Epson Home Cinema 3800 3LCD Projector
Projector Central Highly Recommended Award

Highly Recommended Award

Our Highly Recommended designation is earned by products offering extraordinary value or performance in their price class.

  • Performance
  • 4.5
  • Features
  • Ease of Use
  • Value
  • Excellent out-of-box image quality
  • 10 memory positions let you create multiple customizations of any or all color mode presets—for SDR, HDR, and 3D, for example, or for different lighting conditions
  • Same preset color modes available for 2D and 3D content
  • Excellent setup flexibility with 1.62x zoom and wide lens shift
  • Frame Interpolation not available with 4K input or with 1080p if 4K Enhancement is on
Our Take

Like Epson's bigger and heavier pixel-shifting, 4K-capable models, the Epson Home Cinema 3800 delivers a gorgeous image for 1080p SDR and 4K UHD content along with conveniences like a much larger horizontal and vertical lens shift than typical for the price.

Epson HC3800 lead

The $1,699 Epson Home Cinema 3800 is the more expensive of two new and similar Epson projectors. The other is the $1,499 Epson Home Cinema 3200. Taken together, they are the latest example of the continuing trend towards lower prices for entry-level 4K home theater projectors—or, more precisely, the price of pixel-shifting, native 1080p projectors that produce images essentially indistinguishable to the human eye from true 4K. These models officially replace the Home Cinema 3700 and Home Cinema 3100, 1080p models which do" not offer pixel shifting to enhance resolution and do not accept UHD signals.

The 3800's slightly higher price compared with the 3200 buys you on-board stereo speakers, a 12V trigger port, an RS-232 port for external control, and—most significantly—higher brightness and contrast ratio. Based strictly on the ratings—3,000 lumens for the 3800 rather than 2,900 for the 3200—the brightness difference isn't enough to notice. The difference in contrast should be, at 100,000:1 compared with 40,000:1. Beyond these differences, the features and specs for the two are virtually identical.

The other obvious comparison for the 3800 is the Epson Home Cinema 4010, which Epson's website is selling at this writing in late October for $1,799. Note that the 3800 has the advantage of being smaller and lighter. In addition, unlike the 4010, it adds HLG HDR support to the HDR10 they both offer, and uses the more advanced, 16-step HDR brightness control first introduced in Epson's Home Cinema 5050UB. Like the 5050UB, it also has HDMI 2.0b ports, giving it the 18 Gbps bandwidth needed for display of 4K content with HDR at 60 Hz. However, it doesn't share the 4010's powered zoom, focus, and lens shift, a major convenience compared with the 3800's manual control for all three. Nor does it have the higher end, 15-element glass lens used on the 4010 and 5050UB, the same ability as those projectors to deliver 100% of the DCI-P3 color space for UHD content, or the same level of contrast. Epson rates the 3800's contrast ratio at just half of the 4010's specification.

The 4010's powered lens controls also works in tandem with onboard memory to let you easily change lens settings as needed for a constant image height setup. If the price difference between the two models remains this small, you'll want to take a close look at the 4010 before you decide on the 3800.


Epson's approach to pixel shifting puts twice as many pixels on screen as are in the native 1080p chips. That's fewer pixels than native 4K projectors or pixel-shifting DLP 4K projectors deliver. But combined with Epson's 4K PRO-UHD technology—a collection of features designed to enhance detail—and Epson's 12-element, high-quality glass lens, it delivers an actual ability to resolve detail that rivals, and in some cases surpasses, the detail in images with more pixels.

As with the vast majority of projectors, the brightest mode has a green bias, but it's little enough that most people will still consider it usable on an occasional basis when needed. More important, all the other modes offer good color accuracy with default settings, and some offer ample brightness for a family room with lights on. I measured Bright Cinema at roughly 2,270 lumens, which is enough to light up a 120-inch diagonal 1.0-gain screen in moderate ambient light.

The 3800 also offers excellent placement flexibility, especially for the price, starting with the 1.62x zoom lens. For a 120-inch screen, the throw distance ranges from 11.5 to 18.75 feet. (You can find the throw distance range for your screen size using the Epson Home Cinema 3800 projection calculator.)

Epson HC3800 top

Even better, the 3800's manual vertical lens shift, at +/-60%, will let you set up the projector at any reasonable height relative to the screen, including a table below the screen, a bookshelf in back of the room, or inverted in a ceiling mount. The +/-24% horizontal shift also gives you plenty of flexibility for positioning it left or right of the screen's vertical centerline.

Another notable plus is that the 3800 weighs only 15.2 pounds, making it relatively easy to set up and light enough so you can carry it to the backyard for a movie night. Its onboard pair of 10-watt stereo speakers delivers robust enough audio so you may not need to bother with an external sound system.

Here's a more complete list of the Epson Home Cinema 3800's key features:

  • 1920 x 1080 native resolution X 2 with pixel shifting enhanced by a high quality lens and Epson's 4K PRO-UHD technology
  • 4K PRO-UHD projection technology, a collection of features that, in addition to enhancing resolution, includes advanced color and other image processing
  • 3LCD design with a separate chip for each primary color to ensure equal color and white brightness and no rainbow artifacts
  • 3,000 lumen brightness rating using ISO 21118 (similar to ANSI lumens)
  • 100,000:1 contrast ratio rating (full on/full off with auto iris on)
  • Auto iris with settings of Normal, High Speed, and Off
  • Accepts up to 4096 x 2160 input
  • Two 18 Gbps, HDMI 2.0b, HDCP 2.2 ports
  • HDR10 and HLG HDR support
  • 12-element glass lens; 1.62x zoom
  • Significant vertical (+/-60%) and horizontal (+/-24%) lens shift
  • Four color preset modes; 10 memory positions for storing customized versions of any mode
  • Color management system for adjusting RGBCMY hue, saturation, and brightness; white balance adjustments for RGB gain and offset
  • 16-level HDR brightness control with direct access from remote
  • Onboard stereo sound system with two 10-watt speakers
  • Audio output for wired connection to external audio system or Bluetooth for wireless connection to speakers or headphones
  • Full HD 3D (Epson and Vesa RF glasses only, glasses not included)
  • Full-size, backlit remote with one-button access to key picture adjustments
  • 2-year warranty; 90 days on lamp
  • 250-watt lamp rated for 3,500 hours in High power mode, 4,000 hours in Medium, 5,000 hours in ECO; replacement lamp ELPLP85 costs only $99
Epson HC3800 Lifestyle2
At about 15 pounds, the HC3800 is light enough to move outdoors for a movie night.


Color Modes.The 3800 offers four preset modes: Dynamic, Bright Cinema, Natural, and Cinema. There is no User mode, but you can store up to 10 customized versions in memory, basing each customization on any of the preset modes. You can also customize names for each, so you can easily find the one you want.

With default settings, Dynamic mode is green-shifted, as is typical for the brightest mode in most projectors. However the shift is far less obvious than typical, and colors are at least arguably accurate enough to make the mode suitable for a family room setup for occasional daytime use.

Epson HC3800 LeftAngle

Bright Cinema, Natural, and Cinema all have good enough color accuracy out of the box that most people will consider any of them more than acceptable. My measurements using CalMAN Ultimate software, a Murideo Six-G signal generator, and an X-Rite i1Pro2 photospectrometer confirm that all three have a slight blue bias, which most people find far less objectionable than a green shift. Color differences from one to the next are little enough that without a measurement or reference image to compare with, you wouldn't know which is most accurate.

Here again, measurements confirmed my subjective impression. Straight out of the box, most primary and secondary colors in Natural mode show a Delta E—the error measurement that tells you how far color is from what it should be—of less than 3, which is considered essentially indistinguishable from the defined color and is our preferred target when calibrating. All are less than 4, which is still good accuracy, if not ideal. Cinema and Bright Cinema modes had slightly lower color accuracy, with most Delta Es in the range of 4 to 6.

Somewhat surprisingly, Dynamic mode came closest to the D65 color temperature with default settings, at just under 6900K. Cinema and Bright Cinema were between 7600K and 7700K, and Natural was 7100K.

The combination of color temperature, color accuracy with default settings, and most appropriate brightness for my screen size made Natural mode my choice for calibration for 1080p SDR. Adjusting color temperature, brightness, contrast, and gamma initially left me with increased color-point errors, but I was able to bring them back down to the desired range with the color management system. After calibration, color temperature was a near perfect 6486K, the largest Delta E color error was just over 3, and CalMan also measured excellent grayscale and RGB balance, especially for a projector at this price.

With the power mode set to Eco, I measured brightness on my 90-inch diagonal 1.0-gain white screen at 24 ft-L, which is a bit higher than the 22 ft-L maximum that the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) recommends, but not as bright as some people prefer.

Note that color volume after calibration was 85.7% of Rec.709, compared with a measured 90.2% in Natural mode before calibration. The largest color volume I measured with SDR input was in Cinema mode, at 113.7% of Rec.709 with default settings.

There are no dedicated HDR presets, but you can customize any mode or modes for HDR and save the customized version to memory for easy retrieval. Note that the HDR-specific settings—most notably HDR brightness level—are unavailable with SDR input, but immediately became available in my tests with HDR input in whatever mode I happened to be in. I didn't have any HLG sources to test with, but Epson says the 3800 will do the same for HLG.

Epson HC3800 Remote

Based on CalMAN measurements for each color mode at its default settings and using 3840x2160 HDR input, I chose Cinema as my starting point for 4K HDR content, primarily because it offered the best match to the desired EOTF curve. I then adjusted RGB gain and offset to improve grayscale, and color management settings to improve color-point accuracy. In addition to the improved results on the CalMAN Post Calibration View, the color volume increased to 75.5% DCI-P3 (112% Rec.709) from the pre-calibration 71.1% DCI-P3 (105.8% Rec.709), which was already the largest volume of any mode using default settings.

After HDR calibration, the 3800 delivered 195.3 nits, or 57 ft-L, in ECO power mode with my 90-inch 1.0 gain screen. Using the Medium power mode boosted the brightness to 268 nits, or 78.1 ft-L. High power mode raised the brightness only a little more, to 296 nits, or 86.4 ft-L.

1080p/SDR Viewing. The 3800 did impressively well with 1080p SDR Blu-ray discs. In Terminator 2, for example, in the scene where Arnold the Terminator arrives from the future, the 3800 delivered a satisfyingly dark black level along with excellent shadow detail and sense of three-dimensionality. Even while Arnold was still kneeling in dark shadow, his muscles were visibly well-defined.

The sense of depth brought out by the black level and shadow detail stood out even more clearly in an earlier scene of the apocalyptic future war against machines. As the camera pans over a battlefield at night with remnants of playground toys among the rubble, the 3800 delivered an almost too-real sense of three-dimensionality, verging on reproducing the digital video effect that Frame Interpolation (FI) is known for. In fact, the pan was so smooth that I had to double check to confirm that FI wasn't on.

In brighter scenes, color, including skin tones, was excellent in all of the movies I tested with, and close-ups of rounded objects like faces retained the subtle gradations that give them a sense of depth. The 3800 also delivered nicely for movies that are filled with eye-catching color, like the plethora of bright, saturated colors in La La Land, and all of nature's variations on green in vegetation and on blue in sky and water in the 2D version of The Ultimate Wave—Tahiti.

Note that the 3800's Frame Interpolation (FI) feature is almost pointless. It's not available with 4K input or even with 1080p input if 4K Enhancement is on. With 4K Enhancement turned off you can activate FI with 1080p/24 Hz or 1080p/60 Hz sources. However, for Blu-ray players that limit your choices to a forced resolution or auto-negotiating the resolution, manually switching your Blu-ray player resolution setting back and forth to match the resolution for each disc is more bother than most people will want to put up with. For players that offer a setting to pass through the content's original resolution with no scaling, I find that keeping 4K Enhancement activated does more than FI to improve the visual impact in any case.

One last feature that demands mention is the Image Preset Mode, which you'll want to play with to find the setting you like. I'll discuss it in context of the UHD/HDR testing, but it's available for 1080p SDR as well.

UHD/HDR viewing. The 3800's image quality for 4K UHD content is enough to make you want to throw out any 1080p SDR discs you still have and replace them immediately with 4K UHD versions. In every movie I looked at in both versions—including Terminator 2, La La Land, Obilivion, and more—4K UHD not only delivered the far better shadow detail it promises, but the sense of three-dimensionality for dark scenes—already impressive with 1080p content—was as good or better with 4K UHD, and it extended to scenes dominated by midtones as well.

Colors were also more vibrant and more saturated when called for, and—no surprise here—the image with 4K content showed far more detail. In the scene in Terminator 2 where Arnold tells the biker that he needs his clothes, boots, and bike, I could see all the fine detail in the biker's close up—every pore, wrinkle, and strand of hair. Importantly, I didn't see banding in any of the content I tested with or in the downloadable ProjectorCentral 10-bit HDR Grayscale test animation, which verifies 10-bit processing from input to image.

Unlike most 4K UHD projectors, which offer four or fewer HDR brightness settings, the 3800 offers 16 steps. Because there's no standard for HDR discs to follow, you often need to adjust the setting for each movie, and more steps allows you to better fine tune the setting. Epson conveniently provides a button on the remote to bring this slider directly on-sceen without fishing through other menus. It also helps that the 16-steps cover a large range. I didn't see any content that needed a setting lower than 3 or higher than 7, and for most movies I chose 4 or 5.

Another feature you'll need to set to taste is Image Preset Mode, which lets you adjust image sharpness and detail. As with other Epson projectors with 4K enhancement, in addition to Off, the 3800 offers settings of Preset 1 (the minimum) through 5. In theory, at least, the higher levels can add edge artifacts. I didn't see any obvious issues even with Preset 5, but some thin details, like a single gray hair in a close up, might have stood out more than they should have. In any case, you'll want to try the different settings to see which one you like best with various content.

3D Viewing. Unlike most projectors with 3D, the 3800 doesn't offer dedicated 3D modes. Instead, it uses the same four modes as for 2D. If you want to use the same color mode for both, however, you can calibrate it separately for 2D and 3D if you like, and save both to memory with their own label.

Out of box color accuracy is much the same as for 2D. Straight out of the box, Dynamic delivers close enough to accurate color that most people will consider it usable, and the other three modes are all within the range that most people will consider more than acceptable. For my 90-inch 1.0-gain screen, I picked Cinema set to the High power mode as my preferred choice in a dark room. I didn't see any crosstalk in my tests, and saw only a little more than a hint of 3D-related motion artifacts, putting the 3800 at the high end of typical on that score for current generation projectors. The 3800 supports Epson's own 3D glasses and standard VESA glasses.

Epson HC3800 Front


The Epson Home Cinema 3800 is a tremendous value at $1,699. Even straight out of the box it delivers high enough image quality on all scores—most notably color accuracy and contrast—for both 1080p SDR and 4K HDR to be more than acceptable for most people, and a little tweaking can improve the image quality even more. It's also bright enough to light up a big screen even in a room with ambient light, and its combination of zoom and lens shift delivers far more placement flexibility than typical for the price.

The test unit came in a tad lower than its 3,000 lumen rating in its brightest mode. More relevant to real world use, both Natural mode (for SDR) and Cinema mode (for HDR) were easily bright enough after calibration for my 90-inch, 1.0-gain white screen in a dark room using ECO power mode for each. Higher power modes or using higher gain screens will let you light up bigger screens and stand up to ambient light in family rooms. The 3800 also delivers far brighter 3D images compared to its 2D brightness than most projectors offer.

Color accuracy, contrast, shadow detail, black level, and sense of three-dimensionality were all excellent for this price projector. And the 3800 fulfilled the HDR promise of delivering dramatically more than with SDR content on most scores, including more vibrant color. Beyond that, the 1.62x zoom, +/-60% vertical shift, and +/-24% horizontal shift make it easy to fit the 3800 almost anywhere you need it—on a table, in a ceiling mount, or on a bookshelf in the back of the room.

In short, the 3800 delivers terrific picture quality for both 1080p SDR and 4K HDR. It's bright enough to stand up to ambient light or give you as big an image in a dark room as anyone is likely to want in a home theater, it offers unusually good setup flexibility for the price, and it supports HLG as well as HDR10. The combination makes the Epson Home Cinema 3800 not just a solid choice, but a bargain at $1,699.


Brightness. The brightest mode for the 3800 came close to the 3,000 lumen rating, at 2,912 ANSI lumens. Setting the 1.62x zoom lens to its widest angle setting yielded measured ANSI lumens for High, Medium, and ECO modes in each color mode as follows:

Epson Home Cinema 3800 ANSI Lumens

MODE High Medium ECO
Dynamic 2,912 2,670 2,161
Bright Cinema 2,269 2,080 1,683
Natural 2,176 1,995 1,615
Cinema 1,623 1,488 1,204

Zoom Lens Light Loss: 6%

Brightness Uniformity (Wide Zoom): 87%

Brightness Uniformity (Full Telephoto Zoom): 84%

Lowest Measured Input Lag (4K): 20.6 ms

Lowest Measured Input Lag (1080p): 28 - 28.5 ms.

Epson specs 16.7 ms as the input lag with the Fast setting and about twice that with the Fine setting. In our tests, however, none of Epson's suggestions for changing settings had any significant effect on the tested input lag. Epson is conducting further tests and we will update our comments as new information becomes available. As things stand, the measured results shown above are in line with other projectors we've tested in Epson's current product line and are relatively low among home theater projectors, though they fall short of the 16 ms threshold that the most competitive online gamers seek out.

Fan Noise. In ECO mode, rated at 24 dB, the 3800 is hard to hear even in quiet moments in a quiet room. The noise level in Medium, rated at 32 dB, is loud enough that some may find it annoying while others find it acceptable, particularly in a family room with ambient noise. In High mode, rated at 35 dB, the noise level is enough to easily notice from anywhere in a small to mid-size room. Most people will likely find it distracting even in a family room and may want to consider some form of acoustic isolation.

High Altitude mode, which Epson recommends using at 4,921 feet and above, is loud enough even in ECO mode to be noticeable, but not terribly distracting, even in quiet moments. For Medium and High modes combined with High Altitude, most people will likely want to consider some form of acoustic isolation.


Epson HC3800 Connections
  • HDMI 2.0b (both with HDCP 2.2) (x2)
  • USB Type A (power only)
  • USB Type A (for wireless accessory and firmware updates)
  • Mini USB (service only)
  • Audio out mini jack (3.5mm)
  • RS-232 (D-sub 9 pin; for control)
  • DC 12v trigger 200 mAh max (3.5mm)
  • Bluetooth speaker support, including aptX
  • Supports Optional USB Wi-Fi dongle (for static images only, not video)

For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Epson Home Cinema 3800 projector page.

To buy this projector, use Where to Buy online, or get a price quote by email direct from Projector Central authorized dealers using our E-Z Quote tool.

The Epson Home Cinema 3800 is also sold outside of the United States of America as the Epson EH-TW7100. Some specifications may be slightly different. Check with Epson for complete specifications.

Comments (102) Post a Comment
Georg Posted Oct 31, 2019 4:41 AM PST

The projector looks quite promising, thank you for the detailed review.

Your projection calculator does currently not include the vertical lens shift. Any chance you will include it?

Is there a vertical offset of the picture compared to the center of lens? Or, is the picture by default in the center of the lens (half below, half above the projector)?

Depending on where the picture sits, it makes quite an impact on the placement possibilities, especially in ceiling mount situations with this amount of vertical lens shift.
Mike Porter Posted Oct 31, 2019 3:29 PM PST
Thanks for the great review. This seems like the perfect projector for my golf simulator. Quick question, I looked in the manual and the resolution looked really limited. Only one 4:3 (VGA) resolution listed and no 16:10 listed. It did say something about Epson SizeWise which allows for other resolutions, but I wasn't clear on whether that was just non-native resolutions listed, or whether it could display other resolutions like 2560x1600 (16:10). That would by my ideal for the golf simulator, and I have a video card that can easily handle that. Are you able to confirm if the 3800 can display this resolution? Thanks!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 1, 2019 6:56 AM PST
Mike, the full list of acceptable display formats is on page 147 of the manual. Bottom line: this is a 16:9 projector using a 1920x1080 chip, and through Epson's on-board processing (what they're calling their "SizeWise" chip) is made to accept the signals in the chart, which are all industry standard signal types ranging from 640x480 up to 4096x 2160. I would not expect it to accept any signal not already in the chart.
Harrison Posted Nov 1, 2019 9:21 AM PST
Thank you for the review. Looks like another great option in the sub $2000 price range. For a 4K HDR movie viewing experience, how does the 3800 compare to the HT3550 from BenQ?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 1, 2019 10:57 AM PST
Harrison, we no longer have an HT3550 on hand to compare this with directly but that's an obvious question. Our reviewer really liked the HT3550 at its $1,500 price point and you can find a direct face-off between the BenQ HT3550 and the Epson HC4010 here, the latter of which has some things in common with the HC3800. The most clear differences are going to be overall lumen output (higher with the HC3800), perhaps some differences in sharpness (it's a little unclear if these will be similar to the differences with the HC4010, which has a better lens), and perhaps most critically some differences in the HDR tone-mapping. The HC3800 has even more advanced tone-mapping than the 4010 with its 16-step control, while the HT3550 is more limited in its ability to adjust for specific content. That said, there were some areas where the HT3550's tone-map was different and more effective than the HC4010's. Note that the HC3200, the HC3800's step down, is a more price appropriate comparison with the HT3550, but lacks the HC3800's notably higher contrast ratio rating.
Terry Posted Nov 1, 2019 9:34 PM PST
I need to get into 4K and ditch my 5030UB. Considering the brightness, could the 3800 provide a perceived contrast that matches the 5030UB?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 3, 2019 9:23 AM PST
Terry, this is something you'd really have to compare side by side with two optimally adjusted projectors, but I really doubt you'll get the same blacks and contrast as on your 5030UB in a dark room without moving to another UB projector within the Epson line, which would mean the 5050UB in today's line up. Just based on specs, and assuming they're still measuring contrast the same way since they released the 5030UB in 2013, contrast is rated 6 times higher on the 5030UB than the 3800. Also, the higher brightness in the 3800 (3,000 lumens vs 2,400 lumens in the 5300UB)works against, not in favor of deeper blacks/higher contrast for dark room viewing. My advise is that if you've had a good experience with your 5030 and want to stay in the Epson family is to save up for the 5050UB and know that you'll be enjoying a big upgrade when you make the move.
Devin Posted Nov 3, 2019 7:42 PM PST
The lower pixel count kind of bothers me compared to pixel shifting DLP projectors. Is there really a big difference between this projector's 4k image vs say the Optoma UHD50/UHD60 or BenQ TK800M? I know that the end of that paragraph softens the blow, but I wish it would mention those projectors that it surpasses or is comparable with despite the lack of pixels.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 6, 2019 5:38 AM PST
Devin, thanks for asking the question here. Bottom line: if there's a difference in detail from Epson's 1080p pixel-shifting approach and any of the 4K DLP projectors you mentioned from normal viewing distances, it'll be due primarily to differences in lens quality and processing, not from the difference in pixel count. So far in our experience, Epson's latest iteration of its 4K PRO-UHD shifting/processing combined with the usually excellent lenses they mate it with pretty much nullifies any advantage from the additional pixels in a 4K DLP.
Jimmy Posted Nov 6, 2019 11:00 PM PST
Thanks for the review, was curious to see someone's thoughts on it. BUT why does no review site comment on Anamorphic modes anymore? It's not just this projector but pretty much everything. And it's not just ProjectorCentral - it's every review site.

It's not like those of us with Anamorphic lenses just vanished in thin air. It's hard enough that manufacturers put this buried in the manual, but one would hope that professional reviewers would at least mention it in a 6 word sentence.

For those interested by the way the 3800 is supposed to have anamorphic stretch for Anamorphic lenses while the 3200 doesn't have that feature.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 6, 2019 11:10 PM PST
Jimmy, you're absolutely right. Given that the inclusion of anamorphic modes is by no means universal these days, and is perhaps waning in the budget class under $2,000, we should be mentioning this in the review when it appears.

Where there are questions on this, readers should know that our projector database page on any projector we review (which can be accessed by clicking the model name in the product details box at the top of the review) usually contains links to a PDF of the spec sheet and user manual. The manual shared by the HC3200 and HC3800 does indeed cite two anamorphic aspect ratio modes for the HC3800 only, as picked up below:

Anamorphic Wide

(Home Cinema 3800)

Displays images recorded at Cinema Scope size when you attach a

commercially available anamorphic lens to the projector.

Horiz. Squeeze

(Home Cinema 3800)

Stretches the horizontal aspect of the image when you attach a

commercially available anamorphic lens to the projector.
José Doblado Posted Nov 7, 2019 4:38 AM PST
Hello friends: Did you test the HC3800 VS HC3200? are really contrast so different or is comercial issue from Epson?. thanks you very much
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 7, 2019 9:10 AM PST
Jose, we have not looked at the HC3200 yet, but the difference in rated contrast is significant enough that it should be visible in the low black level of challenging dark scenes in a dark room theater environment. It is not likely to make a noticeable difference in any kind of ambient light viewing. If you never watch in the dark and don't need any of the other features exclusive to the 3800 (ie, built-in audio or an anamorphic aspect ratio mode), you can save some money.
Chiz Posted Nov 8, 2019 11:37 AM PST
Hey... I own a Epson HC 2040, it is approx 10 feet from wall with a 120" image. I purchased the BenQ HT2550 when it released but image was not big enough at 10 ft away and I can not go further due to a beam in the ceiling dividing the room. I am looking to upgrade my HC 2040 and get into a mid range 4k but I am not good at understanding all the specs, hoping you can help. I have 2 questions and pretty sure I know the answer to the 1st, but the 2nd is the question I really need the answer on.

1. Is the HC3200 a good upgrade from my HC 2040? My guess is yes.

2. Do you think the HC3200 can give me the size image I currently have without going further away?

Also I see the HC3200 on the USA best buy but not canada, any idea when it will be available here in canada? Thanks so Much in advance!! Huge help.
J.R. Posted Nov 8, 2019 2:37 PM PST

My question is which is the superior projector - the HC3800 or the 4010 I’m your opinion?

I’ve had the Epson HC3500 the last few years and have enjoyed its solid overall performance, but I’m ready to upgrade to the 4K or rather faux 4K.

I have a small home theater in about a 9x12 foot room, and have my walls painted a very dark grey (almost gray/black) and a Silver Ticket 100 inch screen. Ambient light isn’t a concern.

The 5050 is probably a little bit more than I want to pay, so I’m primarily looking at the 3800 and 4010.

What would you choose? The HDR slider in the 3800 is an enticing feature but is the 4010 better overall for movie watching? I still like to play lots of blu-rays and soon UHD discs.

Thanks for your time and take care!
vid53 Posted Nov 10, 2019 2:07 PM PST
I am looking to get into a 4k picture at a reasonable price. Would the brightness and picture be better then my Sony 45ES model?
Jim Posted Nov 10, 2019 3:27 PM PST
Great review. I've ordered the 3200 (or EH-TW7000 as it is known here in the UK) which should be arriving some time within the next week. So just to be clear for HDR the best mode to use is Cinema with a little tweaking? I watch a lot of 4k HDR content and I know it wont be as good as a TV but it will be replacing an old DLP projector that had weak colours. There also seems to be some differences in specs on the UK/EU and US Epson websites. On the US page it says the 3200 has a lower lumen output but in the UK/EU both models are 3000 lumens. Also it looks as if the UK gets better pricing and warranty (currently £899 or $1150 for the 3200) with 3 year lamp warranty in the UK.
Ben Posted Nov 11, 2019 6:21 AM PST
Spot on review. Got mine on 11/7. Lens shift makes placement easy. I’m throwing it on an Elite Screens 120 1.1 gain motorized from 13 ft. IT IS BRIGHT! Cinema mode is plenty for daylight viewing with a curtain-covered window in the room. 4K gaming is amazing. No lag noticed at all. Upscaling from 1080p bluRay on Xbox one with Image Enhancement ON introduced a lot of image noise. Ready Player One during the Shining scene was almost unwatchable. Turned Image Enhancement off and it cleared up the pixel noise. 4K UHD disc looked incredible (Godzilla: King of Monsters). So much more detail in dark scenes. TV feed at 1080p does show some haloing around moving objects...watched a golfer walk on a green to his ball and it looked like he had a force-field around him. Could be the cable tv sucks.

Still need to check out Netflix and Amazon 4K streaming. This thing has a ton of settings. Manual is 164 pages. Easy to get lost if you don’t know what you’re doing. Not a lot of internet reviews yet so playing with this thing iit’s easy to get lost.

Oh...color out of the box is a bit muted. Turned up color saturation, contrast, and dropped brightness a bit and it looks much better. Still haven’t adjusted for the green bias, but may try that today.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 11, 2019 7:11 AM PST
Thanks for the feedback here, Ben. If you've not experimented yet with the Preset modes for the enhancement (1 through 5) you may find you can dial down the enhancement effect and noise on some content that tends to show it without totally sacrificing the sharpening effect as happens when you turn the enhancement off fully. All a matter of degrees--though this is also dependent on some of your other picture settings and the content itself.
Jeroen Posted Nov 12, 2019 7:53 AM PST
Thanks for the review,

I have a question: is this version is still an upgrade from its predecessor if you only stream full hd content to it. I am doubting between 3700 (for which I can get a good deal) and the 3800. But at this time I have only 1080 content to play.

Will it still have better colours and an overall better picture? Or do I need to use the enhancement function? Problem with that is that I really like frame interpolation and I can’t use that if I am enhancing. (I watched a 4K movie on this Beamer in a shop, and whilst I was amazed by the colour and sharpness, I did see certain parts of the picture shake while the view moved. And that in my view does not give a smooth and steady viewing experience.

So drills down to, is there a big difference in full hd modus?

Thanks for your feedback.

Mike Porter Posted Nov 18, 2019 3:19 PM PST
I wanted to get your take on a projector for my golf simulator. Right now I'm between the Epson Home 3800 and the Epson Pro L1100u. These may seems like way different projectors as one is a high-end laser, but I have deal on one for about $3k. The 3800 has some new features like HDR support, but my simulator doesn't have HDR. The L1100u is super bright, which would be nice since the simulator is in a space with ambient light, and it displays 16:10 aspect with 2560x1600 resolution.

My question is, which would have better blacks/contrast. The last says 2.5M:1 vs teh 100k:1 in teh 3800, but I know contrast numbers are often inflated and bogus. For example, the Epson LS100 is 2.5M:1 and laser, but I've heard the contrast on that projector is actually really poor. I did read a review that said the Epson Pro 1000 series definitely have better contrast than the Epson Pro G7xxx (and I assume G9xxx). Any thoughts on the differences between the Home 3800 and the Pro L1100u in terms of contrast? Thank you.
Mike Porter Posted Nov 20, 2019 9:23 AM PST
Regarding my question above, I've decided to go with the Epson HC5050ub based on the following:

- confirmed great shadow detail and contrast via multiple reviews - best placement flexibility with 96% vertical and 47% horizontal lens shift...important for my situation. - 2600 lumens is not ideal for my situation, but adequate. - clearly the most quality Home projector Epson currently offers

The 3800 does not offer the lens shift capabilities of the 5050, so that was the ultimate criteria to make this decision. Thanks for all the great reviews.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 21, 2019 7:46 AM PST
Thanks for your comments, Mike. The UB projectors are definitely the best compromise between high brightness and great contrast. Good luck.
Josef Aarskov Posted Dec 3, 2019 3:28 PM PST
As far as sharpness goes, I have to respectfully disagree about the pixel shifting being up to par with full 4K DLP XPR shifters with either 0.47" or 0.66" chips. I tested an HC3800 the other day against an Acer H7850, and the Epson was blown completely out of the water. 2 reasons for this though: Firstly the Epson's 2x1080p shifting itself, which of course gives higher pixel density, but not the full sharpness of full 4K, and secondly, the worst focus uniformity I have ever seen on any projector. My current HC3700 has the same problem, but not as severely. Tried an Epson 5050UB as well, with a much better lens, which eliminated the uniformity issue, but still I sensed pixels, especially in rapidly moving images, for whatever reason ...
ROBERT BARTLETT Posted Dec 15, 2019 7:19 AM PST
Could you post your settings? I know it varies per the room. But it would at least give us a starting oint.
Ryan Posted Dec 31, 2019 12:31 PM PST
Any word on when these will be available anywhere aside from Best Buy? No way am I risking their re-stocking fee if this doesn't work out.
ROBERT BARTLETT Posted Jan 1, 2020 5:37 AM PST
Anyone have good settings?
Jason Ahlers Posted Jan 7, 2020 10:02 AM PST
Considering that the Epson 3800 and the BenQ HT3550 are currently priced the same on Amazon, which would be the best projector to buy for a dedicated theater room with a 140" screen and no windows or ambient light?
Aage Posted Jan 8, 2020 4:48 PM PST
I just got the 3200 (7100 in EU). When I put it in eco mode I notice some flickering. Also with the auto iris off. Does anybody know if this is normal for Eco mode? The other modes are perfect.
Rob Posted Jan 14, 2020 9:45 AM PST
Please start including your contrast settings (high/medium/eco) along with the picture setting (cinema, natural) paired with measurements(native white and black levels, followed by checkerboard contrast, and iris on high/low settings). I'm very interested in dark room performance with perfect blacks and shadow detail.

Hopefully projectors will compete with OLED for big screen, viewing angles, uniformity, and contrast soon.

Thanks! - Rob
Robert Posted Jan 25, 2020 6:49 PM PST
I bought the 3800 two weeks ago and I am really pleased with the picture quality. HDR with a HDR source is simply amazing. However watching SDR signal with YouTube TV and having it set to HDR is blah - an over saturated mess to be frank. But the YouTube TV SDR picture is wonderful when turning on the HLR setting for movies and sports - the enhancement is really clear and much better than the SDR signal unenhanced. I definitely recommend this projector for the price point. Oh yeah, the black levels in my light controlled theater are very acceptable to me and much better than with my old Epson 8350.
Raj Posted Feb 24, 2020 11:25 AM PST
I wish somebody knowledgeable compared the HC3800 with the Benq TK800M or Tk850. Have the TK800m now but thinking of switching to HC3800 for placement flexibility and better picture quality. the 800m has a very shard image but not very good black levels
fab Posted Feb 26, 2020 9:08 PM PST
please i have epson 7100,in Europe is like 3800,someone can send to me the entire setup for best image result?tks
choijeongkyu Posted Mar 18, 2020 12:18 PM PST
Which projector do you think is better, HC3800 or 4010? Do you prefer 4010 when you watch the movie?
Ale Posted Apr 3, 2020 4:32 PM PST

I have a old Mistrubishi HC3800, a DLP which I use with an "high contrast" grey screen. How would the 3800 perform on a grey screen?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Apr 4, 2020 3:35 PM PST
A gray screen will always have the same effect no matter the projector, which is to sacrifice some overall brightness in return for darker blacks and better contrast. I haven't looked to see what brightness you have on your old Mits, but the Epson HC3800 is a nice bright projector for ambient light viewing and I'm sure it'll be a good match for your screen.
Todd Posted Apr 17, 2020 7:30 AM PST
Is there google assistant integration
Bill Wildenhaus Posted May 10, 2020 1:55 PM PST
Would this projector work with my golf simulator - optishot. The screen is 85 x 82 with a viewing area of 89" x 84"’. The projector was mounted on the ceiling and the distance from the projector to the screen was 120’.
Gurvir Posted Jun 3, 2020 8:13 PM PST
I also currently have a Mistrubishi HC3800 on a grey screen and looking to upgrade to the 3800 or 4010. Would like to get one of the UB series but just can't justify the price yet.
Scott Posted Oct 15, 2020 3:16 PM PST
Hello: I'm a big fan of the way you do your reviews! Keep up the great work! I am considering between the Epson 3800 and the 4010. Yes, I know the 4010 is a couple of years old now, but that very nice lens and it's automatic features interest me. The failure to be compatible with HGL and to have the 18gbps bandwidth for 4K60hz bothers me.

Does the 4010's superb lens and it's benefits offer a bigger advantage than the 3800's increased lumens, and HLG support with 18gbps bandwidth?

I mostly watch a lot of sports, movies and TV series, with some occasional 4K gaming as my PC and strong video card support full 4k gaming. Thanks for your reply! :)
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Oct 15, 2020 8:04 PM PST
Scott, there's no question the 4010 is the better dark-room theater projector. The 3800, aside from the less sophisticated, unmotorized lens, is also rated only for Rec.709 color, and it has half the rated contrast of the HC4010. The sacrifice is first and foremost in the brightness (2400 for the 4010 vs 3000 for the 3800), in the HDR brightness control facility (the 3800 uses Epson's more recent and more advanced 16-step slider vs a 4-step option in the 4010), and then in the two things you mentioned (lack of HLG -- which will likely not be a problem in the near future given the preponderance of HDR10; and the lack of 18 gbps bandwidth, which will only affect you if you want to do 4K/HDR gaming at 60Hz, which the 4010 will not support.

If you plan to watch a lot with the lights on, the extra brightness in the 3800 may be important or at least helpful, and the benefit of higher contrast/darker black level on the 4010 won't be as visible. But if you want the best home theater experience with the lights out, the sharper images, wider color gamut, and better contrast on the 4010 make it the better projector.
john sanders Posted Oct 24, 2020 9:22 AM PST
Hi Rob, I currently have a Epson 4010... my question is if I were to replace it with an Epson 3800 what would be the most notable differences in image etc... my room is fairly dark with black ceiling, dark walls, a fairly old (15 year) screen with a +1 gain it is a permanent set up or in other words I never take the projector down... please offer your greatly appreciated opinion as to whether i will notice any difference or not... Thanks, John
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Oct 29, 2020 8:10 PM PST
John, you would be stepping backwards in image quality in moving from the 4010 to the 3800. I refer you the comparison drawn in my response above to Scott. The 3800 is brighter by what might be a noticeable amount -- something you don't really need in your dark room. But you would notice the sacrifice in black level and contrast, and the lack of wide color gamut you should be used to seeing in HDR content.
Scott P Posted Oct 30, 2020 7:14 PM PST
The Epson HC3800 was deeply discounted a couple months ago (as low as $1259), and has since been difficult to find in stock, even at full price ($1699). Do you think it’s being phased out, perhaps in favor of a successor, or are these COVID-related supply chain issues?

I’m looking to buy one in the next month...
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Oct 31, 2020 8:07 AM PST
Scott, no reason to believe Epson would step away from this model, which is its entry-level 4K/HDR compatible projector with brightness suitable for ambient light viewing. I'd guess it's a supply issue related to the high interest in home theater projectors since the pandemic hit.
Jeffrey Hart Posted Nov 26, 2020 8:38 AM PST
I’m also looking for a comparison with the 3800 and tk850. These ar directly competing projectors, yet no professional reviewers will mention them in the same breath. I get that they are very close. From what I’ve researched, the 3800 has better contrast (only if the room is fully treated with dark ceiling and walls?), much better input lag, with perhaps a slightly less sharp image that can only be discerned from a couple feet away...

Benefits of the TK850’s are better hdr processing, which improve color in all light levels, A smaller throw ratio so the projector can be closer to the screen and thus brighter. Both of these projectors are plenty bright, so the key benefit there is to run on eco mode for lower fan noise, improved blacks lower limit over normal operating mode and 850’s much longer bulb life.

I get all that, but what I don’t understand is the motion enhancement. Sure the TK850 can run motion enhanced to 60 FPS with any content including 4K content assuming you are getting that from either sports streaming service or a video game. This is a big deal to me bc I don’t want trails at my Super Bowl party and RGB rainbows scanning the screen. The Epson however cannot get rainbows due to 3lcd, and one other very important point. 3800 has a better chip and it is only processing to “2k” rather than 4K, so it isn’t getting bogged down and can process a lot more data quickly (hence the low lag). It does not suffer from jutter and blur as much as the tk850 without the image enhancement. Is that correct? No frame rate enhancement at 4K, but you probably don’t need it? No increase in color gamut for hdr, but you probably won’t notice, not as sharp as 4K pixel shift but you definitely won’t notice. But much better contrast which you definitely will notice.
Raj Posted Dec 7, 2020 10:51 AM PST
I am in two minds between the BenqTk850 and the epson HC3800 ( both priced at 1500 at this time ) - Which one do you favor ? I have the Tk800m which I really like for bright scenes and sharpness but for dark scenes in HADR - it sucks . I know the 3550 is more color accurate but I want a brighter projector. So can you give me an opinion between just the TK850 and HC3800. Thanks.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Dec 7, 2020 4:34 PM PST
Raj, we never tested these side by side and both got good grades for their HDR. The HC3800 does have Epson's 16 step slider for adjusting the gamma for different HDR programs, however. You'll also get no rainbows with the HC3800. The BenQ, however, is full UHD resolution and will be natively sharper when viewed up close, although Epson's pixel-shifting and processing will make them look pretty similar in that regard from normal viewing distances. So very much a toss up here. We did reviews of both; you should take a look.
Man Posted Dec 10, 2020 10:09 AM PST
Can you please comment if HC3800 or Benq850 will be adequate for 133” screen
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Dec 10, 2020 10:20 AM PST
Man, both of these projectors should deliver a 133 inch image with good brightness in a dark room, but probably look pretty good in moderate ambient light as well.
Henry McEwin Posted Dec 21, 2020 10:05 AM PST
This was asked before but I did not see a response from you. When you have time I would appreciate your take on this question.

The projector looks quite promising, thank you for the detailed review.

Your projection calculator does currently not include the vertical lens shift. Any chance you will include it?

Is there a vertical offset of the picture compared to the center of lens? Or, is the picture by default in the center of the lens (half below, half above the projector)?

Depending on where the picture sits, it makes quite an impact on the placement possibilities, especially in ceiling mount situations with this amount of vertical lens shift.
Henry McEwin Posted Dec 21, 2020 10:06 AM PST
Does the Epson 3800 support Dolby Vision.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Dec 21, 2020 11:30 AM PST
Henry, the vertical offset of the lens, if there is one, is essentially irrelevant here because the projector offers an remarkably generous +/- 60% vertical lens shift. Therefore, assuming you are within the rated throw distance for your image size, there is almost no situation where the projector on a resting surface or suspended from the ceiling will not accommodate a properly situated image on the screen.

Also, we know of no consumer home theater projector that supports Dolby Vision at this time.
Henry McEwin Posted Dec 21, 2020 9:57 PM PST
Thanks Rob. That is good to know. I am mounting mine on the ceiling and according to the calculator I should be ok. Does using the lens shift compromise the quality of the image like the keystone might?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Dec 22, 2020 7:20 AM PST
Not at all,Henry -- the lens shift in this case is achieved optically so there's no signal processing involved. the only thing to be aware of is that any lens pushed to the very outside limit of its lens shift may show a tiny bit of optical distortion, perhaps at the edges of the image. That's not a given by any means but it happens with some projectors. In the best case the raster (screen image) visible when you look at the lens will be around or near the center of the lens, but that will really be determined by your projector height and position. It's nothing to stress over.
Henry McEwin Posted Dec 22, 2020 9:58 AM PST
Thanks Rob. That is good to know. I am mounting mine on the ceiling and according to the calculator I should be ok. Does using the lens shift compromise the quality of the image like the keystone might?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Dec 22, 2020 10:00 AM PST
Henry, optical lens shift does not invoke processing with the potential to degrade the image the way keystone does. Some projectors have digital zoom and shift, in addition or perhaps in place of optical zoom and shift, and using those does have the potential to hurt image quality and should also be avoided. About the worst that can happen with optical lens shift is that, if you have to use the most extreme positions of the shift, some projectors might introduce a touch of usually barely noticeable optical distortion toward the edges of the image. Doesn't happen often. But after shift has been applied, it's always best if the visible raster (the tiny little image you can see directly on the lens when it's projecting) is somewhere near the center of the lens rather than nearer to the top or bottom (assuming we're talking about vertical shift here).
Henry McEwin Posted Dec 22, 2020 12:00 PM PST
Thank you very much.
Man Posted Dec 26, 2020 1:40 AM PST
Thanks for your response dated 12/10/20. Do you think Epson 3800 can be too bright for Da-lite high gain screen ( I think it’s 2.0 gain) at 133” diagonal or Benq HT3550 will be better. I am concerned that Benq HT3550 might look dim.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Dec 26, 2020 8:53 AM PST
Man, you won't have a problem. The 3800 has multiple lamp settings that can be used to reduce the brightness if you screen has high gain or is unusually small. However, keep in mind that the most desirable modes for viewing, the Natural and Cinema modes that have the best picture quality, automatically start out less bright than the projector's rating. 133 inches is a pretty big screen to begin with, so having some extra reserves as well as the ability to tone down the brightness as needed is your best approach.
Patrick Posted Jan 7, 2021 9:34 PM PST
Great review! I am leaning toward the HC 3800 over the TK850. However, I have recently read a that a good number of the HC 3800s have had issues with uniform focus. Have you heard or seen this? Do you think it is a large scale issue? Thanks!
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 9, 2021 10:24 AM PST
Sorry, Patrick -- haven't heard anything about that till your post. But if it's being reported by more than a few on the forums it may be something to look out for. I suppose it's possible that a particular production run gets into issues like this due to a batch of supplied parts that's a tad off spec or something. If you buy from a retailer who will take a return, you can try out a sample and return it if you think there's a serious issue.
Petr Posted Jan 11, 2021 10:26 AM PST
I'm considering buying this projector. What do you think? Is there a better option for this price on 4k HDR and especially 3D? thank you
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 11, 2021 11:03 AM PST
This projector features Epson's 16-step HDR tone-mapping control along with their usually excellent out of box color and the benefits of 3LCD architecture that contribute to this. At this price point, the other contenders are DLP models, some of which will get as bright or brighter but at the sacrifice of some color accuracy. Epson's 3D rendering is excellent.
Petr Posted Jan 11, 2021 6:46 PM PST
Thank you very much for your answer, Mr. Rob.

There is one more thing that I am not clear about: is it necessary to use some quality / special canvas for maximum display quality? Above all, it is mainly about contrast. Special (and very expensive!) panels are supplied with laser projectors also for reasons of eliminating ambient light ... Do you have any recommendations? Thank you.
Manny Posted Jan 14, 2021 4:54 PM PST
Hi there, i have 2 questions: 1) I have a 150” 0.7-0.8gain screen, so I’m considering this Epson 3800 as a good candidate to light it up. I like eco mode for the reduced sound. This is the only projector I saw that can shoot over 1000 calibrated lumens in eco mode. Do you know of any others that do that in the $3000 and below range I should consider?

2) This projector was released a year ago. Does Epson typically release successors annually, or every two years?

Thanks rob
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 14, 2021 5:00 PM PST
Manny, you should visit our Find a Projector database and search for projectors in the 2500 to perhaps 3,500 lumen range that meet your budget and other criteria just to see what pops up. If we've reviewed them you should see your answer in the lumens chart we provide. Keep in mindthat some projectors are exceptionally quiet in their full power mode,and that some projectors may just be too loud for you in their eco mode. So it's not just about lumens.

Epson goes at least 2 years typically between refresh/replacement.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 15, 2021 9:09 PM PST
Petr, you definitely want a screen but unless you're trying to watch in a very bright room a basic matte white screen will be fine. These are the least expensive option. If you plan to watch in some moderate ambient light, or just wish to boost the contrast at the expense of a bit of peak brightness, you can go with a gray screen material.
Marcos Posted Jan 20, 2021 10:09 PM PST
Hi Rob,

Great review as usual. Please, do you think it's worth to upgrade a Viewsonic px747-4k by the HC 3800?

Viewsonic lacks a bit of color accuracy (especially in HDR) and black levels to me, but even though I'm a videophile- I don't have a dedicated dark room, rather a dim-lit room projecting onto a white wall with light ceiling as well....

Thanks for any advice. Cheers.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 21, 2021 7:00 AM PST
Marcos, I can't say for certain having never seen the 747-4K, but the three-chip configuration in the Epson probably accounts for some additional color saturation and I feel pretty confident saying the Epson has the better HDR given the more current design and Epson's inclusion of its excellent 16-step HDR brightenss adjustment.
Pridhvi Posted Feb 22, 2021 8:47 AM PST
Hi Rob, I am considering this projector over LG HU810PW due to the low input lag. Would I be sacrificing a great level of picture quality with Epson HC 3800. I have a dark media room with 135 inch screen.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Feb 22, 2021 8:50 AM PST
Pridhvi, the LG HU810 is far superior in its rendering of HDR due to its dynamic HDR capabilities and wide color gamut, and it brings the benefit of a solid state laser source that doesn't need replacing. It costs more than $1000 more than the HC3800. The difference in input lag -- 43 ms vs mid to low 20s for the Epson -- won't make much difference unless you're a very serious gamer.
Rob Posted Apr 10, 2021 4:26 PM PST
Rob, I have a Panasonic AE3000E, which is my first projector and gives an amazing picture. It is a very high quality built projector even today i think. But it's been giving me problems. Since that's an old model, would this Epson be a big step up? (i see the other higher model Epson's are similar in build but too expensive for me) Also, the lens on this Epson is 12 element and the higher models 15 - does that make much difference (i assume colour and sharpness improvements but are they noticeable)?
Sean Posted Apr 24, 2021 5:51 PM PST
Hello rob, I have enjoyed reading your reviews and have a question, I’m considering getting a new projector, currently have a optoma gt1080. Right now I’m considering the Epson 3800, optoma uhd50x, and the optoma uhd38. After reading your review I’m leaning more towards the epson, as I have read the uhd 50x goes back to 1080 in game mode, even with a 4K signal. Do you know if the uhd38 is using a similar setup? I haven’t seen any reviews as it’s pretty new. So in short I want to play 4K games in “4K”. (I know all these projectors use pixel shift tech)And it looks like the epson actually does that, am I correct?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Apr 24, 2021 10:30 PM PST
Sean, the Epson is a 1080p native projector that uses pixel shifting to merely double the pixel count, which still leaves you at half of what the 4K DLP models do. Yes, those use pixel-shifting as well, but all of the pixels in a 4K (UHD really) signal end up on the screen inside of the time period of a single frame of video. That said, I'm not aware of that limitation you speak of with the UHD50X, although I believe it's restricted to 1080p with 120Hz game signals, if that's what you mean. I'm not sure how the UHD35 and UHD38 handle these.
Rob Posted Apr 27, 2021 10:57 AM PST
Hi Rob,

Thank you for another great review.

I have an unusual (I think) question. I've spent many hours looking through your outstanding content but have not seen this addressed. I was looking at the BenQ HT2050A vs Epson HC2250, as I don't plan to upgrade to any 4K sources in the near term. Primary use is home cinema and casual gaming in basement with controllable ambient light. I'm only looking at stepping up in price because I need more set-up flexibility and also hoping for lower noise levels.

My question is whether the 3800 would be a step up - or down - from the BenQ 2050 or Epson 2250 purely in terms of picture quality if I am watching 1080P (or lower) content? I know it's counterintuitive, but my fear is that by packing in 4K etc, the 1080P quality may actually suffer versus the lower-level models which seem to have been dialed in for outstanding color/contrast/etc for 1080P content.

I also found an Epson 3900 on closeout/deep discount, and wondering how that stacks up for 1080P (your review of that unit seemed less than enthusiastic).

Thank you! Rob
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Apr 27, 2021 2:44 PM PST
The HC3800 makes 1080p content look sharper thanks to its pixel-shifting technology; you'll sacrifice nothing over the 1080p DLP units and actually gain (1)apparent sharpness, (2)compatibility and greater enjoyment of HDR content should you stream any (and many programs are 4K HDR today), (3) equal color and white brightness, which is noticeable on some content, (4) total immunity to rainbows.

I can't comment on the 3900; haven't seen it.
Rao Posted Jun 30, 2021 11:39 AM PST
great detailed review!! can this projector convert 2d to 3d?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jun 30, 2021 3:11 PM PST
Rao, I would click the link to visit the product information database page we have on this projector and download the PDF of the manual. That is the only place you'll be able to see what the menu options are. I can't recall right now if Epson regularly includes a 2D to 3D conversion mode in its 3D projectors.
Aiden Posted Jul 31, 2021 4:19 PM PST
Any sense of how big of an upgrade this would be over the Epson HC2100?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Aug 1, 2021 7:30 AM PST
Significant upgrade with the addition of 4K HDR compatibility and Epson's 4K enhancement feature (pixel-shifting), not to mention an extra 500 lumens of brightness that will be welcome for moderate ambient light viewing; it's also a better gaming projector thanks to relatively similar input lag combined with 18 gbps HDMI ports that will handle 4K/60 Hz content. Contrast ratio is also rated by Epson to be significantly higher in the HC3800, which features an auto iris: 100,000:1 dynamic vs 35,000:1 on the 2100. Of course, it's a much more expensive projector. But a good upgrade if you like the look of Epson's 3LCD picture.
Peter Posted Oct 1, 2021 4:48 AM PST
Hi, thank you for perfect review. You inspirated me and now I am owner of this very nice unit. But I discovered one problem. 3d galsses. Neither Epson official technical support in my country cant provide relevant informations abou type of these glasses. Nor user manual. So I decide turn to you for help with this. Please can you provide me what 3d glassese are you using? Please exact type, number etc. Something to help me find it in our local dealer. Thank you very much
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Oct 1, 2021 11:46 AM PST
Peter, there are primarily two types of 3D glasses you can purchase off the shelf online (Amazon, for example), one being DLP-Link glasses designed to work with DLP projectors and the other being full HD RF shutter glasses. This projector should work with the latter type. I have several pair of the XPAND Vision 3D Glasses Lite RF (model X105-RF-X1)that I am pretty sure I have successfully used with Epson projectors. I'm sure you can find equivalent models online as well.

Miljen Posted Oct 31, 2021 11:37 AM PST
Hi, I suppose you don't publish your calibration settings? I've just bought hc3800 (tw7100 in Europe), previously had my LG Oled B8 professionally calibrated, but this is my first projector and I don't know if the same goes for projector as for TV (every panel is different so there is not recommended to copy someone else's calibration settings)?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 2, 2021 7:45 AM PST
Miljen, we have started to publish our final setting since this review but weren't doing so at the time. Sorry.

??? Posted Nov 4, 2021 11:29 AM PST
"The Epson Home Cinema 3800 is also sold outside of the United States of America as the Epson EH-TW7000"

This is wrong. HC-3800 = EH-TW7100; HC-3200 = EH-TW7000. Former cites 100k:1 CR, latter 40k:1.
Nosherwan Yasin Posted Nov 8, 2021 2:57 PM PST
Hello, Can you or your readers comment on screens and mounts. I am considering the Chief's RPA Elite mount and Elite Screens Spectrum Electric Motorized Projector Screen. Are there options that give me better features or price?
Marc A Posted Nov 14, 2021 6:07 PM PST
Hello The only tool I have to calibrate the image are my eyes. To help me reduce the number of trial and error attempts, can you share your calibration settings (SDR and HDR). If you've been keeping your notes for the long time of course. Thank you so much.
Dhaval Patel Posted May 27, 2022 8:36 AM PST
I bought new eh-tw 7100 model in india, I think this model has focus uniformity issue. I can't focus all four corner and center at the same time, mostly I can focus only 2 of them.
John Posted Nov 7, 2022 5:03 AM PST
Excellent review Rob. Greetings from downunder. Couple of quick questions - I assume you can run something like a firestick/chromecast and power it on the 2A USB port? This is replacing an old Sony 720P LCD projector (VPL-HS50) that sadly has degradation on the LCD block (a tree like pattern) and this is one of the few projectors at this price point that offers the zoom and vertical lens shift I need for my ceiling mount @ 4.3metres from a 110" screen. While it's not going to rival projectors with 100% DCI-P3, I feel it's an excellent upgrade for me at this price point. Just wondering as it's now 3 years old are there any obvious more up to date competitors that I should consider? I did see a couple of short throw laser projectors that you could mount closer and weren't that much more expensive. eg Xiaomi Mi 4K Laser Projector
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 9, 2022 7:12 AM PST
John, we have a review coming up shortly of the new Epson HC2350, which would be their most up to date and now projector using their 4K enhancement tech. I'd wait to see what our reviewer has to say about that. Also, not sure if you've looked into the HC4010, but that remains in Epson's line and is in a different class on account of it's lens...but it's considerably more expensive.
Vaibhav Posted Nov 15, 2022 7:17 AM PST
What is the best alternative to Epson 3800 in 2022? There are lots of new models (bulb/LED/Laser) launched since 2019. Which according to you directly competes with Epson 3800 in 2022?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 15, 2022 8:23 AM PST
If you are looking in this 3-chip LCD market (which restricts you to Epson), the newest model offering similar performance is the HC2350, for which we have a review pending. For more money, you could step up to the HC4010, which is a considerably more advanced projector.
Don Posted Dec 4, 2022 3:57 PM PST
Read your review, I own the epson 3800 but cannot get it to play Blurays , I have a samsung player, it says Not Supported, What blu ray player did you use for the review? Don
Richard Posted Jun 24, 2023 8:29 AM PST
Enjoy the review and am considering buying the 3800. This is 2023 but its still in the lineup so hopefully David Stone or Rob Sabin will see this. In David's measurements with his equipment In Natural Eco setting, he got 1615 Lumens. After calibrating using his 90" screen( Rob has a 92" one), he got 24 ft lamberts. (My screen currently is 92" but will go bigger as most people do.). Using the correct formula, his 90" screen is 24 sqft , mine and Rob's are 25.1. So 24 sqft x 24 ft slam beers is ONLY 576 lumens. Or reversing this: 576 lumens ÷ by 24 = 24 ft lamberts.

My question is : this seems like a major drop from the 1615 lumens. I know after calibrations, there are drops but is this unusual being so much? And later in article David got 57 ft lamberts in Cinema mode on his 90" screen after calibrating with HDR

I'm confused about the 24 vs 57 on same size screen and only 576 lumens in Natural mode vs 1615 lumens

My main concern is that this HC3800 is a home entertainment projector and is designed for use in rooms with ambient light. My room is completely dark. I have read that it may be TOO bright in dark rooms with smaller screens . But 24 ft lamberts would be ok but 57 may be too bright.

Landon Posted Oct 22, 2023 11:50 AM PST
I want to play movies in full screen with the epson 3800. Where would one purchase a commercially available anamorphic lens?
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Oct 22, 2023 3:09 PM PST
Landon, unless I am mistaken this projector does not have the appropriate anamorphic picture mode that would make it compatible with a third party anamorphic lens. You may check the user manual available on our info page to be sure but as i recall only Epson’s topline HC projectors offer this, typically in association with a powered zoom lens that allows for saved positions to accommodate 16:9 or 2.4:1 content.
Joseph Posted Nov 9, 2023 9:42 AM PST
It's so frustrating to read reviews like this. You offer so much in terms of details and product performance but what difference does it make if you leave out what would ultimately be a deal breaker for anyone looking to purchase the 3800. IT DOESN'T HAVE FULLSCREEN FOCUS UNIFORMITY. I'm not sure if the reviewer intentionally forgets to mention it but he's not the first or only online reviewer to do so. If you do a deep search online, you'll find eventually find the real people who purchased this projector (myself included) who bought this projector after reading a less than truthfull review like this one. What we all have in common is an image that cannot be 100% focused. I repeat, CANNOT be focused 100% on screen. For some reason or another, reviewers leave this detail out and are essentially lying, as far as im concerned. What difference would OLED level blacks and color accuracy make when the picture is out of focus? None. Trust me, after purchasing the 3200, then upgrading to the 3800, and having it replaced TWICE, i now know for a fact I did not have a defective unit. The focus issue is a specific limitation found on the 3800 and 3200. What makes this issue especially frustrating are the online reviewers that are most likely incentivized to ommit such details from their reviews. Sorry, but thats the only explanation here. Don't believe me? Buy the projector and see for yourself. Just make sure you have the option to return it without having to pay a restocking fee.
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Nov 9, 2023 10:29 AM PST
Joseph, I don't doubt your experience at all as other readers have commented on this above I and agree that the ability to focus the image across the full screen should be an obvious review criteria. I myself usually pay attention to this when reviewing and you could see in my review of the high end Sony VPL-XW5000ES, for example, that this was an issue. We also do tend to comment on this with USTs where it can be a real problem. But I admit it doesn't get addressed in every review and it's something I as the editor can ask our reviewers to double-down on. That said, we do face one issue when assessing this or any other aspect of a projector in that we are usually working with a manufacturer supplied sample, and the review samples that make it to us are usually cherry-picked golden samples that have been pre-screened before being released to the public relations team for distribution to reviewers. So something like a poor focus issue seen across what may even have been a later production run in something like an Epson 3800 may not be visible in any way on our sample, at least not enough to call it out.
Lnn Posted Dec 31, 2023 4:59 PM PST
Does it support 1080p at 120Hz?

(It's supported on the HC2350 according to that one's review, but nothing mentioned here.)
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Jan 1, 2024 8:32 AM PST
This is a much older projector than the HC2350 from before when 1080p/120 was much of a thing for gaming. It supports 1080p and 4K up to 60 hz only. Incidentally, you can typically find the answer to this question in the user manual (where I looked), which for most projectors has a table of all the supported signal types. And for most projectors you can download or view a PDF of the user manual from the "View Projector Details" database page on our website that's associated with the review.
Lnn Posted Jan 1, 2024 12:42 PM PST
Thanks, Rob.

It's a shame. 2019 isn't ancient times, some TVs supported >60Hz by then. And no successor Epson model in the same market segment, so far.

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