Epson 3200 Vs. 3800: Which Home Theater Projector Is Best?

Home theater projectors have come a long way in recent years, with 4K resolution and HDR becoming more common and affordable. Two popular home theater projectors from Epson are the Epson Home Cinema 3200 and the Epson Home Cinema 3800.

But which one is right for you?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare the Epson 3200 Vs. 3800 on key factors like image quality, brightness, connectivity, features and value. By the end, you’ll have all the details needed to decide which Epson projector best fits your home theater needs and budget.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeatureEpson 3200Epson 3800
Brightness2200 lumens2500 lumens
Contrast Ratio15,000:150,000:1
Lamp Life5000 hours5000 hours
WirelessNoYes (WiFi, Bluetooth, Miracast)
Inputs2x HDMI2x HDMI, 1x USB
ControlButtons onlyButtons + App
PriceUnder $600$800-900

Overview Of Epson 3200 And 3800 Projectors

The Epson 3200 and 3800 are both 1080p home theater projectors in Epson’s Home Cinema lineup. The 3200 first launched in 2019, while the 3800 debuted in 2020.

Here’s a quick rundown of their key specs and differences:

Epson 3200
Epson 3200

Epson Home Cinema 3200

  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Full HD
  • Light Source: Long life lamp (5000 hours)
  • Brightness: 2200 lumens
  • Contrast: 15,000:1
  • Inputs: 2x HDMI
  • Wireless: No

Epson Home Cinema 3800

  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 Full HD
  • Light Source: Long life lamp (5000 hours)
  • Brightness: 2500 lumens
  • Contrast: 50,000:1
  • Inputs: 2x HDMI, 1x USB
  • Wireless: Yes (WiFi, Bluetooth, and Miracast screen mirroring)

So at first glance, the 3800 has an edge in brightness, contrast ratio, and wireless connectivity. But how do these differences actually impact image quality and the viewing experience? Let’s dig in…

Image Quality

Both the Epson 3200 and 3800 deliver a 1080p Full HD image, so resolution is equal. But the 3800’s higher lumen rating means it can produce a brighter picture. This gives it an advantage in rooms with some ambient light.

Epson 3800
Epson 3800

The 3800 also boasts a much higher contrast ratio on paper – 50,000:1 Vs. 15,000:1 on the 3200. Contrast ratio determines black level and overall image depth. So the 3800 should deliver deeper blacks and a more cinematic image.

In real world usage though, the contrast difference may not be as dramatic as the specs suggest. Side by side, the 3800 does have a bit more pop and vividness. But both projectors offer pleasing image quality for normal viewing. Pixel peepers may notice the 3800’s contrast advantage, but casual viewers are less likely to see a huge difference.

For projection screens, a white 1.0 gain screen is recommended for both models. The 3800’s extra brightness gives you more flexibility to use larger screen sizes, or screens with some ambient light rejection.

Overall, the Epson 3800 has an edge in picture quality thanks to its higher brightness and contrast. But both deliver very good 1080p image performance for the price point.

Brightness And Light Output

As mentioned above, the Epson 3800 is rated for 2500 lumens brightness, while the 3200 is 2200 lumens.

In practice, this gives the 3800 around a 10-15% brightness advantage. It’s enough to make the 3800 better suited for lightly controlled rooms, or for larger screen sizes.

Both projectors use 230W lamps rated for 5000 hours. In normal mode, you can expect 2-3 years of use before needing to replace the lamp. Using ECO mode extends lamp life further.

Keep in mind that brightness decreases over time as the lamp ages. After a few thousand hours, output may drop 20-30%. So the 3800’s extra lumens give it more headroom.

For dedicated home theaters with light control, the 3200 provides sufficient brightness. But the 3800’s higher light output definitely gives more placement flexibility.

Also Read: Is Epson 4010 Better Than 3800?

Connectivity And Features

The Epson 3200 and 3800 have basic HDMI connectivity for hooking up media players, cable boxes and gaming consoles. Both have two HDMI inputs, but the 3800 adds a USB port for more connectivity options.

The biggest difference is the 3800 also includes wireless connectivity, with WiFi, Bluetooth and Miracast screen mirroring built-in. The 3200 lacks any wireless options.

Having wireless connectivity on the 3800 makes it much easier to project your phone, tablet or laptop screen. No wires needed. Miracast lets you mirror Android and Windows devices, while iOS users can utilize the Epson iProjection app.

So the 3800 definitely provides more flexibility for connecting modern devices wirelessly. The 3200 requires cables for everything.

Both projectors support 3D video and have basic 1W speakers for sound. But for best audio, you’ll want to connect an external sound system or soundbar in most cases.

Ease Of Use

Setting up and using either Epson projector is straightforward, thanks to simple controls and on-screen menus.

The 3800 does add a nice convenience feature with its smartphone app. This lets you operate the projector and access settings right from your phone. It’s much easier than using the small buttons on the projector itself.

Both models have standard 1.2x optical zoom and lens shift dials for flexible positioning. They can project screen sizes between about 50″ and 200″ from 8ft away.

Overall, ease of use is very similar. The 3800’s app control provides a bit more convenient access to settings though.

Also Read: Comparison Between Bose Soundbar 300 And 600.

Value And Warranty

The Epson Home Cinema 3200 launched at around $700, but can now be found under $600.

The 3800 debuted at $999, but now sells for $800-900. So it currently costs about $200-300 more than the 3200.

Is the 3800 worth paying extra for? It really comes down to whether the added brightness, contrast and wireless features are worth it for your situation.

Both projectors come with Epson’s standard 2 year limited warranty, plus an extra year of lamp coverage.

Overall, the 3200 offers great value for the price. But the 3800 adds some nice upgrades for users that need the extra brightness and connectivity options.

Epson 3200 Vs. 3800: Key Differences

  • Brightness: 3800 is 10-15% brighter (2500 Vs. 2200 lumens)
  • Contrast: 3800 has over 3X higher claimed contrast ratio (50,000:1 Vs. 15,000:1)
  • Wireless: 3800 has WiFi, Bluetooth and screen mirroring; 3200 is wired only
  • Inputs: 3800 adds USB port; both have 2x HDMI
  • App Control: 3800 can be operated by smartphone app
  • Price: 3800 costs around $200-300 more than 3200

Which Should You Buy?

So which comes out on top in this Epson 3200 Vs. 3800 comparison? Here are some quick recommendations:

  • Epson Home Cinema 3200 – Best for dark, dedicated home theaters due to excellent value. Brightness is sufficient for controlled lighting. Lacks wireless connectivity.
  • Epson Home Cinema 3800 – Best for rooms with some ambient light, or larger screen sizes. Added brightness and contrast provide a bit more visual pop and flexibility for placement. Wireless connectivity is convenient for modern devices. Worth paying more if these features are valuable for your needs.

You really can’t go wrong with either projector. Both deliver great performance for the price. Make sure to factor in your room conditions, screen size, and connectivity requirements as you decide on the Epson 3200 Vs. 3800.

Also watch this video!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the contrast difference between Epson 3200 and 3800?

The Epson 3800 has a claimed contrast ratio of 50,000:1, compared to 15,000:1 on the Epson 3200. This suggests the 3800 can produce deeper blacks and more vivid images. However, the real world contrast difference is subtle, not as dramatic as the specs seem to indicate.

Is Epson 3800 worth it?

The Epson 3800 is worth the extra $200-300 cost over the 3200 if you need its higher brightness (2500 Vs. 2200 lumens), plan to use wireless connectivity features, or want maximum contrast in a completely light controlled room. For most users, the 3200 represents better overall value.

Is Epson 3800 a true 4K projector?

No, the Epson Home Cinema 3800 has 1080p resolution, not native 4K. It accepts 4K input signals, but downscales them to fit its 1920×1080 display. It uses pixel-shifting technology to simulate 4K detail, but is not a true native 4K projector.

When was the Epson 3800 released?

The Epson Home Cinema 3800 was released in early 2020. It replaced the previous Home Cinema 3700 model from 2018 in Epson’s home theater projector lineup.

Also Read: Is JVC NZ7 Better Than NZ8?

The Bottom Line

Both the Epson 3200 and 3800 deliver excellent home theater performance and value. The 3800 justifies its higher price with added brightness, contrast and wireless connectivity. For most home cinema rooms though, the 3200 will fit the bill nicely and save you some money.

Carefully weigh your needs to decide if those 3800 upgrades are must-haves for your situation. With either affordable 1080p projector, you can enjoy immersive big screen viewing for movies, TV and gaming.

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