Review Contents
Test Measurements
Performance
Features
Ease of Use
Value
Intended Use:
Education
Epson PowerLite Pro Z8000WUNL Projector Epson PowerLite Pro Z8000WUNL
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Street Price: $9,988
MSRP:$12,999
Contrast:5,000:1
Lumens:6000
Weight: 48.4 lbs
Resolution:1920x1200
Aspect Ratio:16:10
Technology:3 LCD
Lens Shift:H + V
Lamp Life:2,500 Hrs
3,500 (eco)
Lamp Cost:$519.00
Warranty:3 year
Connectors:  S-Video, Composite, RGB (x2), DVI Digital Input, HDMI, Network, RS232
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 576i, 576p

Epson PowerLite Pro Z8000WUNL
Large Venue Projector

Robert Hendricks, CTS, January 15, 2010

Introduction

With all of the choices available, selecting or specifying the right projector for a larger venue can be a challenging task. Technology buyers, audiovisual design consultants and system integrators have a convenient tool for this purpose in Projector Central's Feature Search, which allows you to access the projector database. For an interesting exercise, try setting the Resolution box to "1920 x 1200," and the Brightness box to "5000 - 7000 lumens." These two parameters produce a list of 17 matching models at the moment. Now add one more parameter: change the "Any Technology" box to "LCD." The result is now just two model variations of one projector - the Epson Z8000WUNL. This seems to confirm Epson's claim that it is the only 3-chip LCD, WUXGA projector on the market today. Epson evidently had a niche in mind, so let's take a look at how well they have filled it.

Epson has produced a projector in the 6000 lumen class with WUXGA resolution, but at the lower price point of a 3-chip LCD light engine. Offering the possibility of owning two or three of these units for the same cost as a similarly classed 3-chip DLP projector, Epson has set its sights on facilities such as educational institutions with multiple auditoria and lecture halls, and the mid- to large-venue rental and staging market.

Test Measurements

Brightness and Uniformity. In the brightest color mode, Dynamic, our test unit measured a 5,300 lumen screen average when using the normal lamp power setting. Even at screen center the effective brightness fell short at 5,650 lumens. However, the brightness uniformity (the ratio between the dimmest and brightest part of the screen) was a respectable 83%.

Reducing the lamp power to Eco mode brought the brightness down to 4,050 lumens, or about 24%. At this setting Epson predicts lamp life to increase from 2,500 to 3,500 hours, and the reduction in fan noise was significant. Other color presets, which we tested in normal lamp mode, are designed to optimize the appearance of various types of content with a corresponding sacrifice of light output. Presentation mode yielded 4,450 lumens, followed by Photo mode at 3,850 lumens. As is typical, Theater mode measures the lowest at 1,600 lumens; this setting is designed to maximize shadow detail and reproduce the "film look" in a darkened room. Finally, we tested the effect of the standard 1.0 - 1.6:1 zoom lens on light output. In Dynamic mode, the 5,300 lumens read at full wide angle drops to 4,100 lumens at full telephoto. This is only a 23% loss, which is somewhat less than the 33% we'd expect from a typical 1.6x zoom lens.

Review Contents: Test Measurements Advantages Advantages and Limitations

Reader Comments(3 comments)

Posted Jan 23, 2010 12:16:28 PM

By Doniz

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Sony has a 2K projector that is 3LCD (the so-called "pancake" model), so its panel rez is very close to that of WUXGA. And it also outputs in this same ANSI lume range.

The article did not compare this Epson model to any 3-chip DLP model, TX Booster. I don't think it should have. However, it could have compared it to some of the single-chip DLP PJs, the best deal of which is the Panasonic PT-DZ6710U 6000 ANSI Lumen single-chip DLP projector. That one has a closed-circuit chip cooling mechanism and a motorized filter roll.

Plus, it comes with geometric adjustment capabilities, a 1.8-2.6 standard zoom lens, and coveted SDI connectivity -- all for less money than what Epson charges for their 3LCD PJ without a lens and without SDI input.

Posted Jan 21, 2010 6:04:03 AM

By Texas Booster

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
Agreed, PatB. Look at all the exotic cooling and filtering that is required to build an LCD projector that will not require monthly cleanings and semi-annual engine replacements. We stopped using high lumen LCD projectors just to save on maintenance costs.

I do think that it is disingenuous to compare a "3-panel LCD" with a 3-chip DLP engine. Apples and oranges.

I am disappointed that Epson marketing is bending the lumen output by 10%+. Wonder what they claim their contrast settings are? 15,000:1 with iris? 3LCD has made contrast ratios meaningless with their cheating ways.

Dropping from "6000 lumens" to 1600 lumens in theater mode? Somebody had better check their design before installing into an auditorium.

Still, this unit should appeal to LCD fans who haven't had any product in this space at all. Kudos to Epson for trying.

Posted Jan 16, 2010 11:04:09 AM

By PatB

Post a Comment Alert Moderator
There has to be a reason why other LCD projector manufacturers have avoided this market segment. Could it be degradation of the LCD panels from the very bright and hot light needed to achieve these high illumination levels?

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