Home Cinema 1040 Projector Highlights
After being bombarded with info from Epson, I’ve sorted through it, and have put together these two blogs, to describe Epson’s second batch of summer Home Entertainment projectors. Who knows, considering the two major industry shows where many projector announcements happen haven’t occurred yet: IFA in Europe, (September) and CEDIA in the US (October), maybe they’ve got even more for us? BTW with the CEDIA show late this year, it's not surprising that there are pre show announcements. I mention that because both Optoma and BenQ have also advised of new products. I'll get to them in other blogs.
I digress, so let me get back to, and focus on the Home Cinema 1040 projector. This one is bright - with 3000 white and color lumens! (the other, the Home Cinema 1440 is even brighter –at a massive 4400 lumens). Note, the 1440 has more features as well, and costs over double the HC1040's $799.
The 3LCD HC1040 has the juice to produce a bright enough image for rooms with some, even more than a little, ambient light. This Epson is not the projector you want for your dedicated home theater – it’s basically too bright! If you have a cave like room, fear not, Epson has plenty of “home theater” projectors built for best viewing conditions. This projector is for other rooms!
The Home Cinema 1040 is pretty affordable, with an official price of only $799. For that you get full 1080p resolution, 3D, manual 1.2:1 ratio zoom lens, and built in sound.
The HC1040 is small enough and light enough (5.7 lbs.) to pack up and take it on a trip – vacation, or over to a friends for a movie night or sporting event, or perhaps some gaming. Or put it out back for a summer evening movie night.
There’s a built in speaker system, solving that problem when “mobile,” or at home, that sound is ready. Of course there's also an audio out so you can feed the sound to a bigger/better sound system.
Speaking of gaming, we won’t know about the input lag times until we receive one, but Epson has been working on further improving their input lag times, so I’m hoping to see about 33ms, when setup for gaming. That’s reasonably good, for even serious high speed gaming.
The HC1040 is not without a frill or two, including some useful ones.
It does have a pair of HDMI inputs, but even better, the first one supports MHL, the mobile protocol, so that you can easily interface with wireless devices such as your Apple or Android smart phone or tablet, or streaming sticks such as Roku, Amazon Fire, and Google’s Chromecast.
This Epson looks to be an impressive family projector on several levels, not just performance. Not only is it nice and bright, it’s easy to operate. It offers keystone and corner correction, for quick setup, even in awkward places. And, it comes with a great warranty for a projector in the price range – two years parts and labor with Epson’s two years of Extra care rapid replacement program for minimal hassle should there be a warranty problem. Although there are exceptions, 1 year parts and labor - and no replacement program is the most common warranty around this price point.
Not only is the HC1040 a low cost projector, but cost of operation is also low. Epson is famous for having the lowest cost replacement lamps (often under $100).
The long life lamp is rated 5000 hours at full power – it really doesn’t get longer than that, without a solid state light engine. That’s six years of 40 hours a week. Eco mode they claim is up to 10,000 hours -which usually means the ability to drop to very low power if the projector is on, but apparently not being used.
Also, even considering the brightness. 3LCD projectors draw less power than DLP ones, typically needing a lower wattage lamp to produce the same amount of brightness.
I haven’t gotten my hands on one of these HC1040s yet – they aren’t shipping until next month (September), but I am reviewing Epson’s Home Cinema 2040 which isn’t as bright – at a “mere” 2200 lumens claimed - but has a different feature set, and sells for an extra $50.
I’ve been watching a lot of preseason football on that HC2040 projector. Right out of the box the color is really good with good skin tones in the Bright Cinema mode, and even better in the regular Cinema mode. I would expect the same from the Home Cinema 1040.
Since I can't show you what the HC1040 is capable of, I've included some images from the HC2040 projector. This should give you some idea (besides, by the time you see these images in this review, they won't look close to being as good as they are projected on a screen
The Home Cinema 1040 certainly looks competitive at it’s price point. It’s going up against a significant number of single chip DLP projectors. Each technology (3LCD vs DLP) has advantages and disadvantages, of course, but when it comes to home entertainment projectors, the odds "may be in its favor."
There’s a good likelihood that we’ll review this Epson.