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Epson’s Bright Idea To Expand The Projector Market

Epson is attempting to bring projection to the mainstream with the launch of its two brightest 1080p front projectors to date.

The $799 Home Cinema 1040 and $1,699 Home Cinema 1440 deliver brightness levels of 3,000 and 4,400 lumens of color and white brightness, respectively, to make them suitable for viewing in rooms with higher ambient light, said Jason Palmer, senior marketing manager for home entertainment. The models will expand the projector market because they can be brought out of dedicated low-light home-theater rooms to compete for space with flat-panel TVs in the living room and or other every-day use rooms, he said.

The brightest 1080p home-theater projectors previously available from Epson delivered 2,500 lumens, Palmer said.

“Why settle for a 65-inch or 70-inch TV when you can have something four times bigger with bright, lifelike, sharp details, a portable design, and simple setup for a truly captivating experience even in large, well-lit environments?” Palmer asked.

 “A lot of people want front projectors in high-ambient-light rooms,” he continued. Ten years ago, projectors capable of displaying 900 lumens were considered high performance, he noted.

Like other Epson projectors with three LCD chips, the two portable models project equal levels of white and color brightness, delivering color-brightness levels up to three times higher than single-chip DLP models, Palmer contended. Suppliers of those products promote their products’ high levels of white brightness without mentioning the products’ lower color-brightness levels, he noted.

Both models are line additions that don’t replace current models. The 1040 and 1440 will be available in September through select retailers, etailers, and Epson’s online store.  

Both project images up to 300 inches and feature two HDMI ports, one with MHL to stream video content from such devices as Google Chromecast, Roku Stick, and the Amazon Fire TV Stick. They also feature a built-in speaker and choice of color modes optimized for such content as video games and movie watching.

The 1440 steps up to add a side-by-side mode to simultaneously display images from two connected video sources. It also adds Faroudja DCDi Cinema processing to enhance image quality without introducing video artifacts, Epson said.

Epson previously announced value-priced home-cinema projectors with improved picture quality. They are also designed to woo consumers away from flat-panel displays. Those two new 3D-capable 1080p 3LCD front projectors are the $799-suggested Home Cinema 2040 and $849 Home Cinema 2045. Both sport improved dynamic contrast ratios of 35,000:1, improved white and color brightness of 2,200 lumens, improved image processing, and frame interpolation to smooth out action for sports programs and video games. These capabilities haven’t been available from Epson home cinema projectors before at prices of less than $1,000, the company said at the time.