At simply $749.99, the House Cinema 1080 3LCD 1080p Projector is Epson’s second-least-expensive residence theater mannequin. Nonetheless entry-level, it gives a number of further options that the corporate’s least expensive 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 gives properly saturated colour together with good distinction for brilliant scenes. And it is simply brilliant 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?
Decisions for entry-level residence leisure projectors embody each single-chip DLP fashions just like the BenQ TH585P and TH685P that we not too long ago 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, they usually usually ship higher distinction because of this, notably in darkish scenes. Nevertheless, they will additionally present the red-green-blue flashes referred to as rainbow artifacts.
Three-chip LCD projectors haven’t got this downside, as a result of they put all three main colours on the display screen without delay, as an alternative of one by one. Three-chip projectors even have the benefit of robotically having matching white and colour brightness, which implies colour pictures can be as brilliant 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 standard 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 simple 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 provides you some flexibility by way of how far the projector might be from the display screen for any given measurement picture. After setting it in place, you solely have to attach a number of video sources, flip it on, and modify the guide focus and zoom.
Though the House Cinema 1080 is mild sufficient to hold from room to room, or to the yard for a film evening, it does not fall into the “room-to-room transportable” class as we outline it, since its does not have notably strong audio. The standard for its 2-watt speaker is serviceable, and the quantity 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 need to plan on connecting an exterior audio system to the three.5mm stereo audio out port.
Testing the House Cinema 1080: Strong Shade Accuracy, a Vivid Picture
The House Cinema 1080’s menus provide 4 predefined colour modes: Dynamic, Vivid Cinema, Cinema, and Sport. All are customizable for primary parameters—together with brightness, distinction, colour saturation, tint, and sharpness. None gives a color-management system much like the one within the TH585P and TH685P, with settings that modify hue, saturation, and achieve of every main and secondary colour. Nevertheless, the House Cinema 1080 delivers suitably correct colour by most requirements straight out of the field, and most folk would contemplate a color-management system overkill for an entry-level residence projector.
(Credit score: Epson)
As with nearly all projectors, the brightest mode, Dynamic, gives the least-accurate colour, because it’s tuned for brightness relatively than colour accuracy. However even within the brightest mode, colours are nonetheless inside a spread that most individuals will contemplate acceptable. Not one of the modes gives a darkish sufficient black degree to ship good distinction or shadow element in darkish scenes. Happily, that is not a lot of a difficulty for watching in a room with ambient mild, which is the appliance the House Cinema 1080 is supposed for. Variations between good and poor black ranges are likely to get hidden by room mild washing out any darkish areas on display screen, making brightness extra vital than black degree when watching with lights on.
(Credit score: Epson)
After some preliminary checks, I selected the Cinema mode as my most well-liked one for watching motion pictures 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 the very best colour accuracy of any of the modes. It dropped vital shadow element, however even with room lights on I may nonetheless make out what was occurring in probably the most demanding darkish scenes in our take a look at suite. Cinema mode even held shadow element higher than Sport mode did, which is uncommon and in addition makes it my most well-liked selection for gaming.
In contrast to a rising variety of 1080p fashions, the 1080 does not assist HDR or settle for 4K enter to downconvert to its native 1080p. It additionally lacks assist for 3D, a function that is virtually customary for DLP fashions, together with the TH585P and TH685P. For many who contemplate 3D passé, that will not be a difficulty, however you probably 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 avid gamers will discover that acceptable. Extra severe avid gamers will need a most lag measure of 16.7ms at 60Hz, and ideally assist 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 brilliant sufficient to mild up a 265-inch, 1.0-gain 16:9 display screen in a darkish room. In average ambient mild, it is sufficient for a 150-inch display screen. In my checks, the 1080 was uncomfortably brilliant even within the lower-brightness Cinema mode for a 90-inch display screen in the dead of night or in a low degree of ambient mild, 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 screen in a household room on a brilliant afternoon utilizing full energy mode and Dynamic colour mode.
Vivid Pictures and Rainbow-Free Viewing
The strongest arguments for selecting the House Cinema 1080 over the 2 BenQ fashions talked about listed here are its excessive brightness and its rainbow-artifact-free picture. In our checks, it delivered larger brightness than both the TH585P or the TH685P, which interprets to standing as much as larger ranges of ambient mild for any given measurement of picture. Its assured lack of rainbow artifacts stands in sharp distinction to each BenQ fashions’ tendency to indicate the flashes extra usually and extra clearly than most current-generation DLP fashions. Then again, each BenQ fashions provide Full HD 3D and a brief sufficient enter lag for severe avid gamers. The TH685P can even settle for 4K HDR enter, and handles HDR properly. If you happen to want any of those options, both mannequin may very well be the higher selection, particularly if rainbow artifacts aren’t an issue for you.
If you happen to should have a number of of the options the BenQ fashions provide, and a rainbow-free picture too, you will want to maneuver to a better value bracket. At round a grand, the Epson House Cinema 2250, for instance, delivers a brilliant, rainbow-free picture and Full HD 3D assist. That stated, if you happen to do not want 3D or a brief enter lag, the House Cinema 1080’s excessive brightness makes it properly value contemplating. And if you happen to additionally need to keep away from rainbow artifacts, it is a prime contender.
Epson House Cinema 1080 3LCD 1080p Projector
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