Epson Ensemble HD 1080 Complete Home Theater System Review: Image Quality-10

Epson Ensemble HD 1080 Performance: HDTV and Sports

It just looks great! I’ve now watched at least 10 hours of Olympics, perhaps one hour of pre-season football, a little general TV (actually HDTV), and even some of the televised in HD McCain vs. Obama event that was held last night at a mega-church near here (Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA). Beautiful!

Again, sure there’s always something that can do a bit better, but on these assorted HDTV broadcasts, the Ensemble HD 1080 looks great. When you also consider that the next best “great” image most people have ever seen, is a 50″ plasma TV, it’s no contest. Put your 50″ or 42″ plasma back in the 2nd bedroom, or kitchen, where “tiny TV’s” belong, it’s serious home theater time!

We’re talking “knock your socks off” picture here. I am, of course completely spoiled with all the toys I get to play with including the sharpest of projectors. Still, I would, well, have “no tribble at all” (sorry, for the Star Trek reference), watching my sports and TV on this system for a long, long time to come. (Note, for normal HDTV broadcasts of things like normal programming and sports, those black levels discussed above, are nowhere near as important, as for movie watching). The reason is, that you rarely have really dark scenes on TV programming, and never in sports programming (ok, maybe some Discovery HD special on caving)!

Although not from HDTV, here are a couple of images from the DVE-HD calibration disc. Like live events – no film, so maximum crispness to the images:

I trust you have noticed the rich, gorgeous colors on these images abov

Overall Image Quality

I think you should have a handle on this, by now. After a nice calibration (or feel free to commandeer the settings we came up with in the General Performance section), the Epson Ensemble HD 1080, produces a great image. It suffers slightly only in two areas, and even there it is comparable to most of the competition: Shadow Detail performance, and Sharpness.

Skin tones are excellent! Black levels are very typical of lower priced 1080p projectors and only the aforementioned Epson 1080 UB, does a visibly better job on black levels. Comparing the included Home Cinema 1080 with most of the competition, including Sanyo, Panasonic, Optoma, and others, has the Epson in the middle of the pack, but they are all close.

Below are a few more assorted images to try and capture the picture quality of the Ensemble HD 1080:

Overall Picture Quality: Bottom Line

If you are a hard core fanatic, and the Ensemble HD is in your budget, you will probably want to try to get the dealer, somehow to trade out the Home Cinema 1080 for a UB version, for an increase in cost.

For most of the people in the world, (and I’m including discerning people but not true fanatics) who really can enjoy the difference between a very good and a great picture, will be perfectly satisfied with the quality of the Epson’s picture!

It’s that simple!

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