When Epson ramped up its efforts in the projector space, no one expected the Japanese electronics maker to super-charge the market. Like printers, Epson has been pushing the innovation envelope for its projectors as well, but with a twist. Where popular audio-visual brands deal with functional updates and improving video processing capabilities, Epson focused on design and experiential innovations. There are plenty of go-to offerings from Epson that showcase these next-gen transformations. One of them, the Epson EH-LS100 Full HD Ultra-Short Throw Home Theatre Projector, is a stand-out entry. Of the many progressive features present on this projector, the most important question is how it is suitable for homes.
No Nonsense Looks
Full disclosure: the review for the Epson EH-LS100 is not done at PC.com Tested Labs. Instead, and upon Epson’s insistence, a quick yet detailed test-run was pre-arranged at the Epson Solution Centre. Indeed, this industry-looking projector – for its asking price – is all prepped up for this review in a suitable dark room. This eliminates the unboxing experience and setup process for the projector. Even the calibration is optimised. Honestly, that takes the fun out of the review a little. But thankfully, there are few optimisations needed to run 4K content at 2K scaling. That more than makes up for it. Visually, it may not be the prettiest entry from Epson. Even so, some quarters will like it somehow.
When one gets a projector, what comes to mind? A big screen on the wall and loads of space to setup the home cinema. Not so with the Epson EH-LS100, as its short-throw lens allows it to project a massive screen while only being a few inches away from the wall. The visual output, which measures at 90” on average, can go up to 130” when needed. Any conventional projector will need at least seven to fourteen feet of space; with Epson’s newest short-throw, it only needs a very tiny amount of space to project video.
Let’s get this out of the way first: Laser-output projection systems are not new. They are found in research systems and industrial platforms. It only started making its way onto mainstream projectors, business types mostly, a few years ago. With Epson, this tech has already rolled out onto certain enterprise-class projectors and top-line 4K entries. In fact, home theatre concepts from Epson already sport a laser diode. Interestingly, pairing the short-throw design with this laser diode allowed this next-gen projector to create exceptionally vivid saturations. While colours look warmer, it doesn’t affect the white balance. Complementing the good on-screen colours are crispy and sharp visuals.
Sound delivery is usually a very minor feature for projectors – usually a by-the-way thing. It is only recently that more emphasis is placed on this feature. This is due to the need for a sound system that is small or mobile enough to pair up with projectors. These days, there is a big enough speaker (usually mono) that is packed inside alongside a nicely tuned acoustic chamber to boost the sound levels. For the Epson EH-LS100, the built-in 16W audio delivery system is good enough. While it can’t do stereo, it works in tandem with the echo pockets inside the chassis to make it sound bigger. Real engineering feat right there.
Right at Home
Thanks to its industrial design, the Epson EH-LS100 will stand out in the living room. Even so, it is one item that many home theatre enthusiasts will consider as a necessity. For something that is 1.5x larger than a standard projector, this next-gen entry from Epson sports enough features to justify the design. From the laser diode system to the Epson 3LCD panels, that 16W speaker, the wireless network array, and multitude of ports – it is obvious this all-new Epson projector is going all-out
(Text by: Morgan Davion)
One of the more interesting innovations to come out of Epson, suitable for home theatre enthusiasts.