PowerLite Home 10 LCD Projector
Epson's latest entry into the home theater market addresses the need for a low-cost projector capable of reproducing a quality large-screen picture. The new PowerLite Home 10 LCD projector is the least expensive of three new projectors being offered by Epson for home theater. The Home 10 utilizes three 0.55" wide (16:9), high-aperture LCD panels to produce excellent color saturation, color accuracy and efficiency. The native resolution is 854x480, resulting in true square pixels from the 16:9 pixel array. The projector can be installed on a coffee table or be ceiling mounted. The short throw lens has a 1.54x optical zoom that allows it to be placed practically anywhere in the viewing room. The Home 10 is housed in a silver and soft white chassis that blends in nicely with today's contemporary decor. The Home 10 is capable of producing 1000 ANSI Lumens (in the Dynamic color mode) with a contrast ratio of up to 700:1 (in the Theatre Black mode). The user-replaceable lamp has a life of 2000-3000 hours depending upon the mode of operation. All this is available to the consumer for a mere $1,299.
We positioned the projector on a platform well above the viewer and about 13-feet from the 92" screen. We had plenty of range to adjust to the appropriate screen size and focus. The color-coded rear panel makes it easier to connect the cables. The projector must be positioned slightly away from the back wall to accommodate the cabling.
The projector responds to a power command with an audible tone, which I found to be a nice feature. As the projector warms up the image becomes brighter until a steady-state is reached in approximately one minute. While digital keystone correction controls are available, it is best not to use them. Digital keystone adjustments almost always cause some distortions on the image. The user should always try to adjust the position of the projector to produce a perfectly rectangular image on the screen to avoid this problem.
We set the Color Mode to Theater Black and the Color Temperature to Medium. We were told this would set the color tracking to the factory 6500 °K. This Color Mode also enables the Cinema Filter for the best results when viewing movies in a dark environment. The top of the projector also has buttons for controlling the projector settings. Full menu controls are available for navigation of the available options. Power and Warning light indicators are also provided on the chassis for power status and warning conditions (lamp problems, overheating, etc.).
Both the lamp as well as the air filter are user-replaceable components. Removal and installation are simple. All Epson PowerLite projectors come with a 2-year limited warranty that covers the bulb for 90-days. Two special services are provided that enable owners to expedite service in the event the projector needs immediate repair. According to Epson, the projector can usually be replaced within 48 hours.
The Setting menu selects the Screen, Operation, On Screen Display, Input Signal, Volume, Language, and Reset. There's a Screen sub-menu to adjust horizontal and vertical positioning, vertical keystone, projector position (front/rear, floor/ceiling), and black Level (0 or 7.5 IRE). There's also an Operation sub-menu to adjust the sleep mode and child lock features. The On Screen Display sub-menu allows adjustment of background color and turns the startup screen on or off. The Input Signal sub-menu allows the user to configure the input type for the Video Signals (NTSC/PAL/SECAM) or Input A (YPbPr or RGB with sync on green).
The Information Menu displays the Lamp Hours, Video Source, Signal Type, and resolution/timing information if available. Finally, the Reset Menu allows the user to reset the lamp hours (after bulb replacement), memory for projector settings, or all settings back to the factory default.
Upon power-up, the projector produced little noise from the cooling fan. In fact, it's one of the quietest projectors we've heard in our home theater room. Scaling of the incoming video was very good. Even 1024x768 computer video looked decent with some loss of resolution. Some deinterlacing artifacts could be seem with various movies running in the 480i mode. Using 480p video helped significantly since the deinterlacing was performed by our Faroudja-based DVD changer. The aspect ratio control selects between 4:3 and 16:9 when 480i or 480p video is sent to the projector. The Home 10 automatically displays video in the 16:9 mode when 720p or 1080i video is received.
Using the component video inputs, we connected our JVC HM-DH30000U D-Theater D-VHS VCR. We looked at several HD-Net tapes and the picture quality was simply amazing for a projector in this price range. Color were well saturated and the resolution was good considering the limitations of this projector. We also tested over-the-air high definition content from our RCA DTC100 using the analog RGB interface. We watched several HD shows and the performance was equally impressive.
The Dynamic and Living Room color modes work well in situations where ambient room light cannot be controlled. However, this mode adversely affects the black level and is not recommended for serious movie watching. In addition, gray-scale performance was also affected by these modes. The Theater Black color mode clearly performed the best for us. Dark scenes had impressive shadow detail while still maintaining good black levels. While it's a far cry from the best CRT and latest DLP HD2+ projectors, the Home 10 performed very well given its price.
- Kevin Nakano
Special Note: Epson has introduced the new Home 10+ projector that basically offers the same features found on the original model, but with 200 more ANSI lumens (now 1200) and an increase in maximum contrast ratio from 700:1 to 800:1.
92" Cinema Contour Frame with High Contrast Cinema Vision Screen
|Review - At a Glance|
Epson PowerLite Home 10 LCD Projector Specifications
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