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Epson LS100 UST Laser Home Theater
September 6, 2017,
The Epson Home Cinema LS100 Ultra-Short Throw Laser Display has been announced today at the CEDIA tradeshow in San Diego, CA. This consumer friendly, easy to install projector sits on a shelf or pedestal directly below the screen and puts up a dramatic ten foot diagonal (120") picture in your family room at a tiny fraction of the cost of a 120" flat panel.
The purpose of the LS100 is to provide very large screen home entertainment in an ambient light setting at a fraction of the cost of a flat panel anywhere near its size. Of course you can always opt for a 70" flat panel, but that is 1/3 the square footage in total image size compared to the 10-foot diagonal image the LS100 can produce, so it does not give you the same dramatic big screen experience.
The LS100 is a laser driven projector that outputs 4000 lumens with a high dynamic contrast rated at 2,500,000:1. The light engine is built around three 3LCD Full HD 1920x1200 resolution chips. The laser light source is expected to last 20,000 hours.
In our view, one of the key features of the LS100 is that it takes native 4K signals. What does that matter if the chips are 1920x1200 you ask? Plenty. The amount of information in the signal has a lot to do with the subjective resolution on the screen. Just as a WXGA projector looks higher in resolution when you feed it a 1080p signal compared to a 720p, the LS100 will deliver a picture that looks much higher in resolution when displaying 4K movies rather than HD 1080p source material.
The Home Cinema LS100 also lets you stream Full HD content from a range of devices includingcable/satellite boxes, gaming consoles and streaming devices like Amazon Fire™TV, Apple TV®, Chromecast™and Roku®. Three HDMI ports keep you well connected to a variety of sources. As with a number of the latest home theater projectors, it does not have 3D, so if 3D is a key thing for you, you may have to look elsewhere.
You can project an image from your LS100 onto a bare neutral white wall if you wish, assuming the wall is perfectly smooth and blemish free. But for the most dramatic and sparkling results, you will want to choose a screen to go with it. The type of screen you will want depends on whether you are setting up in a dark theater space or in a multi-purpose entertainment room with ambient light. Since the Epson LS100 is designed to be used in ambient light, let's discuss this option first.
When setting up for ambient light viewing, you will want to use an Ambient Light Rejection (ALR) screen that is specifically engineered for use with Ultra Short Throw (UST) projectors. Most ALR screens do NOT work with UST projectors for the simple reason that they are designed to reject light that is not projected directly onto them from a perpendicular angle. However, there are some screens that will reject light coming from above or the sides but not from the bottom where the light from a UST projector is coming from. These are noted below.
Also, keep in mind that you will need a perfectly flat screen. If your screen surface is not entirely flat, the unevenness will be particularly obvious and distracting with an ultra-short throw projector. That means you need either a fixed frame screen or a very high quality rigidly tensioned screen that can be suspended without any curves or waves.
With those caveats, examples of screens that might be good candidates to match with the Epson LS100 are these:
Now ... after all that discussion about ALR and UST ... IF you are setting up the Epson LS100 in a dark viewing space or more traditional theater room, you do not need the ALR / UST screen design at all. In this case any white or gray screen will work -- again, as long as it is perfectly flat. Cheap pulldowns or pop-ups will not work, as a flat surface is mandatory for all UST projectors.
The Epson LS100 is an exciting new development in Epson's home video projector line. Since it can be used either in a dark theater or in living rooms or entertainment room environments, it expands the potential customer base considerably. Since ceiling mounting is not required, it will have a lot of appeal to a much wider cross section of the consumer audience that wants much larger and more dramatic big screen pictures than you can get with flat panels, but who also want it as easy as possible to install.
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