Epson Cinema 400 Home Theater Projector Review

Starting with a star field shot from standard DVD – The Fifth Element. You’ll find this same image on most of our reviews, but until now they have been from standard DVD, not HD-DVD. The purplish caste of the starship appears on all projectors (to one degree or another).

Normally, I also have the time to go over the images I shot, and reshoot occasionally when unhappy with the exposure. (I always bracket though). In this case, the projector was returned and I was travelling. Unfortunately some of the images are a little underexposed.

I mention that for the sequence below. The first image is from Lord of the Rings, and is for checking out shadow detail (bottom and right). I always also provide an overexposed version for more clarity in those areas. In this case, the overexposed image isn’t quite as overexposed as I intended. Sorry. You’ll jus thave to work harder, if comparing to the same image on other review

More dark scenes for your consideration, remember using electronics, dimming lamps or dynamic iris’s to achieve blacker blacks, only works when there arn’t any fullt bright areas.

The moonlight, no doubt is preventing the iris from stopping down. Still the results are very respectable, but, for example, no match for my Darkchip3 DLP projector. This whole scene looked VERY good on the Epson.

The image from Starship Troopers, has no full value bright areas, to prevent the iris from “doing its thing”. And, although the image is a little underexposed, the Epson’s performance was very good, with deep “rich” blacks.

General color handling: OK, fleshtones and dark scenes/shadow detail are important, but so is how a projector looks on normal scenes, daytime, and evening scenes with lights, etc. Overall, as you can see from the images below, the Epson performed very naturally, which, is what I expected from reviewing past Epson’s. I would have to say, normal everyday scenes are perhaps its biggest strength.

Click to enlarge.

Wow! from Phantom:

(I probably should have provided a hi-res version of this one as well.) Look at the rich, dynamic colors. I was particularly impressed with this scene when casually watching segments of Phantom.

Click Image to Enlarge

And if that’s not impressive enough, it wasn’t being projected on my normal testing screen for this shot, but outside, at night on the Gemmy inflatable screen (review recently posted). Not bad considering it was shot off of a basic vinyl surface. It looked even better on my Firehawk, with the Epson set up in my theater room.

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