At simply $749.99, the House Cinema 1080 3LCD 1080p Projector is Epson’s second-least-expensive residence theater mannequin. Nonetheless entry-level, it provides a couple of additional options that the corporate’s most cost-effective mannequin does not, most notably a zoom lens. It will not ship the darkish blacks and degree of shadow element you’ll need for a devoted residence theater, however this residence projector provides properly saturated colour together with good distinction for vibrant scenes. And it is simply vibrant sufficient for watching in a household room with the lights on. It is also assured to not present rainbow artifacts, a key requirement for anybody who sees these picture anomalies simply and finds them annoying. (Not everybody does.)
One Chip or Three?
Selections for entry-level residence leisure projectors embody each single-chip DLP fashions just like the BenQ TH585P and TH685P that we lately reviewed, and three-chip LCD fashions just like the House Cinema 1080. Entry-level DLP projectors are likely to have higher—that means darker—black ranges, and so they usually ship higher distinction in consequence, notably in darkish scenes. Nevertheless, they will additionally present the red-green-blue flashes referred to as rainbow artifacts.
Three-chip LCD projectors do not have this drawback, as a result of they put all three major colours on the display directly, as a substitute of separately. Three-chip projectors even have the benefit of mechanically having matching white and colour brightness, which implies colour photographs can be as vibrant as you’ll anticipate from the white brightness.
The House Cinema 1080 is constructed round three 1080p LCD chips, giving it a local 1080p decision, and it makes use of a conventional lamp as a lightweight supply. It is rated at 3,400 ISO lumens (equal to ANSI lumens), and delivered the extent of brightness in my checks that I anticipate for the score. Connection choices embody two HDMI 2.0 ports.
(Credit score: Epson)
Setup was each easy and customary for the class. The House Cinema 1080 weighs 6.2 kilos and measures 3.6 by 11.9 by 9.9 inches (HWD). It additionally has a 1.2x zoom, which supplies you some flexibility when it comes to how far the projector could be from the display for any given dimension picture. After setting it in place, you solely have to attach a number of video sources, flip it on, and alter the handbook focus and zoom.
Though the House Cinema 1080 is gentle sufficient to hold from room to room, or to the yard for a film evening, it does not fall into the “room-to-room moveable” class as we outline it, since its does not have notably sturdy audio. The standard for its 2-watt speaker is serviceable, and the amount can crank excessive sufficient to fill a big household room, however there’s noticeable distortion on the higher ranges. For good sound high quality, you must plan on connecting an exterior audio system to the three.5mm stereo audio out port.
Testing the House Cinema 1080: Stable Colour Accuracy, a Vibrant Picture
The House Cinema 1080’s menus supply 4 predefined colour modes: Dynamic, Vibrant Cinema, Cinema, and Sport. All are customizable for fundamental parameters—together with brightness, distinction, colour saturation, tint, and sharpness. None provides a color-management system much like the one within the TH585P and TH685P, with settings that alter hue, saturation, and acquire of every major and secondary colour. Nevertheless, the House Cinema 1080 delivers suitably correct colour by most requirements straight out of the field, and most folk would take into account a color-management system overkill for an entry-level residence projector.
(Credit score: Epson)
As with just about all projectors, the brightest mode, Dynamic, provides the least-accurate colour, because it’s tuned for brightness somewhat than colour accuracy. However even within the brightest mode, colours are nonetheless inside a spread that most individuals will take into account acceptable. Not one of the modes provides a darkish sufficient black degree to ship good distinction or shadow element in darkish scenes. Luckily, that is not a lot of a problem for watching in a room with ambient gentle, which is the applying the House Cinema 1080 is supposed for. Variations between good and poor black ranges are likely to get hidden by room gentle washing out any darkish areas on display, making brightness extra necessary than black degree when watching with lights on.
(Credit score: Epson)
After some preliminary checks, I selected the Cinema mode as my most popular one for watching films and video. All through my viewing checks, it delivered good colour accuracy, distinction, and sense of three-dimensionality in brightly lit scenes, in addition to one of the best colour accuracy of any of the modes. It dropped important shadow element, however even with room lights on I might nonetheless make out what was taking place in essentially the most demanding darkish scenes in our check suite. Cinema mode even held shadow element higher than Sport mode did, which is uncommon and likewise makes it my most popular alternative for gaming.
In contrast to a rising variety of 1080p fashions, the 1080 does not help HDR or settle for 4K enter to downconvert to its native 1080p. It additionally lacks help for 3D, a characteristic that is nearly customary for DLP fashions, together with the TH585P and TH685P. For individuals who take into account 3D passé, that will not be a problem, however in case you have a library of 3D discs, take heed.
One other potential subject is the enter lag, which I measured with a Bodnar meter at 50 milliseconds for 1080p/60Hz enter. Most informal players will discover that acceptable. Extra severe players will need a most lag measure of 16.7ms at 60Hz, and ideally help for sooner refresh charges that give them half or 1 / 4 of that lag.
Very a lot on the plus aspect is the House Cinema 1080’s excessive brightness. Primarily based on the Society for Film and Tv Engineers (SMPTE) suggestions, 3,400 lumens is vibrant sufficient to gentle up a 265-inch, 1.0-gain 16:9 display in a darkish room. In reasonable ambient gentle, it is sufficient for a 150-inch display. In my checks, the 1080 was uncomfortably vibrant even within the lower-brightness Cinema mode for a 90-inch display at midnight or in a low degree of ambient gentle, till I switched to Eco energy mode to decrease the brightness additional. The picture additionally stood up properly on an 80-inch 1.0-gain display in a household room on a vibrant afternoon utilizing full energy mode and Dynamic colour mode.
Vibrant Pictures and Rainbow-Free Viewing
The strongest arguments for selecting the House Cinema 1080 over the 2 BenQ fashions talked about listed below are its excessive brightness and its rainbow-artifact-free picture. In our checks, it delivered increased brightness than both the TH585P or the TH685P, which interprets to standing as much as increased ranges of ambient gentle for any given dimension of picture. Its assured lack of rainbow artifacts stands in sharp distinction to each BenQ fashions’ tendency to point out the flashes extra usually and extra clearly than most current-generation DLP fashions. Then again, each BenQ fashions supply Full HD 3D and a brief sufficient enter lag for severe players. The TH685P may also settle for 4K HDR enter, and handles HDR properly. In the event you want any of those options, both mannequin might be the higher alternative, particularly if rainbow artifacts aren’t an issue for you.
In the event you should have a number of of the options the BenQ fashions supply, and a rainbow-free picture too, you may want to maneuver to a better value bracket. At round a grand, the Epson Home Cinema 2250, for instance, delivers a vibrant, rainbow-free picture and Full HD 3D help. That stated, in the event you do not want 3D or a brief enter lag, the House Cinema 1080’s excessive brightness makes it properly price contemplating. And in the event you additionally wish to keep away from rainbow artifacts, it is a prime contender.
Epson House Cinema 1080 3LCD 1080p Projector
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