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Epson Home Cinema 3800 Projector Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Feb 13, 2024 at 10:37 am
Latest change: Retest Feb 29, 2024 at 11:10 am

The Epson Home Cinema 3800 is a 4k HDR LCD projector. It projects an 80" image at a distance of approximately 8 feet, 100" at a distance of ~10 feet, and 120" at a distance of ~12 feet. The projector has Epson's 4k PRO-UHD technology with a 3-chip design, allowing it to project colorful and sharp images with double the resolution of 1080p. It's fully 10-bit HDR capable and has manual focus and lens-shifting settings. The projector has two HDMI 2.0 ports for full 4k @ 60Hz gaming, Bluetooth with aptX support, and two integrated 10W speakers.

Our Verdict

8.2 Movies

The Epson 3800 is great for watching movies. It's very bright, so it performs well in bright rooms, and it's even better when the lights are dimmed due to its very good contrast. While it doesn't have a wide color gamut, colors pop due to the projector's brightness. The 3800's color accuracy is excellent out-of-the-box, and it looks fabulous after calibration due to the projector's 11-point white balance and full color calibration features.

Pros
  • Very bright projector with excellent brightness uniformity.
  • Very good contrast for a pleasant viewing experience in dark rooms.
  • Excellent color accuracy nearly out-of-the-box, which you can improve even further with calibration.
Cons
  • Doesn't have Wi-Fi and lacks a smart interface.
  • 8.2 Movies
  1. Updated Feb 29, 2024: We fixed a slight measurement error in our contrast results. The Contrast text box and score have been updated, and the text in the review was adjusted to reflect the resulting slight bump in contrast.
  2. Updated Feb 13, 2024: Review published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We bought and tested the Epson 3800 projector. It has no variants, but Epson has other projectors in their Home Cinema line, like the lower-end Epson Home Cinema 1080 and the higher-end Epson Home Cinema 5050UB.

Compared To Other Projectors

The Epson 3800 is a very good projector. It's a pricey projector, but it offers some of the best performance in its class. It's almost as good as the more expensive Epson Home Cinema 5050UB, making the 3800 a better buy for most people. Its primary competition is the XGIMI HORIZON Ultra, which has more features than the Epson, like an integrated smart OS and full Wi-Fi 6 support, but the Epson, in turn, has slightly better image quality. Overall, if image quality is what you care about, it's hard to beat the Epson 3800.

Epson Home Cinema 5050UB

The Epson Home Cinema 5050UB is slightly better than the Epson Home Cinema 3800. The 3800 has higher peak brightness than its more expensive sibling. Still, the 5050UB has slightly better contrast and a noticeably wider color gamut, so it's the better-looking of the two projectors when watching movies in a dark room.

BenQ HT3550

The Epson Home Cinema 3800 is much better than the BenQ HT3550. The Epson is much brighter, with significantly brighter colors. It's also vastly more accurate before calibration and has near-perfect accuracy post-calibration. The BenQ is smaller and lighter and has auto keystone correction on the vertical axis, so it's easier to carry around and faster to install.

Optoma UHD35

The Epson Home Cinema 3800 is better than the Optoma UHD35. The Epson offers better image quality as it's much brighter and significantly more accurate overall, even if the Optoma does have a slight contrast advantage. The Optoma has the edge for gaming, however, as it can do 1080p @ 240Hz with low input lag.

BenQ X3000i

The BenQ X3000i is better than the Epson Home Cinema 3800 due to having more features, but they're equally good for watching movies. The Epson is noticeably brighter, but the BenQ has slightly better contrast and a wider color gamut. The Epson is barebones regarding features, as it doesn't come with Wi-Fi or a smart interface, while the BenQ comes with an Android TV 10 dongle for smart apps, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth support. It's also better for gaming with full 1080p @ 240Hz support.

XGIMI HORIZON Ultra

The Epson Home Cinema 3800 and XGIMI HORIZON Ultra are very close in quality. The Epson has a slight edge in image quality with its higher brightness and better color accuracy. The XGIMI, however, has many features, with full Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth connectivity and a full suite of image correction features. Ultimately, the XGIMI is the better product for most, but the Epson has a slight edge in pure image quality.

BenQ HT4550i

The Epson Home Cinema 3800 and BenQ HT4550i are nearly equivalent when it comes to watching movies, but the BenQ is the more modern device with its smart features and better gaming capabilities. The BenQ has a much wider color gamut, but the Epson, in turn, is the more accurate of the two projectors out of the box. The BenQ comes with an Android TV 11 smart dongle with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, while the Epson doesn't have any smart features, although it does have Bluetooth with aptX support. Finally, the BenQ is also much better for gamers due to its 1080p @ 240Hz with low input lag capabilities.

Hisense C1

The Epson Home Cinema 3800 and Hisense C1 are both excellent entry-level projectors, though the Epson has a more traditional design, while the Hisense is aimed at those who want an all-in-one projector; that is, it's more compact and has a smart OS for built-in streaming. The Epson gets much brighter, making it better suited to rooms with ambient lighting, and its optical zoom gives you more flexibility with placement. However, in a dedicated room where you can control its placement, the Hisense has much to offer, including a sharp, vibrant image and Dolby Vision support.

Epson Home Cinema 1080

The Epson Home Cinema 3800 is much better than the Epson Home Cinema 1080. Everything the 1080 can do, the 3800 can do better. The 3800 is brighter, has HDR support, has better contrast and a wider color gamut, and projects a sharper image with its pixel-shifting technology. It even has slightly better pre-calibration accuracy than the already great 1080.

Hisense PX1-PRO

The Epson Home Cinema 3800 and Hisense PX1-PRO are somewhat different projectors, but the Epson has the Hisense beat regarding pure image quality. The Epson is much brighter and has better contrast than the Hisense, so it's the better-looking of the two, even if the Hisense has a wider color gamut. The Epson is also vastly more accurate out of the box, so you don't need to worry about calibration. The Hisense has way more features than the Epson, but it can't compensate for the image quality gap.

Epson EpiqVision Flex CO-W01

The Epson Home Cinema 3800 is much better than the Epson EpiqVision Flex CO-W01. The 3800 has vastly better contrast and pre-calibration image accuracy, and it projects a sharper image with its 4k pixel-shifting technology. However, the Flex is better for office work due to its 16:10 aspect ratio, while the 3800 is better suited for watching movies due to its 16:9 ratio.

Formovie THEATER

The Epson Home Cinema 3800 is much better than the Formovie THEATER for watching movies, as the Epson is much brighter and is vastly more accurate than the Formovie. The Formovie does have more features, as it comes with Android TV 11, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, while the Epson requires you to purchase an external streaming dongle if you need any smart features. However, the Epson isn't a UST projector, so you must install it further away from the wall or screen than the Formovie.

Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS300

The Epson Home Cinema 3800 is better than the Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS300, although the LS300 has more connectivity options and smart features. The LS300 is also an Ultra Short Throw projector, so you can install it very close to the screen. Still, the Home Cinema 3800 is a 4k projector (with pixel shift), is a bit brighter, has better contrast, and is noticeably more color-accurate after calibration, so it's the better-looking of the two projectors.

XGIMI HORIZON Pro

The Epson Home Cinema 3800 is much better than the XGIMI HORIZON Pro. The Epson is significantly brighter and is vastly more accurate pre and post-calibration. The XGIMI has a wider color gamut but isn't bright enough to make its colors pop. The XGIMI has more features than the Epson, as it has a full set of automatic image correction features, Wi-Fi support, and integrated Android TV smart OS with full casting capability.

Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS800

The Epson Home Cinema 3800 has better image quality than the Epson EpiqVision Ultra LS800, but the LS800 has more features. The LS800 comes with a full suite of smart and wireless features, while the 3800 is barebones and requires an external streaming dongle if you need smart features. The LS800 is also easier to place in a room due to its Ultra Short Throw capabilities, although the 3800 has an optical zoom, which lets you adjust the projection's size without moving the unit. The 3800 also has a slightly better contrast and is vastly more accurate than the 3800, both out-of-the-box and after calibration.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
4.0
Design
Portability
Height 6.3" (16.0 cm)
Width 15.9" (40.5 cm)
Depth 13.0" (33.0 cm)
Weight
15.1 lbs (6.8 kg)

The Epson 3800 isn't meant to be portable as it's quite heavy and lacks an integrated battery, so you need to plug it in. The projector lacks auto keystone correction, so you'll need to adjust the image geometry manually, and it also doesn't have autofocus. It does have two 10W speakers.

Design
Projector Technology
Imaging Technology
LCD
Light Source
Lamp
Resolution
Pixel Shift 4k
Aspect Ratio
16 : 9
Minimum Throw Ratio
1.32
Maximum Throw Ratio
2.15

This LCD projector uses a lamp as its light source, which can last from 3500 to about 5000 hours, according to the manufacturer, after which you'll need to swap the lamp for a new one. It's not a true 4k projector, as it uses pixel shifting to create a higher-resolution image. This offers better quality than a pure 1080p projector but isn't as good as a native 4k projector.

Picture Quality
8.7
Picture Quality
Brightness
White Light Output
2,287 lm
Color Light Output
2,334 lm
Brightness Uniformity
94%
Screen Brightness
258 cd/m²

This projector's peak brightness is excellent. It's extremely bright, uniform, and has vibrant colors. It's bright enough to look good in bright rooms, but like other projectors, it looks best when you dim the lights.

7.9
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
190 : 1

This projector has very good native contrast, leading to a pleasant viewing experience in dark rooms.

8.6
Picture Quality
Pre-Calibration Color Accuracy
White Balance dE
1.81
Color dE
1.82
Gamma
2.16
Color Temperature
6,774 K
Picture Mode
Natural
Color Temp Setting
6500 K
Gamma Setting
0

The Epson Home Cinema 3800 4k has excellent pre-calibration accuracy. There are minor accuracy errors in its white balance and colors, but they're not noticeable. Its color temperature leans slightly on the cold side, giving everything a subtle blue tint.

9.5
Picture Quality
Post-Calibration Color Accuracy
White Balance dE
0.29
Color dE
1.17
Gamma
2.18
Color Temperature
6,489 K
White Balance Calibration
11 point
Color Calibration
Yes
Picture Mode
Natural

This projector has full 11-point white balance calibration and color calibration. It looks spectacular after calibration, with fantastic color and white balance accuracy, and its color temperature is exactly on target.

7.2
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Rec. 709 xy
95.23%
Rec. 709 uv
94.54%
Rec. 2020 xy
53.96%
Rec. 2020 uv
57.31%

The Epson HC3800 has a decently wide color gamut. It does an excellent job with the Rec. 709 color space used with SDR content, although it struggles with the wider Rec. 2020 color space. If you'd prefer more saturated colors at the cost of color accuracy, setting the projector's color space to Rec. 2020 does result in a wider, but less accurate, color gamut in the Rec. 709 space, as seen here.

Features
Features
Inputs & Connectivity
HDMI
2
ARC/eARC
No
Wi-Fi No
USB Data Ports
1

The projector has a 2.0A DC Out USB port for power delivery, like for a streaming dongle or something of that nature. It also has a 12v trigger out port to connect your screen to it; this allows you to signal the screen to unfold when the projector powers on and inversely retract the screen when it's powered off. Unfortunately, the projector doesn't support Wi-Fi, but it does support Bluetooth with aptX.

Features
Smart Features & Sound
Smart OS
No
Cast Capable
No
Speaker(s)
Yes

The Epson Home Cinema 3800 doesn't have a smart OS and isn't cast capable, but it does have two 10W speakers.

Features
In The Box

  • Power cable
  • Remote control
  • 2x batteries
  • User documentation
  • Lens cover