Price: $3,699 At A Glance: Excellent video processing • Superior adjustability • Blacks to die for
Epson’s broad lineup of PowerLite home theater projectors can be a bit confusing, but the important point is that it splits into two parallel lines. At the top are the Pro Cinema models, and just below them are the Home Cinema designs. They track each other closely in performance, but the Pro Cinema versions offer a few extra features. These include an aspect-ratio setting for anamorphic projection on a 2.35:1 screen (the anamorphic lens required to use this is not included, and I didn’t test this feature). They also include ISFccc Day and Night modes, a spare lamp, a longer warranty, and a black case (the Home Cinema versions are white). At the top of the line, and our subject here, is the Pro Cinema 9500 UB.
In appearance, the PowerLite Pro Cinema 9500 UB—one of the few projectors that is currently THX certified—closely resembles last year’s Epson flagship, the Pro Cinema 7500 UB. Its Fujinon zoom lens has a throw-distance range of 9.8 to 20.9 feet for a 100-inch (diagonal) 16:9 screen. The horizontal and vertical lens-shift controls, located at the top front of the case, have convenient mid-setting detents that make it easy to find the neutral settings. Lens shift, zoom, and focus are all manual.