Time for a little controversy (enthusiastic discussion), about what I consider to be the breakthrough product of 2008 for millions (not 10s of thousands) of people.
Most of us on the forums are "hard core enthusiasts and hobbyists". We seek the best individual components, and assemble the best home theater systems for ourselves. We often are DIYer's who do most if not all of the installation.
We are a small group, relative to the entire home theater (including those tiny Plasma's and LCDTV) world.
Why, because projector based home theater is simply too much work - too much research (projector, receiver, speakers, cabling, remotes, etc.), too much comparing, too complicated an installation, basically too much hassle, for the vast majority (that can afford one) to even contemplate one. Almost everyone would love a projector based home theater, but few have the time, or the intestinal fortitude, to tackle a major project.Enter the Epson Ensemble HD 1080. It's designed so that almost anyone with a suitable room, can buy one, and be up and running (scheduling allowing), fully installed by a dealer, the same day!
Boy, does that change the dynamic of the industry. Please note, this is simply the first complete system. I see most of the manufacturers likely to emulate what Epson has done, so expect to see more, similar systems, at future CEDIA's and CES shows!
We are the early adopters, the recommenders, the folks our friends turn to for advice. Yet we fail them far more often than not.
We can't convince our friends to join the world of real home theater, they just don't want the stress and hassle, even if they have the dollars. They go out and buy a plasma. End of conversation.
No longer. Consider: The Ensemble HD has a very good projector - the Epson Home Cinema 1080 (not the UB), a great sound system - full 5.1, with lots of power, tuner, DVD player, etc. pre-programmed universal remote control, all the wiring, and even exterior wiring channels, so you don't even have to open the walls. You just need one AC outlet.And the complete system can be installed in 4-5 hours.
It's great. I now have one in my second theater! My wife loves, it, my daughter loves it, (even I do). My brother-in-law is getting one for his birthday. Is it the ultimate home theater? Obviously not. But it is so well thought out, and integrated, and so easy to install, that it is the first home theater for the masses!
No longer do we have to fail our friends. We can help our friends enjoy the glory of home theater. We finally can talk about something that they will consider.
The Epson Ensemble HD 1080 is a true "instant home theater" it is one all but the hardest core enthusiast can thoroughly enjoy. I've now got one installed in my "second theater", and I must tell you, it is truly a complete and impressive system.It is our chance, to make a difference in the world. Lifting millions from the poverty of small screens and pathetic in plasma speakers, into the up-lifting world of shake the house action movies, and watching the Olympics and football with the best seats in the house.
OK, it's not for all the masses. It does cost about $7000+. And it's probably not suited for the typical condo or apartment, especially if you like that 150 watt sub-woofer cranking on an action flick, or what Bon Jovi playing at concert levels. Other than that, though, this looks like the winnder, and a new breed of product.
For those with a decent credit card line, or an equity line, it means years of outstanding enjoyment. And no hassles! Decide today, enjoy today, (or tomorrow, next day, depending on how busy the dealer's installers are). But part of the beauty, is that they will be in and out of a house in an afternoon.
So, what do you think? Is this the product we can recommend to all our "hobbyist challenged" friends?
It should make for a lively debate. I reviewed the whole system, including the installation, publishing just the other day. It should answer most of your questions.
I really am looking forward to knowing whether we - our friend's "experts", can look upon with enthusiasm, a product, not necessarily for us, but one that works for most people who turn to us for advice.
Let the games begin!
for those who need to know more, here's a link to the full review