Posted on August 30, 2017 By Nikki Zelinger
The Epson Home Cinema 1060 was just announced alongside two other projectors, which are a part of Epson’s new value line. There are a few key differences between the trio – but only a few. They’re similar in feature set and hardware, with varying resolutions and price. All three projectors are currently selling for below $700.
This 3LCD projector claims 3,100 lumens – bright enough to handle quite a bit of ambient light. The HC1060 is full HD, with 1080p resolution (1920 x 1080). It is the most advanced model of the three, making it one to consider when browsing the market for low-cost home entertainment projectors.
Our First Look Review of the Epson Home Cinema 1060 will give a brief overview of the projector, explore its features and benefits, speak on the differences from the HC1060’s siblings, and delve into the projector’s highlights.
Before we continue – what is a First Look Review? It’s something between our full-fledged reviews where we spend lots of time both watching projectors perform, and playing with the projector’s full feature set, and, the other extreme – putting up a manufacturer’s press release, as loaded with hype as they are, (as many sites do).
In some cases, our First Look Reviews are done after we have had a brief look at the projector – at our facility, typically for just a few days. Other times, such as this time, we haven’t had a chance to play with the projector. In such cases, our goal is to apply a mix of insight and common sense to describe how this projector might fit your needs.
This is something we like to do, especially when the projector is just announced, is expected to be very popular, and/or is a direct descendant (with limited differences) with a projector we’ve already reviewed. Enjoy!
A 3LCD, full HD (1920 x 1080) home entertainment projector priced at $649.99, the Home Cinema 1060 should produce a great image, rich with color and detail. This is due in great part to its 3LCD technology, which means that this projector will have as many color lumens as it does white ones, as this is typical of 3LCD (and LCoS) projectors.
That’s 3,100 lumens being blasted at both white and color tones, making the colors brighter than they would appear when projected by the HC1060’s DLP counterparts. We expect the Home Cinema 1060 to have excellent color, as this is generally true of Epson’s home theater projectors.
The 2-watt mono speaker will not be loud, though it should be suitable for smaller rooms and quiet family gatherings. Quiet is the key word here – there’s a severe lack of audio out on this projector. Meaning, there are none. Zero. I’ve already fumed about this in my First Look Reviews of the Home Cinema 660 and Home Cinema 760HD, and I promised to do the same in this First Look Review.
Why isn’t there an audio out jack? Pico and pocket projectors priced lower than this line of projectors have it. Explain yourselves! This is such a basic feature that I can’t – even after writing two other First Look Reviews – wrap my head around its absence. This bewilderment isn’t limited to the low-wattage of the speaker.
The Home Cinema 1060 has a loud fan. Its rated fan noise is 37db. I recently reviewed a pocket projector around the same price that had an even louder audible noise rating of around 42db. That projector has a 10-watt speaker, which is able to compete with that fan. It is possible that this speaker will be able to overcome the fan, but I would still rather be able to hook up external speakers. Epson didn’t give that choice here.
I will say this – Epson did a good job at lowering fan noise for ECO Mode (28db). Since this is such a bright projector, there should not be a lot of light loss when switching to ECO. None that would affect your ability to watch with some ambient light present. Still, I’d rather at least have the option to connect an external speaker system.
What the Home Cinema 1060 does have is this: two HDMI ports – one for HDMI/MHL, a VGA computer input (VGA is evidently more desirable on a home entertainment projector than an audio out jack, apparently… not), old school RCA ports for composite video and audio input, such as what was used on the OG PlayStation, a USB Type A for PC-Free playback from a USB flash drive, and a USB Type B for connecting a computer for easy plug-and-play projection.
The Epson Home Cinema 1060 has all the same special features as the two lower-priced models, with one extra. In this section, I’ll briefly go over what these features are and why you’d want them.
The first feature worth noting is Keystone Correction (vertical and horizontal +30 degrees). Keystone Correction allows for the adjustment of your projected image when the projector has to be placed off-kilter. When it is, the image produced has a trapezoid shape, which basically sucks to look at. With Keystone Correction, the image can be restored to its original rectangular shape.
Another exciting feature of the Home Cinema 1060 is Quick Corner Correction, which works as well as Keystone. With Quick Corner, you can individually adjust each corner of the image being projected so that it perfectly lines up with the corners of your screen. Whatever Keystone Correction can’t handle, Quick Corner will.
The HC1060 has an additional HDMI port that supports MHL. What does this mean for you? If you’ve got Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, or another similar device, you can seamlessly stream your content. Hello, Netflix.
Epson put a couple convenient control features on this series of projectors. These are: Instant Off, Direct Power On/Off, and Sleep Mode (A/V mute). These features are for quick control of the projector.
Epson’s new value line of projectors are, as I’ve mentioned, extremely similar. The main differences are resolution, cost, lumens, that extra HDMI/MHL port on the HC1060, and that the 1060 looks different from the other two.
Technically, the Home Cinema 1060 is the only one that can truly boast streaming as a special feature. The Home Cinema 660 and Home Cinema 760HD both lack that extra HDMI/MHL port, but Epson’s marketing still mentions streaming as one of their features. The two can definitely work with streaming devices, however, without that MHL port, I’m afraid it’s just hype. To be clear – all three models will work with your PlayStation, Xbox, the streaming devices mentioned in the section above, as well as other internet players.
The Home Cinema 1060 has a wider housing for the lens and a different arrangement of its inputs and connectors on the back panel than the other two projectors, which are identical in aesthetics. It has a 1.2:1 zoom ratio on that lens – same as the HC760HD, but the HC660 has a higher zoom ratio of 1.35:1.
The Home Cinema 660 and 760HD both have 3,300 lumens. The Home Cinema 1060 has 3,100. Now, that’s not a significant enough amount of lumens to really make any visible difference. If you had one of the two lower-priced models projecting next to the Home Cinema 1060, then you would probably just be able to tell that they are brighter. But, it wouldn’t be by much.
More to the point, a typical DLP projector rated around 3000 lumens will typically put out about 1800 – 2200 lumens with decent color, but not great reds (dark) or yellows (some green). 3LCD projectors fair better then can usually produce really good color only dropping down 20% from max, so thing 2400-2500 lumens with very good color vs 1800 – 2200 with “OK” color. Calibrated, the Epson should (based on its predecessor) produce close to 2000 lumens vs. barely 1000 on most DLPs (up to 1200 maybe a little more. The DLPs that have RGBRGB color wheels don’t lose as many lumens proportionally, but those all claim no more than about 2200 lumens to start, so that calibrated they often match the lumens of RGBW versions when both are calibrated.
Short version. This Epson will have better color, and/or more brightness than competing DLPs.
That model, the Home Cinema 660, is priced at $359.99 and is SVGA resolution (800 x 600). That’s a 4:3 aspect ratio, friends, and it produces an almost square image like the ones you remember from the 90s and before. The Home Cinema 760HD has 720p resolution (the lower HD res of 1280 x 720) and costs $549.99. The Home Cinema 1060, as you already know, has full HD resolution (1920 x 1080). This one goes for $649.99.
So, what you’re paying extra for is this: resolution, and that extra HDMI/MHL port. That’s it. Is it worth the extra $100? You be the judge. I personally would always choose a projector with higher resolution if it’s in the budget and, of course, if the projector fit my needs. That is what you need to consider when comparing projectors as you shop – does it fit your needs? If not, on to the next one.
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