Epson Home Cinema 1080UB Home Theater Projector Review

The Epson Home Cinema 1080UB, is physically almost identical to the older Home Cinema 1080, as well as the Home Cinema 720.

Starting from the front, this Epson sports a fairly large zoom lens (right of center, if you are facing the projector). The zoom lens has a 2:1 zoom ratio, allowing the Epson to fill a 100 inch diagonal 16:9 screen from as close as 10.4 feet, or as far back as 22.2 feet. Manual focus and zoom are achieved by rotating the appropriate rings on the lens barrel. Close to center is the front infra-red sensor for the remote, and to the left is the front vent which blows hot air out on an angle, so as not to have heat distortion in front of the lens. The front, off angle exhaust also makes the HC1080UB an excellent candidate for shelf mounting in the back of your room. Immediately below toward the outsides, are two screw thread adjustable front feet.

Moving to the top (and looking from the rear) of the Epson HC1080UB, just behind the lens are two dials, one for vertical lens shift (with a very impressive range), and horizontal lens shift. There is enough range to mount the projector above the top of your screen, or below the bottom, or anywhere in between. The control panel is located on the top, as well. It has the same very good functionality as the older HC1080. From left to right, a large Power button, then the Source select button. Next comes the four navigational arrow keys in the typical diamond layout, with the menu button in the top left, and the escape button top right. In the center of the diamond, is the Enter button. That leaves only the Aspect ratio button on the right.

In addition there are two indicators, power, and temperature/lamp.

Moving to the back of the Epson HC1080UB, you’ll find the input panel. It is pretty typical, organized into two rows From the left, a 12 volt trigger for working with properly equipped motorized screens, a SCART port, and below it, a composite video (NTSC/PAL/SECAM). There is a single component video input (3 color coded RCA jacks), and below them, both S-video input and an RS-232c for “command and control” of the projector from a computer or room control system. Back to the top row, there is an analog PC input (which can double as a 2nd component video input, and lastly a pair ofHDMI connectors – one more than the older HC1080.

I’d still like to see 3 HDMI inputs, but two seems to be about the standard, with only a couple of projectors sporting three.

Also found on the back of the Home Cinema 1080UB, is the rear infra-red sensor, the power receptacle, and a hard power switch (which must be on, for the top power button or the remote control to turn the projector on).

The Home Cinema 1080UB, like other Home Cinema series projectors, has a pearl white finish with a silver lens barrel. Overall, physically, it is a very attractive, and compact, projector.

The remote control will be covered on our General Performance page. Now, though, it is time for the really fun stuff – Image Quality.

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