Projectors

Epson Powerlite Home Cinema 8100 Projector

ARTICLE INDEX

Design

The 8100 projector is a bit larger than a similarly priced “value” projector. It measures almost 18” wide, 15 ½” deep, 6” high and weighs 16 lbs. The enclosure is predominately white with light grey silver end-panels. I actually like the white as it blends nicely with the white ceiling of my room. More discussion on this issue later as it affected Chris Eberle’s benchmark testing.

Epson is known for their 3LCD, 3-chip optical engine and sports their inorganic D7 panel said to deliver deeper blacks and the highest resolution. The native resolution is of course full 1920 x 1080 with 10 bit processing (12 bit for the 8500) handled by a HQV® Reon-VX chip and can handle the gamut of input signals from 480i to 1080p with a 16:9 format. Light output is 1800 lumens in normal mode and down to 481 lumens in Eco mode. The contrast ratio as advertised is up to 36,000:1 (up to 200,000:1 on the 8500) with the auto Iris on. It offers an impressive 4,000 hour lamp life.

The Fujinon lens has an f-stop from 2.0-3.17 with a focal length of 22.5-47.2. The 8100 offers lens shift both horizontally (47%) and vertically (96%) in both directions. Both the 2.1x zoom and focus are manual.

The rear features 2 - 1.3a HDMI connections along with single composite, component and S-video along with 15 pin RGB. Also included is an RS-232 9-pin port, a hard on/off and a 12v trigger out. The fan noise is a quiet 22-28 db which is barely audible sitting about 6 feet away.

Notable on the side of the projector are the setup functions also found on the remote.

Remote Control

This is an excellent remote control, intuitive and the large buttons easily accessible in the dark. A quick touch and the entire remote lights in a pleasant amber color. It’s divided into three sections, one for source selection (6), the second is for the menu (setup) and scrolling, and the bottom gives you immediate choices for aspect, color modes and memory selection (10 presets) and many of the features without having to jump to the menu button. A quick blue “bulls-eye” pattern lets you align on the go or to simple check. Making the remote white also helps locate it in the dark.