Epson Ensemble HD
Complete Home Theater System
The Ensemble system can be installed several ways, with varying degrees of difficulty and varying amounts of time required. The first and most difficult method involves having a custom installer run cables through the walls and ceiling (or "in-wall"). This is the most expensive and time-consuming of the installation methods, and can take between 8 to 10 hours for a "typical" home. A worst-case scenario can take up to 16 hours. Labor rates for custom install houses can vary, so your best bet for a price quote is to call your local custom installer and ask for an estimate. The upside here is that in-wall installation is, without a doubt, the most professional-looking route.
The next method involves having a custom installer use the included wire management moulding (or "on-wall"), which runs along the wall and ceiling in your theater but does not require any holes in your walls. This can be accomplished by a competent two-man team in as little as four or five hours, as everything goes outside the walls of your home. There's no electrical work required, no drywall patching, and a bare minimum of mess.
The final method is doing the on-wall installation yourself. The time needed for this installation depends entirely upon your work speed and skill level, but it would probably be wise to devote the better part of a weekend to your installation. You will also need some tools, such as:
- Power drill/screwdriver
- Stud finder
- Tape measure
- Six-foot ladder
- (Optional) Painting supplies
- A friend
If you do choose to do the installation yourself, enlist the aid of a friend with a strong back (and preferably a second six-foot ladder) for mounting the screen.
While the specifics of the installation will vary from house to house, some important elements are the same. The general sequence is this: plan the location of the components and mark out mounting locations, run the cables (either through the wall or using the on-wall track), mount the projector, mount the screen, connect everything. These individual steps can vary quite a bit, however, depending upon the layout of your theater and your installation choices. Wiring alone can take anywhere from one hour to an entire day. The projector can be flush-mounted with the ceiling or use a drop tube, and it can also be used with a plate that positions it anywhere between two adjacent ceiling beams. The screen housing can be mounted to the wall or the ceiling. The component cabinet can be placed in a corner or closet, or even dead-center in the room as a showpiece. Epson provides enough options to ensure that at least one of them will work in your home.
For our installation, we chose to go with the professional in-wall option, and Epson sent over Kory and Joe from My Custom Theater of Torrance, CA. Kory and Joe came out to my home on the morning of Wednesday, July 8, 2009. Their installation took a grand total of about eight hours, with the bulk of the time on Wednesday and then a follow-up visit to apply some paint to the drywall patches the following morning. The guys did a fantastic job, owing to their high degree of experience with the Ensemble system and their overall professionalism. I would not hesitate to recommend them to a friend.
|Review Contents:||System Components||Installation||Capabilities||Limitations|