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AVS › Reviews › Displays › Projectors › Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8350

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8350

Posted

Pros: good picture quality, adjustable lens, lots of connection options

Cons: lower than advertised lamp life, lamp flicker in ECO modes

I purchased the Epson 8350 as a major part of my HT upgrade in early 2011. This projector has been my primary media viewing device for 2.5 years. It's currently paired with an Onkyo TX-NR809 reciever and an LG BD570 Blu-ray player.

Setting up the projector is a breeze. Because the 8350 has an adjustable lens, you have a lot of flexibility in terms of projector placement, without sacrificing image quality. Keystone adjustment inevitably results in lost image size and accuracy, while adjusting the lens is a simple matter of rolling the horizontal and vertical adjustment knobs until the image is centered on the screen. When I bought it, the lens movement was one of the features I thought was nifty, but it’s proven to be absolutely invaluable. I've moved 4 times in the last 3 years, and it's never been a problem to find a useable site for the projector. The 8350 accepts a variety of inputs, including 2HDMI ports, VGA, Component video, S-video, and Composite video. I currently use my Onkyo to manage source switching, but I used to run devices on nearly every input, and never had a problem switching between them.
Image quality seems quite good, especially for the price point. I run the projector with a use Da-Lite screen I picked up; I don't know the exact specs, but it's nothing special. The 8350 comes with several preset lamp/color modes, and I find myself switching between them regularly. The “Dynamic” mode is by far the brightest, and is intended for daytime use. This is a very bright mode, and while you’ll lose a lot of subtle color detail, the ability to watch TV during the day is helpful. Very dark scenes will be washed out, so shows like “Buffy” are difficult to watch, but sports will work just fine. “Living Room” is still bright, but a less intense setting, useful around twilight or if you’re watching TV while doing something else (ironing laundry, for example). The best modes are probably “Normal” or “Cinema,” intended for serious viewing in low-light conditions. “Normal” provides pretty accurate color representation, while “Cinema” does the same while putting the bulb into a lower brightness mode to conserve power. These last 2 modes perform very well in low- to no-light environments, and I have little to no trouble making out details in dark movie/TV scenes.

I only recently got ahold of a good calibration disk, so I’m not an expert at gauging color accuracy. I can say that the default settings are quite good out-of-the box, and the more intensive calibration work I’ve done with the Spears & Munsil blu-ray has actually only resulted in moderate changes to contrast, tint, and hue. In some test patterns, some of the color channels seem as though they might be clipping, but that may well be the fault of my player rather than the projector. In any case, the projector provides a lot of controls for making adjustments, including independent adjustments of the RGBCMY channels if you choose. There are 10 memory settings for calibration adjustments, and the projector seems to remember the last-used setting for each source input, which is convenient if you don't want to constantly remember what settings went with which source.

My biggest complaint about the 8350 has to do with lamp. Although the advertised life is around 2000 hours, I got about half that. To be fair, I live in NM, a fairly dusty region, but I faithfully cleaned the filter and vents regularly, and still the bulb burned out after only about 950 hours of use (about 18 months for me). I purchased an aftermarket brand of replacement bulb, and since then I’ve noticed that the brightness flickers, particularly when in the ECO modes. It’s mostly noticeable on menu screens and other places with lots of bright, stable backgrounds, but it’s still somewhat irritating to me, and I’ll probably go back to an Epson-branded replacement bulb next time.

All in all, I’m very happy with this projector. I did a lot of homework on it prior to buying it, and I’ve been quite pleased with its performance. I’d love to spend the big bucks on a high-end projector, but given my lifestyle, budget, and the honest constraints of my living situation, the Epson 8350 has represented $1200 very well spent.

Posted

Pros: Very bright, outstanding placement options, very easy to operate day-to-day

Cons: Lens adjustment imprecise, difficult to align perfectly for all resolutions

When I moved into a new house that had a small media room, I decided to purchase the Epson 8350 as my first projector. The room is small, approximately 15 feet from the screen to the projector and not very wide (approximately 9 feet.) I mounted the projector at the back of the room on a shelf approximately 8 feet from the floor. I also purchased an Elite Screens ER110WH1 Sable Fixed Frame screen at the same time. I use an Onkyo HT-RC360 as my HT receiver and to switch inputs. The source data for my projector comes from an Xbox360, a cable TV tuner, and a sometimes a Wii. The first two output HDMI to my receiver while the Wii is limited to component video.

From a design aesthetic, I wish it were black instead of the white/grey but as it is over your head and rarely seen this isn't that important.

Setup: I couldn't have been easier to place the projector on the shelf, connect the HDMI and power cables, power it up, and be watching TV in minutes. Overall, setup was dead simple. You wouldn't have to mess with any settings out of the box if you didn't want to. I did play around with the menu, however I think I ended up changing nothing that I can remember besides calibration. Aligning the projector to my screen however has been a never ending challenge. The projector has a great range of options when it comes to placing the image and while this is one of its strengths the lens gears themselves are also one of its biggest downfalls. I can't figure out if its is caused by the plastic gear teeth or something else but it has been a bear to both get the picture aligned to my screen and for it to stay there. I'll get it right, then come back the next day and see the edges slightly off. I don't mind a little slop of and inch or so all around, but it often ends up multiple inches off the edges. Due to what turned out to be no fault of Epson, I had the projector replaced twice under warranty and all 3 projectors I have had did exactly the same thing in terms of challenges with lining up the lens to the screen. The screen is 110" diagonal at a throw distance of about 13.5 feet and well within the wide limits of this projector.

Remote/UI: Because I use a HT receiver to switch inputs, I don't use the remote for much except to turn the project on/off. It is reasonably laid out although the button for changing picture modes is labeled Color Mode and always momentarily confuses me since I don't use that setting very often. The onscreen UI is simple and effective but isn't especially well done. I've seen better on other projectors but this isn't that big a deal. If I have a complaint, it is that it takes 2 button presses to turn off the projector (one to initiate, another to confirm). I have used multiple Epson projectors around the office and this something they seem to always do. The names of the Color Modes are also a little unusual, they are Dynamic, Living Room, Natural, Cinema, and x.v.color. I'm not sure why they decided to apply what looks like marketing names to the levels but I would have appreciated more straightforward names.

Brightness: My room is relatively dark with just a french door on one wall that opens to another room. As a result I find this projector too bright on its highest setting. It sits on Natural most of the time even though the room is rarely fully dark and it works just fine. The black levels are fantastic overall. With the room fully dark and the projector on Cinema mode only my plasma TV has better blacks (and that includes my LCD TVs.)

Color: I did some very basic calibration using one of the well-known DVD calibration tools and I needed to change a few things but overall it looks great. Both XBOX360 and Cable TV look great. I'm not a huge snob when it comes to color calibration though, so your mileage may vary.

Bulb: I got approximately 2300 hours out of the lens that came with the projector before it failed. I purchased an OEM replacement and I will be satisfied with a similar lifespan although of course I hope for more.

Overall I am very happy with the quality of the project for the money. It seems somewhat marred by the one feature that sets it apart: the huge range of placement options is really appreciated, but the lens position controls seem cheap and don't always stay when set.

I mentioned that I had the projector replaced twice but it turns out that wasn't Epson's fault. Twice the project just died and wouldn't display valid HDMI; it would try a few times and finally give up and go to a blue screen. I falsely indicted the projector twice when it ultimately turned out to be the receiver. I honestly feel bad for having Epson replace it under warranty two times before I figured this out. I have to give them lots of credit for working with me and for making the warranty replacement service a delightful experience. Epson gets extra points from me for the good customer service (while Onkyo's is non-existent, but that's a different review..) On the other hand, I also know that the problem I have with the lens control is a design flaw - all three projectors had exactly the same behavior.

Posted

Pros: Large image for short throw, picture quality, price.

Cons: Flicker when in Eco mode, louder fan noise when not in Eco mode.

I picked this projector due to the price at the time, and the price really hasn't dropped much since then. This unit is now available for around $1000 (although I'm sure better deals are out there), and I paid maybe $150 more than that, which says a lot for how popular this projector remains after what is an eternity in "technology years."

I have a ceiling mounted installation, and with the Projector Gear ceiling mount, it was a breeze to put together. Because I wanted to have the projector centered in the room, then lens shift was important to me. It works great, but once the horizontal and vertical dials reach their limits, they can be knocked out of place when the lens itself is adjusted, making it a little bit of a pain to get everything perfect. As mine sits, the image is pretty square with the screen, with the left-lower corner being "in" a little. A keystone option would be nice, but at this price range, I'm not complaining; as long as the image is the width of the screen, you can't tell it's not exactly square.

I have this projector paired with a Jamestown custom 117" screen (highly recommend these guys, although my screen was built during the natural disasters of 2011, so they had to rush to get it to me in time, so the construction of some of the pieces had to be modified a little), and the image quality has not ceased to amaze anyone we have had over. Some friends of ours have a very nice, high end Samsung, and they feel that the image this projector produces is every bit as sharp and detailed. Of course, black levels are not as strong as they could be, but this isn't a bother to me -especially at this price point- and no one has complained yet. There is an Auto-Iris feature that lightens and darkens the image based on the action in any given scene, and there are different settings for it -"normal" and "fast" I believe- which work pretty well, but the noise from the iris can be very noticeable, especially during quiet scenes.

It seems that I am the only person on the planet who has encountered this, but after several hours in Eco mode, the image will flicker from light to dark. This has nothing to do with having the Auto-Iris feature enabled, as I always have it disabled, and I can't say whether it has to do with the lamp either, although it has done this for the last 1200 hours at least. The remedy has been to switch the power consumption mode to Normal, which produces a slightly brighter image and a little more fan noise (the projector is VERY quiet in Eco mode), and after a few hours of viewing in this mode, the projector can be switched back to Eco mode for several hours flicker-free. Again, I am the only person I know of who has had this issue.

When I first received the projector, I was only able to use it for about 14 hours before the lamp popped and I had to wait somewhere around 10 days for a replacement as they were back-ordered at the time, but the process for replacement and return was pretty simple. The customer service I received was not terrible, but I remember the departments not being well in sync or being able to tell me when my lamp would arrive - it just magically arrived one day. My new lamp has nearly 2000 hours on it now, and with the advertised 4000 hour lamp life, I am really hoping that this one will last until passive 3D technology is available in this price range for projectors. The image brightness does not seem to have deteriorated, so I believe this could happen.

All in all, I am very pleased with this, my first projector purchase. For the money, this unit has terrific functionality and features, and will definitely impress!

Posted

Pros: Great brightness controls, extra big and bright from almost any distance

Cons: The PC function leaves a rathe rpoor resolution that leaves much to be desired

This unit is my second projector, as a former AV professional and waiting for prices to finally fall enough, I upgraded from a Benq with 800 lumens to 2000 lumens. I bought this much the way you will, word of mouth and reviews. I have a drop down mount that brings it lower to the center of the screen, then use the positioners build into the unit to center the screen, this seems to avoid any keystoning issues. This is plenty bright in the evening, but with the custom brightness for cinema, living room and such it can boost the brightness greatly,. 2D is fine for now, I do not need the third D at all. The other downside is projectors with lamps to replace, so you have to be hands on. The PC input function shows a poor resolution on the screen sadly.
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8350
By:
Description:

Convenient and affordable, this Epson V11H373120 PowerLite 8350 Projector enhances your entertainment experience — presenting movies, sports and videogames like you've never seen them before. A solid lineup of Epson technology makes it possible. The cast includes Epson's D7 chip and a superb contrast ratio of up to 50,000:1, for sharp, distinctive details. And, those details shine bright, day or night, thanks to 2000 lumens of color and white light output. C2Fine™ 12-bit technology, 3LCD, 3-chip technology, an Epson exclusive cinema filter and a state-of-the-art Fujinon™ lens to generate a full spectrum of spectacular, true-to-life colors.

Details:
DetailValue
BindingElectronics
BrandEpson
EAN0010343878419
FeatureSharp, crystal-clear detail - a contrast ratio up to 50,000:1 Brilliant images, anytime, day or night - 2000 lumens color and white light output1 High-definition, 1080p home theater experience - D7 chip delivers 1920 x 1080 resolution Sharp, crystal-clear detail - 1080p TFT D7 chip and a contrast ratio up to 50,000:1 Rich, vibrant color and reliable performance - C2Fine technology and 3LCD, 3-chip technology
Item Height5.7 inches
Item Length15.5 inches
Item Width17.7 inches
LabelEpson
ManufacturerEpson
MPNV11H373120
NumberOfItems1
Package Height11.1 inches
Package Length20.79 inches
Package Weight22.97 pounds
Package Width19.29 inches
PackageQuantity1
PartNumberV11H373120
ProductGroupHome Theater
ProductTypeNameVIDEO_DEVICE
PublisherEpson
SKUVS341340
StudioEpson
TitleEpson PowerLite Home Cinema 8350
UPC010343878419
UPCList - UPCListElement010343878419
Item Weight16.1 pounds
CatalogNumberList - CatalogNumberListElementV11H373120
IsAutographed0
IsMemorabilia0
ModelV11H373120
ColorWhite
DepartmentElectronics
Warranty2-Year factory parts & labor warranty
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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