Among value-priced home theater projectors, the Epson Home Cinema 8350 is tough to beat. Though you can find pricier projectors with better black levels, picture quality is quite good overall considering this projector's price. Easy installation and relatively high brightness make the Home Cinema 8350 a great choice for use in a living room or family room.
Outperforms its price point. While the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8350 is short on bells and whistles (no 3D support, for example) it provides solid picture quality at a hard-to-beat price. Blacks are outdone by more expensive projectors, but few competitors in this price range do as well in this regard. Color performance is solid right out of the box, and those with patience and the desire to fiddle with settings can get them pretty close to technically perfect.
Light levels are versatile; depending on the mode, you can get more than enough lumens to use the projector in spaces with high ambient light levels -- and without harming overall picture quality too much. You can also dial things down enough to make the Home Cinema 8350 a reasonable choice for a dark home theater room.
Image processing is generally solid. Images are sharp, and free from ringing or edge enhancement as long as you don't lean too heavily on this projector's extensive sharpness controls, says Bill Livolsi at ProjectorCentral.com. Artifacts, such as jaggies, are not in evidence, but fast motion will introduce a bit of blur as is the norm in LCD displays without enhanced refresh rates.
A basic performer. When it comes to fancy extras, you won't find many -- or any -- with the Home Cinema 8350. There are some important basics, however, such as two HDMI inputs and an Auto Iris feature to help improve black level performance.
Flexible placement options. With plenty of zoom range (2.1x) and lens shift at your disposal, the Epson Home Cinema 8350 is easy to place in almost any room. Art Feierman of ProjectorReviews.com praises its user interface. Livolsi from ProjectorCentral.com says it's almost silent when in operation: "It will be difficult for viewers to hear the Home CInema 8350 during operation unless they are sitting with their ears up to the exhaust vent."
The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8350's lamp is projected to last for up to 4,000 hours, although Livolsi warns that setting it up with restricted airflow can reduce that lamp life. We found a few reports from customers whose lamps failed prematurely. In most cases they say Epson quickly and efficiently offered replacements -- even when the lamp was already outside its 90-day warranty period.
We also found user complaints at both BestBuy.com and Amazon.com about an auto-iris error that requires you to cycle power off and then back on. They say that it gets more frequent (and quite annoying) as time goes on, until eventually the projector stops working entirely. According to user reports, Epson handles the problem well within the two-year warranty period.
Well worth your money. The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8350 earns rave reviews for its performance and value -- reviewers say it's a great projector that doesn't stray too far from the $1,000 mark. "There's no sense beating around the bush: the Home Cinema 8350 is a fantastic value. It produces a great picture for a very low price," Livolsi says.
Review Credibility: Excellent The Epson Home Cinema 8350 earns an Editor's Choice award here. Bill Livolsi says that it delivers "some serious performance" for the price. The Home Cinema 8350 is benchmarked against a projector costing more than $2,000, and it more than holds its own. It also fares well in an eight-projector shootout conducted by the site.
Review: Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8350 1080p Home Theater Projector, Bill Livolsi, Oct. 4, 2010
Review Credibility: Excellent Site owner Art Feierman digs deep in this lengthy review of the Epson Home Cinema 8350. Improvements over its predecessor are modest, but Feierman says that at this price point, the Home Cinema 8350 is hard to beat. Feierman does say that although black levels are respectable, they are bettered by more expensive projectors.
Review: Epson Home Cinema 8350 Projector Review, Art Feierman, October 2010
Review Credibility: Very Good The Epson Home Cinema 8350 is one of several home theater projectors evaluated here. Ratings are provided, but discussion is scant compared to better sources.
Review: Epson Home Cinema 8350, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not dated
Review Credibility: Very Good The Epson Home Cinema 8350 gets nearly 300 reviews here. Negative reviews are overwhelmed by those who are completely satisfied. Short bulb life and a persistent auto-iris error are the chief complaints; it earns an overall rating of 4.5 stars.
Review: Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 8350, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2013
Review Credibility: Very Good Nearly 90 BestBuy.com users review the Epson 8350, resulting in a 4.4-star overall rating. Most reviewers agree that the Epson 8350's image quality is great and the setup is easy. The biggest gripes seem to be recurrences of short bulb life -- usually replaced cheerfully and quickly by Epson, the users say -- and the auto iris problem we also found reported at Amazon.com. Around 90 percent say that they would recommend the Home Cinema 8350 to a friend.
Review: Epson - PowerLite Home Cinema 8350, Contributors to BestBuy.com, As of May 2013