Epson EH-LS100 Home Cinema Projector Review
The Epson laser projector has full HD, 1080p (native WXGA, or 1920 x 1200 pixels) resolution, and super close-up optics (UST), and thanks to the latter feature, it can project images up to 330 cm in size from a minimum distance, up to 6 cm! It can be placed on the ceiling or the side wall, horizontally or vertically.
It works with the 3 LCD technologies, and its brightness (4000 lumens) can be up to three times that of single-chip DLP projectors. Detail Enhancement technology insures smoothness and sharpness of projected images.
The design of the projector is not very flashy in our opinion, but the appearance may not be an important consideration for a projector, especially when used in a darkened movie theatre.
This device uses a laser instead of a traditional lamps for projecting images: the laser can operate for up to ten times as long as a conventional projector lightbulbs, and the colour intensity remains constant throughout the life of the laser projector producing very sharp images. It requires little maintenance over a 20,000-hour lifespan (in ECO mode) – but fortunately no bulb replacement is required.
Depending on where we place it, the EH-LS100 projects smaller and larger images. The most ideal distance from the wall would be 50 cm approx. The EH-LS100 has full HD, but no 4K resolution. There are three HDMI inputs (one of them MHL compatible), a USB port, VGA on / off and composite video connections. You can also connect a game console, media player, and other sources to it.
The projector can be easily controlled using the iProjection application via the home Internet network with an RJ45 connector, or using an ELPAP10 adapter through Wi-Fi connection. With a 2,500,000: 1 dynamic contrast ratio it is capable of projecting JPEG images via USB. The projector also offers AMX, Control4, Extron and Creston control options.
The remote control is rather thick, but functional, and works pretty well.
Installation of the device is relatively easy. The size of the EH-LS100 is quite large – 188 x 494 x 437 mm and 11 kg – so it should be placed on a stable surface. Another advantage of a laser projector is the fast warm-up time when turned on. You can further sharpen the image by using the focus control hidden under the cover on the side of the device.
High colour brightness is important because colours are an essential component of image quality, so be sure to consider this feature when purchasing a projector.
DLP vs LCD projectors
DLP technology (“digital light processing”) uses thousands of mirrors that are the size of 1 pixel per part and are made of aluminium alloy. Due to the characteristics of the mirror surface, the material has a high reflectivity.
The DLP projector uses digital technology, the grey colour is not sensitive to various environmental factors and the gradation of the brightness projects colour tones stably and evenly over the entire surface.
On the other hand, 3LCD digital projectors use Texas Instruments technology. The main features of 3LCD projectors are that they project three colours of the spectrum onto the screen, create a bright colour space, moreover, have no “rainbow effect”, and the shades of grey are almost completely realistic.
Projectors with DLP technology can also be used for widescreen displays in cinemas or for broadcasting. DLP projectors are also better for use at home, with beautiful colours and high contrast ratios, and very good image stability. Digital, portable DLP projectors are reliable and of high quality. If you prefer accurate colours and more economical use, choose LCD projectors instead.
Epson EH-LS100 test
The Seventh Boy fantasy film was screened during testing in an approx. 12-square-foot cinema room, where sound was provided by a Magnat Transpuls speaker system. The room was designed in the attic of an old house, the acoustic treatment has not yet taken place. For perfect sound, you will need sound-absorbing wall panels, bass traps in the corners, completed with diffuser panels. We recommended diffuser front panels for the ceiling as well. In addition to sound absorption, there is a need for diffusers, which due to their irregular surface, scatter sounds across the room on the entire bandwidth.
The brightness of this laser projector is also remarkable. Compared to a traditional projector, using an Epson laser projector, you can comfortably watch a movie even in fairly strong ambient light. Of course, it provides the best performance in the dark. The image provided by it is beautiful, sharp with vibrant colours and fine details. We could even spot the vibration and movement of the hair in detail. The colour palette is also stunning, vibrant and natural.
As is typical of laser projectors, the image is extremely bright, which sometimes lacks the subtlety, the softness of brightest scenes. Due to the excessive brightness of the projector, scenes with more intense light did not seem natural at all during our test.
The black level is acceptable, but again, lacks the finesse of the best traditional projectors (and certainly of a 4K HDR device). Motion processing is not the best either, but it wont spoil the enjoyment of watching a movie or a sport event.
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The EH-LS100 has a built-in 16W speaker, so you can watch a show or movie using the projector without any additional speakers, although you can’t expect the same sound quality of course, as if you were using a more serious sound system.
It is worth mentioning that this projector can be quite noisy during operation. The noise level is 39 decibels in normal mode and 30 decibels in ECO mode. For the brightest images, the fan noise is downright intrusive. We can reduce this by choosing a lower power picture setting, but if we have a decent separate sound source, a sound system for instance, we can solve this problem anyway.
It is a super-sized projector with super-close optics that enables flexible placing. It has a very high brightness and minimal maintenance requirement. There is no need to find a permanent, fixed place for it, as the size wont deter us from moving it elsewhere.
Thanks to the close-up optics, it projects a sharp image even up close, although it is definitely worth placing it at a certain distance for optimal image quality.
Unfortunately, the EH-LS100 is not capable of 4K resolution, and several other manufacturers offer 4K-capable projectors in this price range.
Written by Róbert Polgár