Editor's Choice
Performance
Features
Ease of Use
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Intended Use:
DIY Home Theater
Epson Home Cinema 3100 Projector Epson Home Cinema 3100
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60000:1 Contrast Ratio
2600 Lumens
Full HD 3D
$1,326 Street Price
$1,299 MSRP

Epson Home Cinema 3100
Home Theater Projector

M. David Stone, January 24, 2017

Set Up

At 14.6 pounds and 6.2" by 16.1" by 12" (HWD), not including feet, the 3100 is not very portable and is designed primarily for fixed installation. The combination of a 1.6x zoom and an extensive vertical and horizontal lens shift range make it easy to install either in a ceiling mount, on a coffee table or a low table between the seats, or on a rear shelf or bookcase behind the seating area. The lack of vents on the back in particular as well as its relatively shallow depth of only 12" make it a good candidate for a bookshelf. The intake vent is on the left side as viewed from the back, and the exhaust vent is on the front.

The 3100's throw distance range for a 130" diagonal 16:9 image is from roughly 12.5 to 20.5 feet. To find the range for the screen size you want, check the Projection Calculator, which we have loaded with the lumen and zoom loss data measured in this review.

Lens Shift Range.With the projector sitting on a table and the lens in the middle of its vertical shift range, the centerline of the lens is at the geometric center of the image. The vertical and horizontal shift ranges are interrelated, so that the vertical range is greatest when the horizontal shift is at its center position, and the horizontal range is greatest when the vertical shift is in its center position.

The maximum measured vertical shift matches the rated 60% of image height up or down. At the top of the range, that puts the bottom of the image at 10% of the image height above the lens centerline. The reverse is true at the bottom of the range, where top of the image is 10% of the image height below the lens centerline. We measured the maximum horizontal shift at 32% of the image width left or right of the centerline, which is a bit more than the rating. If you need to tilt or swivel the unit beyond the range that the lens shift allows, you can adjust both horizontal and vertical keystone by up to +/- 30 degrees.

Epson 3100 Home Theater Projector connection panel

Installation Trade-offs

When setting up the 3100, keep the rule of thumb in mind that standard lamps when operating in their brightest (High) modes typically lose about 25% of their brightness in the first 500 hours of use and then continue to degrade more slowly.

Consider using an initial image size that will give you suitable brightness in Eco lamp mode. You can then boost the brightness as the lamp ages by switching to Medium and then High. Alternatively, or in combination with that, you can start with one of the lower-brightness predefined color modes and switch to a brighter mode as needed. Unlike some of the competition, the 3100 delivers good enough color quality in all predefined modes that switching to a brighter mode won't sacrifice a significant level of color quality.

Review Contents: Picture Quality Performance Set Up Limitations and Conclusion
 

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Reader Comments(18 comments)

Posted Sep 11, 2017 6:06 PM

By Vinod

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Just a quick update, since my last post I have tried out an Epson 5030UB and a Sony VPL-HW55ES. They were both quiet good, however the 3100 is/was still the best bang for the buck. All the previous projectors including the 3100 are gone on to new owners. I just picked up an Epson 3700 at BB for $1100, very pleased with it so far, pretty much the same as the 3100, with a bit better brightness, contrast and onboard sound. I am on travel for work, so the onboard sound is definitely handy, love gaming and watching movies on this thing. Cant go wrong with either one of these projectors.

Posted Jul 6, 2017 9:04 PM

By Pigworthy

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Just installed this today. All I can say is WOW.... Ended up watching way more movies than intended. I've had projection and a large screen for over 12 years now and today It felt like I was seeing some movies for the first time. The colors and detail are just fantastic.

I'd like to say Thank You to Projector Central. This is my 3rd projector based off of your lists. Thanks for all the work you do to keep us from the junk.

Posted Mar 28, 2017 5:47 PM

By Vinod

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Have not yet tried the 3D viewing modes yet, however, the general consensus is that the Epson 2000 and 3000 series provide a brighter 3D image vs the BenQs. I say, if you are able to, try the 2040/45 and the Benq 2050, keep the one you like best. The Epson 2040/45 or the Benq 2050 are incredibly good deals for the money.

Posted Mar 28, 2017 5:39 PM

By Vinod

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Update:

For those dealing with a dark room environment and movie watching, you may find this interesting. Since my last post, I have changed my screen to a silver ticket high contrast grey screen material. It has definitely helped with the blacks and contrast, without giving up any perceivable brightness. The new material did add a very slight "sparkling" towards the middle of screen in very bright and plain images, I am extra picky so I notice everything, furthermore for dark room viewing, the image was still a tad bright in white or near white parts of the image, so, I am playing with a 52 mm ND2 filter, so far it looks very promising, has even knocked down the "sparkling" effect and definitely makes the overall image more movie like and not a bright TV. Definitely loving the projector more and more each day.

Posted Mar 23, 2017 3:45 AM

By Faiyaz

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Where can we find full list of different naming in different regions like EH-TW6700 etc.

With respect to ONLY "3D", can any 3D experienced fan suggest among Epson 2040, 3100, Benq 2050, 3050 please.

Posted Mar 13, 2017 12:49 PM

By vinod

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Bob,

You can't go wrong with either one of these two. If I was going with the DLP option, I would take the 2050 for approx. $200 less. The Benq picture is probably a bit sharper and has a bit better blacks, however, the 3100 is brighter all around and better shadow detail. This is a tough decision. Since you also watch sports with some lights on, the 3100 (it also has CFI) will probably serve your better.

Posted Mar 13, 2017 12:26 PM

By Vinod

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I have tried out the 2045 too, between the two, I would definitely pick the 3100, if you are okay with the increase in price (nice sale going on at the moment though), better contrast, installation flexibility, etc. If you want to stay at the same price as the 2045, I would suggest you look at the Benq 2050, it is pretty amazing as far as picture quality, colors, brightness and contrast. Depending on your dark room setup though the 3100 will still be a challenge, but at low power and brightness settings I think you can pull it off. I am going to have to eventually darken my walls and some of the d├ęcor, the 3100 is quiet bright.

Posted Mar 10, 2017 8:27 AM

By Bob

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I was looking at this Epson 3100 and the BenQ HT3050 since price is pretty much the same. Any thoughts on this. Room is light controlled so movies will be mainly in very low to no light and sports I'd prefer to have some light (It's weird with a bunch of guys sitting in the dark). Any input is appreciated. Thanks

Posted Mar 9, 2017 7:17 PM

By Jokur

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Thanks for the info Vinod. I've been trying to decide on a projector, primarily between the 3100 and 3700 but worrying about both being too bright for my light controlled 14'x 18' room. I originally was planning on getting the 2045 with wifi, but after reading up on the new 3100 I'm leaning that way. Any thoughts on comparing the 2045 to the 3100? Thanks again!

Posted Mar 6, 2017 11:59 AM

By Vinod

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A quick update. I have been playing with the Epson 3100, WOW. This may be the perfect balance between the Benq 2050 and the Epson 3700. While the 3700 was way too bright for my particular setup even at the lowest power and brightness setting, the 3100 is almost perfect. The Benq is awesome with maybe slightly lower shadow detail but maybe a bit sharper and more vibrant colors. With the Benq I use Low to Mid power and brightness settings, with 3100 I can pretty much achieve the same at low settings all around, So, It gives me more flexibility if my environment changes, eg, less light control, bigger screen and/or a bigger room/throw distance. Plus, the Epson has CFI (If ever needed), H/V lens shift, more calibration options and memory settings, etc.

I have a tough decision ahead, is the 3100 worth the $500+ difference...lol!

Posted Mar 1, 2017 12:07 PM

By Vinod

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I will answer my own question. I tried an Epson 3700, yes at about 12 feet viewing distance on a 120 inch diagonal 16:9 screen, the inter pixel gap is "almost" non-existent. With the Epson 8345 I could make out the pixel structure in very bright scenes or a plain bright and light background.

I ended up taking the 3700 back to Best Buy, as good as the projector is, it was too bright for my light controlled "dark room" even at the lowest brightness and Eco mode. My white screen and white walls are too much for this light cannon. It lit up the whole room like daylight. I am convinced that I need to eventually make the adjacent walls darker.

I have an Epson 3100 on the way, will post my findings on Friday.

FYI - Currently I am using the Benq 2050 (bought for $547 from Best Buy, through Staples pricematch), so far, for my situation it is working out the best compared the old Epson 8345, 2045 and the 3700.

-Vinod

Posted Feb 22, 2017 1:38 PM

By Riaz

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Sorry. I was completely wrong. Fingers crossed they will release a version of the 3100 in Europe.

Posted Feb 13, 2017 11:32 AM

By Vinod

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Hello,

Does anyone know if the inter pixel gap has improved on the latest Epson 3000 series vs the 8345/8350?

thanks,

-Vinod

Posted Feb 7, 2017 12:22 PM

By lorenzo

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I think the EH-TW6700 is the US 3700 (3000 lumen and speakers). So far I don't see the EU version for the 3100.

Posted Feb 7, 2017 10:53 AM

By Sergio

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I see... but the tw6700 is rated 3000 lumen . . .why ?

Posted Feb 5, 2017 12:17 PM

By Macrezz

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In Europe it's called EH-TW6700.

The difference in names can be frustrating. If projector central has worldwide naming at hand when when posting the projector page would ye consider posting the different naming information as well. It would be very handy.

Posted Feb 2, 2017 6:44 AM

By nitin

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Any idea what this is called in Europe/International Regions. Epson seems to have a completely different naming scheme outside the US.

Posted Jan 30, 2017 12:48 PM

By Macrezz

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"Fan Noise. The good news for the 3100's fan noise is that its Eco mode--rated at 24 dB--is barely audible from as little as two feet away".

I have been waiting so long to read those words about a projector that ticks all the boxes for me. This looks like the 1080p projector to beat. Based to your review, it has shot to the top of my hit list.

Thank you.

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