Epson Home Cinema 2150 review: Lens shift and lots of light

    The finest projectors beneath $1,000 typically carry out very effectively and often you may need to spent much more to get a noticeable bounce in image high quality. While these fashions are nonetheless 1080p (no 4K but), the brilliant, colourful photos they will create are an incredible possibility for film nights and even only for binge-watching Netflix exhibits. The Epson Home Cinema 2150 would not have the high-line options of as we speak’s TVs, like HDR or extensive colour gamut, but it surely does allow you to create a large image. On a 100-inch display it is brighter than many TVs from just a few years in the past, though the colour and distinction ratio aren’t fairly pretty much as good as the perfect on this worth vary.

    LikeBright, colourful pictureLens shiftNo DLP rainbows

    Don’t LikeOnly common distinction and black levelFairly noisy in regular lamp mode

    The Epson’s benefit over different projectors in its class is the flexibility to suit higher in lots of houses. This is as a result of it has a wider zoom vary, so it may be positioned farther from the display, and one thing very uncommon amongst its counterparts: vertical lens shift. You can place the projector on a shelf behind the couch as an alternative of on the ground, for example. Also, as a result of it is LCD-based, there are not one of the DLP “rainbows” that may trouble some folks. I in contrast it immediately with two equally priced DLP rivals, the BenQ HT2050A and the ViewSonic PX727HD — I’ll have full opinions of each coming quickly. Among the three, the 2150 is finest for brighter rooms the place gentle management is not excellent or for conditions the place you want its placement versatility, however the BenQ was my favourite thus far for total picture high quality.

    Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
    Basic specsNative decision: 1080pDiscrete pixels on chips: 1,920×1,080HDR-compatible: No4K-compatible: No3D-compatible: YesLumens spec: 2,500Zoom: Manual (1.6x)Lens shift: ManualLamp life (Normal mode): 4,500 hoursThe 2150 can settle for indicators as much as 1080p/60, no HDR or 4K, which is okay as this is not an HDR or 4K projector. 3D TVs are lifeless
    however projectors just like the 2150 nonetheless present 3D films, though glasses aren’t included. The $99 glasses are out of inventory on Epson’s website, however there are third-party alternate options on Amazon.Epson claims a most gentle output of two,500 lumens. With my pattern, I measured a formidable 1,620 lumens (it is regular for projectors to measure lower than their claimed specs). This is way lower than the brightness of most TVs as we speak, however shiny in contrast with projectors and TVs from just a few years in the past. On a 100-inch+ display, it is so much. The claimed distinction ratio of 65,000:1 is the one spec that is greater than the wired model of this projector, the marginally cheaper HC2100.The vertical lens shift permits you to regulate the picture vertically in your wall or display with out transferring the projector. The Epson additionally has 1.6x price of zoom, which is a little more than different projectors on this worth vary, that means you’ll be able to have it a bit farther from, or nearer, to your display. 

    Lamp life is a claimed 4,500 hours, or 7,500 within the a lot quieter, however dimmer, Eco mode. This is sweet for this worth vary. To put this in perspective, when you have been to make use of this projector as your fundamental “TV,” watching it 4 hours on daily basis, the lamp in Eco mode would final you over 5 years. For comparability, the BenQ’s lamp life, in its Eco mode, is 5,000 hours.
    Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
    Connectivity and convenienceHDMI inputs: 2PC enter: Analog RGBUSB port: 1 (1A energy)Audio enter and output: Output onlyDigital audio output: NoLAN port: No12v set off: NoRS-232 distant port: NoMHL: Yes (On HDMI 1)Remote: Not backlitOn the again there are two HDMI inputs and an analog PC RGB-15 connector. The USB-A connector provides 1 amp of energy, sufficient to energy a Roku Streaming Stick. If that is the sort of film rig you wish to construct, there’s 1/Eighth-inch analog audio output as effectively to connect with exterior audio system. Alternatively, there is a tiny, rearward-facing speaker inbuilt. It’s not unhealthy, however just about any exterior speaker association goes to sound higher (do your self a favor and a minimum of put an affordable soundbar beneath the display). At greater volumes with the built-in speaker there was a little bit of a rattle from the case.The distant will not be backlit, and has many small and equally formed buttons. Most probably, after you have set the projector up, you may most likely simply use the distant to show the projector on and off, so this is not an enormous drawback.The 2150 additionally has wi-fi connectivity. Using Miracast, you’ll be able to ship content material out of your laptop computer to the display with minimal setup fuss, but it surely’s not superb. Miracast might be finicky, and this setup will depend on you having your laptop computer (PC solely, thoughts you) open and enjoying the content material. If you do not wish to run an HDMI cable, streaming sticks are low-cost and shall be simpler to make use of in the long term since you’re simply sticking them into the projector itself. Roku additionally has Miracast inbuilt so you could possibly nonetheless stream content material out of your laptop to it.
    Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
    Picture high quality comparisonsOverall the Epson creates a really watchable, exceptionally shiny picture. While its black degree and distinction aren’t pretty much as good as the perfect on this worth vary, it will get darkish sufficient to not be distracting whereas watching a film with letterbox bars. The colours are good, however once more, not fairly pretty much as good as the perfect. Greens, for instance, do not fairly have the leafy jungle vibrancy they might have. And once more, as a result of it is LCD-based, and never DLP-based like most projectors beneath $1,000, it would not have that know-how’s fundamental challenge: rainbows. Most folks aren’t bothered by the rainbow trails on shiny objects with DLP, however in case you are, the Epson is a good various.

    The headline numbers of the 2150 are fairly good. In Normal mode, it places out a formidable 182 nits on a 102-inch, 1.0-gain display. This converts to roughly 1,620 lumens, roughly the identical because the BenQ, and far greater than the ViewSonic.Contrast ratio is kind of improved from older LCD projectors. It falls proper in between the BenQ and the ViewSonic. I measured a mean of roughly 1,220:1 throughout the varied lamp modes. The BenQ, for comparability, was 2,094:1. These numbers most likely appear low in contrast with the claimed specs, however projector distinction ratios have at all times been wildly exaggerated. Neither of those projectors appears to be like washed out, although in contrast with OLED
    or local-dimming LCD TVs, they do not have almost as a lot distinction.Fan noise is a bit loud, particularly if the projector is sitting or mounted close to your head. The Eco mode is about 25% dimmer, however the fan noise drops by about 10dB, which is so much.My comparability concerned all three projectors stacked, of their best-looking modes, on the identical display utilizing a Monoprice 1×4 distribution amplifier. I began with Thor: Ragnarok, largely as a result of it appears to be like nice but additionally as a result of I wished to observe it once more. The Epson and the BenQ, at first look, have been fairly evenly matched and equally shiny whereas the ViewSonic was noticeably dimmer. Overall there’s quite a lot of gentle to play with however I nonetheless would advocate darkish or blackout curtains when you watch so much throughout the day. No projector can compete with the solar.Splitting the display between the BenQ and the Epson, one other distinction turns into noticeable. As it is a 2.39:1 film, there are black bars on a 16×9 display. The BenQ’s bars are a shade darker. It’s not a large distinction, however aspect by aspect it is obvious. With such excessive gentle output, nevertheless, the distinction most likely would not be that noticeable at house. The ViewSonic’s black ranges have been truly nearer to the BenQ’s than the Epson’s, however with much less gentle total, I’d have hoped it might have had the bottom black degree. Given that it was a lot dimmer, and its distinction ratio the bottom of the bunch, I targeted extra on the Epson and BenQ.Never choose the image high quality of a projector primarily based on a photograph.
    Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
    A low black degree and excessive brightness translate to a excessive distinction ratio, a minimum of graded on the curve of projectors on this worth vary. The picture on each the Epson and the BenQ punched much better than projectors on this vary from just a few years in the past and by no means regarded flat or washed out. Side by aspect, once more, the BenQ is a little bit higher, with just a bit extra “depth” within the picture in contrast with the Epson.  Early in Thor: Ragnarok, Thor and Loki journey to Norway to seek out Odin. This was the primary scene that confirmed a considerable distinction between the Epson and the BenQ. With the BenQ, the grass on this scene regarded far greener, like an early summer season garden after the rain. With the Epson, it was nonetheless inexperienced, however extra like the tip of a dry summer season. The water behind Odin was bluer with the BenQ as effectively. Overall the colours from the BenQ have been just a bit extra correct, although the Epson’s weren’t that far off. Flipping that, the colour temperature of the Epson is a little more correct, with the BenQ being a bit heat out of the field. It’s shut, nevertheless, and the darkest photos on the Epson have a slight blue tint. So it is a bit of a wash. Skin tones are good both approach. Switching gears a bit, I shifted over to Deadliest Catch, a present with picture high quality starting from superbly cinematic slow-mo to barely satisfactory GoPro. There wasn’t a lot to separate the BenQ and Epson. Both photos have been extraordinarily detailed, displaying whiskers, wrinkles, claws and carpus. The BenQ was a little bit cleaner, nevertheless, than any mode on the Epson, with much less noise in strong colours and round objects, indicating it had barely higher video processing. The Epson wasn’t noisy by any stretch, but it surely wasn’t fairly as easily noise-free because the BenQ. Again, a minor quibble and one thing you would be unlikely to note except you had them aspect by aspect. While the BenQ’s pixels are nearer collectively, that is simply how DLP is; the Epson’s aren’t that a lot farther aside. You’ll solely see particular person pixels when you’re sitting very shut, the display is exceptionally massive or each. And then, you’d most likely be seeing pixels on a DLP-based projector at roughly the identical dimension and distance too.The Epson has an computerized iris, dimming the picture for darkish scenes, opening up for shiny ones. I wasn’t notably bothered by it, although if the present cuts from a darkish scene to a shiny one, when a personality’s going from inside to exterior, say, you may discover the iris take a beat to catch up. If it bothers you, you’ll be able to flip it off.Both projectors are pretty loud, a minimum of of their regular modes. If this projector is wherever near your head, you are going to hear it. Dropping both one into Eco mode, nevertheless, not solely prolongs the lifetime of its lamp, however makes the fan noise much more livable.Overall, whereas it would not fairly have the image high quality of the BenQ HT2050A, it is shut. The picture is shiny and colourful, and the distinction ratio is sweet sufficient that the picture by no means appears to be like washed out or flat. All that, plus the higher flexibility of lens shift and a better-than-average zoom, make the Home Cinema 2150 an incredible possibility for individuals who hate DLP rainbows, cannot place or mount a projector with out lens shift or simply need a handsome projector for big-screen films, TV and sports activities.

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