Road Test: Epson Home Cinema 1040

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Allan Abbott, June 10, 2016
Epson Home Cinema 1040

Epson Home Cinema 1040

ANSI lumens: 3000      Resolution: 1920x1200

Price: $799

What the Epson HC 1040 is designed for

What the Epson HC 1040 gives you

  • FULL HD native resolution: 1920x1200

  • HD Video Streaming via Chromecast, Roku and more

  • 10,000-hour lamp life in Eco mode

  • TWO HDMI inputs, one with MHL compatibility

  • Horizontal and vertical keystone correction

  • Ten color temperature choices

  • Built-in split screen operation

  • No rainbow artifacts

  • Tint and saturation adjustments in 1% steps

  • Serves as full WUXGA data projector, 1:1 with many laptops

  • Weight: 5.7 lbs.

  • $79 Replacement lamp

Epson 1040 Connection Panel

Connection Panel Inputs:

  • (1) VGA
  • (1) USB A and (1) USB-B
  • (2) HDMI ports (one MHL compatible)
  • (1) RCA composite video
  • (2) RCA L-R audio in

Physical attributes. The connector panel is at the rear of the 1040. As viewed from the rear the air intake is on the left side, and hot air is exhausted from the right front corner of the chassis. Horizontal keystone correction is via a slider located just behind the zoom and focus control above the lens.


Our Lab Tests: What the Meters Say

BRIGHTNESS. The Home Cinema 1040 is rated at 3,000 lumens. Our test unit delivered 3,065 lumens in Dynamic mode with a green bias not unusual for the brightest mode. The other three picture modes had better color balance but delivered slightly lower brightness readings.

With the lamp on full power and the zoom lens set to its widest angle, our test unit produced ANSI lumen readings as follows:

Normal Lamp
Eco Mode
Bright Cinema

ZOOM LENS EFFECT. Since this model has a rather short 1.2x zoom range there is little light loss to worry about. At the maximum telephoto lens setting, brightness dropped only 4% compared to the wide angle end. With such a short zoom range it makes no difference which part of the lens you use.

LOW LAMP MODE. Eco mode drops image brightness by 36%, but fan noise is dramatically reduced, and the trade-off may be worth it.

BRIGHTNESS UNIFORMITY. With a uniformity of 80%, the 1040 is on solid ground for video viewing, but the slightly lower brightness in the upper right corner of our test unit was detectable on still projections with lots of white space.

INPUT LAG. The 1040 has an input lag of 53 ms as measured on our Bodnar lag meter. This is fast enough for many gamers, but the 1040's sister product, the Epson HC 2040, is much quicker at 24 ms.

What it sounds like

Fan noise is typical for bright portable projectors of this size, which is to say it is louder than most home theater projectors. Most of the noise is in front of the projector, so audience members seated behind the 1040 may not find it objectionable. Deploying Eco mode reduces noise to a whisper. Since brightness is high to begin with, Eco mode may be the best choice especially for a small group.

High altitude mode is required when the 1040 is operated at an altitude of more than 5,000 feet. Fan noise increases substantially in this mode, so Eco mode may be the best choice in this circumstance.

Setting it up

Throw distance. To throw a 120" diagonal image in 16:9 aspect ratio, the 1040 requires a throw distance of between 12 and and 14.5 feet. To check throw distance for other screen sizes or aspect ratios, use the Projection Calculator which has been preloaded with the HC 1040 throw data. Since this is a native 16:10 model, make sure to select 16:9 if that is your intended set up.

Vertical offset. With a 120" image displayed, the centerline of the lens intersects the screen at 5.8" above the bottom of the image. This is typical of many Epson projectors where about 10% of the image is below the lens centerline and 90% is above.

Our take on the Epson HC 1040

Heading into summer, people are looking for backyard movie set ups for those warm summer evenings. The combined brightness, portability, and very high resolution of the Epson Home Cinema 1040 make it an ideal solution for portable backyard use. It puts up a beautiful video image for the money, and is a good choice for casual gathering either outdoors or indoors where high resolution and brightness are the chief requirements.

As a side benefit, it is one of the least expensive full WUXGA resolution projectors in production at this writing, so if you need it to double as a high res 1920x1200 data presentation projector, it's all ready to go.

In the end, it's an excellent value at under $799. Just as importantly for buyers in this price range, the replacement lamp runs a mere $79 from Epson ... the best deal in replacement lamps in town. All in all, terrific bang for the buck!

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(05/20/19 - 11:38 AM PST)
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