Epson Home Cinema 6100 Projector Review

Epson Home Cinema 6100 images below are from either Blu-ray or HDTV, with the exception of Lord of the Rings (standard DVD). These images are never very accurate compared to the image the Home Cinema 6100 projector projects on the screen. There are minor color shifts, saturation differences, etc.

The images are provided to support the commentary, so don’t read too much into them, such as expecting an exact reproduction of skin tones. In reality, the projectors always look better than the images in our reviews.

Home Cinema 6100 Out of the Box Picture Quality

Click enlarge. So close. Darn good! I was pleasantly surprised. The Epson 6100 is very good, right of the box in TheaterBlack 1 image mode – its “best” mode. Very few projectors come so well calibrated out of the box, as to really not need any calibration. Virtually all can be improved with one. We want everyone to get the most out of their projector, which is why we recommend at least a basic, end user friendly, calibration. Still, the Epson is good enough to be enjoyably watchable. You’d be surprised by the high percentage of home theater projectors that really are not acceptable to anyone with a half critical eye. Skin tones need to look really good, and this Epson passes that test. After we fine tuned it, they looked even better.

Click Image to Enlarge

Note, we are seeing a very slight shift towards almost a pink in these images, compared to the projected image. Keep that in mind. (Due to camera, software, your display, etc. the images are never going to be near perfect representations of what is seen on the screen, and in fact never look as good as the projected image.)

We concentrate on “best” mode in our images. Epson has two other much brighter modes we look at, LivingRoom and Dynamic. These two didn’t fare as well, in terms of out of the box performance. Livingroom was lacking in reds and too shifted to blue (but easily fixable). Dynamic we expect to be “over the top” when you really need to deal with a lot of light. Typically dynamic modes are heavy on yellows and greens, as in this case. Still a bit of adjustment to tame them a little, makes for a more watchable picture.

Flesh Tones

After our grayscale calibration, skin tones really looked very believable. The color textures in faces are very good. Despite that, the Home Cinema 6100 doesn’t appear quite as natural as some other projectors in handling the flesh tones. This is chronic Epson. The trade-off seems to be the slightly more dynamic look to the Epson image compared to those other projectors. In other words, the aspects that I like to refer to as “pop and wow” seem to take their toll in making the projector a touch less “film-like” (a very subjective terms – as are pop and wow).

This is a reminder that skin tones will appear different under different lighting. Sunshine, cloudy day, filtered sunlight, incandescent lighting, fluorescent lighting and night scenes all change the color balance. These three images illustrate the point. First, is direct sunlight, next is fluorescent lighting (in an airport), and finally filtered sunlight.

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