Epson Laser Projector Ultra Short Throw – The Epson EH-LS100, Epson’s first laser Full HD Ultra Short Throw (UST) home cinema projector, can be placed very close to the viewing area.
The projector landscape has undergone a lot of innovation since last year. And then we’re not just talking about Ultra HD and HDR support. Until recently, projectors with laser lights were only intended for the business world, but are now finding their way into home cinemas as well. Like this Epson EH-LS100, which also has a very short throw ratio, which completely changes the installation.
Epson Laser Projector Ultra Short Throw
Make some extra space for this projector, it needs it. At 11 kg and a footprint of around 50 cm x 44 cm, it’s in the same range as the Epson EH-TW9300W in terms of both size and weight. It is clearly intended for a fixed position, not for occasional movement.
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It does not look very impressive except for its dimensions. The entire case is matte black. Typically with UST (Ultra Short Throw) projectors, the lens is on top, not in front. There is a row of control buttons on the side and the projector is equipped with three adjustable feet at the bottom.
Connections are on the left side of the projector. The largest part is covered by the screwed part of the housing. The most important connections (HDMI, USB, LAN) can be reached without removing the lid. There are three HDMI ports, one of which can also be used with your mobile devices via MHL. Two USB sockets (Type A) are used for photo playback only, the third USB socket (Type B) is used for USB display. You can connect your computer to the projector this way and with the help of additional software.
Additional connections show the projector’s professional pedigree: VGA, composite video and stereo synch audio input, VGA output and stereo synch audio output. There are RS-232c and LAN connections for control. The projector can optionally be equipped with a wireless network module.
Ultra Short Throw (UST) Projectors, What exactly does that mean for placement? The very short throw ratio ensures that you get a very large image even when the projector is close to a wall. In this case, you only need to place the projector 24 inches from the wall for a 100-inch image. Because this is measured from the lens to the wall and the lens back is about 35cm, the back of the projector needs to be only 26cm from the wall for this 100 inch image.
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The projector is equipped with a zoom, but this is a digital zoom (1.35x). You digitally downsize the image, so you lose resolution and detail. The focus button is hidden behind the ventilation grill. We have to find the best focus, and on our test sample we have to settle for perfect focus at the top of the frame. Below you get a slight shift of the red pixel (above). At the bottom, the displacement is about 1 pixel. In practice this is not a problem. There is no setting to align the panel.
A lens shift of approximately 123% means that the image appears at 23% of the image height above the projector. It is a good end, so the projector needs to be very low. Ceiling mounting is possible, but makes the connection more difficult. Lens shift is not provided unless you use digital zoom. The reduced image may then change slightly. There is limited keystone correction, both horizontal and vertical, and several additional options to correct the image for minor distortions.
Remember that setting up a UST projector is a simple task. Even the smallest shift creates visible keystone distortion. But the most important factor is your screen. Because light hits the screen at a very sharp angle, a slight bump or crease will result in slight distortion. So a good flat screen is essential. Our own screen has a few light waves at the top, but that only interferes with the test images, not the actual content.
A laser projector with a light output of 4,000 lumens obviously needs strong cooling. The projector makes a lot of noise if you leave the lamp in the normal position. Fortunately, there is also a “silent” mode. The lamp attenuates by 30% and immediately brings the noise down to an acceptable level. It’s not whisper quiet, but since you’re not close to the projector it won’t bother you. You can also opt for “Extended”, then the lamp dims by 30%, but cooling continues at full speed for longer life. With “Custom” mode, you can manually set the brightness between 100 and 70%.
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Epson’s menus are clear and easy to navigate. The explanation is missing, so the manual is indispensable at first. Unlike Epson’s other home theater projectors, you can’t adjust the menu positions. They appear in the center of the screen. Here too, entrepreneurial roots are visible. Only four picture modes are available (Dynamic, Bright Cinema, Cinema and Game).
You get a wide range of settings to customize the picture, but a little less than Epson (e.g. Epson Superwhite is missing). Some settings, such as B. Color temperature, are available but less clearly labeled (with meaningless numbers instead of actual color temperature).
If we have to give Epson one major criticism, it’s the remote control. This is clearly intended for meeting room use, not home theater. It is a compact remote control with very small buttons and no backlight. Some functions (eg pen mode, auto, page +/-) cannot be used.
This Epson is equipped with a laser light source. This not only generates a significant light output, but also has an extremely long service life: 20,000 hours in normal and quiet mode and 30,000 hours in extended mode. Despite having a laser light source, there is neither a wide color palette nor HDR support. 3D support is also missing. The panel uses a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 (aspect ratio 16:10). This means that even with 16:9 content, you get a very small dark band at the top and bottom of the screen. You can position the projector so that these bands are hidden by the black border of your projection screen.
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You can also share your computer via USB or LAN, and there’s a split-screen feature for viewing two sources at once.
Image processing on this projector is on the poor side. Deinterlacing sometimes leaves some edges and only recognizes the most recent film and video frame rates, so moiré is sometimes visible. Noise reduction is great (from 0 to 20) and very efficient for random noise, but less so for compressed noise. Images are sharp and rich in detail, if you want more detail, set the “detail gain” somewhere between 10 and 25. DVD upscaling is decent, but certainly not spectacular. The best solution is to get a new player, set the output to 1080p and let the player do all the upscaling and deinterlacing. We’re not saying the Epson is bad, but it certainly doesn’t hit the bottom of the tin.
We are a little disappointed that there is no motion interpolation. We wish that for a projector in this price range. So motion sharpness is low, fast-moving images have slightly blurred edges, so details are lost.
With a specification of 4,000 lumens of light output, you will be able to enjoy a great picture with a fair amount of light. We also get that 4,000 lumens in Dynamic Picture mode, but color reproduction isn’t very good. You get an additional 3,300 lumens in Cinema Bright and Game modes, and that drops to 2,300 lumens with the lamp in Quiet mode. It is still very impressive. Unfortunately, the projector cannot keep up with these good results. Conversely, the contrast can also be described as poor with a measured value of 250:1. By using dynamic contrast, with which the projector controls the lamp, you can theoretically increase it to 1,500:1, although in practice it is about 500:1:1. The projector regularly hides some white detail.
Review: Epson Eh Ls100 Ultra Short Throw Laser Projector
To our surprise, Game mode provides the best calibration. The color temperature is quite cool in the Cinema and Cinema Bright modes, but Epson also tries to increase the color gamut a bit. This results in slightly pinkish magenta, neon green and very bright blue. Get the best results in Dynamic Contrast game mode at high speed.
In this case the calibration was excellent. Gray levels are nicely neutral and the gamma curve is as clean as it should be. The projector shows fine black detail, but appears gray due to its poor black level. This
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