Projector Reviews

Epson HC1040 Home Entertainment Projector – Hardware 2

HC1040 3LCD HOME ENTERTAINMENT PROJECTOR HARDWARE – page 2:  Inputs and connectors, Remote Control, Menus

HC1040 Inputs and Connectors

hc1040_inputs
The back of the Home Cinema 1040 houses all the inputs, power, and the rear facing speaker

 

Let’s start from the left rear of the Home Cinema 1040.  First up is a standard power receptacle.  To the right of it, are a USB A, and a USB B.  We’ve previously discussed that the USBs can be used for Display USB (another way to connect a projector or device to the Epson, or for USB thumb drives (or SD cards, etc. with an adapter.  Then comes the back infra-red sensor for the remote.

Two HDMI inputs come next.  HDMI #2 has the MHL capability discussed on the Special Features page.

Moving to the second row, you’ll find a standard composite video (a yellow RCA jack), and the stereo audio input (a pair of RCA jacks).

HC1040 Remote Control

Home Cinema 1040 remote
Home Cinema 1040 Remote Control – compact, excellent range, but no backlight

The HC1040 remote is a smallish affair, but not one of those little credit card types with squishy buttons.  The remote has both a good layout and reasonable spacing between buttons and sections, despite a lot of buttons to control features.

Let’s do a quick rundown, from the top.

Power top left:  once for on, press twice to power down.  Across is auto source search which will find the next active source.  The next four buttons let you manually select from all the different sources.  Video for example, toggles between composite video and the two HDMI inputs.  Many of the buttons on the next session due double duty, as numerics.  That will be helpful should you want to go with the optional wireless LAN and need to put in numbers. Otherwise, they deal with MHL options, Aspect ratio and selecting between the preset color modes.

The User button will take you directly to one of a choice of options (such as power mode) instead of going through all the menus.  A Pointer can be put up on the screen, fun for watching replays of close calls on Sunday football, or anything else you can think of.

Below that is the navigation area, with the menu on the top left, Escape (back up a menu level) top right.  The four arrow keys are in a round configuration, with a center Enter button.  It also doubles for a remote mousing function (in conjunction with a computer and the USB).

Next comes three pair of buttons:  Page Up/Down, if you use the remote mousing (mostly for presentation type work, but…) then comes Digital Zoom (zoom in for more of a closeup of any area of the screen, and finally Volume up and down.

Finally there’s the A/V Mute, Split Screen mode, and Freeze (which naturally freezes the frame on the screen even as the source continues on.

All by itself at the very bottom is the Home Button which takes you to the new Home screen discussed on the previous page.

 

The HC1040 is definitely a “Bright Room” projector.  It’s no surprise therefore that the remote control isn’t backlit.  No matter, if you are watching a movie in a living room at night, it’s dark.  Having a remote be backlit is always a plus.  On the other hand, as a reviewer I’m using the remote constantly, typical users will power up and down, change the source, adjust the volume if they are using the speaker, and once in a while use other features.

In fairness, I’m really hard pressed to think of another current model $799 projector that does have a backlight, but there probably is one.

HC1040 Menus

Epson’s menus have been pretty consistent for more than a decade.  (That’s true of most projector companies).  After all they had a previous decade and change to figure out what they thought made for the best navigation and layout.  What does change is the addition of new features, etc.

Most of the menus shown (which include most menus and sub-menus, except for some of the wireless networking menus), don’t require any explanation, but some will have captions.