Epson Home Cinema 3100
Home Theater Projector
January 24, 2017
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.
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.