Epson Home Cinema 1080 Home Theater Projector and Pro Cinema 1080 – Overview

To look at these two projectors, they are identical, except that the Home version is in a glossy off white (cream) finish, while the Pro comes finished in a glossy black. All the photo images are of the Home Cinema 1080 projector

As to our physical tour, this is all basically the same information as found in the Pro Cinema 810 review. From the front, the lens is mounted off center, with a manual focus ring, and a tab on the inner ring to control the zoom in and out.

The zoom is a best of class 2.1::1, which means that the furthest it can be positioned from a give sized screen is slightly over twice as far away as the closest. You can see the front exhausts (on the first image above) which fire the hot air out at an angle away from the lens. Underneath there are two adjustable (screw thread) feet, to control projector angle. To fill a 100″ screen, the projector (measured from the lens) can be as close as 9.8 feet and as far back as 20.9 Facing the Epson Home Cinema 1080 home theater projector, to the left of the lens, is the front Infra-red sensor for the remote control. Moving to the top of the Home Cinema 1080 projector, and just behind the lens, are two dials to control the vertical, and horizontal lens shift. The lens shift range on the Epson is excellent. The projector can be positioned anywhere from significantly above, to significantly below the screen surface. If I read the manual correctly, with a 100″ 16:9 screen, that would be from 22.7 above to 22.7 inches below. If you are using a lot of the vertical lens shift, it will limit the use of the horizontal lens shift. In fact with full vertical, horizontal lens shift is limited to 9% of the screen width. That’s just fine, since most will not need to use horizontal shift except for minor corrections if the lens is not even with the center of the screen. Vertical lens shift is the key feature here.

A look at the control panel of the Cinema 1080 home theater projectosr, finds all the standard controls. From the left, Power, Source, then the Menu button and the 4 arrow keys. In the center of the four keys in the Enter button, and to the top right of them, the Escape button which moves you back toward the top level of menus. Lastly is the Aspect ratio button which switches between the usual multiple modes. By the way, the up and down arrows double as keystone correction controls when the menus are not engaged. Of course, you should avoid using keystone correction, due to the distortion, and since the Epson projector has plenty of lens shift range, I can’t imagine anyone needing keystone correction regardless!

The rear of the Epson Home Cinema 1080 offers the normal range of inputs. In fact the Epson Home Cinema 1080 offers the same setup as their Pro Cinema 810 and low priced Cinema 400 projectors. There is a single HDMI, one component video input (3 RCA jacks, color coded Red, Green and Blue), a computer input, a SCART input (for some parts of the world), one S-video, one composite input, and a 12volt screen trigger. Lastly there is an RS-232 for “command and control” of the projector from computer, etc.

Tthe power cord also plugs into the rear, and there is a hard power switch that must be on to be able to power up the projector from the top panel button or the remote. Lastly, there is a rear Infra-red sensor for the remote.

There is a single rear foot – not adjustable, to give the projector a 3 point stance for stability (better than four points, if the rear ones arent adjustable).

Unlike its primary competitors, the Panasonic PT-AE1000U, and Mitsubishi HC5000, the look of the Epson has some real design, not the usual basic box. Of course you can’t see what the Epson looks like, in the dark, while you are watching content.

What really counts, of course, is how it looks in the dark – how the projector performs, from an image quality standpoint. So, click to the next page, and we’ll look at the Epson Home Cinema 1080 home theater projector’s image quality.

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