Epson EH-LS800: a new ultra short-throw projector review

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Mis à jour le 5 December 2022.

Available for €3,490, the Epson EH-LS800 projector is equipped with a laser lamp (4000 lumens), Android TV and three HDMI 4K 60Hz ports.

The Epson EH-LS800 ultra short-throw projector is designed to be placed at the foot of a white wall or an ultra short-throw projection screen. It has three HDMI inputs and a USB multimedia port and also features Android TV to access multiple streaming services, including Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video and YouTube. Lastly, the Epson EH-LS800 projector incorporates a 20 watt stereo soundbar designed by Yamaha. With all of these features, this Epson projector can easily replace the TV in your living room.

Available for €3,490, the Epson EH-LS800 projector seems to be a serious rival for the recent LG HU715QW and Optoma CinemaX D2 Smart models.

Epson EH-LS800: packaging & accessories

The Epson EH-LS800 is delivered in a very large cardboard box, inside of which it is protected by thick pieces of polystyrene. It comes with a Bluetooth remote control and batteries, as well as two power cables (GB/EU). Also included are a quick start guide, an information leaflet and a warranty document.

Epson EH-LS800: presentation

The Epson EH-LS800 laser projector is an ultra short-throw model. It can project a very large image measuring 2.5m across when placed at only 11cm from the screen. It uses a laser lamp and 4K Pro UHD technology to display UHD 4K images from its 1080p HD 3LCD (RGB) matrix. Unlike DLP, this technology doesn’t generate a rainbow effect. This is a real advantage for those who are sensitive to this phenomenon.

The Epson EH-LS800 projector can project a large image measuring 2.5m across when placed 11cm away from the screen.

Via WiFi, this Android TV projector can access streaming services as well as games and apps from the PlayStore. It can also read audio and video files shared over the local network. Its connectors include three HDMI 4K 60 Hz ports (one of which is ARC compatible) and two USB multimedia ports. Lastly, its built-in Yamaha soundbar can be used to stream music via Bluetooth, without projecting images.

The Epson EH-LS800 projector’s integrates audio section was designed by Yamaha. It has an amplification of 20 watts and offers several sound equalization modes.

Epson EH-LS800: key specifications

  • 3LCD projection technology
  • Maximum brightness: 4000 lumens
  • 4K Pro UHD technology (interpolation)
  • Laser lamp (20,000 hours)
  • Image size: 2m (80”) to 3.8m (150”) across
  • Android TV
  • Yamaha stereo soundbar (20W)
  • 2 x HDMI 4K 60Hz (ARC)
  • 2 x multimedia USB ports (+1 5V/2A powered USB port)
  • WiFi/Bluetooth (receiver)
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 695 x 156 x 341mm
  • Weight: 12.3kg

Epson EH-LS800: configuration

We tested the Epson EH-LS800 projector with a motorized projection screen: the 2.5m (100”) Lumene Majestic HD 240C. The projector was connected to a Pioneer UDP-LX500 4K Blu-ray player using an Audioquest Cinnamon HDMI cable. We also connected an external USB hard drive to play movies via the VLC app.

It is important to note that the connectors aren’t situated on the back of the projector (facing the screen), but on the right-hand side when facing it. To access them, you simply remove the cover by pulling on the tab. This layout is very convenient for connecting and disconnecting sources to the projector without having to move it.

By connecting the Epson EH-LS800 to the local network generated by the Netgear Orbi RBK852 WiFi router, we were able to access the main streaming services. Those who prefer to use Ethernet will be disappointed as the projector doesn’t have an RJ45 port. Consequently, you’ll need stable and solid WiFi coverage to enjoy 4K HDR streaming in good conditions.

The Epson EH-LS800 projector doesn’t have a DTT tuner. To watch TV shows, you will either have to use an IPTV app or connect the projector to an external DTT/SAT decoder.

Like all short-throw projectors, the Epson EH-LS800 is quick to install. First, you adjust the height of the feet to ensure that the projector is level. You must then place it parallel to a wall or projection screen. Finally, you move it closer or further away to reduce or increase the size of the picture.

The height of the two front feet and the rear foot (pictured here) of the Epson EH-LS800 projector can be adjusted.

When using a projection screen, it is important to properly center the projector and perfectly position the image in the frame. An advantage of motorized screens is that their height can be adjusted very precisely. However, it is important to opt for a stretched screen. If not, the slightest warping of the screen will significantly distort the image.

Because the picture is projected upwards, the slightest warping of the screen will significantly distort the image. This isn’t a flaw specific to the Epson EH-LS800, but a consequence of projecting from below the screen with an ultra short-focal lens.

With an ultra short-throw projector, it is best to use an ultra short-throw screen with an Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR) surface, such as the Lumene Movie Palace UHD 4K Extra Bright, for example.

The installation menu allows you to correct the geometry of the image if necessary. To do so, you can use the Epson Setting Assistant app and let the projector carry out the correction. A test pattern is projected onto the screen. You must take a photo of it using the app for the projector to correct the image. The manual settings menu then allows you to effectively and precisely fine-tune the image. The user can adjust various points around the image. The focus can then be altered using the knob on the side of the device, accessible behind the cover.

Epson EH-LS800: our impressions

Design

With a length of 69.5cm, the Epson EH-LS800 is one of the largest ultra short-throw projectors on the market. However, its rounded edges and fabric front panel help to soften its silhouette.

Although it is quite bulky, the Epson EH-LS800 projector is still appealing and benefits from an impeccable finish.

Epson includes a remote control with the projector. It is similar to the simplified models that come with the majority of Android TVs. What is more, a dedicated button allows you to adjust the brightness of the laser lamp, and a second deactivates the projection to preserve only the sound when the Epson EH-LS800 is used in Bluetooth speaker mode or to enjoy a concert. Too bad the keys are not backlit.

The Epson EH-LS800’s remote control is very functional and intuitive thanks to the pictograms on the buttons. It is a shame, however, that the buttons aren’t backlit.

Android TV

The Epson EH-LS800 projector incorporates Android TV 11. Navigation through the interface is very smooth and without lag. For our review, we were able to quickly download Prime Video, Arte TV, Plex and VLC Media Player. We had no problem when watching content via these apps, and each interface was responsive.

Once connected to the WiFi, the Epson EH-LS800 uses its Android TV interface to access numerous services and applications.

Google Assistant lets you control the projector’s connected features vocally (Internet, YouTube and PlayStore searches, playing a movie or a series…). The built-in Chromecast makes it easy to stream a video wirelessly from a smartphone or a computer to the projector.

The USB player is at ease with HD and 4K HDR content. It is also DTS compatible. A rare feature that deserves a mention.

Image

The picture offered by the Epson EH-LS800 out of the box is well calibrated in cinema mode, as we were able to check with the Spears & Munsil calibration Blu-ray. We simply reduced the brightness to 49% and increased the color saturation slightly (65%).

We also chose to reduce the power of the laser lamp to about 50% to reduce ventilation noise. At full power and at a distance of about 2m, we measured a noise level between 36.5 and 37 dB… That’s a lot! By limiting the laser to 50% and then 30%, the decibel meter indicated respectively 33.5 dB and 32 dB, which is much better! However, if you do this, you must then make the room dark to preserve a rather bright and sufficiently contrasted image.

The upscaling feature is also effective. With the movie Skyfall on Blu-ray, the improvement was considerable, with an increase in detail without artifacts or exaggerated edges. During the opening chase scene, the smoothness was remarkable. Even with Frame Interpolation turned off, there was no judder during the tracking shots.

Sound

The Epson EH-LS800’s Yamaha audio section proved to be effective with movies in Theatre mode. With the Virtual Surround feature set to High and the Bass Extension mode activated, we enjoyed a spacious sound and satisfactory bass. The effects remained rather frontal, but they extend horizontally and vertically to enhance the immersion.

The placement of the drivers is ideal to broaden the soundstage and to give the impression that the sound isn’t just coming from the projector. For music, whether it is in Bluetooth from a smartphone or to listen to a concert on Arte TV, we preferred the Concert mode, with the surround and clear voice functions disabled. The sound was balanced, even though the bass was lacking. It’s unfortunate that this projector doesn’t have a subwoofer output.

Epson EH-LS800: compared to…

LG HU715QW

https://image.son-video.com/images/article/lg/LGHU715QW/hu715qw_62a89bb72b96d_900.jpg
The LG HU715QW delivers a beautiful, bright HDR picture with a lot of contrast thanks to HDR Dynamic Tone Mapping technology.

Released at almost the same price as the Epson, the LG is now 20% cheaper. Delivering more intense and accurate colors, it also offers more precision in 4K thanks to its DLP matrix. The LG HU715QW also displays a more nuanced HDR picture (HDR Tone Mapping). Its webOS interface is not as rich as that of Android TV, but it is just as smooth and pleasant to use on a daily basis. Its audio section is, however, a little less effective than the Epson soundbar’s Yamaha soundbar.

Optoma CinemaX D2 Smart

https://image.son-video.com/images/article/optoma/OPTOCINEMAXD2SMARTBC/cinemax-d2-smart-blanc_6346b335db227_1200.jpg
The image projected by the Optoma CinemaX D2 Smart is more precise and detailed than that of the Epson model. However, its audio section isn’t as good.

30% cheaper, the Optoma CinemaX D2 Smart is better value for money and the ventilation is quieter. While it isn’t as bright as the Epson projector, it projects a more detailed and sharper 4K image. The connected features are the same (Android TV), except for the fact that the Optoma model has no USB multimedia ports. Sound-wise, the Epson EH-LS800 comes out on top regarding impact and spatialization.

Epson EH-LS800: who is it for?

The Epson EH-LS800 laser projector will appeal to those who want to project a very large cinema-like picture in their living room. It is also suitable for those who are sensitive to the rainbow effect generated by DLP technology. Its powerful Yamaha audio section is the icing on the cake.

Epson EH-LS800: conclusion

Very bright and offering a cinematographic picture with soft colors, the Epson EH-LS800 projector allows you to enjoy a large image close to the screen. It can be used during the day in a room that isn’t too bright, but it offers an even better image when the room is dark. At ease with both HD and 4K UHD sources, it is an interesting alternative to the many DLP projectors on the market. Its Yamaha soundbar is a nice touch, along with the rich Android TV interface.

Although it is more expensive than its main rivals, the Epson EH-LS800 projector has many assets, notably its cinema-like image, its impressive audio section and the integration of Android TV.

We liked

  • How easy it was to install
  • The softness and the colors of the image
  • The sound spatialization in Theater mode
  • The fact that you can disable projection to listen to music

We would have liked

  • Quieter ventilation
  • A backlit remote control
  • A subwoofer output
  • A slightly lower price

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