Posted on September 4, 2019 By Nikki Zelinger
The Epson Home Cinema 2100 and 2150 won the Best in Class Value Home Theater Award in last year’s Home Theater Projectors Report. As a still current, still shipping model, it was included in our 2019-2020 Report and this time – it wins the Performance Home Theater Award in the Under $1000 Entry-Level Projector Class.
The HC2100 and HC2150 replace the top-rated Epsons that came before: the Home Cinema 2040 and Home Cinema 2045. Many improvements were made over the older models, with a lower street price than before. Since the Home Cinema 2100 and 2150 are not new, their price has dropped, giving the projectors a higher value proposition. The HC2100 is currently $599 on the Epson website, and the HC2150 is just $699. That’s a steal of a deal for these projectors.
These two projectors are grouped together as a single award winner, simply because they are relatively the same projector. The only difference is that the Home Cinema 2150 has a higher contrast ratio and wireless support via Miracast. So, if you’ve got no need for wireless anything, you can save $100 by going with the HC2100.
Epson gives a lot of bang for your buck with the Home Cinema 2100 and 2150. These projectors boast a nicely bright 2,500 lumens, and, being Epsons – they beat their claim, measuring in at 2,617 in Dynamic Mode, the projectors’ brightest mode. Though this mode has a green-yellow hue to it – as do all brightest modes – there are settings you can adjust to make the color suitable for TV and sports viewing during the day.
The other modes, Bright Cinema, Natural, and Cinema, all came in around the 1,700 lumen mark, and all have excellent color, right out of the box. The HC2100 and HC2150 are 3LCD projectors, so they have as many color lumens as white ones, and appear to be both brighter and have more accurate color than competing DLPs. I did favor Cinema Mode over the others, but as all the modes with great color measured about the same, your favorite mode will be a matter of preference.
The Epson Home Cinema 2100 and 2150 are feature-laden. They have a generous 1.60:1 manual zoom lens, and +60% lens shift! It’s rare that you see lens shift on a sub-$1,000 projector. The projectors use a Dynamic Iris for improved black level performance – and the black levels here are better than entry-level.
They also come with CFI – Creative Frame Interpolation – for sports viewing, and are 3D ready. The HC2100 and HC2150 have an HDMI with MHL port for an Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV, or other such device for streaming. As mentioned, on the Home Cinema 2150, we have wireless via Miracast. These projectors also have a built-in media player for viewing images and videos from a flash drive.
Gamers rejoice – the Epson Home Cinema 2100 and 2050 have got game! We measured a 29ms input lag, which is less than most competitors. This amount of lag will be acceptable for most gamers – even some of the more hardcore, competitive types, though not all. The best of the best input lag times measure around 16ms. If you require a lower lag time, see this year’s Value winners in the Under $1000 Class: the Optoma HD143X and HD243X projectors.
These Epsons have a fantastic warranty, standard with all of their projectors. That’s a two year parts and labor warranty with two years of rapid replacement. If your Epson fails under warranty, it’s just a simple call and you can expect a replacement in no more than two business days. As someone who has used this replacement program (my first Epson HC5040UB had a power supply failure), I can tell you Epson is true to their word. I received my replacement the morning of the second business day.
A scene from Enders Game, projected by the Epson Home Cinema 2150.
A scene from The Hunger Games, projected by the Epson Home Cinema 2150.
A scene from Casino Royale, projected by the Epson Home Cinema 2150.
An HDTV football game, projected by the Epson Home Cinema 2150.
The Epson Home Cinema 2100 and Home Cinema 2150 have excellent color, and a great feature set for a fantastic price. All modes are highly usable, right out of the box, with only Dynamic needing some TLC in terms of color adjustment. I personally use the Dynamic Mode on my Epson HC5040UB all the time during the day – I just did a bit of tinkering with the color controls, and it looks pretty good! It’s actually the mode my husband and I most prefer for gaming.
Whether your thing is movies, gaming, or sports, either of these Epsons have you covered. A healthy amount of lumens makes these projectors ideal for common rooms such as living rooms, family rooms, media rooms, or even bedrooms, if you dig a projector in the bedroom. The lens shift makes the HC2100 and HC2150 easy to plug-and-play in any kind of environment. And, they’re portable enough to take outside for a movie night, weather providing!
These Epsons really give a lot of bang for your buck, and if you’re looking around for a good first projector, either of these will do just fine. An impressive image, lots of features, a great warranty, and right now, and excellent price point – you really can’t go wrong with either of these models.
Get the Epson HC2100 on Amazon!
Get the Epson HC2150 on Amazon!
Epson Home Cinema 2100/2150 Review
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