Epson Home Cinema 6100 Projector Review
Home Cinema 6100 Black Levels & Shadow Detail
This Epson has respectable black level performance. Remember if you want those really dark, inky blacks, there are a number of more expensive “ultra high contrast” projectors out there to choose from. Note, however, that the least expensive of those is the Sanyo PLV-Z3000 which is only a few hundred dollars more.
Of course Epson has their own Home Cinema 6500UB with superb black levels, for about $800 more (at the time of this writing).
This Epson on the other hand is a step down in black level performance from those projectors in general. Even those ultra high contrast projectors vary, from the stunning JVC projectors’ black levels, to that Sanyo PLV-Z3000 (which so far, has the least black blacks of those projectors but is still better than the Epson 6100).
The Home Cinema 6100’s direct competition, on the other hand, mostly comes up short of this Epson. I viewed the Epson side by side with the Optoma HD806, and the Epson was a very visible winner. Comparing the Home Cinema 6100 to Sanyo’s PLV-Z700 (currently the least expensive 1080p projector), and the very similar but a tad better (in terms of black levels) Mitsubishi HC5500, the Epson performs favorably. I wish that I still had one of those here for side by side comparison, but since I don’t, my impression is that the Epson is definitely better than the other two. I find its blacks more satisfying. On some scenes I recall those two projectors, along with some other entry level 1080p projectors, leaving me wanting for better blacks. With the Epson, the thought is more of “not bad, not bad at all”. That’s certainly not a huge difference, but every bit helps. (You can never have too black a black!) Right now I’m watching the night time airport scene in Casino Royale, and those blacks look pretty good (at least until I switch back to my JVC RS1 a little later this evening).
For those that like to compare images, we’ll start with the Starship scene from The Fifth Element. Since we can never get two exposures exactly the same, you’ll have to give your brain a workout comparing the blacks. By the way, the amount of nebulous clouds in each image is a good indication of the level of exposure. Since the Epson is showing the most, it is the most overexposed frame.
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