Epson Home Cinema 6100 Projector Review
How does the Epson Home Cinema 6100 compare to other 1080p home theater projectors on the market?
This section compares the Epson Home Cinema 6100 home theater projector to the competition. Here you will find our impressions of the Epson projector as it stacks up to existing projectors we have reviewed.
Please note here, as I won’t mention it below. The Epson Home Cinema 6100 does not offer internal support for an optional anamorphic lens. Most of the competition does, however, let’s face it, are you going to consider buying a $2000 projector and then spend $4000 on an anamorphic lens/sled combination. Those with the money for an anamorphic lens, will certainly have the money to consider more expensive projectors like the Epson Home Cinema 6500UB, with their improved performance.
Before we get going, one more thing for your consideration. I’m getting a lot of requests from people on tight budgets, wondering if they should keep saving to get a 1080p projector, instead of the lower cost 720p projectors. I just want to say this: Manufacturers today, are putting their best technologies into their 1080p projectors. In fact, most manufacturers are replacing their 1080p models annually with newer/better. By comparison, 720p projectors are now only being replaced about every two years. More to the point, any of the entry level 1080p projectors, and certainly the Home Cinema 6100 is one of the best of them, overall, outperform any of the 720p projectors. One might say that the typical 720p projector is an older, lower resolution, not quite as impressive, sibling, of their newer entry level 1080p model So, if you are a performance oriented enthusiast, you probably will want to wait. That said, there is another approach as well. A good 720p projector today is typically $1000 or less. Buy one now, and, if you wait to replace it, for two years, you will probably be able to find a projector equivalent to those selling today for $2500 – $3500, for $1500 – $2000. In other words, If you two step it that way, your total dollar layout will be about the same over the years, but your “step up” projector will end up being better than what you would by today with only $2000 or so.
Home Cinema 6100 vs. Epson Home Cinema 1080 UB
The Home Cinema 6100 is actually the replacement for the lower end Home Cinema 1080 (not the “UB”), however, the closeout pricing on the UB has been pretty close, though a little more expensive than the 6100′s current street price, so we felt that many would be interested in how the new Home Cinema 6100 stacks up to the discontinued Home Cinema 1080 UB.
It’s pretty straightforward. The Home Cinema 6100 cannot match the black level performance of the 1080 UB. The older projector has a distinct advantage in this regard. Brightness is roughly comparable between the two, so not likely to be a deciding difference. The 6100, though, thanks to the lamp improvements, should be a little bit brighter.
The Home Cinema 6100 is a little quieter in terms of audible noise, which should be a plus for those who are “noise adverse” especially those ceiling mounting with the projectors mounted almost directly above their seating position.
From a cost standpoint, while the 6100 starts out a little less expensive (after considering the closeout rebates on the UB), it further separates from the UB in terms of cost of operation, thanks to the new lamp in the 6100 being rated 4000 hours at full power, vs. the UB’s 2000 hours. That can be a substantial savings over several years, especially for those that do general viewing, and not just movies, on their projectors. Even in low power, the 6100′s lamp is rated 4000 hours vs. 3000 hours for the 1080 UB – a smaller operational savings, but one that can still save several hundred dollars over two or three years use.
The 6100 appears to be a little bit sharper than the old UB. We consider the 6100 to be “sharper than average” for a 1080p projector, vs. average for the older one. They use the same lens, so we can’t define the “why” for the slight sharpness improvement, but an improvement is there. Is it a big enough difference to be a deciding point? For some, the answer is yes. The older Epson is fine, but no one ever complained about being sharper still. Let’s say, you will appreciate the subtle difference, regardless whether it is something you would pay more to have.
Warranty on both projectors is the same, and better than industry average, with an industry average 2 years parts and labor, but Epson provides their overnight replacement program on both, making their warranty superior to most others.
For serious movie viewers – I favor the old UB for it’s black level performance, but otherwise, the Home Cinema 6100 simply offers more bang for a few less bucks.
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