030ub.

      On the other hand, I’m expecting (I hope) a significant improvement over the HC3020, which was a very respectable home entertainment projector but not as great for home theater. I don’t know why Epson split things up, going more “theater” performance with the PC4030, and more entertainment with the HC3020, but I hope that these new 3000 series will at least split the difference, and come close to the 4030 in performance. -art

  • Canadianxxtorsyr

    I saw that this ones 2500 lumens for $1299. Saw this post: http://www.pocket-projector.net/2014/10/epson-ex3220-vs-aaxa-p450-who-will-win/ showing a 450 lumen LED projector against an Epson for $449. Really starting to consider Pico

    • emiliosic

      These are 1080p projectors, the AAXA picos are lower resolution.

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