Epson Home Theater Projector Training

Hello blog readers! This is the first of many full training videos we plan to share with you all. This week we had Jeff Paiva, National Training Manager for Epson America’s Home Theater Projector division. Jeff came to Projector People to talk about Epson’s brand new Home Theater line up including the Epson Home Cinema 6100, Home Cinema 700, and Movie Mate 55.

Epson’s Home Cinema 1080 and Home Cinema 1080UB have been (and still are) best sellers for us. By comparison they are some of the nicest on the market. We were excited to learn more about the new line up.

Jeff is always an entertaining presenter, so it’s a great way to start our ‘Watch and Learn’ video series. Watch (or read) and enjoy!

Your Training Cheat Sheet for Epson Home Theater

If you don’t feel up to watching our entire training video here are a few notes from what we discovered this week.

Expected Ship Dates and Other Info

  • The Epson Powerlite Home Cinema 6100
  • The Epson HC6100 will include a 2 yr. advance replacement warranty
  • The higher-priced 1080p HC6500 expected to ship last week of November
  • New models have new industrial design, no longer “chiclets” but more squared edges and slightly larger cabinets for better heat and noise reduction, and for bigger video processors
  • The new Color Light Output specification, developed by the 3LCD consortium, has been adopted by Sony as well as Epson with more to come

About Projector Contrast Ratios

  • Average contrast ratio in a commercial movie theater is 150:1
  • Lights off commercial movie theater contrast would be around 350 to 400:1
  • The highest, true contrast ratio Jeff Paiva has ever measured was just over 400:1 and the image looked holographic from all the detail revealed


Jeff Paiva on Contrast Ratio. How is contrast measured in a home theater projector? Epson’s Jeff Paiva discusses the difference between full on / full off contrast ratio and reveals the highest contrast ratio display he has ever tested in his years of experience.

Difference Between Home and Business Projectors

  • Pushing green levels to achieve higher brightness
  • Typically have poor video processors which show artifacts. Can’t handle fast motion video
  • Louder fans on ultra portable projectors because of emphasis on smaller casing

Differences between image on a 720p vs. 1080p projector

  • 3 million vs. 6 million pixels (or 1 million x 3 panels vs. 2 million x 3 panels)
  • Colors appear more saturated in 1080p because there are more pixels to show depth
  • Better black levels in 1080p
  • More detail in the image, and a smoother image since less screen door effect visible


Jeff discusses the advantages of 1080p over 720p projection.

Watch Entire Training Video

Epson Training Session from Projector People on Vimeo.

Full Epson Home Theater training video, including all of the things we mentioned in our cheat sheet above. Jeff also demonstrates how projectors create white light, how the new Epson home theater projectors achive their high contrast ratios, and the benefits of 1080p projectors over 720p.

New 1080p Projectors Compared

What’s the latest in 1080p high definition projection? Four new 1080p projectors show promise as the best selling HD projectors of tomorrow. Those are the Sanyo PLV-Z700, Optoma HD806, Epson Home Cinema 6100, and the Panasonic PT-AE3000U. We thought we would compare the initial specifications (they are often tweaked before their final release) for those of you just waiting to get your hands on the best new stuff coming out. Essentially we see higher contrast ratios, lower introductory prices, and more high performance features. Okay, let’s start with our chart.

New 1080p Projector Comparison Chart

[ Based on preliminary specs only. ]

  Epson Home Cinema 6100 Optoma HD806 Panasonic PT-AE3000U Sanyo PLV-Z700
Resolution 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080 1920 x 1080
Panel/Chip D7 LCD DLP 0.95″ DMD D7 LCD D6 LCD
Brightness 1800 2000 1600 1200
Contrast 18,000:1 8,000:1 60,000:1 10,000:1*
HDMI Inputs 2 2 3 2
HDMI Version 1.3a 1.3 1.3 1.3b**
Lens 2.1x Optical Zoom, Manual Focus 1.2x Manual Zoom and Focus 2x Optical Power Zoom/Focus 2x Manual Zoom
Lens shift H 50% & V 100%, manual None H 40% & V 100% H 50% & V 100%
Noise 22 dB 32 dB Not yet spec’d 21 dB
Warranty 2 yr. pj, 90-days lamp 1 yr. pj, 90-days lamp 1 yr. pj, 90-days lamp 3 yr. pj, 90-days lamp
Street Price $1999 MSRP $2599 MAP $3499 MSRP $1995 MSRP
Extras   optional anamorphic lens
DVI input too
2.35:1 w/o anamorphic lens  
Full specs Coming Soon Optoma HD806 full specs Coming Soon Sanyo PLV-Z700 full specs

* Expect Sanyo to post dramatic improvements to this spec before release date.
** We are trying to confirm this. Sanyo reports the HDMI 1.3b input on their projectors is the same dimension as 1.3a HDMI, but with more pins.

A Big Contrast

Contrast ratios are coming in around the 10,000 to 60,000:1 range. But as the numbers get higher, the specification seems to mean less and less. Back in the day when people wanted to bring their work projectors home on the weekends – with 400:1 contrast ratios – contrast ratios were a serious consideration. But the visible difference between 10,000:1 and 60,000:1 contrast is not nearly as dramatic as it sounds. That is not to say that it doesn’t mean something, at least, but a 10,000:1 projector looks MUCH better than a 400:1 contrast projector. But unless you can make your room nearly black, the difference between 60,000:1 and 10,000:1 is not nearly as noticeable.

More Sizzle for your Nickel

This year there seems to be an emergence of more high-performance HD options around the same prices as some of last year’s entry level products. That’s good news for buyer’s who have been planning to spend around $3,000 based on last year’s prices, since they will get more for their money this time. Here’s a link to a blurb on Gizmodo about the Panasonic PT-AE3000U, dropping prices, and the high quality of this new $3000 projectors.

New 1080p Projectors : Product Photos

These photos were not taken by a professional photographer, as you can clearly see. They were taken by a professional product manager with many years of experience in the audio visual industry, and no natural photographic talent. I would show his photo but he doesn’t photograph well either. 🙂

Panasonic PT-AE3000U

Panasonic PT-AE3000U and the AE2000U Upgrades

Panasonic PT-AE3000U projector

Panasonic PT-AE3000U projector

Panasonic PT-AE3000U projector with Panasonic developers

Panasonic PT-AE3000U projector and developers

Sanyo PLV-Z700 projector

Sanyo PLV-Z700 projector