Today Epson announced four new 1080p projectors at CEDIA, including the PowerLite Home Cinema 8100 that comes in at an "affordable" $1599.
The 3LCD-based 8100 features a contrast ratio of 36,000:1 and a brightness bump to 1800 lumens. It also includes a Dynamic Iris system that allows for frame by frame light control (up to 60 frames per second)—helping to smooth out movies with fast scene changes. Of course, the $1599 price tag doesn't quite compare to the new crop of sub-$1000 1080p projectors that are starting to hit the market, but Epson's 8100 does represent a second tier of affordability with specs that would probably have cost you at least twice as much a year ago. Of course the game is about more than just impressive contrast ratios, but even without a review these shrinking price points are encouraging. Expect the 8100 to arrive sometime in late October along with a $100 rebate offer that would bring the price down to $1499.