Posted on September 16, 2015 By Art Feierman
The Home Cinema 2040 and 2045 are Epson’s impressive, new sub-$1000 home theater – or if you prefer, home entertainment projectors.
I’m a bit late getting this published. I received a Home Cinema 2040 – also referred to as HC2040 about five weeks ago. It was an engineering sample, delivered shortly before Epson’s official announcement. I went through the entire review process, but had to complete our annual Best Home Theater Projectors report and launch another site – SmarterHomeAutomation.com – before getting around to writing this up. My apologies for the delay. Here goes!
Epson it seems is dramatically expanding its line-up of low cost projectors for the home. In all, they’ve announced five new projectors in the last few weeks. Of those, four of the five are 1080p models, and of the five, four are under $1000!
The Home Cinema 2040, however, is the only one I’ve received so far. Two more coming in soon they say.
Let’s get the differences between these two out of the way, which will simplify. The HC2045, at an official price of $849 is $50 more than the HC2040, and has one extra feature, built in MiraCast. This will allow wireless connection with Miracast equipped laptops and other devices. That said, both projectors offer an HDMI port with MHL, which basically offers similar capability with most mobile devices. More on the Special features page. Certainly the HC2040 will be the big seller of the two, but for some, the HC2045 makes more sense
OK let’s concentrate now on the Home Cinema 2040.
This Epson is bright enough to use as a general Home Entertainment projector. That translates to having enough horsepower to be used in less than ideal rooms, with some ambient light present. Right off the bat, it’s really great for sports which is a typical use in such rooms, be it a living room, bonus room, or spare bedroom. And don’t forget, it’s small enough, light enough, and has a built in speaker, so that you can take it outside for those nighttime summer movie festivals – or whatever else you like.
At the same time, it’s not so bright that it can’t be used in a fully darkened room, aka, a home theater or cave. That is a problem for some very bright projectors. Versatile!
This is a projector that is just dripping in vibrant colors. It looks pretty great right out of the box. And the colors aren’t just vibrant, they are pretty accurate. So much so, that for a projector in its price range, it seemed a bit foolish to get into calibrating it. While the hard core among us might want to tweak the colors to achieve closer to perfection, this is a “take it out of the box, plug it in, and watch” projector. No muss, no fuss.
Add to that a great warranty.
Epson built this for the consumer that wants a really good solution, without having to devote a whole lot of energy to it. – a true consumer product.
The HC2040 and HC2045 are available online, from all the usual sources including the large, and I should note, really knowledgeable AV dealers such as our advertisers Projector People, Visual Apex and Projector Superstore, as well as Amazon, and big box houses like Best Buy. In other words, if these Epsons ring your bell, it sure won’t be hard to lay your hands on one, and to begin your truly big screen experience.
And as long as I’m plugging AV dealers – or rather the whole AV channel – keep this in mind when its time to decide: Just about anyone can sell you a projector, but if you want a source that can also answer your questions about projector screens and other accessories, speak intelligently about cables, etc., look to the AV dealers first, those guys are the experts -whether they advertise with us or not. Most of them are about you calling into them, rather than just ordering online. We’re talking real phone support too, not “we’ll answer your email in 24 hours.”
(BTW, I’m biased – my last company, which I sold in 2003 – Presenting Solutions, was the first seller of projectors online (Jan 1995) and was an “AV” dealer, selling 600+ projectors a month at peak before I sold it.) Obviously I’ve been doing this too long, considering I got involved in modern projectors at the very beginning.) -art
The page wasn’t quite long enough to fit without those last two paragraphs. Now we can get back to the HC2040. So, what else has it got going for it?
OK, let’s look at a few of the special features (and some noteworthy but not so special features). To quote Bob Seger, time to “Turn the Page.”
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