Ultra short-throw (UST) projectors are hot items these days. Conventional projectors must be located out in the room, often suspended from the ceiling, making them difficult to install easily. Plus, anyone walking through the light path blocks the image. By contrast, a UST projector sits mere inches from the wall and fires upward onto a screen, making it easy to install and impervious to blockage. Normally, high-quality UST projectors are very expensive, but at CEDIA 2017, the Epson Home Cinema LS100 bucks that trend.
The LS100’s resolution is 1080p, and it does not support high dynamic range or 3D. However, it does accept 4K signals and downscales them to 1080p. It’s illuminated with a laser-phosphor light engine, much like the LS10000 and LS10500. That means there are no lamps to replace, warmup and cool down are nearly instantaneous, and its performance should remain very stable for up to 20,000 hours of operation. The peak light output is specified at 4000 lumens of white and color brightness, and the dynamic contrast ratio is said to be up to 2,500,000:1. At that brightness, the LS100 can easily fill a screen measuring up to 10 feet (120 inches) diagonal, even in rooms with some ambient light.
According to Rodrigo Catalan, Senior Product Manager, Projectors, Epson America, “The Home Cinema LS100 Digital Laser Display is designed to allow people to enjoy life-size images in Full HD up to 10 feet diagonal with the lights on and the shades open—all at a fraction of the cost of a 120-inch traditional flat-panel display. With the Epson Home Cinema LS100, families don’t have to worry about the limitations of traditional home-projection systems, such as shadows when walking in front of the projected image.”
With three HDMI inputs, you can connect various devices, such as Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku streamers. It also includes a built-in speaker, though I can’t imagine anyone not using it with an external sound system.
The Epson Home Cinema LS100 will be available in November from select retailers, e-tailers, and the Epson online store. And the price? $2999! That’s way below most other UST projectors. It’s not 4K/UHD or HDR, but neither is most content up to now. Plus, the LS100 is intended primarily as a living-room TV replacement, not as the projector in a dedicated home cinema. With that in mind, try finding a 120″ TV for $3000!