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Epson 8500UB VS 8350; a modern take?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
So here's the deal guys:
I'm wrapping a big dedicated home theater project in my house now (build thread to follow), as in gutting the room and building an entire room around the sole purpose of it being a home theater room. One window, essentially blacked out and only there for when I re-sell my house so I can call it a "bedroom". For all intents and purposes, it's a cave with 100% ambient light control.

I've been researching projectors since day 1, and kind of waiting around til I found a good deal. I've been set on the Epson 8350 for awhile, as Epson's web store has them for $999 refurbished and their CS sounds pretty stellar. I'd love an 8700UB, but the project (as they often do) has already gone over budget, so I'm trying to retain a modicum of sanity and not adding any more 4 figure changes to the plan. That said, the Epson store has 8500UBs on there for $1,099 now. I've read lots of threads on here and reviews on the 8700UB vs the 8350 and that would be a no-brainer if money were no object, but I've not yet seen the 8350 compared to the 8500UB (other than just comparing stats). I know the specs are different, the frame interpolation advantage is nice and the higher contrast ratio would be nice, but stats don't mean much to me. Does anyone have any real world experience with these two or any insight how they compare nowadays? My budget for the PJ is around $1,000, but if I'll get substantially better performance for an extra $100 then I'll bite the bullet, but I'm just concerned about how "outdated" it is, since it's replacement in the 8700UB is even retired now. Thanks.
post #2 of 5
The 8500ub was pretty good but there were A LOT of units with serious convergence issues. Epson improved this on the 8700ub and seemed to reduce the number of poorly converged units, and now it seems have even further improved the convergence on the Epson 5010 as far as on a per-average unit basis.

I would say go for it, as a well-converged 8500ub is almost the equal of the 8700ub, but just hope for good convergence since that is coming from the refurb pool.

The 8700ub BARELY beats the 8500ub unless the convergence is off more. I've seen all three projectors and owned the 8500ub briefly. Let me say though all projector buying is a gamble, so don't let me scare you too much...
post #3 of 5
8500 is a whole level higher. Especially in a bat cave it will demolish the 8350
post #4 of 5
As far as refurbs go.... I opted for an 8700UB refurb with a full 2 year warranty. ($1450 shipped)

Despite the horror stories I read, the projector was close to perfect when it arrived. It most certainly is converged better than the best CRT's I have owned.
I have ZERO regrets. It's a very impressive machine, unreal for the cost.

The 8500 and 8700's strength is the VERY good black level. The 8350 doesn't come close for black level,
so if you like movies go with the 8500 or 8700. For general viewing with some lights on.... the 8350 will do fine since the black level advantage will be gone.
post #5 of 5
That is an awesome price. I am trying to finalize a decision between an 8700UB refurb and an RS45 b-stock or refurb but I can't find the 8700UB at that price. That would certainly sway me, can you tell me where you got it?
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