updated 09:55 am EDT, Tue September 8, 2009
New Epson projectors with record contrast ratio
At the CEDIA Expo on Tuesday, Epson has officially introduced four new home theater projectors, including the PowerLite Pro Cinema 9100 and 9500 UB as well as the PowerLite Home Cinema 8100 and 8500 UB. The former pair have a native 1080p resolution and are meant for custom installers and serious home theater aficionados, while the value-oriented Home Cinema twosome has slightly less features with otherwise very similar performance. All four sport a 3LCD design, and the Pro Cinema 9100 and Home Cinema 8100 share the same maximum 36,000:1 contrast ratio. The Pro Cinema 9500 UB and Home Cinema 8500 UB have the highest dynamic contrast ratio in their class, at 200:000:1.
The two new Pro Cinema models give AV professionals the ability to custom tailor their pictures, as they include color settings such as ISF calibration and color isolation. The flagship home theater projector, the 9500 UB, has a new dual-layer auto iris and Super-resolution technology for an improvement of picture quality. Brightness for the 9500 UB is rated at 1,600 lumens and Epson has also made improvements that eliminate judder when viewing sports or fast action sequences.
The Pro Cinema 9500 UB also offers an optional lens that will display 2.35:1 or 2.40:1 widescreen images without distortion or the horizontal black bars above or below the image.
The Pro Cinema 9100 has a day and night mode that optimizes picture mode and lamp output according to the time of day. Brightness is rated at 1,800 lumens. Shared connections for both new Pro Cinema projectors include two HDMI 1.3a inputs, a component video input, an S-video input, composite and VGA.
The Home Cinema 8500 UB has the same 1,600 lumens brightness and dynamic contrast ratio of 200,000:1 as the flagship Pro Cinema model, while the Home Cinema 8100 has double the dynamic contrast of the model it replaces, the 6100, at 36,000:1, and is rated at 1,800 lumens of brightness. Video inputs include two HDMI 1.3a ports and one each of component, S-video, composite and VGA.
The Epson Pro Cinema 9100 and 9500 UB are now available, priced at $2,599 and $4,000, respectively, while the Home Cinema 8100 and 8500 UB will cost $1,599 plus an additional $100 rebate and $3,000 when they are released in late October and November, respectively.