Epson PowerLite Pro Z8000WUNL Review

A flexible high-brightness projector for large-venue installations. 4/07/2010 8:00 AM Eastern

Epson PowerLite Pro Z8000WUNL Review

Apr 7, 2010 12:00 PM, By Jeff Sauer

A flexible high-brightness projector for large-venue installations.

What do most AV professionals look for in an installation projector for auditoriums, lecture halls, and houses of worship? Certainly they want enough brightness to fill their space, and strong color and image quality. Flexible connectivity, a choice of lenses, and easy setup features can all be very important to facilitate installation, and ease of use can decrease the need for hand-holding once the system is up and running. What about reduced maintenance? That’s harder to quantify as a buying criterion, but it’s critical to calculating overall cost of ownership.

Epson has promoted its new PowerLite Pro Z800WUNL as the company’s “brightest projector to date” at 6000 lumens, and as the “first 3LCD projector with a native WUXGA (1920x1200) resolution.” And sure, those are impressive numbers that tempt headlines. Yet “first” and “brightest” are temporary claims that are sure to be quickly outdone. The real value with the Z8000WUNL comes from backing up those headline numbers with the features and reliability aimed at professionals working with projection systems every day. That starts with flexibility during installation.

The Z8000WUNL’s chassis has two very obvious features: the two large handles on the top to facilitate physical placement and the center front lens housing that allows for easy positioning in front of the screen. Powered zoom and focus are paired with ±70-degree vertical ±20-degree horizontal lens shift, as well as another ±30-degree vertical and ±20-degree horizontal keystone correction, to help make that installation and setup even more flexible and ultimately allow the projector to fit the room rather than the other way around. A Quick Corner feature allows you to effectively adjust both horizontal and vertical keystone correction at the same time, making off-axis setup, if not ideal, at least tolerable. The Z8000WUNL can even be installed at 90 degrees pointing either at the ceiling or the floor.

Six bayonet lens options offer even more installation possibilities: Those lenses range from the fixed rear-projection lens and 1.37X short-throw lens all the way up to a 1.4X long-throw, 5.83-to-8.18:1 zoom lens. All optional lenses carry an MSRP of $2,899 except the standard (F=1.65-2.51) lens, which is $1,399. Lens installation is also straightforward, with just a couple of screws to remove the plastic cover and a simple lever release for the lens.

Interestingly, Epson has put all of the connection ports on the front of the chassis. But they’re not obvious to the lay person because they’re hidden beneath one of those cosmetic plastics covers on the front of the chassis, to the right of the lens mount. There’s a large, removable plastic tab on both the top and bottom of that plastic cover so you can cable either up and over or down and under while still keeping the install clean. The Z8000WUNL has both analog D-sub 15-pin and 5X BNC RGB, as well as digital DVI-D and HDMI inputs. The BNC jacks can, of course, also accept analog component video up to full 1920x1080.

There is also a 15-pin monitor output and both serial RS-232 and RJ-45 control ports. The Ethernet port offers remote administration and control of the one or more projections, and Epson includes remote administration software. A more intriguing control feature is Epson’s Direct On and Direct Off, which allow the Z8000WUNL to be turned on and off by a simple wall switch. Turning on may not be so special, but cooling down by a switch is, and it’s an indirect result of Epson’s new cooling system, which is efficient enough to allow the projector almost immediate cool-down on power down.

Epson PowerLite Pro Z8000WUNL Review

Apr 7, 2010 12:00 PM, By Jeff Sauer

A flexible high-brightness projector for large-venue installations.

Cold and clean

The Z8000WUNL uses a new liquid-based cooling system that absorbs heat directly from the LCD chips and dissipates it through a fan. The entire image engine stays at a moderate operating temperature (Epson puts that at 113 degrees F). There is still a fair amount of fan noise, although admittedly less than you might expect from a 48lb. installation projector. But more importantly, keeping those LCD chips cool during usage should lead directly to longer operating lifespan.

Epson has also used an electrostatic air filter that it rates at 10,000 hours and claims to capture dust particles as small as 3 microns. I was not able to test this claim, but clearly keeping the imaging engine dust-free adds to the longevity of the projector. When it is time to change the filter, it couldn’t be easier to get to on the left side panel. The same facility exists for changing the two 330W UHE lamps, rated at 2500 hours in normal mode and 3500 hours in ECO mode and accessible from a flip-down back panel.

By my tests, Epson seemed to be taking an industry-standard approach to brightness claims, coming in a good 10 percent below the spec-sheet number. I measured only 5396 ANSI lumens across the entire image in Dynamic mode, although brightness uniformity was exceptional at more than 90 percent. Brightness dropped down to just under 4700 lumens (4697) in Presentation mode and way down to 2398 in both Theater and sRGB modes. Switching to Eco mode lowers brightness by roughly 18 percent.

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Epson color was very good, if oversaturated on green, and in Dynamic and Presentation modes the secondary colors slid toward green as well. Grayscale tracking was also very good. Given the high native resolution, I was a little disappointed in the scaling ability of the Z8000WUNL. I used a variety of standard test patterns at different resolutions and saw broader moiré patterns on fine-lined tests than I might have expected. On the other hand, the projector was able to handle text in the standard H-pattern with aplomb in a variety of resolutions.

Still, the numbers are solid, as you’d expect from a flagship installation projection. Add the strong color from the 3LCD image engine, and the PowerLite Pro Z8000WUNL is a good choice as an installation projector for large auditoriums, houses of worship, lecture halls, and large conference rooms.

Yet it’s the non-statistical features in the Z8000WUNL that impress me even more. The center lens design and the ability to hide the cabling are nice. The ease with which you can switch lenses, lamps, and cleaning filters is very appealing, although not having to do it as often as many other projectors is even better. And keeping the operating temperature down bodes well for the Z8000WUNL’s longevity.

Product Summary

  • Company: Epson
  • Product: PowerLite Pro Z8000WUNL
  • Pros: High brightness, flexible installation features, excellent color reproduction, cool operating temperature.
  • Cons: Scaling is average.
  • Applications: Large auditoriums, houses of worship, lecture halls, and large conference rooms.
  • Price: $20,499.99 (MSRP, without lens)


  • Brightness: 6000 ANSI lumens
  • Contrast: 5000:1 full on/off
  • Native resolution: 1920x1200, 16:10 aspect ratio
  • Configuration: 3xLCD
  • Light source: 2x 330W UHE lamps (2500 hours, 3500 hours Eco mode)
  • Standard lens: Powered focus, F=1.65-2.51, f=36mm-57.35mm
  • Lens options: Six ranging from 0.77:1 wide to 5.83-8.18:1 zoom
  • Zoom (standard lens): Powered 1.61:1 optical zoom
  • Throw ratio (standard lens): 1.74-2.82:1
  • Screen size: 60in.-500in.
  • Lens shift: ±70% vertical; ±20% horizontal
  • Keystone: ±30% vertical; ±20% horizontal
  • Loudpeakers: N/A
  • Dimensions: 21.0”x8.9”x28.9” (WxHxD)
  • Weight: 48.4lbs.
  • Warranty: Two years parts and labor (one year or 500 hours lamp)

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