This is one advantage this 3LCD projector has over DLPs. Unfortunately, noise levels for both are pretty comparable. Depending on the Color Mode chosen, the noise can get distracting, especially if the unit is less than 5 feet from the audience. Another slight problem with the unit is in the initial calibration. Out of the box, the color schemes are a little strange, as the color temperature on every mode is a tad high. With slight modifications, however, the colors come out looking spectacular.
To help with picture and ease of use, Epson offers a wealth of options. The Main Menu, shows Image, Signal, Settings, Memory and Info tabs. I will review the image options in the next section, when talking about Colour Modes. The tabs offer up various options, such as noise reduction, High Altitude Mode and Lamp Life.Performance
Depending on the type of material being viewed, Epson offers seven Colour Modes, each with their own strengths. Dynamic is quite bright – Epson boasts 1600 lumens – and has overheated my unit, so I do not particularly recommend using it. Living Room and Natural are slightly less bright, but have better colours. These two, along with the Theatre mode, will probably not get much usage, however. For film viewing, Theatre Black 1 and 2 are optimal, with the former calibrated for colour film and the latter for black and white. The final mode is x.v.Color, but because no Blu-rays support this colour space yet, this can be forgotten. Every Colour Mode can be altered in terms of brightness, contrast, colour, tint, skin tone, sharpness and Gamma and RGB settings through the Image tab.
It is finally time to see what kind of picture quality comes out of this white trinket. Let’s start with something impressive. Watching ‘Wall-E’ on Blu-ray (on region A disc, released by Buena Vista) is out of this world. The transfer of this movie to Blu-ray is spectacular, and with its 50 000:1 dynamic ratio turned on the projector produces the deep blacks of space, while still popping reds and blues in the colourful scenes. When looking at standard-definition content, the 1080Perfect video processing does a wonderful job, as well. Detail is kept, while edges are sharp and natural. The unit accepts PAL, NTSC and SECAM signals, as well as various computer, and high-definition resolutions, up to 1080p/24.
I will briefly mention gaming before wrapping it up, as it is a viable use for the projector. I will look at two games with opposite design and style, Dead Space and Mirror’s Edge. The former is a dark, dreary, creepy game with very strong shadows throughout the game. Its setting is dark and scary. In sharp contrast, Mirror’s Edge is very bright and open. The projector handles both games terrifically. Thanks to Epson’s UB technology, Dead Space is black, as opposed to dark grey. Mirror’s Edge is white without being blown out, while still keeping edges sharp and distinct. Both titles are hard to display, but the home Cinema 1080UB delivers a great gaming experience.Conclusion
The Epson 1080UB is a terrific machine and is a great value all around. Apart from the lack of anamorphic lens support, the projector has no real drawbacks, as colours and sound can be fixed. Besides, the positives far outweigh the negatives with this projector. The breadth and wealth of setup options and the terrific picture quality for all media make this an easy recommendation.