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Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8500UB Projector Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8500UB
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200000:1 Contrast Ratio
1600 Lumens
Street Price: n/a
$2,099 MSRP

Epson Home Cinema 8500 UB Review

Evan Powell, October 23, 2009

For the second year in a row, Epson has riveted consumer attention by claiming the highest contrast ratings in the industry on its home theater projectors. Last year's models, the 6500UB and 7500UB were rated at 75,000:1. Next month the Home Cinema 8500UB, rated at 200,000:1, will hit the market.

That is a big contrast number, but the 8500 UB is a step ahead of the 6500UB in more ways than just contrast. The frame interpolation system produces much smoother results with fewer artifacts than its predecessor. Super Resolution, an image sharpening option, is a new feature that users will enjoy. Very high brightness modes pump out close to 2000 lumens, with very good color balance that is much better than typical high brightness modes on competing units. And a THX-certified operating mode has been added. This is the first inexpensive home theater projector to carry a THX certification.

Review Update: Epson has just announced that the price is $2,499 with a $200 mail-in rebate. The net price is therefore $2,299. [EP, 11/13/09]

Overview: Epson Home Cinema 8500UB

The Epson 8500 UB is a 1080p resolution 3LCD projector rated at 200,000:1 contrast and 1600 ANSI lumens of brightness. It is another excellent offering from Epson which is sure to strengthen the company's competitive position in the home theater marketplace.

Operating Modes and Lumen Output. Probably the single most compelling advantage that the 8500UB has over all of its competitors is its ability to generate an extremely bright picture that is well color balanced. In this respect, it is simply unrivaled. If you want a powerful projector for ambient light use, or you have a very large theater room and want to fill a huge 300" diagonal screen, the 8500UB should be at the top of your short list.

The brightest precalibrated mode on the 8500UB is Dynamic, which on our test sample measured 1835 lumens. That was with the zoom lens set to wide angle and the lamp on full power. At factory defaults, color in Dynamic is not as balanced as it is in the theater modes, but it is reasonably good for such a high lumen output. Color can be improved significantly with a modest amount of tweaking without sacrificing too much lumen output. Since we are working with a pre-production sample, the final factory defaults may end up being different than those on our test unit. But boosting blue and pulling down yellow takes some excessive warmth out of the picture. Color saturation in this mode defaults to +10, which is a bit too rich for our taste. But knock it down a couple points, and we end up with an exceptionally engaging image that the typical home theater enthusiast will love. All things considered, this is the most successful Dynamic mode we've ever seen on a home theater projector.

Living Room mode measured a maximum of 1602 lumens, or almost as bright as Dynamic. It is also reasonably well balanced, but a bit cooler in color temperature. Once again, some modest fiddling with color and saturation produces a very bright and extremely attractive picture. Though not dialed into videophile standards, this is a very striking, high contrast image that does not suffer from the overdriven greens that most high brightness modes have.

The Living Room and Dynamic modes on the 8500UB will provide an excellent and cost-effective solution for very large scale home theater, say with screen sizes up to 300" diagonal. Conversely, if you have more normal screen size in the 100" to 150" range, and are interested in using your projector in ambient light settings, or for football parties, etc., the two bright operating modes pay off big time with this type of use as well.

There are five other predefined operating modes on the 8500UB, and all of them are much less bright than either Dynamic or Living Room. At factory defaults, the THX mode on our test unit puts out a maximum of 637 lumens, Theater is 638, Theater Black 1 is 574, Theater Black 2 (which defaults to low lamp and 5500K color temp) is 424, and x.v. color is 471.

In all modes in which the lamp is on full power, switching it to low power reduces lumen output by 21%. All lumen measurements we take are with maximum wide angle settings on the zoom lens to get the highest potential readings. As you move a zoom lens away from its widest angle setting, lumen output drops. In this case, it drops by about 18% in the middle of the zoom range, and up to a maximum of 36% if you use the extreme long throw end of the lens. This is slightly less lumen loss than average for a zoom lens of this range.

THX Mode. The THX certification on the 8500UB is sure to garner attention among consumers. As noted above, THX is one of the seven pre-calibrated modes of operation, and it, along with "Theater," are the brightest of the video-optimized theater modes available. On our test unit, the THX mode measures an almost perfect straight-line 6500K gray scale. So out of the box, the THX mode is the closest to ideal color balance of all of the seven precalibrated modes. However, the THX mode's color saturation looks surprisingly low when compared either to the 8500's Theater Black 1 mode, or to the Panasonic AE4000 in Cinema 1 or Color 1. On the other hand, the JVC RS25's THX mode is similarly low in saturation. So the 8500 might be correctly set to THX standards, but it doesn't look that good on a very large screen. We are still researching this, and Epson is looking into it. But we don't consider it to be a big problem since the projector is clearly capable of generating rich color in other operating modes.

Meanwhile, Theater Black 1 as it is currently programmed shows some bias toward red, so it is not as neutrally color balanced as THX. But it has superb color saturation, contrast, and black level. With some modest color adjustment, to us it is the most appealing of the video optimized modes on our test sample.

Contrast. Though 200,000:1 sounds like a huge increase in contrast over last year's 75.000:1, it really isn't. We are now into a range of high contrast performance where small changes in black level can have an enormous swing in the statistical measurements. It is easy to suppose that the 8500UB must be "more than double" the contrast of the 6500UB, and that sounds like a huge thing. What it actually means is that black, which was already quite black on the 6500UB, is a shade blacker on the 8500UB. The difference is noticeable in a very dark room, on images that are predominantly black, like rolling credits, or images of stars in the night sky. With this type of imagery, the 8500UB achieves a black that is unsurpassed in this price range.

The increase in contrast has been achieved with further refinement of the auto iris system. While this has a noteworthy effect on black levels and on/off contrast specs, it has less impact on visible contrast in most scenes with average light levels. In scenes of a sunny day, or characters talking in a restaurant, the 8500UB's actual improvement in contrast over its predecessor is marginal at best. In short, while there are several solid reasons to buy the 8500UB, the fact that it has a 200,000:1 contrast rating isn't one of the big ones.

Frame Interpolation. This technology first appeared in the Epson product line on last year's 6500 UB. The new implementation on the 8500UB is significantly improved. It is smoother, it has fewer artifacts, and the artifacts that it does have are less noticeable. Among the improvements is the decision to suspend frame interpolation during momentary rapid pans of the camera when there is no hope of creating a viable interim frame. This eliminates completely the messy rapid movement artifacts that were problematic in the first edition.

Another clever twist is that the 8500UB comes with the ability to split the screen and test the effects of frame interpolation in one half of the picture while leaving it unprocessed in the other half. This lets you see side by side what frame interpolation is actually doing to the picture.

The updated Frame Interpolation system has four options... Off, Low, Med, and High. As one would expect, the amount of motion judder decreases as one moves from Low to Medium to High. Since the amount of video processing is increased, frame delay increases from Low to Medium to High as well. Thus, you will need an audio delay to keep the sound in synch with the picture, especially if using one of the more comprehensive settings.

One of the common side effects of frame interpolation that many people object to is the "digital video" effect, or hyper-real picture that such processing can produce. The image can look more like a live HD video broadcast than a film-based movie. This can indeed look eerie. There is something unsettling about James Bond looking like he's coming to you in real time--it interferes with the ability to immerse oneself in the fantasy "otherworldliness" of the film experience.

With frame interpolation engaged on the 8500UB, the digital video effect is present, but only to a modest degree in the Low setting. It is more evident in Medium and High. Now, this is not always a bad thing. Some people thoroughly enjoy the hyper-real effect of frame interpolation. We've had email from readers asking who could possibly object to the picture looking more real? But many people do, and if you ever experience it first hand you will understand why.

Our take is that the Low setting on the 8500UB removes a great deal of judder, while imparting only a modest amount of digital video effect. So as far as trade-offs are concerned, this is a good one that many users will go for. We are less inclined to use the Medium and High settings for film-based source material since the incremental amount of judder removed is less, and the sense of hyper-reality is increased. But for sports and animated films, the sensation of hyper-reality is irrelevant, and the more comprehensive modes are quite viable.

Basically, all of this is a matter of taste. There is no "right and wrong" way to use this technology. Overall, frame interpolation is a terrific option to have available on a home theater projector, and it is much improved on the 8500UB.

Super Resolution. Super Resolution is new on the 8500UB and 9500UB. It is an additional image sharpening algorithm that works differently than conventional edge enhancement. This feature also has four options, Off, 1, 2, and 3, with 3 being the most aggressive application of it.

The video purist may object to any digital enhancement of this nature. However, we find that with high definition source material, Super Resolution set to 1 yields a sharp but natural image without any objectionable side effects. With standard definition film-based material, moving the Super Res setting to 2 works quite well. Setting 3 is way out of bounds for normal film sources, as it imparts a graininess to fleshtones that we find problematic. However, it has a beneficial effect on animated material such as Pixar's Cars. Therefore, it is likely that many users will find a use for all three settings of Super Resolution depending on the type of material being viewed.

Exceptional Standard Definition Performance. Frame Interpolation and Super Resolution, when used judiciously in combination, produce an outstanding display of DVD and other standard definition material. In our testing of DVDs, setting Frame Interpolation to 1 and Super Res to 2 created a very clean, stable, sharp image that looked as close to HD as any SD source possibly could. Bill commented that frame interpolation is the best thing that ever happened to DVD, and I don't disagree. It can't turn SD into HD, and it can't salvage bad DVD transfers. But watching DVDs on the 8500UB with FI and Super Res engaged will make you want to re-watch many DVDs in your library.

Contrast Enhancement. This control also has four settings, Off, 1, 2, and 3. Though each of these settings yield an incrementally higher contrast image, they do so at the expense of making the picture, and skin tones in particular, look less natural. In our view, the 8500 UB has sufficient contrast in its native modes without any further artificial enhancement, so our preference was to run the projector with this feature off. However, others may feel differently. This is another one of those features that has been included to satisfy a variety of tastes among users. Some people will like it and others won't.

Limitations

No powered zoom/focus lens. The 8500UB, like its predecessor, has a very long range 2.1x zoom lens, and extensive horizontal and vertical lens shift. However, these are all manual adjustments. Some of the competing models in this price range have powered zoom/focus, which for one thing makes it easier to adjust picture size to accommodate a 2.40 screen via remote control. If this capability is important to you, be aware that lens repositioning to accommodate both 2.40 and 16:9 material on a 2.40 screen will need to be done with manual adjustments of the lens.

No anamorphic stretch mode. If you want to add an anamorphic lens to your system, you will also need to add an external video processor to perform the vertical digital stretch. The Pro Cinema 9500 UB has this feature on board, but so do most 1080p projectors in the 8500 UB's price range. This has almost become a standard feature on 1080p home theater projectors, so the decision to leave it off the 8500UB makes it somewhat competitively vulnerable with buyers who value this feature. On the other hand, we're guessing there aren't too many buyers who would pony up $4,000 or more for an anamorphic lens while limiting their projector budget to under $2,500.

Remote control and menu. The remote on the 8500UB is reasonably functional, but it is not one of our favorites. The placement of buttons and the design of directional controls makes for relatively difficult manipulation of the menu. One can get used to it, but it takes more effort than usual to master it. We do like the fact that it is white, which makes it easier to locate in a dark room with only minimal ambient light. Dark colored remotes disappear entirely in a dark room.

The menu system does not recall where you were last, so returning to a specific control to make a secondary adjustment requires stepping all the way through the menu again. If you are making frequent adjustments to the Frame Interpolation or Super Resolution settings to see how they affect the picture, this gets tedious.

The remote is back-lit, but the light won't come on unless you press a button in the upper right corner. Many backlit remotes will light up the moment you touch any button. This is less of a problem once you get to know the remote by feel and don't need to see the buttons. And if you don't need the light, it probably saves on battery usage in the long run, so setting it up this way is not all bad.

Calibration? None of the operating modes on our pre-production test sample were perfectly calibrated to color temps that we'd prefer, except THX which was low in saturation. Some of them look very good, and many users will be extremely happy with the way they look right out of the box. However, each mode could use some fine tuning to achieve a more accurate color. All of this may change in the production units, so we can't say whether the user will benefit from a professional calibration. But this is a beautiful projector, and one way or another, having it tuned to its peak performance is well worth it.

Conclusion

The key advantages of the Epson Home Cinema 8500UB are these:

• The deepest black levels of any home theater projector in this price range.
• Solid, very competitive contrast
• Extremely bright high brightness mode with good color balance
• Bright theater modes for dark room viewing
• Smooth frame interpolation system
• Super Resolution for fine tuning of sharpness
• Excellent DVD display.

The official price of $2,499, less a $200 mail-in rebate, was announced 11/13/09. The 8500UB is an excellent value at this price, especially for those who need its key light output advantage. Nevertheless, this is a highly competitive fall season in the home theater market. Epson's lower priced Home Cinema 8100 is a formidable offering in its own right at just $1,599 ($1,499 with a $100 mail-in rebate), and Panasonic's AE4000 at $1,999 represents tough competition as well.

Competition. Click here for a shootout between the Epson 8500UB and the Panasonic AE4000.


Reader Comments(45 comments)

Posted Jan 10, 2014 8:49:02 AM

By kendra

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Our 8500ub has been officially declared useless by an authorized repair center. We have owned it 3 years. Within the first 6 months the original unit was replaced under warranty. We now have an optical engine problem that would cost over $1,000 to repair. We originally spent $2,000 on a unit that lasted 3 years...that's ridiculous. Epson will do nothing. ALSO...we went through bulbs like crazy...fortunately, my husband always got them free from Epson because they would burn out every 6 months...again, ridiculous manufacturing issues for an expensive product.

Posted Jun 11, 2013 11:40:12 AM

By Wil Gong

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Projector is great when it works. I had it early 2010 and have gone thru 3 bulbs. Since I did not contact EPSON during the warranty period, not only did I not get a bulb replacement, I have to foot the repair bill $700 and still get my own bulb. The projector was great, had plenty of light and the blacks are pretty good. I am moving on to a Panny as 3 bulbs total 1500 hrs of operation is unacceptable. The fact that it is a know problem is even more disappointing. Wish they would help me out, but not happening.

Posted Dec 30, 2012 10:29:39 AM

By Gabriel

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Hello! I can get one used for $550. I have an Infocus 7210 which was very high end at the time so the optics are top notch so not sure that the 1080 he is going to make much difference but I wouldnt mind lower black levels. I am projecting a 12' wide screen and my Infocus was known as a light cannon. Any thoughts? My other idea was to keep the infocus and get a cheap Optoma 3D project just for 3D movies. Regards

Posted Oct 2, 2012 12:43:11 PM

By Karl

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Be aware I have gone though 4 lamps in 2 1/2 years no Lamp lasting longer than 300 hrs. Epson has great customer service, replaced lamp no questions asked! unfortunately a bad design on lamps. They recommended not leaving in stand by mode but powering off every time. Hope this helps

Posted Sep 26, 2012 7:49:28 AM

By Tom

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Epson is still selling this projector as a Refurb for $1099. Any opinions on how this unit stacks up to newer budget options from Epson like the 8350 or even the 3010? Looks like you be sacrificing a bit of lumens but getting better black levels. Any other trade offs?

Posted Jan 17, 2012 8:50:58 AM

By markreich

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Hello out there.....I was wondering if anyone would love to share their calibrated settings with me.....I like many of you out there have little ones at home.....My little man got to my remote and somehow cleared all my saved settings and resetted everything.....I don't want to pay for the calabrations again (times are tough) and the closes one is more than 3 hours from me....The picture is not bad, but I can see the differance.....I bought a used epson 9500ub a tittle over a year ago.....Please help.....Thank you

Posted May 15, 2011 3:12:36 PM

By George Hoenninger

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I just hit around 800 hours and all of a sudden my picture dimmed substantially. Sounds like I am having the same issue others have reported. I will contact Epson tomorrow and ask for a replacement bulb. Hopefully there won't be any issues and I will receive it quickly.

Other than this issue, the pj has been fantastic and I am very happy with it.

Posted Apr 7, 2011 6:15:18 PM

By Chris

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I purchased this projector about a year ago and overall I've been happy with it. Just recently though after only 847 hours, far short of the manufacturers specified 4000 hours, my lamp seems to have failed. The room I have it in has almost no ambient light, so i usually use the THX setting, but now the picture is too dark even on "dynamic". I called Epson and they are shipping a new lamp out to me free of charge. They said that they are aware of this problem. In reading other reviews it seems like some others are having the same issue. I'm happy about the new lamp but does anyone know if they have resolved this problem, or will I have this issue again?

Posted Feb 6, 2011 11:53:13 AM

By J-F Limoges

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Used this projector for 1 year now... ABSOLUTELY satisfied. Great contrast, great brigtness, great picture, great everything.

Posted Jan 20, 2011 2:32:58 PM

By Ted

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After 13 months, mine just blew at 1185 hours. Love the projector; not happy about the lamp.

Posted Jan 9, 2011 9:40:27 AM

By Steve

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I bought my 8500UB last August and have been thrilled with the picture quality. However, just last week the picture brightness degraded quickly and a short time later the bulb popped. The lamp had 852 hours on it when it failed. Customer service was excellent and they shipped a new lamp overnight. My concern obviously that the lamp didn't come close to it's spec'd 4000 hours and how soon before my replacement blows. It seems from the number of comments on lamp issues that Epson has a major problem with the reliability of this component in the field. Hopefully they fix the design problem and ship an improved lamp as customers call in to get replacements.

Posted Nov 12, 2010 8:51:41 PM

By Jordy

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I'm wondering how many of us (most of us) could use FI at all, if it throws the audio out of sync. True that many audio processors include sync setting, but many don't and some of us won't want to mess with audio delay. Is this a concern or am I fixating on a trivial issue?

" Since the amount of video processing is increased, frame delay increases from Low to Medium to High as well. Thus, you will need an audio delay to keep the sound in synch with the picture, especially if using one of the more comprehensive settings. "

Posted Sep 13, 2010 5:28:38 PM

By Vinod

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I saw lot of lamp issues in reviews for 8100UB. Is it the same with 8500. Is it the same kind/model of lamp that you can use in both the models?

Posted Aug 7, 2010 5:42:22 AM

By Henry

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Great review. One question, how do you do this:

"Another clever twist is that the 8500UB comes with the ability to split the screen and test the effects of frame interpolation in one half of the picture while leaving it unprocessed in the other half. This lets you see side by side what frame interpolation is actually doing to the picture."?

Posted Aug 5, 2010 4:18:53 AM

By ravmahad

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After the intial hue and cry over the grandeur and the impact of watching Hi-def on a approx 200 inches screen, i settled down to do some calibrations. The lamp by now had crossed the threshold of 100 hours operation that it needed to settle down, as some quarters would suggest. What initially escaped me through out my 100 hour sitting has now hit 'red' literally. Though my scan of the net did not fetch me any results for this problem with any of the Epson models , current or otherwise, i did see a similar situation that a reviewer had mentioned about a rival's product. This is exactly my woe too. please read - " A slight post-calibration pink-magenta cast in the middle brightness range and a slight unevenness in the white field, with subtle additional magenta tinges in various areas of the image, were unnoticeable on color material, though they are visible if you look for them very carefully on black-and-white programming."

Any idea folks what this could be due to? I have spoken to the Epson guys. They are yet to come into terms with this. I use a sony blu ray player with an HDMI in-out and that's it. No loose ends anywhere. Power line stable. The test signal used to check the whites was from the 'LIFE' series blu ray from BBC where it carries a HI DEF set up as an extra. The whites had the magenta at about three points, all of them in varying intensty, but is evident only on close scrutiny. With this information in mind when you go to watch any programme material you can identify the magenta there. But for someone who hasn't seen the white test this magenta may escape him. Please let me know if any of you friends had a similar problem with any projector and what step did you take to rectify it. thanks .

Posted Jul 28, 2010 7:01:56 AM

By Paul

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"The lens keeps dropping. I use the lens shift to perfectly match my Stewart Firehawk screen and then I have to raise the picture about an inch"

I had a similar problem with mine, but it is ceiling mounted, meaning subject to vibration of people walking upstairs. Even with a good mount I had to block the pg's corner tight against the ceiling keeping it level with block of wood so it didn't move because of vibrations. Since I did blocked the projector in place (ensuring no air intake are blocked or access to the filter) it remain perfectly in place. The lens doesn't move at all even with little vibrations.

Posted Apr 1, 2010 9:35:31 PM

By Bill Strickler

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I have had my new Epson 8500UB set up for 7 weeks so far. After calibration it produces a great picture. My question: The lens keeps dropping. I use the lens shift to perfectly match my Stewart Firehawk screen and then I have to raise the picture about an inch. After a week, the picture falls to perfectly match the screen exactly. After two weeks, it is about half an inch or below a perfect match. Then I have to get the ladder out and lens shift it back up to an inch too high and two weeks later it is back to too low. Is this normal? Do I need to duct tape it to hold it up to keep it from slipping down? Is it defective? Any suggestions? I don’t want it replaced as replacing and calibration is a hassle, but I want a steady lens. The lens shift in my 4.5 year old Panasonic never slipped. On the Panasonic I set it and every 1 to 2 years, I take it down, clean it and put it back up and that is all the maintenance it ever required. My projector sits upright on a shelf 7 feet off the floor on the back wall and the top of the gray-white part of the screen is even with the center of the projector lens.

Posted Mar 12, 2010 9:15:07 AM

By Paul

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I purchsed the 8500ub and i have no regret at all. The picture is great especially when watching BD. It was also great to watch the Olympic Game on HDTV. 120" in diag screen, no problem event with some ambient light on (in dynamic color mode). The only thing I don't care for to much is the auto iris noise, but most of the time I leave it disable.

Posted Feb 19, 2010 9:48:11 PM

By Peter

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Hello...I'm comletely new to projector TV's and my internet searches have led straightto this one. A couple of basic questions... 1. I need to mount my projector TV to one side of my room. One of the posts here suggests that this one isn't suitable unless you can mount it dead centre in front of the screen. Is this the case? 2. Does this come with a TV tuner built in? Many thanks!

Posted Feb 18, 2010 4:55:12 PM

By Dan

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Does anyone know after 2/28 will they just stop offering the rebate, or will they actually drop the price after that?

Posted Feb 10, 2010 4:04:27 PM

By pete ramberg

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When you have to respond:

When the 8500ub accepts a 24p input source, the 'info' menu shows a refresh rate of 24 hz, yet the 4:4 pulldown is activated? How can this be so? Does the 8500ub chabge the regresh rate to 96 hz in order to accomplish this without updating the 'info' menu??

Aslo, when accepting a 60 p signal, the 'info' menu shows 60 hz refresh rate, yet CFI is engaged. How can it be interpolating frames on a 60 p signal at 60 hz refresh rate? Does the 8500ub alter the refresh rate to 96 hz or 120 hz to accomplish this feat??

Thanks when you have time...

Posted Jan 26, 2010 9:30:45 AM

By Jono

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can't help but notice this is the same price in $'s as it is in £'s here in the UK - anyone know the deal with ordering this from US and getting it to work here?

Posted Jan 19, 2010 10:12:06 AM

By CSMike

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John, the owner's manual shows a power consumption of 200W for the lamp.

Posted Jan 15, 2010 1:36:40 PM

By john

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Where can I find the wattage or power consumption of the lamp used in the Epson 8500ub?

Posted Jan 13, 2010 11:47:03 PM

By Birger

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Dear Evan,

May I suggest that you also include the European model number for Your European readers?

Posted Jan 11, 2010 12:44:45 AM

By Frank N

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I just ordered the 8500UB because of the value I found in reviews like this one.

Having said that, why is there no "native" contrast spec by the manufacturer or a measurement of contrast by the reviewer. i.e. with a static test pattern and the "dynamic" iris defeated into the STATIC mode.

Knowing the static contrast ratio would give an idea of the kind of contrast to expect in medium to high brightness images and video.

FYI, even the data sheet for the Epson D7 imagers will not give a contrast ratio spec. That is really odd. That parameter would be one of the top 2 things I would want to know if I were designing a projector and it is not in the OEM data sheet.

In sniffing around the WEB, I was surprised to see that the DLP based high end Christies Cinema projectors could not muster more than ~2000:1 contrast ratio. I was surprised that the (Christies) cinema projectors do not use dynamic IRIS.

I guess the first thing that I will do when the 8500 UB arrives later this week will be to get out the Minolta CS-100 and measure the STATIC CONTRAST RATIO and post it here.

frank%simrex.com replace % with @

Posted Jan 9, 2010 7:27:32 PM

By Shane Chen

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Your brightness test is 1835 lumens for 8500 and 1749 lumens for 8100, but the Epson's spec shows 1600 lumens for 8500 and 1800 lumens for 8100. Why do they put lower for the 8500?

Posted Jan 5, 2010 5:24:58 PM

By Alan

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Tim, You are definitely right about the lens shift. I set a level on the projector, centered the bubble then was amazed at how much adjustment I could get out of the lens shift.

Thanks for the pointer and I wish Epson would have included that in their installation docs.

Posted Dec 28, 2009 2:19:05 PM

By Tim

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ALAN, lack of trapazoid does not mean that the projector needs to be centered with the middle of the screen. It just means that the projector itself needs to be perfectly level, which is no big deal. You can use vertical shift to your hearts content however trapazoid degrades the image too much as you give up pixels to straighten the picture. Trapazoid is only useful if you are placing the projector on a flat surface and then physically tilt the projector to point up at the screen, with lens shift or any typical home theatre setup this is not necessary.

Posted Dec 22, 2009 1:04:16 PM

By Alan

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One thing that is not included in the review here that I discovered after hanging this from the ceiling is that is has no trapezoid adjustment. This basically means, you need to have tit pretty close to center screen for a distortion free image. I find this to be a strange omission for a rather large projector that is intended to be ceiling mounted where it won't be anywhere near center screen.

I still love the projector, it's seems quieter than my Panny AE700 which just bit the dust after about 20,000 hours.

Posted Dec 5, 2009 11:51:07 PM

By Rick

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Does anyone have experience with Epson tech support and repair service. I have PT-AX100 that has problems shutting itself off repeatedly and I was not happy with the response or assistance I got from Panasonic over the phone - cannot fix it local, cannot give estimate over the phone, will not help me troubleshoot, won't guarantee they can fix it for not to exceed quote, etc. However, I am stuck between the Epson 8500 or the Panasonic 4000. I would like to go with Panasonic because the picture quality of my ax-100 but hesitant due to my bad experience with their service. Thanks!

Posted Dec 4, 2009 8:15:47 PM

By Scott Dang

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Excellent review. I got a really good sense now of this projector and ordered it. Can't wait!

Thanks again.

Posted Nov 25, 2009 6:58:29 AM

By george

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I would like to know what screen type did they use for this review or better yet make a recommendation to get the best out of the projector, such as white or gray finish and gain etc....

Posted Nov 21, 2009 6:33:01 PM

By john

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what was ansi contrast?

Posted Nov 20, 2009 1:08:27 PM

By Jeff

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Anyone have an idea if the new 3LCD systems are prone to blue degradation over time? I like the appeal of the features offered by the Epson 8500UB, but I'm still leery of LCD's proneness for blue loss.

Posted Nov 20, 2009 12:41:10 PM

By steve

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are there direct input and discreet power buttons on the remote control?

Posted Nov 14, 2009 9:53:32 AM

By Steve

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Evan,

Trying to decide between an 8100 and the 8500. I will watch hdtv, sports and movies. Do you find the FI to be a significant benefit in watching sports (football, basketball and baseball)?

Steve

Posted Nov 12, 2009 1:38:44 PM

By wyatt

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Epson priced the 8500 finally.

$2,299 with a $200 mail in rebate.

Posted Oct 31, 2009 2:45:31 PM

By Bari

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While reading the section on contrast, I expected to see your measurement of ANSI contrast, but didn't find it. So what if they've improved the iris so as to let less light out on a screen of total black. As you state "it has less impact on visible contrast in most scenes". What was the ANSI contrast?

Posted Oct 27, 2009 8:59:37 PM

By Brian

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Just curious as to why an MSRP is being listed as $2999? If that's where Epson has decided to price it I guess they made my choice for me. I'll be getting the Panny.

Posted Oct 27, 2009 9:34:21 AM

By Nathan

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Evan, I disagree somewhat in your assessment that for "...animated films, the sensation of hyper-reality is irrelevant". For some films this may be true. On the other hand, Pixar has been steadily working towards making their movies more filmlike. In the extras for Wall-E there's a vignette about how they completely redesigned their camera system to get it to look like it was shot with an actual film camera. The first time I saw Wall-E on DVD it was on a flat panel with interpolation and I found it unnerving. I agree with your main point, that some will like and some will not, but it's not entirely accurate to say that with animated films a filmlike feel isn't relevant.

Posted Oct 23, 2009 4:01:36 PM

By Jeff

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I would like ot hear a few comparison's between the 8500UB and the Panny 4000U. The 8500UB uses the HQV VP, and the Panny uses a no-name. How does video processing of the Panny compare to the Epson with jaggies, noise, etc? Can they both pass the video benchmark test that is usually used on DVD's? And Panny is still using the smooth screen technology, but it is needed? I am upgrading from a Panny 900U and do not want to see SDE. I have a 110" 16:9 screen that I watch from 10 feet away. But maybe 1080P is good enough that no projector would have issues with SDE from that distance and screen size?

Posted Oct 23, 2009 3:36:45 PM

By criszeri

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PTAE4000 vs Epson UB8500 shootout incoming? Hope so. Interesting review.

Posted Oct 23, 2009 3:34:42 PM

By Bjorn

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Nice! Thanks for the review and very much looking forward to your shooutout comparison between the 8500UB and the AE4000, especially regarding black levels and contrast, but also color saturation, sharpness and brightness between the two.

You say that the improvement in contrast with the 8500UB is mostly visible with completely dark scenes like credits and night skies, but what about very dark movie material like a lot of scenes in Alien, AvP 2 and Descent?

Posted Oct 23, 2009 1:17:59 PM

By Wyatt

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Looks like the AE400 has some competition.

Could you comment on fan noise?

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