Epson Home Cinema 2100 First Look Review

The Epson Home Cinema 2100 is one of two projectors just announced by Epson that are evolutionary. The Home Cinema 2100 and 2150 are intended to replace the extremely popular Home Cinema 2040 and 2045. Geared toward home theater fanatics on a budget, the 2100 and its slightly more expensive sibling, are both priced below $1,000.

With 2,500 lumens, a higher contrast ratio, and a host of other features, this 3LCD projector is one to be considered. In this “First Look” Review of the Epson Home Cinema 2100, we will provide an overview of the product, as well as discuss the projector’s more exciting features and benefits, differences from its predecessor and the 2150, and review the 2100’s highlights.

Before we continue – what is a First Look Review? It’s something between our full-fledged reviews where we spend lots of time both watching projectors perform, and playing with the projector’s full feature set, and, the other extreme – putting up a manufacturer’s press release, as loaded with hype as they are, (as many sites do). 

In some cases, our First Look Reviews are done after we have had a brief look at the projector – at our facility, typically for just a few days. Other times, such as this time, we haven’t had a chance to play with the projector. In such cases, our goal is to apply a mix of insight and common sense to describe how this projector might fit your needs. 

This is something we like to do, especially when the projector is just announced, is expected to be very popular, and/or is a direct descendant (with limited differences) with a projector we’ve already reviewed. Enjoy!

Overview

The Epson Home Cinema 2100 is a 3LCD projector claiming 2,500 lumens. That’s bright enough to handle many lighting situations that may be less than ideal; including rooms that have a moderate amount of ambient light. That the projector has 3LCD technology is a plus, as these projectors do have a higher color lumen output than their DLP counterparts.

Such is the case with the 2100, which has the same amount of color lumens as it has white ones (typical of 3LCD and LCoS projectors). What does this mean for you? A cleaner, brighter image where colors truly pop. And, the ability to have colors cut through that ambient light that most of us seem to never quite be rid of. We expect this projector to have excellent color accuracy when we review it, as this is typical of most Epson home theater projectors.

The resolution is full 1080p, HD resolution (1920 x 1080). Epson boasts that this projector can project an image up to 132 inches diagonally (for reference, Art has a 124” screen in his home theater and it is indeed an impressive size). Lamp life on the Epson Home Cinema 2100 is good, albeit just on the high side of typical these days – 4,000 at full power, 7,500 in ECO.

It has a good contrast ratio of 35,000:1, although we tend to ignore contrast numbers, as, in the world of dynamic contrast, the numbers can be very misleading. Instead we talk black level performance. Assuming it performs like its predecessor, the HC2040 – last year’s Value winner in the under $1,000 range, it should have rather impressive color accuracy, but more on that later.

The 2100 has a built-in mono speaker that should be loud enough for your living room, media room, or dedicated home theater. It’s a small speaker, so the sound is bound to sound a bit “tinny,” with its handling of bass frequencies leaving something to be desired. So, do yourself a favor and hook this puppy up to some decent speakers.

If you’ve read any of my other reviews, you will know that I will always, always suggest that you hook your projector up to a proper set of speakers or sound system so that you can hear the sound design of movies and TV as the audio engineers intended. (Rock the House!) That goes for all projectors, whether they have mono or stereo speakers, or like most over $2,000 projectors – no speakers at all.

What can I say? As an audio professional, I simply cannot condone the absence of external speakers when using a projector, unless maybe for a backyard movie night for the kids. That’s my opinion, anyway.

The Epson Home Cinema 2100 has a host of other features that set this projector apart from others of the same price point, which we will discuss in the next section. Read on to find out more about this replacement for the Home Cinema 2040.

Epson Home Cinema 2100 Highlights

  • 3LCD Projection Technology
  • Full 1080p (1920 x 1080p) Resolution
  • 2,500 Color and White Lumens – Bright enough to handle a moderate amount of ambient light
  • 35,000:1 Contrast Ratio
  • Good Lamp Life – 4,000 Hours in Full Power, 7,500 in ECO Mode
  • Vertical and Horizontal Keystone Correction
  • 6:1 Manual Zoom
  • Generous Amount of Lens Shift – Up to 60%
  • Built-in 10-Watt Mono Speaker
  • Light-Weight/Portable at 7.5 Pounds
  • MHL Port for Streaming Devices
  • 3D Capable
  • Frame Interpolation
  • Excellent Color Accuracy

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