Geoffrey Morrison/Proinertech

The very best projectors underneath $1,000 typically carry out very effectively and often you may have to spend so much extra to get a noticeable soar in image high quality. Whereas these fashions are nonetheless 1080p (no 4K but), the brilliant, colourful pictures they will create are an excellent possibility for film nights and even only for binge-watching Netflix reveals. The Epson House Cinema 2150 would not have the high-line options of right now’s TVs, like HDR or huge coloration gamut, nevertheless it does allow you to create a large image. On a 100-inch display it is brighter than many TVs from a couple of years in the past, though the colour and distinction ratio aren’t fairly nearly as good as one of the best on this worth vary.

Like

Shiny, colourful imageLens shiftNo DLP rainbows

Do not Like

Solely 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 properties. It’s because 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 possibly can place the projector on a shelf behind the couch as an alternative of on the ground, as an illustration. Additionally, 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 opponents, the BenQ HT2050A and the ViewSonic PX727HD — I will have full critiques of each coming quickly. Among the many three, the 2150 is finest for brighter rooms the place mild management is not excellent or for conditions the place you want its placement versatility, however the BenQ was my favourite up to now for general picture high quality.

Primary specs

Native decision: 1080pDiscrete pixels on chips: 1,920×1,080HDR-compatible: No4K-compatible: No3D-compatible: YesLumens spec: 2,500Zoom: Handbook (1.6x)Lens shift: ManualLamp life (Regular mode): four,500 hours

The 2150 can settle for indicators as much as 1080p/60, no HDR or 4K, which is ok as this is not an HDR or 4K projector. 3D TVs are lifeless
however projectors just like the 2150 nonetheless present 3D motion pictures, 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 mild 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). That is far lower than the brightness of most TVs right now, however brilliant in contrast with projectors and TVs from a couple of years in the past. On a 100-inch+ display, it is quite a bit. 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 helps you to modify the picture vertically in your wall or display with out transferring the projector. The Epson additionally has 1.6x value of zoom, which is a little more than different projectors on this worth vary, which means you’ll be able to have it a bit farther from, or nearer, to your display. 

Lamp life is a claimed four,500 hours, or 7,500 within the a lot quieter, however dimmer, Eco mode. That is good for this worth vary. To place this in perspective, in the event you have been to make use of this projector as your major “TV,” watching it four hours daily, 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/Proinertech

Connectivity and comfort

HDMI 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: Sure (On HDMI 1)Distant: Not backlit

On 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 type of film rig you wish to construct, there’s 1/Eighth-inch analog audio output as effectively to hook up with exterior audio system. Alternatively, there is a tiny, rearward-facing speaker inbuilt. It is not unhealthy, however just about any exterior speaker association goes to sound higher (do your self a favor and a minimum of put an inexpensive soundbar underneath the display). At greater volumes with the built-in speaker there was a little bit of a rattle from the case.

The distant is just not backlit, and has many small and equally formed buttons. Almost definitely, after you have set the projector up, you may in all probability simply use the distant to show the projector on and off, so this is not an enormous downside.

The 2150 additionally has wi-fi connectivity. Utilizing Miracast, you’ll be able to ship content material out of your laptop computer to the display with minimal setup fuss, nevertheless it’s not ideally suited. Miracast might be finicky, and this setup will depend on you having your laptop computer (PC solely, thoughts you) open and taking part in the content material. In case you do not wish to run an HDMI cable, streaming sticks are low cost and will probably 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 would nonetheless stream content material out of your pc to it.

Geoffrey Morrison/Proinertech

Image high quality comparisons

Total the Epson creates a really watchable, exceptionally brilliant picture. Whereas its black stage and distinction aren’t nearly as good as one of the best 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 nearly as good as one of the best. Greens, for instance, do not fairly have the leafy jungle vibrancy they may have. And once more, as a result of it is LCD-based, and never DLP-based like most projectors underneath $1,000, it would not have that expertise’s major difficulty: rainbows. Most individuals aren’t bothered by the rainbow trails on brilliant objects with DLP, however in case you are, the Epson is a superb different.

The headline numbers of the 2150 are fairly good. In Regular mode, it places out a formidable 182 nits on a 102-inch, 1.Zero-gain display. This converts to roughly 1,620 lumens, roughly the identical because the BenQ, and far greater than the ViewSonic.

Distinction ratio is kind of improved from older LCD projectors. It falls proper in between the BenQ and the ViewSonic. I measured a median of roughly 1,220:1 throughout the varied lamp modes. The BenQ, for comparability, was 2,094:1. These numbers in all probability appear low in contrast with the claimed specs, however projector distinction ratios have at all times been wildly exaggerated. Neither of those projectors appears 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 quite a bit.

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 nice but in addition as a result of I needed to look at it once more. The Epson and the BenQ, at first look, have been fairly evenly matched and equally brilliant whereas the ViewSonic was noticeably dimmer. Total there’s lots of mild to play with however I nonetheless would suggest darkish or blackout curtains in the event you watch quite a bit through 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 is not a large distinction, however aspect by aspect it is obvious. With such excessive mild output, nonetheless, the distinction in all probability would not be that noticeable at dwelling. The ViewSonic’s black ranges have been really nearer to the BenQ’s than the Epson’s, however with much less mild general, I might have hoped it could have had the bottom black stage. Provided that it was a lot dimmer, and its distinction ratio the bottom of the bunch, I centered extra on the Epson and BenQ.

By no means choose the image high quality of a projector primarily based on a photograph.

Geoffrey Morrison/Proinertech

A low black stage 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 a couple of years in the past and by no means appeared flat or washed out. Aspect by aspect, once more, the BenQ is somewhat 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 appeared 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.

Total 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 is shut, nonetheless, and the darkest pictures on the Epson have a slight blue tint. So it’s kind of of a wash. Pores and skin tones are good both approach.

Switching gears a bit, I shifted over to Deadliest Catch, a present with picture high quality starting from fantastically cinematic slow-mo to barely satisfactory GoPro. There wasn’t a lot to separate the BenQ and Epson. Each photos have been extraordinarily detailed, exhibiting whiskers, wrinkles, claws and carpus. The BenQ was somewhat cleaner, nonetheless, than any mode on the Epson, with much less noise in stable colours and round objects, indicating it had barely higher video processing. The Epson wasn’t noisy by any stretch, nevertheless it wasn’t fairly as easily noise-free because the BenQ. Once more, a minor quibble and one thing you would be unlikely to note until you had them aspect by aspect.

Whereas the BenQ’s pixels are nearer collectively, that is simply how DLP is; the Epson’s aren’t that a lot farther aside. You may solely see particular person pixels in the event you’re sitting very shut, the display is exceptionally giant or each. After which, you’d in all probability be seeing pixels on a DLP-based projector at roughly the identical measurement and distance too.

The Epson has an automated iris, dimming the picture for darkish scenes, opening up for brilliant ones. I wasn’t notably bothered by it, although if the present cuts from a darkish scene to a brilliant 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.

Each projectors are pretty loud, a minimum of of their regular modes. If this projector is anyplace near your head, you are going to hear it. Dropping both one into Eco mode, nonetheless, not solely prolongs the lifetime of its lamp, however makes the fan noise much more livable.

Total, whereas it would not fairly have the image high quality of the BenQ HT2050A, it is shut. The picture is brilliant and colourful, and the distinction ratio is sweet sufficient that the picture by no means appears washed out or flat. All that, plus the higher flexibility of lens shift and a better-than-average zoom, make the House Cinema 2150 an excellent 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 motion pictures, TV and sports activities.

Geek Field

Check

Outcome

Rating

Black luminance (Zero%)

Zero.2

Poor

Peak white luminance (100%)

179.9

Good

Derived lumens

1620

Good

Avg. grayscale error (10-100%)

three.189

Common

Darkish grey error (20%)

three.517

Common

Shiny grey error (70%)

2.907

Good

Avg. coloration error

5.237

Common

Purple error

eight.315

Poor

Inexperienced error

5.892

Common

Blue error

three.199

Common

Cyan error

eight.244

Poor

Magenta error

three.565

Common

Yellow error

2.205

Good

Avg. saturations error

three.48

Common

Avg. coloration checker error

four.three

Common

Enter lag (Recreation mode)

28

Good

Measurement notes

The HC 2150 has a variety of changes out there within the person menu, and in contrast to lots of its opponents, is broadly adjustable itself. Within the Cinema image mode and the 5 coloration temperature mode, the HC 2150 was pretty near D65 however trended considerably blue with brighter pictures. Colours have been comparatively correct, a minimum of for this class. Inexperienced, blue, yellow and magenta have been all pretty shut, whereas teal was barely blue, crimson was barely orange. It was doable to regulate these within the person menu, extra so than with a comparably priced DLP projector, presuming you might have the precise tools to measure them.

Mild output was corresponding to the higher projectors on this worth vary. With the Regular energy consumption mode the Epson was able to roughly 180 nits on a 102-inch, 1.Zero-gain display. This calculates out to roughly 1,620 lumens. The Eco mode drops that by about 25%. With each modes the typical distinction ratio is a decent 1,220:1, once more for this class. An automated iris, which dims the picture throughout darkish scenes, will increase the dynamic distinction ratio to five,395:1 within the Regular mode, and three,991:1 within the Eco mode. At anyone second on display, nonetheless, that is nonetheless 1,220:1. That is decrease than the BenQ HT2050A, however greater than most different sub-$1,000 DLP projectors.

Shade Mode: Cinema

Professional settings:

Energy Consumption: Regular Brightness: 50Distinction: 50 Shade Saturation: 48Sharpness: 5 Shade Temp: 5 Gamma: -1  Body Interpolation: Off Auto Iris: Excessive Pace (Off is ok if this characteristic bothers you)

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