The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.
Get the ultimate 4K experience with your DIY home theater, the Epson Home Cinema 4010 shows movies, sports and games the way they were meant to be seen – on the big screen.
Home Theaters are nothing new, they have been around even the middle class sector since the 1970’s. Although they were a rarity (an expensive rarity), chances are you knew someone who knew someone that had one. A permanently mounted screen and a large floor mounted console with the big three Red, Blue, and Green (RGB) lenses projecting a standard definition image larger than you had ever seen in a home before, and as remniscent as a movie theater experience as you could have. Aside from the cost, the main issue was most people didn’t have the room in their homes for one of these set-ups. Also, the technology was short-lived due to the advent of single unit rear projection TV’s that themselves were also costly and rare in the early to mid 1980’s. In these modern times, large display flat screen TV’s in high definition are everywhere and in virtually every home in multiples! Right now in this very house we have at least 6 flat screen HD TV’s ranging from 19” to 65”. The advent of newer features like 4k resolution, HDR, and even the here and gone 3D technology has lowered costs of TV’s that just 10-15 years ago were too steep to be budgeted.
The more things change, however, the more they stay the same. All of today’s current display technologies available in stand alone TV’s can also be found in present day home projectors. Home projectors have become smaller and more affordable than ever. My first foray into the projector world was a small, portable Android based model that was great to take on vacations and has currently taken up residency in my bathroom for maximum relaxation during extended soaking sessions. It projects in a technically HD 720p resolution which is fine, but nowhere near what I would want for a main display. Still, most people’s decision to purchase or not to purchase a projector TV is do they have the space for such a thing. Sure you could set one on a coffee table and shine it on a vacant wall, but how large would the image be, after all the greater the distance the larger the image, right? Luckily my new home has allowed me the oppurtunity to explore this option, and I have thrown my hat into the projector arena with the new Epson Home Cinema 4010!
The Epson Home Cinema 4010 PRO-UHD is a 4k HDR projector that is so advanced, so state-of-the-art, that I am currently trying to understand all of its techincal specifications! By now we all have a decent understanding of what 4k is (basically double 1080p, or Full HD), smaller pixel size = sharper image. Although that is true, most people don’t realize that in order to really see the difference in 4k from 1080p you’d have to sit really close to the screen, the smaller the screen the closer you’d have to sit. More important in picture quality these days has been HDR (High Dynamic Range), this increases the contrast ratio which is the difference between the brightest and darkest colors shown, it makes for a much more vivid picture displayed. The 4010 is capable of a 200,000:1 ratio! In addition, and in direct correlation to this, the Home Cinema 4010 also provides a Wide Color Gamut (WCG) which is the amount of colors able to be displayed. The 4010 boasts 1.07 billion colors! This combination provides a real “seeable” improvement to picture quality over just 4k. Finer details and less muted colors (redder reds, bluer blues, etc.) make the image pop for a truly lifelike display like you’ve never seen! This projector is even capable of 3D display (glasses sold seperately).
Choosing a spot to mount the Epson Home Cinema is key to the experience, but whether you decide a wall, ceiling, or table mount the 4010 has a variety of features that will let you fine tune the picture for optimal quality, such as the 3 axis motor for powered focus that allows you to zero in on that perfectly centered image without constantly fiddling with the unit. It also comes loaded with 10 preset positions to help take the guess work out of it. You’ll want at least (as suggested) 50″ of distance from the lens to your wall/screen, but can go up to 300″ and still produce a stellar picture. One drawback to the Home Cinema that probably affects most projectors I would imagine is that it only has 2 HDMI ports. Your standard modern flat screen TV monitor comes with no less than 3, and with so many current devices utilizing HDMI it forces you to narrow down your choices. There are splitters you can purchase but that doesn’t solve the problem of wanting say a gaming console, a cable box, and soundbar hooked up all at the same time. Another drawback to projectors that may keep some people at bay is the life span of the bulb. While regular HDTV’s have a lifespan of anywhere from 30,000 to 50,000 hours, the Epson Home Cinema lamp lifespan is a paltry 3,500 (5,000 in ECO mode). And although they are easy to replace yourself, the high cost of additional lamps (around $200.00) might make anyone reluctant to purchase one. Projector’s also produce a lot of heat, so you’ll want to ensure a location that provides plenty of space to vent as they do contain fans and an air filter (which requires regular cleaning and an eventual replacement cost $20.00) as well.
Once installed and plugged in, there are just a few easy adjustments to make for image focus and alignment and you are ready to go. Easy menu navigation makes selecting your preferences and parameters such as color mode, screen ratio, and lumen ouptut a breeze. The resulting picture is SO satisfying, crisp and clear, vivid and vibrant colors even without a 4k capable input. The Epson Home Cinema 4010 is also super quiet! I was worried that with the fan it would produce an annoying background noise, but not even in the slightest. I had to almost strain to hear it at all. Although I am still waiting for a proper installation (I believe an upside down on the ceiling will work best for my home) I can already feel the excitement building and am counting down the days to when I can include myself as part of the pantheon of home cinema projector owners. Even with the drawbacks it imposes, I feel it is a worthwhile venture that while not right for everyone is a wonderful option for those looking to recreate a theater experience in your home, especially when you can easily produce an image size of 130″ or more. Good luck finding a 4k HDR 130″ TV for under $2000.00! Thanks Epson, you have made me a believer!