I love the scene in Austin Powers where Mindy Sterling (Frau Farbissina) yells “fire the laser!” It makes me laugh every time I see it. A new concept in a home theater light engine has landed at Audio Advice . Instead of being funny, it's fantastic!
If you have read any of my earlier posts on LED projectors, you know I think their color purity is amazing. You also know I enjoy watching blockbuster movies in full glory on a 2:35 screen instead of scaled down for a 16:9 screen. (Read more here about 2:35 screens.)
One of our favorite projector manufacturers, Epson, has just delivered what may be the best of both worlds. For several years, Epson has been one of the most popular projector brands at Audio Advice. They represent a great value for money spent, delivering far more performance than their price implies. Epson projectors also have one of the wider ranges of throw distances we have seen. Early home theater projectors (with three CRT elements) had a very short throw distance. In other words, they needed to be pretty close to the screen. DLP arrived later and had the opposite issue, needing a long throw in most cases. Epson projectors usually allow us to upgrade your home theater system without moving the mount position. Our favorite part has been their warranty. They have an incredibly low failure rate, but if you do have a problem during the long 3 year warranty, they just ship us a new one!
Just what did Epson recently deliver? Two projectors that use a laser light engine, can do 2:35 and in the case of the bigger one, produces what they call "4K enhancement." The laser light engine has three great advantages:
1) It lasts about 30,000 hours
2) It has loads of light output that produces a very bright image
3) It has a very rich color delivery, very close to my favorite LED projectors with blacks that are absolute black.
And as with all Epson products, the best part is the price. Imagine this: you can get what will likely be a lifetime laser light engine with 2:35 widescreen technology for $6000! (Add another $2000 and you get 4K enhancement.)
Another great part about LED or laser light engines is that there is no drop in light output as the lamp ages. I have one of the original LED projectors in my theater. Three years and a lot of use later, my picture looks just like the day I installed it.
The new Pro Cinema LS 10000 is set up for demo in our Raleigh showroom. The Pro Cinema LS9600e may be the best value, with just slightly less light output. For $6000 its a steal! (Click here for more info on the Pro Cinema line of Epson projectors.)
If you are considering a new home theater or upgrading your current system, these Epson projectors should be on your short list. We invite you to visit and see laser technology. Austin Powers never looked so good!