The HC880 has a couple of image presets that provide great picture quality. There are two color modes that I prefer using, in terms of picture quality and color. Bright Cinema and Cinema modes are what I use the most for movies, as well as TV shows. I also believe detail plays a big part in providing an amazing picture. From a drop of sweat coming down an actor’s face, to the vibrant colors of an Anime or Pixar movie, these two color modes delivered the best experience.
The screenshots above display the projector in Cinema Mode. Our screenshots show a variety of HD videos and pictures. Like all our photos, they remain unadjusted for color, so they do not necessarily demonstrate the projector’s best possible performance.
The Epson Home Cinema 880 provides the user with the ability for some adjustment in all modes. The list begins with common settings like brightness, contrast, tint, and sharpness, with additional adjustments such as white balance and color temperature. In the images above, we kept Epson’s default settings for all color mode presets.
The Epson Home Cinema 880 Projector specifications claim a dynamic contrast ratio of 3,000,000:1. The higher dynamic contrast is done by modulating light output of the projector’s laser light engine. When the HC880 encounters a “black frame” of information, it can shut down the laser engine completely projecting a true black frame. This feature is listed as Dynamic Dimming in the projector’s menu.
The HC880’s black levels were closer to a dark grey than a pure black, but I didn’t expect a sub $1,000 projector to rival the black levels of high-end home theater projectors. In the average meeting room, which normally has some ambient light, the black level is good enough to be recognizable as black. While the blacks were not super deep, due to the fact it was capable of delivering 3,300 lumens of brightness, the overall contrast of the Epson HC880 would be more than enough the satisfy the average user.
The HC880 has a dedicated picture mode for gaming designed to not only reduce input lag but also improve clarity and enhance the dark scenes in video game content. We measured the Home Cinema 880 input lag at 48.5ms in Game mode at 1080@60Hz. The highest acceptable input lag for serious gamers is about 55ms, so the gaming experience is fine for all but the most hardcore players.
Overall, the HC880 video picture quality is great, especially at this price point. The colors are vibrant, and the picture is bright, with good contrast, providing you a good home theater viewing experience just $500.
While the HC880 is target at customers looking for entry level Home Entertainment projector, I am sure many will find their way into a conference or meeting room. The Native (1,920 x 1080) resolution of the Epson HC880 results in good text clarity. The HC880 has more than enough resolution for viewing PowerPoint slides or Excel worksheets at a normal viewing distance.
If the font size is too fine for the HC880 to resolve, the text is probably way too small to use in a PowerPoint presentation anyway. When I attached my PC laptop, there were very few office documents in which more resolution would have been useful. If you need to look at something in more detail, the HC880 has a digital image zoom feature.