Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 Projector - Video Performance Test Results

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Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 Projector - Video Performance Tests

HQV Benchmark DVD Test List With Epson Home Cinema 3500 Video Projector
HQV Benchmark DVD Test List With Epson Home Cinema 3500 Video Projector. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

As a supplement to my review Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 3LCD video projector, I conducted a series of tests to see how well it processes and upscales video from standard definition sources.

The following video performance tests for Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 Projector were conducted with a Oppo DV-980H DVD Player. The DVD player was set for NTSC 480i video resolution output and connected to the 3500 alternately via the Composite Video and HDMI connection option so that test results reflected the video processing performance of the Epson 3500.

The test results are shown as measured by the Silicon Optix (IDT/Qualcomm) HQV DVD Benchmark Disc

All tests were conducted using the Epson 3500's factory default settings unless otherwise indicated on a specific test.

Screenshots in this gallery were obtained using a Sony DSC-R1 Still Camera.

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Epson 3500 Video Projector Deinterlacing/Upscaling Tests - Jaggies 1-1

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 Jaggies1-1
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 Jaggies1-1. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Shown in the above photo is a look at the first of service video performance tests I conducted on the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500. This test is referred to as the Jaggies 1 test and consists of a rotating bar that moves 360 degrees within a circle divided into segments. To pass this test, the rotating bar needs to be straight, or show minimal wrinkling, waviness, or jaggedness, as it passes red, yellow, and green zones of the circle.

In this example as the bar moves from the yellow and into the green zone it appears smooth (the slight ghosting is the result of the camera shutter). The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 passes this portion of the test.

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Epson Home Cinema 3500 Projector - Deinterlacing/Upscaling Tests - Jaggies 1-2

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 Jaggies1-2
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 Jaggies1-2. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Here is a second look at the Jaggies 1 test. Just as with the previous test example, the rotating bar is smooth - this time as it moves from the green towards the yellow zone (slight blurriness on the end caused by camera shutter). The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500, passes this second portion of the test.

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Epson Home Cinema 3500 Projector - Deinterlacing/Upscaling Tests - Jaggies 1-3

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 Jaggies 1CU
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 Jaggies 1CU. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Shown above is a close-up look at the Jaggies 1 test, showing the rotating bar entering the green zone. As you can see, in this close-up view, the bar shows some very slight roughness along edges. Also, just as in the previous photo, the slight blurriness is caused by the camera shutter, not the projector. Taking all three results shown so far, the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 passes this test.

However, this test is just ​the first group of tests that determines video performance.

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Epson Home Cinema 3500 Projector - Deinterlacing/Upscaling Tests - Jaggies 2-1

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 Jaggies 2-1
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 Jaggies 2-1. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

In this test, three bars are moving (bouncing) up and down in rapid motion. This referred to as the Jaggies 2 test. In order for the Epson 3500 to pass this test, at least one of the bars needs to be straight. If two bars are straight that would be considered better, and if three bars were straight, the results would be considered excellent.

On this test, the Epson 3500 displays an odd result. When its De-interlacing function is set to its default setting of Film/Auto, the result is what you see in the right image. However, if the deinterlacing function is set to Off or Video, the result that you get is what is shown ​ni the left image.

In other words, out of the box, using Film/Auto setting, the Epson 3500 does not pass this test. However, when set to Video or Off, the Epson 3500 does pass this test. It sounds counter intuitive - but that is what I observed and documented in this profile.

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Epson Home Cinema 3500 Projector - Deinterlacing/Upscaling Tests - Jaggies 2-2

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 Jaggie 2-2
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 Jaggies 2-2. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Here is the second look at the three bar Jaggies 2 test. As you can see in this closer example, shot at a different point in the bounce.

Just as in the previous photo, the Epson 3500 displays an odd result. The right image displays the result when its De-interlacing function is set to its default setting of Film/Auto, and the left image is what you see if the Deinterlacing function is set to Off or Video.

Just as I mentioned previously, out of the box, using Film/Auto setting, the Epson 3500 does not pass this test. However, when set to Video or Off, the Epson 3500 does pass this test.

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Epson Home Cinema 3500 Projector - Deinterlacing/Upscaling Tests - Flag 1

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 Flag 1
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 Flag 1. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

For this test, the waving action of the flag, combined with the color combination of white stars on a blue background, as well as red and white stripes, is used to detect possible deficiencies in video processing capability.

As the flag waves, if it or portions become jagged, it means that the 480i/480p conversion and upscaling would be considered poor or below average. However, as you can see here, the outer edges and interior stripes of the flag are smooth.

The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 pass this portion of the test.

By proceeding to the following two photos in this gallery you will see the results with regards to the differing position of the flag as it waves.

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Epson Home Cinema 3500 Projector - Deinterlacing/Upscaling Tests - Flag 2

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 Flag 2
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 Flag 2. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Here is a second look at the flag test. If the flag is jagged, the 480i/480p conversion and upscaling is considered below average. Just as in the previous example, the outer edges and interior stripes of the flag are smooth. So far, the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 is passing this test.

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Epson Home Cinema 3500 Projector - Deinterlacing/Upscaling Tests - Flag 3

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 Flag 3
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 Flag 3. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Here is a third, and final, at the flag waving test as a way to detect any video processing issues. However, just as in the previous two examples, the interior stripes, and where the flag creases are smooth.

Combining the three frame results of the "Flag Test", the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 definitely passes.

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Epson Home Cinema 3500 Projector - Deinterlacing/Upscaling Tests - Race Car 1

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 - Race Car 1
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 - Race Car 1. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Pictured on this page is one of the tests that shows how well the video processor of the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 is at detecting 3:2 source material. To pass this test, the projector needs to be able to detect whether the source material is film based (24 frames per second) or video based (30 frames a second) and display the source material correctly on the screen, to avoid artifacts.

In the case of the race car and grandstand shown above, if the 3500's video processing is not up to the task, the grandstand would display a moire pattern on the seats. However, if the video processing is good, the Moire Pattern will not be visible or only visible during the first five frames of the cut.

As shown in this photo, there is a moire pattern visible at the beginning of the cut. However, when repeating this cut several times, sometimes the Epson 3500 does not display the moire pattern at the beginning of the cut. These examples indicate that the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 displays some instability on this test - at least in the beginning of the cut.

To see how this image should look all the time, check out an example of this same test as performed by the video processor built into the Optoma HD33 DLP Video Projector from a previous review used for comparison.

For another look at how this test should not look, check out an example of this same deinterlacing/upscaling test as performed by the video processor built into ​​the  ​Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 705HD LCD Projector, from a past product review.

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Epson Home Cinema 3500 Projector - Deinterlacing/Upscaling Tests - Race Car 2

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 - Race Car 2
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 - Race Car 2. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Here is a second photo of the "Race Car Test" that is used to check the ability of the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 to detect, and correctly display, 3:2 source material.

However, unlike the previous example, at this point in the cut, the moire pattern is not visible, which means that the Epson 3500 has properly locked onto 3:2 source material.

For another sample of how this image should look, check out an example of this same test as performed by the video processor built into the Optoma HD33 DLP Video Projector from a previous review used for comparison.

For a sample of how this test should not look, check out an example of this same deinterlacing/upscaling test as performed by the video processor built into a Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 705HD LCD Projector, from a past product review.

Take the results of both frames in consideration, the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 is displaying an average result for this test.

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Epson Home Cinema 3500 Projector - Deinterlacing/Upscaling Tests - Titles

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 Titles
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 Titles. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

The test shown in the above photo is designed to determine how well a video processor can detect and resolve the difference between video and film-based sources, such as video title overlays combined with a film-based source. This ability is important. When video titles (moving at 30 frames per second) are laid over film (which is moving at 24 frames per second), this can cause problems a video processor as the combination of these elements can result in artifacts that make the titles look jagged or broken.

As you can see in this photo example, the letters are smooth (any blurriness present in the image is due to the camera's shutter) and show that the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 can display a stable scrolling title image.

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Epson Home Cinema 3500 Projector - High Definition Loss Test

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 HD Loss 1-1
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 HD Loss 1-1. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

The image shown in this test has been recorded in 1080i (on Blu-ray), which the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 needs to reprocess as 1080p. To perform this test, the Blu-ray Test Disc as inserted into an OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray Disc Player that was set for 1080i output and connected directly to the 3500 via HDMI connection.

This test detects the ability of video processor of the Epson 3500 to be able to distinguish between the still and moving parts of the image, and also display the test image in 1080p without flickering or motion artifacts. If the projector is going its job properly, the moving bar will be smooth and the lines in the still part of the image will be visible at all times.

To make the test more difficult, the squares on each corner contain white lines on odd frames and black lines on even frames. If the still lines in squares are visible, the processor is doing a complete job at reproducing all of the resolution of the original image. However, if the squares are solid, and are seen to vibrate or strobe alternately in black (see example) and white (see example), then the projector is not processing the full resolution of the entire image.

As you can see in this frame, the squares in the corners are display still lines. This means that these squares are being displayed properly as they are not showing a solid white or black square, but a square filled with alternating lines. In addition, the rotating bar is also very smooth.

The results indicate that Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 does well at deinterlacing 1080i to 1080p with regards to both still backgrounds and moving objects, even when in the same frame or cut.

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Epson Home Cinema 3500 Projector - High Definition Loss Test Close-up

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 HD Loss 1-2
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 HD Loss 1-2. Photo © Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

Here is a close-up look at the rotating bar in the test as discussed in the previous page. The image has been recorded in 1080i, which the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 needs to reprocess as 1080p, and the rotating bar should be smooth.

As you can see in this close-up photo, the rotating bar is smooth, which indicates a passing result.

Final Note

Here is a summary of the additional tests performed:

Color Bars: PASS

Detail (resolution enhancement): PASS (However, soft from composite video input source that from an HDMI input source - both using 480i input resolution).

Noise Reduction: FAIL (Default Setting), PASS (Noise Reduction Engaged)

Mosquito Noise (the "buzzing" that can appear around objects): FAIL (Default Setting), PASS (Noise Reduction Engaged)

Motion Adaptive Noise Reduction (noise and ghosting that can follow rapidly moving objects): - FAIL (Default Setting), PASS (Noise Reduction Engaged).

Assorted Cadences:

2:2 - PASS

2:2:2:4 - PASS

2:3:3:2 - FAIL

3:2:3:2:2 - FAIL

5:5 - FAIL

6:4 - FAIL

8:7 - FAIL

3:2 (Progressive Scan) - PASS

Based on the tests that were conducted, the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 does a good job with most video processing tasks but does show some inconsistency, including processing the more obscure video cadences, which is typical of the Epson projectors I have reviewed to date. My suggestion, don't depend on the out-of-the-box default video processing settings to provide the best result with analog, lower resolution, or interlaced video sources. Definitely take advantage of the additional video processing settings that Epson provides with this projector.

In addition, to evaluate 3D viewing performance, I played the 3D tests provided on the Spears and Munsil HD Benchmark 3D Disc 2nd Edition and the Epson 3500 passed the basic depth and crosstalk tests (based on visual observation), although I did detect some occasional, very subtle, flicking, as well as a slight brightness drop (however, the 3D images were definitely bright enough), as a result of using Active Shutter glasses.

For additional perspective on the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3500 Video Projector, plus a close-up photo look at its features and connection offerings, check out my Review and Photo Profile.

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