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Epson Home Cinema 8100 LCD Projector Review

by May 06, 2010
Epson Home Cinema 8100 Projector

Epson Home Cinema 8100 Projector

  • Product Name: Home Cinema 8100 Projector
  • Manufacturer: Epson America
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStarhalf-star
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStarStar
  • Review Date: May 06, 2010 08:40
  • MSRP: $ 1499
  • Buy Now

Brightness: 1800 ANSI lumens (Dynamic mode)
Contrast: Up to 36,000:1 (full on/off)
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 native HD resolution
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen native 16:9 aspect ratio (4:3 resized)
LCD Panel: 3 x 0.74" D7 C2Fine
Optical System: Dichroic mirror separation and prism combine method
x.v.Color support
Video Inputs: HDMI 1.3a x 2, component, composite, S-video, and PC/RGB (HD15)
Video Processing: HQV Reon-VX
Control: RS-232C, IR remote, 12 VDC trigger output
Projection Lens: Fujinon lens F/2.0 - 3.17, manual focus & zoom (1 - 2.1)
Lens Shift: Vertical and horizontal (96% vertical, 47% horizontal)
Lamp: 200W UHE (ultra high efficiency) E-TORL; 4000 hours (low mode)
Power Supply: 100-120 volts, 3.3A
Power Consumption: 285W (high); 0.2W (standby)
Operating Temperature: 32 - 104 degrees F (0 - 40 degrees C); 20-80% humidity (no condensation)
Fan: 22-28dB operation (in low mode)
Remote Control: Backlit w/batteries included
Standard Accessories: Power cord, Wireless remote control unit, batteries for remote control
Warranty: 2 year parts and labor limited warranty, 90-day lamp warranty, including overnight replacement services and exclusive Epson PrivateLine toll-free technical support (U.S. and Canada only)
Dimensions: 17.7" x 15.5" x 5.7"
Weight: 16.1 lbs

Pros

  • Excellent blacks
  • Great value
  • Individual controls
  • 2.1x zoom Fujinon lens
  • Quiet

Cons

  • Default color not accurate
  • Green outside of ATSC gamut
  • No anamorphic mode

Introduction

The industry simply can't deliver brand new mind-blowing technological advances in projectors every year. This year, Epson is focusing on making strides in terms of value and bang-for-the-buck. Its Home Cinema 8100 projector has most of the features of the former Home Cinema 6500UB, but with a sticker price that is over $1000 less. It's also $2500 less than its THX certified big brother, the Pro Cinema 9500UB, yet it shares about 90% or more of the same technology. Indeed, 2010 may mark the year where consumers are spoiled on what to expect for their money. With excellent high lumen color reproduction and fantastic low level blacks, the 8100 is a steal at just under $1500.

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About the author:

Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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Recent Forum Posts:

fpickering posts on November 13, 2013 21:26
Buyer Beware. Lamp life is not 4000 hours, actually closer to 500 hours

I bought this projector based on the fact that the bulb was rated for 4000 hours. After only ~500 hours the bulb failed. I called Epson who assured me that the problem was fixed as they've switched manufacturers and they shipped me a replacement under warranty.

After ~500 hours on the replacement bulb, it failed as well. I called Epson and even escalated the call to a supervisor and they offered me no solution but to purchase a replacement bulb for $300. I asked them why I would give them $300 for a replacement when two out of two bulbs that I had used thus far only lasted ~500 hours. Further, I asked how I could trust their word that the issue was fixed since this is what they told me the first time the bulb failed. Epson switching bulb manufacturers obviously did not fix the issue. Do not believe them when they tell you this.

It appears that what happened here is they were sending me these defective bulbs and were stringing me along until my warranty was up. I told the supervisor that his unwillingness to do anything resulted in Epson losing a customer forever. I also assured him that I would review the product and share my unfortunate story. Lastly, I am pondering suing them in small claims court for false advertising just out of principle.

If you want to buy new bulbs every 5oo hours at $300 a pop then this is the projector for you! Buyer Beware.
mpompey posts on August 24, 2010 13:14
I've got the 8500UB and I love it so much. I am falling in love with some of my older DVD releases thanks to Frame Interpolation. I fainted watching Avatar in full 1080P glory. Who needs 3D when you've got a good projector.
silversmith posts on August 24, 2010 13:00
Best Picture Ever

I am in love with this device, thanks for the advice
davecraze posts on August 19, 2010 00:12
8100 does not have the HQV Reon, according to Epson

I have contacted Epson and they tell me the 8100 has a Pixelworks processor, not the Reon. Please see below:

——————————————-
Discussion Thread
Response (Jesus A) 08/18/2010 03:25 PM
Dear David,

Thank you for contacting Epson regarding your incident.

The Home Cinema 8100 does not use the HQV processor. It uses a PixelWorks processor. The projectors that use the HQV processor are the units that had the UB designation, like the 8500UB.

Should you require further assistance, please reply and reference incident ID: 100816-002813. If you have a different support issue, submit a request via our U.S. or Canada Support Site and we will respond in a timely manner.

Thank you again for contacting Epson.

Jesus A.

Question Reference #100816-002813
Escalation Level: Manila Unassign Incident
Product Level 1: Projector - Home Theater
Product Level 2: Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8100
Category Level 1: None
Date Created: 08/16/2010 12:14 PM
Last Updated: 08/18/2010 03:25 PM
Status: Resolved
BMXTRIX posts on May 18, 2010 15:08
Good review. I will continue to complain, with a smile, that I wish the reviews got into a bit more detail on some of the basics…

ie: What does the offset mean when it comes to a 100" diagonal screen? (I know this, but others may not)

What is the actual brightness of the projector and what environments is that amount of brightness, and at what screen size, is it usable?

How well will the remote work within a universal remote system? Sometimes the on/off is really tough to deliver with a single power button.

What models are comparible? The 6500UB is discontinued, so what is the real competition for this model and at what price point? Viewsonic 8100? Optoma HD20? BenQ W1000? Other?

Is there frame interpolation on this model? How does it perform if so?

Really, just a few questions that I think would be good to answer and help people with their buying decisions. This is one of the best reviews overall that I've read and I have no issues with the scoring/rating which I typically like to complain about. I've not installed one yet, but will be doing so hopefully in the next month or so. The 8100, in my opinion, is one of the best super flexible install projectors available. The lamp life is better than average, and it has good brightness. Image processing could be better, but is not inappropriately poor either. Feed it a good source (Blu-ray, high quality upconversion) and you will get a good image.

A blurb on organic vs. inorganic panels is also necessary since most people are unaware that the inorganic LCD panels, as used on the big brother 8500UB and the old 6500UB are designed to last longer compared to the organic LCD panels which the 8100 uses.

I am a bit suprised that the 8100 is being compared so much to the 6500UB, when it is designed as the replacement for the 6100. In almost all regards it's an upgrade on the 6100, which was no slouch either, and comes in for less money there as well.

Good stuff on this review and people really should be putting this projector way up there if they can hit the price point for it. Epson has really been putting out some nice product in the past few years for the home theater market.
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