Epson Home Cinema 6100 Projector Review
This is a detailed review of the Epson Home Cinema 6100 1080p home theater projector. This Epson projector review is a work in progress. The Menus section, plus additional images, commentary and proofing still to be done.
1/6/2009 - Art Feierman
Epson Home Cinema 6100 Projector Overview
Many of you may have recently read our review of the Home Cinema 6500UB. The Home Cinema 6100 is the 6500's little brother. Selling for less than $2000, it is one of the least expensive 1080p projectors on the market. It is also one of the brightest of the lower cost projectors. Performance of the Epson 6100 is in many ways similar to its more expensive sibling. The two are almost identical in brightness, color accuracy and sharpness. The Home Cinema 6100 projector, however, lacks the 6500UB's more advanced LCD panels, resulting in good black level performance more typical of the lower cost projectors, than the more expensive 6500UB. By comparison, the higher end Epson is one of the best projectors in black level performance under $10,000. The other major difference is that the Home Cinema 6100 lacks the Epson 6500UBs Creative Frame Interpolation, and 4:4 pull-down abilities (found on only a handful of projectors). Frame interpolation is a relatively new feature, although there are some trade-offs, and it is not an important feature for most.
The more direct competition for the Home Cinema 6100 (which, by the way, replaces the older Home Cinema 1080), come from Sanyo's PLV-Z700 and PLV-Z3000, the Mitsubishi HC5500, the Panasonic PT-AE3000, and some DLP entries from Optoma, as well as BenQ's W5000. Of those, only the Sanyo PLVZ700 typically sells for noticeably less.
The Home Cinema 6100 is a well balanced, really solid functioning projector, without a single significant issue. It is extremely bright in its brightest mode, and a little brighter than average in its best movie mode. The image is very sharp, and post calibration color accuracy is very good. It comes with a better than average warranty.
Bottom line: It is true that the Home Cinema 6100 can't match many projectors that are significantly more money (including the Epson Home Cinema 6500UB), in terms of performance sought after by the hard core enthusiasts. Still, it should more than satisfy, no, it should be a big hit, for most owners, their family, and friends. In our section on competitors, we'll look at how this Epson, their lowest cost 1080p projector, stacks up with projectors costing both more and less.
Home Cinema 6100 Projector Highlights
- Very bright in its brightest mode, for handling ambient light
- Slightly above average brightness in best mode
- Good good color accuracy before, excellent color accuracy post calibration
- Dynamic, sharp looking image, most impressive
- Extremely long life lamp for lower operational costs
- Good black level, and shadow detail performance, but black levels not as good as the more expensive "ultra high contrast" projectors
- Excellent placement flexibility
- Lacks internal support for an anamorphic lens
- Better warranty than most
- Excellent price performance
Specs for Epson Home Cinema 6100
MSRP: $1999, MAP (minimum advertised price): $1999
Native Resolution: 1080p (1920x1080)
Brightness: 1800 lumens
Zoom Lens ratio: 2.1:1
Lens shift: Vertical and Horizontal
Lamp life: 4000 hours in eco-mode, 4000 hours at full power
Weight: 16.5 lbs. (7.4 Kg)
Warranty: 2 Years Parts and Labor with replacement warranty both years
Well, most of the fancy new features are reserved for the 6500UB. The Home Cinema 6100 however, does have a dynamic iris to improve black levels. Its two HDMI inputs support HDMI 1.3b, including Deep Color.
The Epson 1080p projectors have a custom color filter inside. This filter is designed to improve the color gamut, in part by being designed to mostly eliminate the deficiencies of the lamp. The filter operates in the three Theater modes, and Natural. It moves out of the way for more brightness, when using the LivingRoom and Dynamic modes. This extra filter helps explain the much greater than normal difference between best mode, and brightest mode brightness.