Projectors

Epson Powerlite Home Cinema 8100 Projector

ARTICLE INDEX

Introduction

Even as an audio guy, it’s hard not to be seduced by the amazing video demonstrations sprinkled around the main shows like CES or CEDIA. I think it makes me admit I’m just as much a movie fan as I am music. An offer came my way to review an entire in-wall speaker package so I thought it a perfect opportunity to add a projector and screen to my otherwise exclusive two-channel space. My hunt was on for an affordable projector, Epson immediately came to mind. They’ve proven over the last several years that they could design and manufacture not only value packed projectors, but actually very well performing units.

I’d just attended Epson’s press conference summer of 2009 where a few new models were to be imminently released. Although the top of the line Pro Cinema series Powerlite THX 9100/9500 sounded amazing, it was out of my price range. The top of the line of their Home Cinema series was the Powerlite 8100/8500, of which the 8100 retails in the $1,500 range, perfect for my project.

For a bit more, consideration should be given to the THX Certified 8500UB of which some of the differences I’ll mention as we go along.

Specifications

  • Design: Three-LCD Digital Projector
  • Panels: Epson Poly-silicon TFT Active Matrix
  • Native Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (1080p)
  • Light Output: 1,800 Lumens
  • Contrast Ratio: 36,000:1 (Auto Iris On)
  • Color Processing: 10-bit
  • Lens Shift
  • Input Signals: NTSC / NTSC4.43 / PAL / M-PAL / N-PAL / PAL60 / SECAM
  • Input Resolutions: 480i / 576i / 480p / 576p / 720p / 1080i / 1080p
  • Fan Noise: 22 dB – 28 dB
  • Dimensions: 5.7" H x 17.7" W x 15.5" D
  • Weight: 16.1 Pounds
  • MSRP $1,499 USA
  • Epson