Epson Home Cinema 8100 Projector Review

Epson Home Cinema 8100 Projector – Appearance

 

The Epson is a smaller projector, but not particularly so. It may be full size smaller than larger projectors like the Sonys, JVCs and larger BenQ and InFocus models, but it’s fairly large compared to the very smallest, like the Optoma HD20. All considered, it’s a larger, small projector. It is finished in a shiny off-white casing with silverish side panels and lens trim.

It’s boxy looking! No awards here for styling, despite two toning, and grillwork, yet nothing offensive, beyond its general plainness. Last year Epson switched to this form factor, from the old 1080 UB models which were a bit smaller, and possessed some real styling. Oh well. Most of us only care how a projector looks with it turned on, and the lights turned down.

I should note, that the “other” version of the 8100 – the Pro 9100, comes finished in black, not white.

OK, the lens is mounted to the right side (if looking at the front of the projector), with a large vent on the left side. The lens protrudes out about 2 inches from the case. (When figuring out placement distances, one normally measures from the front of the lens.) There’s an infra-red sensor in the front for the remote (and another in the top back). Below the front, are two screw thread adjustable feet. The control panel is located on the side with flush buttons (I much prefer control panels to be located on the top, where they are almost always accessable, if needed). Still, that’s not a real issue.

To focus the lens, and adjust the zoom, simply rotate the appropriate rings on the lens. To control the lens shift, there are two dials on the top of the projector near the lens. It’s that easy.

The well equipped input panel is located on the rear.

Home Cinema 8100 Control Panel

Click to enlarge.So close. While I’m not a fan of side control panels (Epson, Sony), because I tend to use control panels a lot while testing, for most folks it really won’t matter much, since they will rely on the remote control.

One thing though, I refer to it as being on the side, but I should point out that the power button and source switch are located on the top of the projector. The control panel functions are rather typical.

Closest to the front of the buttons is a large Menu button. To its right, the four arrow keys on a rocker (diamond configuration, with a center Enter button), and finally closest to the back, is the Escape key which takes you back up a level in the menus.

It’s that simple, should you misplace your remote!

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Input/Output

Click to enlarge.So close. Again, no surprises here, everything is the same as on last year’s Epson projectors, in excactly the same places.

The Home Cinema 8100 has a fairly typical selection of inputs and outputs. There are (from the left) two HDMI (1.3b) inputs, a component video input (3 color colded RCA jacks), the basic S-Video and composite video inputs, and an analog computer input (standard HD15 connector), which can double as a second component video input.

There is an RS-232 serial port for controlling the projector from a computer or room control sytem. Additionally, this Epson projector has one 12 volt screen trigger. As mentioned elsewhere, the Home Cinema 8100 also has a second infra-red (IR) sensor on the back of the projector.

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