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Most people must have been either quoting manufacturer specs or just plain guessing without consideration for past Epson 3000 series measured performance. The white being different mentioned above was simply saying that the extra 100 lumens of the 3800 will allow it to go a little brighter than the 3200 which will be most obvious in brighter whites, but it won't go any darker so no improvement in blacks.

Anyone trying to decide between the 3800 and 3200 right now based on contrast and black levels has three choices: trust published manufacturer specs for contrast which are known to be exaggerated, make an educated guess based on the previous history of measured 3000 series performance or wait for a direct measured comparison of the 3800 and 3200 from a reliable source which could take a long time.

If it were me spending my own money and I didn't need the extra 100 lumens or internal speakers of the 3800 I'd save $200 and go with a 3200. YMMV. :)
Dave, I really appreciate your knowledge and help.
As I mentioned earlier, I have a 90" screen projected from 380cm (150") distance.
Per your recommendation above, as there is no real comparison just yet, so if I guess based on previous history I shall be fine with the 3200, no problem here.
However, my question is "If I trust the manufacturer specs..." - in that case, my question is - will I be able to benefit from the 3800 contrast (again, assuming it indeed has 100,000:1) in my living room, or due to the environment (cream walls etc.) the benefit will be marginal or even not at all?
thanks...
 

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Dave, I really appreciate your knowledge and help.

As I mentioned earlier, I have a 90" screen projected from 380cm (150") distance.

Per your recommendation above, as there is no real comparison just yet, so if I guess based on previous history I shall be fine with the 3200, no problem here.

However, my question is "If I trust the manufacturer specs..." - in that case, my question is - will I be able to benefit from the 3800 contrast (again, assuming it indeed has 100,000:1) in my living room, or due to the environment (cream walls etc.) the benefit will be marginal or even not at all?

thanks...
I would recommend spending the extra $200.and getting 3800.

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Dave, I really appreciate your knowledge and help.
As I mentioned earlier, I have a 90" screen projected from 380cm (150") distance.
Per your recommendation above, as there is no real comparison just yet, so if I guess based on previous history I shall be fine with the 3200, no problem here.
However, my question is "If I trust the manufacturer specs..." - in that case, my question is - will I be able to benefit from the 3800 contrast (again, assuming it indeed has 100,000:1) in my living room, or due to the environment (cream walls etc.) the benefit will be marginal or even not at all?
thanks...[/QUOTE]

There is no visible benefit with the 3800. Just ignore the company specs (all company specs for contrast, except jvc). If you want external speakers and maybe a few extra lumens, then pay the extra $200.

They will both have an ok, but not awesome, native contrast of about 1,600:1 with the same mediocre, grayish black floor.

A wall with cream walls like yours will negate a better black floor (in mixed scenes; in a fade to black, you can still see the improvement in blacks) from a Sony hw45 or jvc, for example. So a 3200 and 3800 will look identical in your setup.
 

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Dave, I really appreciate your knowledge and help.
As I mentioned earlier, I have a 90" screen projected from 380cm (150") distance.
Per your recommendation above, as there is no real comparison just yet, so if I guess based on previous history I shall be fine with the 3200, no problem here.
However, my question is "If I trust the manufacturer specs..." - in that case, my question is - will I be able to benefit from the 3800 contrast (again, assuming it indeed has 100,000:1) in my living room, or due to the environment (cream walls etc.) the benefit will be marginal or even not at all?
thanks...
History suggests that it's not smart to trust manufacturer specifications for contrast, so I would not recommend doing that. Hypothetically comparing two otherwise identical projectors, one with 100,000:1 contrast and one with 40,000:1 contrast, the difference would be most noticeable and useful in a perfectly black room with dark surfaces and zero ambient light. The more ambient light and light from room cross-reflections due to lighter room surfaces the less noticeable and useful the difference in contrast would be.

If anyone is truly agonizing over the slightest possibility of potentially missing out on a noticeable and useful contrast improvement with the 3800 and 3200, just bite the bullet and spend the extra $200. Consider it the same as spending extra for an extended warranty to protect you against unforeseen issues.
 

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I got the 3200

I'm very pleased with the purchase. First, the projector is BRIGHT. I'm coming from an XGIMI H1 so the brightness, even in eco mode, was a dramatic jump for me.

The picture is beautiful. I can immediately see the sharpness just on the menus for the Xbox. I love the lens shifting.

I went with the 3200 instead of the 3800 because I get the vibe that you're essentially just paying for a few more features not really worth that much but get essentially the same picture.

I saw one review where the blacks were criticized for being more like grays but I honestly feel these were adjusted for the picture to make a point. The blacks seem fine to me.

I loaded up a few movies and could see the jump in sharpness. If anything, the projector exposed the inadequacy of my receiver, since it wouldn't give me the full 18GBps connection that directly wiring the Xbox did going straight into the projector.

This is NOT a short throw projector at all. I had to place this at the very back of my room to get the best picture. My ceiling mount is currently too close to fill up my 150 inch screen.

I'll say that this projector is almost too bright, if that is a thing, for a theater room. I have a dedicated room that I haven't painted yet and it didn't hurt the picture from what I could see. I'm sure it will look that much better when I finally get around to painting the room dark colors.

If you're debating, don't worry, this projector is a great buy.
 

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I'm very pleased with the purchase. First, the projector is BRIGHT. I'm coming from an XGIMI H1 so the brightness, even in eco mode, was a dramatic jump for me.



The picture is beautiful. I can immediately see the sharpness just on the menus for the Xbox. I love the lens shifting.



I went with the 3200 instead of the 3800 because I get the vibe that you're essentially just paying for a few more features not really worth that much but get essentially the same picture.



I saw one review where the blacks were criticized for being more like grays but I honestly feel these were adjusted for the picture to make a point. The blacks seem fine to me.



I loaded up a few movies and could see the jump in sharpness. If anything, the projector exposed the inadequacy of my receiver, since it wouldn't give me the full 18GBps connection that directly wiring the Xbox did going straight into the projector.



This is NOT a short throw projector at all. I had to place this at the very back of my room to get the best picture. My ceiling mount is currently too close to fill up my 150 inch screen.



I'll say that this projector is almost too bright, if that is a thing, for a theater room. I have a dedicated room that I haven't painted yet and it didn't hurt the picture from what I could see. I'm sure it will look that much better when I finally get around to painting the room dark colors.



If you're debating, don't worry, this projector is a great buy.
Hello - I have a dedicated theater room which has black ceilings and red walls. Carpet is a lighter gray but that is not an issue. There is no ambient light. I am being Recommended 3800 due to the higher contrast. Did you do a comparison of 3200 vs 3800 and what made you decide to go for 3200?

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History suggests that it's not smart to trust manufacturer specifications for contrast, so I would not recommend doing that. Hypothetically comparing two otherwise identical projectors, one with 100,000:1 contrast and one with 40,000:1 contrast, the difference would be most noticeable and useful in a perfectly black room with dark surfaces and zero ambient light. The more ambient light and light from room cross-reflections due to lighter room surfaces the less noticeable and useful the difference in contrast would be.



If anyone is truly agonizing over the slightest possibility of potentially missing out on a noticeable and useful contrast improvement with the 3800 and 3200, just bite the bullet and spend the extra $200. Consider it the same as spending extra for an extended warranty to protect you against unforeseen issues.
Dave - I have black ceilings, dark red walls and a lightish gray carpet (but that's not an issue). I do not have ambient light. In this situation would 3800 be better for me?

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Hey guys,



Does anyone know when the HC 3200 will be available in Canada? IE: Best Buy Canada? Any chance of me getting my hands on one here in Canada before Christmas? I would be upgrading from the HC2040, which I assume should be a worthwhile upgrade... Ill have to get exact messurements to ensure I don't lose much screen size vs how far mine is away from my wall currently.


Thanks!
Chizzler
 

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Dave - I have black ceilings, dark red walls and a lightish gray carpet (but that's not an issue). I do not have ambient light. In this situation would 3800 be better for me?
I think I've already stated several times in several different ways my opinion about the 3800 vs. 3200 based on the currently available body of data: The only reason to buy the 3800 over the 3200 is if you have a need for internal speakers, have a setup where 100 extra lumens would be useful or if you believe manufacturer contrast specifications. You seem to be agonizing over whether or not to believe manufacturer contrast specifications. So if you aren't willing to wait for definitive contrast measurements from a reliable independent source and want to buy right now, paying extra for the 3800 will provide an insurance policy to help ease your concerns.
 

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I think I've already stated several times in several different ways my opinion about the 3800 vs. 3200 based on the currently available body of data: The only reason to buy the 3800 over the 3200 is if you have a need for internal speakers, have a setup where 100 extra lumens would be useful or if you believe manufacturer contrast specifications. You seem to be agonizing over whether or not to believe manufacturer contrast specifications. So if you aren't willing to wait for definitive contrast measurements from a reliable independent source and want to buy right now, paying extra for the 3800 will provide an insurance policy to help ease your concerns.
Yes I know but I think a point was also made about rooms without ambient light and 3800 may look better. That's why I was asking. But as you say definitive answer won't be known until a reliable source compares it.

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Yes I know but I think a point was also made about rooms without ambient light and 3800 may look better. That's why I was asking. But as you say definitive answer won't be known until a reliable source compares it.
Generally speaking the advantage of a projector with superior contrast over one with lesser contrast will be most visible and useful in a perfect theater room with no ambient light and all black room surfaces. As ambient or cross reflected light from lighter colored room surfaces is slowly increased the advantage of superior contrast is slowly eroded. At some point the contrast advantage is so reduced that it may not be noticeable to many. However, by the time that point is reached the image may be so washed out that most would not find the overall image experience to be satisfying.

So under most reasonable viewing conditions with minimal ambient and cross reflected light superior projector contrast should be at least somewhat noticeable. The question is whether or not the user finds that to be a useful advantage in consideration for the additional cost of the projector with the superior contrast. This is going to vary widely depending on the fine details of exactly how much ambient and cross reflected light is hitting the screen as well as different personal preferences over how much improvement is worth how much money. So it can't really be put into a definitive formula where you plug in numbers and get a firm result that works for all.
 

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Generally speaking the advantage of a projector with superior contrast over one with lesser contrast will be most visible and useful in a perfect theater room with no ambient light and all black room surfaces. As ambient or cross reflected light from lighter colored room surfaces is slowly increased the advantage of superior contrast is slowly eroded. At some point the contrast advantage is so reduced that it may not be noticeable to many. However, by the time that point is reached the image may be so washed out that most would not find the overall image experience to be satisfying.



So under most reasonable viewing conditions with minimal ambient and cross reflected light superior projector contrast should be at least somewhat noticeable. The question is whether or not the user finds that to be a useful advantage in consideration for the additional cost of the projector with the superior contrast. This is going to vary widely depending on the fine details of exactly how much ambient and cross reflected light is hitting the screen as well as different personal preferences over how much improvement is worth how much money. So it can't really be put into a definitive formula where you plug in numbers and get a firm result that works for all.
Got it. Thank you.

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Dave - I have black ceilings, dark red walls and a lightish gray carpet (but that's not an issue). I do not have ambient light. In this situation would 3800 be better for me?

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Actually with a room like that you should be looking at a high contrast projector. A refurbished Epson 5040 would be my choice. Even a Sony 45es would look better if you can forgo 4K. A used JVC would also be a good option. The contrast between the 3800 and 3200 even if there is a difference is not going to make much difference because they are low on the contrast scale to begin with.
 
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Actually with a room like that you should be looking at a high contrast projector. ...
Very true. In a projection-optimized room with no ambient light and darker room surfaces a projector with superior black levels is more desirable than one with high lumens.
 

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What about 3800 vs 4010 in a loft that will have ambient light ??

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Once ambient light is in the equation front projection is compromised to some degree. The 3800 is brighter, has 18 Gb HDMI but lacks the P3 color filter and lens memory of the 4010. Decide what your priorities are and make your own decision. Contrast is close to the same but the 4010 most likely has a little better lens. If your not using a 2:39 screen the lens memory is a waste and the P3 filter will dim the projector so ambient light becomes more of a problem. So if your not using a 2:39 screen the 3800 would be my choice.
 

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Once ambient light is in the equation front projection is compromised to some degree. The 3800 is brighter, has 18 Gb HDMI but lacks the P3 color filter and lens memory of the 4010. Decide what your priorities are and make your own decision. Contrast is close to the same but the 4010 most likely has a little better lens. If your not using a 2:39 screen the lens memory is a waste and the P3 filter will dim the projector so ambient light becomes more of a problem. So if your not using a 2:39 screen the 3800 would be my choice.
You did a nice job of summarizing the pros and cons of choosing between the Epson 3000 and 4000 series. Each has different trade-offs so choosing between them requires understanding those trade-offs and how they match up with our individual preferences and viewing conditions. One isn't automatically the best option for all users under all conditions.

One additional advantage of the 4000 series is that it uses larger LCD panels. Where the 3000 series uses 0.61" wide panels the 4000 series has 0.74" wide panels. These larger panels along with the 4000 series better lens should give it at least a small advantage over the 3000 series in producing fine image detail.
 

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Still looking for an answer to below about availability in Canada. Also I measured my current setup... My HC2040 is ceiling mounted 11 FT from the wall I project on. The screen size on my wall is 120". Im not good with figuring this out and am hoping someone can tell me if the HC3200 can handle this distance and size image. Thanks in advance guys! :D



Hey guys,



Does anyone know when the HC 3200 will be available in Canada? IE: Best Buy Canada? Any chance of me getting my hands on one here in Canada before Christmas? I would be upgrading from the HC2040, which I assume should be a worthwhile upgrade... Ill have to get exact messurements to ensure I don't lose much screen size vs how far mine is away from my wall currently.


Thanks!
Chizzler
 

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Still looking for an answer to below about availability in Canada. Also I measured my current setup... My HC2040 is ceiling mounted 11 FT from the wall I project on. The screen size on my wall is 120". Im not good with figuring this out and am hoping someone can tell me if the HC3200 can handle this distance and size image. Thanks in advance guys! :D
Throw Ratio Range for the HC2040:
1.22 (Zoom: Wide) – 1.47 (Zoom: Tele)

HC3200:
1.32 – 2.15

Throw range for the 3200 is the same as for the 3800:
https://www.projectorcentral.com/Epson-Home_Cinema_3800-projection-calculator-pro.htm

From 11' it can do 115" at the most.

Is there room to move the projector backwards? It would need 6 more inches to achieve 120".

If not there are DLP alternatives with RGBRGB color wheels. Are you sensitive to RBE? Have you ever seen a DLP projector?
Benq HT3550
Optoma 50/51/51A.
Non RGBRGB color wheels (more brightness, less color accuracy):
Optoma UHD51ALV/52ALV
The upcoming Benq TK850
Benq TK800m

and others.
 

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Throw Ratio Range for the HC2040:
1.22 (Zoom: Wide) – 1.47 (Zoom: Tele)

HC3200:
1.32 – 2.15

Throw range for the 3200 is the same as for the 3800:
https://www.projectorcentral.com/Epson-Home_Cinema_3800-projection-calculator-pro.htm

From 11' it can do 115" at the most.

Is there room to move the projector backwards? It would need 6 more inches to achieve 120".

If not there are DLP alternatives with RGBRGB color wheels. Are you sensitive to RBE? Have you ever seen a DLP projector?
Benq HT3550
Optoma 50/51/51A.
Non RGBRGB color wheels (more brightness, less color accuracy):
Optoma UHD51ALV/52ALV
The upcoming Benq TK850
Benq TK800m

and others.

Thanks Noob, the HC4020 was my first and only projector, so im not sure the differences to a DLP. A couple years ago I attempted the move to 4k shifting with the BenQ HT2550, which I found the picture in SD not as great but definitely had an awesome 4k image (HDR10 was terrible though). I ended up returning due to my lack of looking into it and relizing the image was much smaller then my current setup. I can go back about 1 or 2 inches at absolute most (beam in ceiling blocks me from going any further.) but with that said, a loss of 5" is not a big deal to me, to gain the 4k shifting. I have my own surround sound system, speakers and 7.2 receiver with a 720p satalitte receiver for sports and a PS4 Pro for gaming and videos. Im not a big gamer and more then happy with gaming on my HC 2040. Would be open to other projectors including DLP im thinking but definitely liking this 3200 if it ever becomes available to Canada.
 
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