Secrets Product Review

Epson Home Cinema 1080 LCD 1080p Projector

Part II

October, 2007

Steve Smallcombe



Menu System

The menu system on the Epson is amazing. Amazingly good, that is, if you like the ability to adjust the projector to get optimum performance.


The menus are grouped into six categories: Image, Signal, Settings, Memory, Info, and Reset. The Image menu allows selection of the Color Mode and well as the familiar adjustments for Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Tint, and Sharpness. Less familiar, are controls for Color Temperature and Skin Tone as well as access to an Advanced menu, and the lamp Brightness control which can be set to High or Low lamp brightness settings. The low setting provides less light output, but extends bulb life and reduces fan noise. The Auto Iris can be turned on or off, and this enhances contrast ratios and black levels when activated, as will be explained later.


The Color Mode submenu allows selection of one of six color modes.
The Sharpness setting has the familiar 0 to 5 adjustment as well as allowing a detailed tweaking of horizontal and vertical sharpness settings.


The Color Temperature adjustment allows the user to select the desired color temperature in Kelvin while the Skin Tone menu allows adjustment of the green/magenta balance. (The color temperature in Kelvin is less sensitive to green/magenta balance than it is to balance between red and blue.)


The Advanced submenu leads the user to lower level menus that allow adjustment of gamma and color controls.



The gamma submenu allows adjustment of the display unit's gamma numerically or to be fine tuned graphically.



The RGB submenu has the welcome red green and blue Offset or Bias and Gain controls for tweaking color balance and grayscale tracking, and the RGBCMY submenu allows the user to tweak the Hue and Saturation (but not intensity) of the primary and secondary colors.


The Signal menu allows adjustment of the projector's aspect ratio to that of the image, e.g. Normal for 4:3 sources, Full for the Anamorphic or squeezed widescreen images, or Zoom for letterboxed images. There is also the infamous Wide aspect mode to expand (and distort) 4:3 images to fill the 16:9 display by preferentially expanding the left and right sides of the image.

The Signal menu also allows selection of signal processing and noise reduction modes. Of note is also the Output Scaling adjustment. For whatever reason, this defaulted to 92%, thus significantly cropping the image. Fortunately, setting the Output Scaling to 100% was easy and eliminated pixel cropping. The HDMI Video range setting allows proper operation (black and white levels) with both computer and video HDMI sources.


The Memory menu allows the user to save and recall favorite settings in named memory locations (up to nine).

The Info menu shows information about the input signal and other useful things about the projector such as lamp hours. Of particular note is the HDMI bit depth potentially associated with an HDMI 1.3 compatible signal.


Finally, the Reset menu allows the user to reset all projector settings to their defaults as well as the memory settings and lamp hours. Note that the menu system also allows resetting of values to their default for specific menu pages.


Go to Part III.

Copyright 2007 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity

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