Projector Reviews

Epson Home Cinema 2100 and 2150 Projector Review – Summary

Epson Home Cinema 2100 and 2150 Projector Review – Summary: Summary, Pros, Cons

Summary

The Home Cinema 2150 and the lower cost HC2100 are two projectors that are great for those who want great color right out of the box for a plug-and-play experience. They are excellent replacements for their predecessors, the HC2040 and HC2045. Overall, I was pleased with the performance of this $899 projector and impressed with the feature set for the price!

This 2,500 lumen projector actually beat its claim, measuring in at 2,617 lumens in its brightest mode. All other modes were still pretty bright, with Cinema mode (the least bright mode) measuring 1,690 – that’s more than your regular home theater projectors, so it should be plenty bright to use in a living room or media room that has some ambient light to deal with.

Speaking of modes, all but Dynamic have rather excellent color. Dynamic is its brightest mode, and as expected, is strong on the greens and yellows. Bright Cinema, the second brightest mode, looks really good! The color is almost true to color, with a slight tinge of green/yellow that is only really noticeable when switching between the other two modes. It’s a great mode for when the sun is leaking through your blinds, or if someone decides it’s a good time to turn on an overhead light. HD content all looks really good, and is pretty sharp! It’s also 3D capable, but you’ll have to buy your own glasses as they’re not included with the projector.

For a home entertainment projector, it has decent black level performance. It’s not the best, but you’re getting a bright projector with good dark shadow detail, and trade-offs are always there. At this price level, however, it’s not common to have truly excellent black levels, as that is something you’ll find once you pass the $2,000+ range. Though it is a brighter projector, it is not bright that it can’t be used in a fully darkened home theater – I quite enjoyed this projector at night with all the lights off. The Epson Home Cinema 2150 really hits the sweet spot in terms of brightness.

The Home Cinema 2150 has a 1.6:1 zoom lens with a sliding door and a well laid out remote. All the controls are manual (focus, zoom, lens shift). Speaking of lens shift, that’s a feature not found on many sub-$1000 projectors, and even less common is the amount of lens shift the HC2150 has. Up to 60%! That’s quite generous, as most at this price range don’t even have it, or if they do, it’s about 5%. That, alongside the lens, gives you a lot of placement flexibility.

It has plenty of inputs and connectors for home entertainment purposes – USB, Service port, VGA connector, two HDMIs (one with MHL), and an audio out port – but can also be used as a business/education projector. The projector features an onboard media player so you can present photos, video, and audio without the use of a computer (just use a USB mounted device). The built-in 10-watt speaker is capable of producing loud sound, though, like most built-in speakers, it is lacking in bass. I always suggest hooking up an external pair of speakers, no matter what the cost of the projector.

The projector isn’t bad for gaming, either, with a 29.2 ms input lag! That’s just over a millisecond faster than my Epson HC5040UB, which costs three times as much. We enjoyed a variety of games on the HC2150 including first person shooters like Call of Duty WWII and RPGs like Skyrim (which I’m starting to think I will never beat). Online play was smooth and there was no detectable lag, though I’m sure the more hardcore gamers would say otherwise. Consider the HC2150 a serious gaming projector for all but the pros.

There are a few differences between the Home Cinema 2150 and the HC2100. Their contrast ratios differ – the HC2100 has 35,000:1, while the HC2150 has 60,000:1 – but contrast isn’t something we really pay attention to here at Projector Reviews. Those ratings are all over the place. The big difference between the two is that the Home Cinema 2150 has wireless capabilities (Miracast screen mirroring to wirelessly project phone or tablet screens), and the HC2100 does not. That’s what the extra $50 gets you – wireless.

Pros

  • 3LCD Projection Technology
  • Full 1080p (1920 x 1080p) Resolution
  • 2,500 Color and White Lumens – Bright enough to handle a moderate amount of ambient light
  • 60,000:1 Contrast Ratio (35,000:1 on the HC2100)
  • Good Lamp Life – 4,000 Hours in Full Power, 7,500 in ECO Mode
  • Vertical and Horizontal Keystone Correction
  • 6:1 Manual Zoom with Sliding Lens Door
  • Generous Amount of Lens Shift – Up to 60%
  • Built-in 10-Watt Mono Speaker
  • Light-Weight/Portable at 7.5 Pounds
  • MHL Port for Streaming Devices
  • Audio Out Port
  • 3D Capable
  • Great for Gaming – Low input lag of 29.2 ms!
  • Frame Interpolation
  • Impressive Color and Sharpness – Right out of the box!
  • Dynamic Iris – Helps with black levels
  • Good Dark Shadow Detail
  • Miracast – Wirelessly project your screen from your smartphone or tablet (HC2150 only)
  • PC-Free Presenting
  • Can Double as Business Projector
  • Good Warranty – Two-year projector limited warranty, Extra CareSMHomeService program, Epson PrivateLine® dedicated toll-free support, 90-day lamp limited warranty

Cons

  • Fan is a bit loud at full power (ECO mode is much quieter)
  • No backlight on the remote
  • No real bass from internal speaker (this is typical of built-in speakers)
  • Could have better black levels (some competitors do have better at this price range)

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