I have the Epson 8100 in my basement, dedicated theatre. This is my first projector and I was looking for a good value LCD 1080p with a decent amount of lens shift and zoom to accommodate the...
good zoom and lens shift range, sharp image
vertical lens shift drifts over time, fans makes annoying ticking, big and white
I have the Epson 8100 in my basement, dedicated theatre. This is my first projector and I was looking for a good value LCD 1080p with a decent amount of lens shift and zoom to accommodate the placement needed in my room. I have it ceiling mounted with a 15-foot throw to a 100” Elite Screens CineWhite fixed screen. My room is a very dark red with a black screen wall and ceiling, and total light control.
The out of the box image on the 8100 is okay, but not perfect. Even with calibration I have yet to find a combination of settings that provide an acceptable level of green. Red and blue look fine, and taken by itself the picture looks good, but when you compare it to an LCD or plasma panel, the green is very noticeably washed out. It’s almost like difference between an old NTSC broadcast and HDTV.
Black levels look great with the lights down, but with any amount of ambient light (in my case side sconces or back row cans) the image becomes very washed out. The 8100 simply doesn’t have enough lumens for anything but the most light-controlled rooms.
In terms of picture performance I’ve noticed no other flaws. There is no banding or motion blur. The image is always nicely sharp. The 8100 is also easy to drive with a 45-foot Blue Jean’s HDMI run—a solid, stable image without dropouts or sparkles. I’ve never need to use HDMI equalizers or amplifiers with this projector.
The projector’s fan, while not loud, is quite annoying. Rather then a constant hum like you get from a PC that could fade into white noise, the 8100’s fan makes a slight ticking. It’s quite annoying in quiet scenes.
Also annoying is the lens shift. The 8100 doesn’t have a motorized lens shift, instead there are two large wheels on the projector. These have a lot of friction and are tough to move and harder to fine-tune. This would be fine if it was a one-time setup. Unfortunately it is not. Every week or so I have to readjust the vertical shift as it seems to droop over time, dropping 2-3” over the course of a week at my 15-foot throw distance.
The 8100’s UI is simple, but easy. Menu items are easy to find and sensibly named. The best part of the UI is that I don’t need to use the UI. In day-to-day operations, the projector just gets turned on and off, no need to dig into menus and really change any settings at all. A very nice feature is placement of IR sensor on the front top (or bottom when ceiling mounted), which lets the projector pick up signals bounced off the screen. I’ve never had to explicitly point my remote that the projector, which is nice.
I dislike that the projector is white. I have a black ceiling, so it sticks out quite a bit. This is just a personal preference, and I’m sure people with white ceilings would be okay with it.
Overall, this is a good value projector. Not a perfect image, but good enough in a light-controlled room. They only real downside the droopy vertical shift.