The Age of Prestige TV in your Home – EPSON Home Cinema Projectors
By Elisabeth NG with Richard Sherwin
At the recent Cannes Film Festival, critics and auteurs booed a screening of Netflix-produced movie OKJA after Netflix announced that it would be releasing the film on its streaming platforms concurrently with a theatrical release rather than delaying the former as is the industry standard way such things work. Cannes reacted by insisting all future films must have a proper theatrical release.
Dunkirk, directed by Hollywood legent Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight), has been feted as the summer movie event of the year. The film was shot on IMAX cameras, and Nolan has repeatedly pressed for audiences to see the film in theaters to fully appreciate his cinematic vision. Other cinematic luminaries have lamented the rise of the iPhone viewing experience.
Yet there is no stopping the onward march of streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon and the formidable HBO Now. The cultural landscape has shifted – water cooler talk no longer revolves around which movie we saw, but what happened on our must watch TV shows. Shows like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead might air on cable, but are easily accessible via streaming and pull in audience numbers that easily outmatch those on broadcast. With hefty budgets, these shows feature epic cinematic scenes, and is why we are calling this the Golden Age of TV.
But we believe that cinematic auteurs have been too quick to lament. Just as TV has evolved into a higher art form, so too have audience expectations. People look forward eagerly to their Game of Thrones battles – and what better way to eat our cake and enjoy it too than watching it on your own personal home cinema!
This is why we really enjoy Epson’s Home Cinema Projector range of products. It’s not that our ability to appreciate big screen entertainment has changed, but rather that we demand a different level of comfort and accessibility. No more expensive movie tickets, crying babies in the audience, uncomfortable seats and the hassle of organizing your friends around fixed times. A home cinema means you can enjoy the experience in your comfortable chair and at your convenient times. (We also appreciate the pause button for times when nature calls.)
A home cinema used to be a symbol of luxury, but, thanks to Epson, now it’s affordable for both the millennial living with roommates and as part of the family home.
DFA has been reviewing Epson’s line of projection TVs for a few years now and the company has won best in class from our reviewers before.
Presently, the Epson Home Cinema 660, at $359, is the most affordable and a personal favorite for college students and millennials who recently moved out. It’s small and lightweight and easily portable – you can fit it comfortably inside a standard backpack, is especially handy for organizing rooftop screenings. It has a contrast ratio of 10 000:1 and reasonable brightness, and works best on mid-sized screens but reasonable on large screens.
If you can afford a little more, we highly recommend the HC760HD ($549) with a contrast ration of 15 000:1 and 720p resolution, with bright HD and the HC1060 ($649) with the same contrast but a 1080p resolution and full HD. Both offer better clarity and image on larger screens. The HC 760HD and HC1060 are still portable, but more cumbersome than the HC660.
All these home cinema projectors come with HDMI connectivity so it’s easy to connect to your streaming devices and video game consoles, and all have built in speakers. They are designed with what Epson calls an “easy-slide horizontal image correction,” meaning you can place the projector on sloped surfaces and the projector will still display a horizontal image. Their proprietary “Instant off” feature means the projectors power down quickly with no cool-down time needed, making it convenient for carrying around and all come with a standard 2 year warrantee.
Epson plans to launch these in in next few months.