Epson Home Cinema 8500UB Projector, Pro 9500UB Red Lines Solved

Greetings all,

OK, had a brief conference call with Epson a couple of hours ago.  I think I got everything straight, but I was on my cell phone, out of my office, at the time.  (no notes).

Here’s the story:

1.  Most importantly, Epson has tracked down the cause of the problem.  I was told that it was a faulty value in the color tables.

They have a fix. It is being implemented

Epson also says, that based on the number of calls, etc., relating to the red line problem, it really has affected a very, very small number of units.  Their own estimate is that it affects well less than 1% of the units.  That said, it’s interesting that I’ve heard from two people who have had it on both their first and second units.   Perhaps you need a unit, and exactly the right content to trigger it.  Over here, between my own posting here, and my request on avsforum, I only turned up 14 people reporting.  (Thanks, to all of you guys, btw.)

2.  For those with a projector that does experience the problem you can now call in to Epson support, and talk to their APS (Advanced Product Support) (most companies would call that level 2? support).

They say they have the fix and apparently can walk you through it.  I have no details as to whether there’s a file, etc., to download/install, or something simpler. Just that they’ve got the fix.  I’ll update when I have the rest of the details.

3. New units will have the new firmware. Existing inventory is being upgraded.

4. Dealer inventory should be taken care of shortly.  That should mean almost all dealer inventories.  Certainly the larger ones.  (There will always be a small dealer here or there, who “bought one a while back”, and didn’t get it upgraded.)  We’re talking a week or two, apparently, at the outside.

Bottom line – Per Epson:

We’re really sorry for any inconvenience!

if you have a red line problem unit, call us, we will take care of it.

If your current unit acts up with this problem in the future, call us, we will take care of it.

If you are buying a new one, you really don’t have to worry, as even with the un-upgraded inventory, you have an extremely small chance of it happening.

OK, that seems to cover it.  I do want to learn more about the details, and will report those, when I can find out.  Meantime, sounds like a problem solved. We shall see!  If the fix works, then we’ll give Epson support a well deserved ‘good job’ -art

News and Comments

  • harmil2

    Thanks for bringing your focus and expertise to this problem. Much appreciated. I will be looking forward to your further reports on how the details on the “fix” and how it is working.

  • John

    Art can we get an update as what the fix actually is and how long it will take for existing stock be updated? Also would there be any chance it affects the projectors performance? Thanks

    • I don’t have detail regarding dealer inventory, but I would suspect that by now, or certainly in a day or two, the largest online dealers (Epson only sells direct to a handful of online dealers the rest of the Epson online dealers are authorized, but buy through distribution. Although the distributors probably are getting the new ones at the same time as the big dealers, it would logically take a little longer before the small dealers swap theirs out, (if that’s how it’s being handles). Remember, Epson believes that the problem has shown up in well less than 1% of machines. That said, I don’t know exactly what trips the process – starts it. That might be why of the now 14 people I’ve been in communication with, that have had the problem also had it on their replacement units. Might be a certain piece of content – one particular color in the color table, that might trigger it (out of millions)… I just don’t know.

      But, if my original understanding (re my blog) is correct, Epson can “remove” the problem without physically needing the projector. I just don’t know yet if it is a download that has to be done, or whether they can talk people through with a few keystrokes as was the “impression” I got. Anyone yet get talked through this by Epson. I had figured they should be doing that by next week.

  • Alan

    Thanks again for shedding some light on the subject. I contacted epson a couple of days ago and talked to an APS as you suggested and she sent me a new unit that came today. She said at present the only fix is to have them send you another unit of send yours in to be worked on. She was not aware of anything the consumers themselves are able to do at this time.
    Thanks again!

    • Alan, thanks. I haven’t heard back and have been keeping busy. That’s good to know. Hey, as long as everyone gets taken care of… and the fix works. I love happy endings – at least with projectors. -art

  • Scott Ullman

    Art , I have the Epson 8500UB [40hrs] and have developed a red coloring that occurs on people’s faces especially with motion ,when watching dvr recorded Starz Spartacus series. If I turn the power off and restart the projector it goes away. Do you think this is the same problem and has anybody reported this condition. Scott

    • Yes you have exactly the problem others have. It’s easy, call Epson on the number on the PRivateLine card. Tell’m you have the red line problem. Apparently there’s still at least one person on the phones who doesn’t know yet about it, so if you hit that guy, tell’m you want a supervisor or level two support.
      Epson will fix you right up! No cost to you! -art

  • pogobull

    WOW.this has just happened to me this morning , have had my 8500UB for 7 days (14hrs on lamp) .have just got hold of epson and your rite Art , level 2 currently waiting on a call back from them.
    have only owned epson projectors and the past and those models i’ve had have been bullet proof nothing wrong with them what so ever .im hoping epson can help us out here.
    will keep ya posted

  • pogobull

    epson have just rung. and am needing to get a firmware update which in return apparantly fixes the issue with frame inerpolation.

  • If you don’t care about 3D and want a very good image this is a very good product

    • Hi Bestomann! Even if you do care about 3D, there aren’t any viable 3D solutions yet for home theater (less than a $mall fortune).

      The 8500UB is still my personal fav projector under about $4000 street. However, as I always say, make sure it meets your room requirements – it’s one of the brightest when you need max lumens, but its only slightly brighter than average in best mode, and there are a number that are brighter a few up to twice as bright in best mode (ie. BenQ W6000), or the LG CF181D, also extremely bright in best. Though neither are significantly brighter at their brightest. -art

      PS. my other reviewers Tony and Mike, also must like the 8500UB, as they both bought one this spring – Mike replacing an old JVC RS1 – he needs the lumens… and Tony, replacing a very old Panny PT-AE700 or AE900 (I can’t remember which). both are very pleased… -art

  • Mike A

    Red Line problmes in dark faces. Epson 8500 brand new bought on 8/7/2010. Apparently not all the inventory has been fixed, I’ll call Epson tomorrow.
    I spent months deciding on the right projector for our upgrade…. Well if does have a great picture, if its an easy fix, it’ll still be worth it. We’ll see.

    • Hi ScottieDog,

      My big question is: What dealer did you buy it from? I ask, because there are multiple channels of dealers – large direct AV dealers (authorized) which to my best knowledge, Epson replaced their inventory. Distributors, which I assume Epson also replaced their inventory – but, any number of small dealers might have bought and put into their own inventory a couple of Epsons way back, and could therefore still have old units. And finally, there are those dealers selling Epson who aren’t authorized. They get their units, probably from other dealers buying from Distributors (but could be from a rogue large dealer…). Point being, those not authorized – most likely to have an old unit, but also could be those who bought from a distrib a while back.

      Finally, this is a firmware fix issue. It is possible that the projector you bought was “upgraded” but someone blew it… and it made it back out into the field.

      So, do let me know the dealer… one more piece in the puzzle. -art