EPSON HOME CINEMA 3200 Review – A Bright Pixel-Shifting 4K 3LCD Projector

Epson has recently expanded its home theatre projector lineup with the release of its Home Cinema 3200 projector. It is a value-oriented offering that aims to facilitate a 4K experience at an affordable price. 

Epson Home Cinema 3200 Projector Design 

The design of the Epson Home Cinema 3200 projector is simple and traditional. Its topside has a control panel with a pair of knobs above the lens for adjusting horizontal and vertical lens shift. One thing you notice about the projector is its low weight of 15lbs. It makes the projector easy to move and carry. The lens is towards one edge of the front panel with an air vent occupying a majority of the remaining area. The I/O interface is located at the rear of the projector. 

Epson Home Cinema 3200 Projector Hardware Specifications

Epson Home Cinema 3200 uses 3LCD technology for projecting imagery. It is equipped with a lamp having a rated brightness of 2,900 lumens and a life of 5,000 hours in ECO mode. The projector has a native resolution of 1080p (1920×1080 pixels). It features Epson’s PRO-UHD chip that uses pixel-shifting technology to project images with an effective resolution of 4096×2160 pixels. Even though it is not a native 4K projector, it won’t be an issue for watching movies and videos. It does provide better image quality and sharpness as compared to a standard 1080p projector. The device can accept and project 4K@60p HDR content from DVD players, consoles, and other devices. There are two 18Gbps HDMI 2.0 (HDCP 2.2) ports provided on the Epson Home Cinema 3200 for the same. 

In addition to the two HDMI 2.0 ports, the I/O interface has a USB port and an audio-out port. There are no legacy ports such as VGA or S-Video. It won’t be an issue for most users as almost all modern devices feature HDMI ports. There is an additional DC Power Port (2.0A) to power a USB device.

It features the Auto Iris technology that facilitates a dynamic contrast ratio of 40,000:1. While there are projectors with a better contrast ratio, the Epson Home Cinema 3200 is more than adequate for home theatre use. You can adjust the lens focus and zoom manually using the two rings provided on the lens. It supports a focus range of 1.49 to 1.77 and a zoom ratio of 1 to 1.62. The projector allows you to adjust lens shift manually as well with a vertical lens shift range of ±60.0% and a horizontal lens shift range of ±24.0%. The lens shift, in particular, is a great feature as you won’t have to rely on keystone correction for obtaining a proportional image. It improves the installation flexibility of the projector as well. 

Epson Home Cinema 3200 Projector Features

Epson Home Cinema 3200 is a 3D-ready projector. It supports active 3D technology for watching 3D movies in Full HD using active shutter glasses. Its transmitter uses radio frequency and has an effective range of up to 32 feet. It only supports Full HD resolution for 3D mode and not 4K like all other pixel-shifting 4K projectors.

A noteworthy feature in the Epson Home Cinema 3200 projector is its support for HDR10 and HLG standards. The HDR10 standard is primarily designed for UHD (4K) Blu-ray movies. It improves the dynamic range (better brights and shadows) and the color reproduction capabilities of the projector. The HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma) standard is meant for live broadcasting and requires a lower bandwidth as compared to the HDR standards. The projector also supports tone mapping for adjusting HDR10 and HLG content. 

An attractive feature in the Epson Home Cinema 3200 is its ability to play content over IP. You can connect the projector to a wireless or LAN network by purchasing the optional wireless LAN module from Epson. The module is inserted into the USB port and allows the projector to be used by any device connected to the same network through Epson’s iProjection software. You can play movies or videos and present content from a laptop or computer without having to connect it to the projector physically. It is available for PC and Mac as well as iOS and Android devices (as an app for mobile devices). 

The projector also enables you to connect a sound system or a pair of headphones wirelessly via Bluetooth. You can watch a movie while using headphones without having to disturb the people around you. The audio device must be A2DP compliant. Its aptX™ HD technology makes sure that you won’t have to sacrifice sound quality while using a wireless device. 

Epson Home Cinema 3200 Projector Software and Interface

The menu interface of the Epson Home Cinema 3200 projector is like most standard projectors. It is nothing fancy but is easy to navigate and use. It is divided into headings and subheadings that make it easy to decipher what each option does.

In addition to the control panel on the top, you also get a backlit remote control. It has dedicated buttons for accessing several features of the projector directly. There are specific buttons for selecting the input source, adjustment settings, and picture modes among others. It adds to the convenience factor of the projector. You won’t have to browse a whole menu for accessing these settings or modes. 

Epson Home Cinema 3200 Projector Image Quality and Performance

Epson Home Cinema 3200 is not a native 4K projector but uses the pixel-shifting technology. Its resolution is inferior to native 4K projectors but superior to 1080p projectors. Considering that native 4K projectors cost at least two to three times more, the Epson Home Cinema 3200 becomes a lucrative product. 

The picture quality of the Epson Home Cinema 3200 is decent out of the box. The colors are quite accurate with good contrast levels. Increasing the brightness or selecting a preset mode with high brightness does degrade color accuracy, but you can calibrate the same for improving the image quality. You can also store custom picture settings using the remote. 

It can only reproduce 85% of DCI-P3 color space (112% of Rec709), but can still project vibrant-looking HDR content. Its 3LCD technology further improves the color reproduction of the Epson Home Cinema 3200 projector by producing equal amounts of color and white lumens. The brightness of the projector comes close to its claimed 2,900 lumens when properly calibrated and is ideal for environments with some ambient light.

The black levels of the Epson Home Cinema 3200 projector are slightly inferior to the more expensive projectors (such as Epson’s 5050UB and 6050UB). They appear more grayish than black when viewed in a dark environment. However, it won’t be noticeable if you are going to use the projector in an area with some ambient light (which is going to be the case for most buyers). Even if you plan to watch movies in a dark room, the black levels of the projector are acceptable considering its price tag. 

Summarizing Epson Home Cinema 3200 Projector

Before summarizing the Epson Home Cinema 3200 projector, let’s take a look at its pros and cons. 

Pros

  • It is a 4K pixel-shifting projector at an affordable price.
  • Great brightness rating of 2,900 lumens.
  • Uses 3LCD technology and reproduces excellent colors.
  • Decent colors and image quality out of the box.
  • Can play 4K@60p HDR content.
  • Supports Full HD 3D movies with optional wireless glasses.
  • Allows HD audio transmission via Bluetooth.

Cons

  • It is not a native 4K projector.
  • Zoom, focus, and lens shift are all manual.
  • Average black levels and contrast ratio.
  • Lacks legacy I/O ports.
  • The wireless LAN module must be purchased separately.

Epson Home Cinema 3200 projector is not the best 4K projector and it doesn’t aim to be either. Instead, the device provides a decent 4K home theatre experience at an affordable price ($1,500). Its 3LCD technology allows it to reproduce good colors in SDR and HDR10 modes. The projector can accept and project 4K@60P HDR content and also supports the HLG standard. It may have inferior contrast and black levels, but it won’t be noticeable in environments with ambient light. Its lens adjustment features, although not automatic, are quite handy. 

Buyers searching for a value for money projector that can provide a 4K-like experience on a budget will find the Epson Home Cinema 3200 to be a perfect fit for them. The high brightness rating allows it to be used in environments with some ambient light. It is suitable for living rooms and dens. Enthusiasts who can afford to spend significantly more on a projector can consider a higher-end model like Epson’s 5050UB or 6050UB as well as models from Sony and JVC.

Epson Home Cinema 3200 on Amazon: https://amzn.to/36nltJH

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