Epson Ensemble HD 1080 Complete, Projector Based Home Theater System Review

Ensemble HD 1080 Projector Light Leakage

No real issue here, the Epson leaks a little (very little) light through the lens, not enough that I noticed even once, during normal viewing!

Ensemble HD 1080 Audible Noise Levels

The Epson projector has never been considered a very quiet one. It has more noise (fan noise), than most other 3LCD projectors, but is still quieter than the typical competing DLP projectors. When you have a very quiet scene, you might notice the fan noise (certainly if “listening for it”, but only hard core enthusiasts do that). Let’s just say that when my air conditioning or heating is running, the noise coming through the room’s vent is louder than the projector.

Again, an enthusiast might object, but the vast marjority will never consider audible noise to be an issue! As a side note, the Epson projector’s fan noise, is less, I believe, than the Sony PS3′s that I use as a Blu-ray player.

Ensemble HD 1080 Projector: Measurements and Calibration

OK, if you are going to have your dealer calibrate the projector, you need not concern yourself with this. If you are going to buy a calibration disc, like AVIA, or DVE-HD, again, you don’t need this section, but might want to use it for comparision, also plugging in these numbers and comparing your work, with ours.

For anyone not paying to have the projector calibrated, I strongly recommend you take our settings, and plug them right into your projector, and save them in the multiple user memory areas.

With a little help from the manual, you should be able to figure it out, and accomplish inputting and saving our settings, in about 15 – 20 minutes. You will definitely appreciate the difference, as color handling goes from good, to excellent!

For the settings we came up with, first, here are the resulting color temperature measurements – for movie watching, once again, 6500K is ideal. For watching things like sports many prefer a slightly cooler (less red – more blue) image in the 7000K – 7500K range.

Epson Home Cinema 1080 Post Calibration Measurements:

Home Cinema 1080 Post Calibration Measurements
heater Black 1
White (100 IRE) 6704K
Light gray (80 IRE) 6546K
Medium gray (50 IRE) 6437K
Low gray (30 IRE) 6368K

That’s not the tightest color calibration (a range of less than 200K is generally phenomenal), but the Epson’s total range of only 336K is still excellent, and perfectly centered around the ideal 6500K.

Now for what you will need, if you want to plug in our settings:

Theater Black 1 mode:

General picture settings
Brightness -1
Contrast -1
Saturation 0
Tint 2
Skin Tone 3

(Depending on the content you are watching, if you want to fine tune skin tones if you are watching something that isn’t just right, you might find 4 to be better, and on rare occasion, 5, but these are minor shifts in color.
Color Temp 6500K That brings us to the RGB settings. This is the heart of any calibration. You’ll find this area in the Image menu, select Advanced, and select RGB.

RGB settings
Offsets
Red -20
G 18
B -3
Gain
Red 2
G -11
B -1

After you have put in the settings, ultimately you will want to go to the Memory menu, and do a Save Memory. Bingo, done! Well, actually you’ll probably want to create 3 or 4 user memories, I’d suggest using our Theater Black 1, Living Room, and the second of the Dynamic settings (mine), for three total.

Living Room Mode

General settings
Brightness 0
Contrast -1
Saturation -2
Tint -4
Skin Tone 4
Color Temp 8000K
RGB settings
Offsets
Red -13
G -3
B -0
Gain
Red 17
G -13
B -21

Dynamic (Art's settings - a very quick calibration)

General settings
Brightness 1
Contrast -3
Saturation -3
Tint 1
Skin Tone 4 (or 5)
Color Temp 78000K
RGB settings
Offsets
Red 0
G 0
B 0
Gain
Red 20
G -7
B 2

Mike’s settings look the tiniest bit better, but can’t cut through ambient light as well. To try those, use the same as above, but change the Green gain to -20, and the Blue gain to 0.

Need a little more punch than even my settings, up the contrast and saturation slightly. It won’t give you any more lumens, but the higher saturation won’t wash out the colors as quickly. I find my settings are just fine though, even with a fair amount of ambient light, as seen in this image from Olympic beach volleyball. Room has three of four 85 watt recessed lights turned on. The room still looks much darker than it is (that’s our normal room lighting for working in the office), because the projected image is so bright:

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