In 2006, Jai bought our first projector. At the time, it was very high-tech, and we had so much fun pulling it out for movie night and parties. Of course, technology has changed a lot in the past decade! I was recently introduced to the PowerLite Home Cinema 600 3LCD Projector, a highly-rated new projector, and I thought this would be perfect to update our home entertainment setup with.
Projectors have come a long way, baby! The Home Cinema 600 allows you to hook up your streaming devices directly to the projector itself, unlike our old one which had to be hooked directly into my computer and was more time-consuming/complicated to set up. The projector also has a built-in speaker, which means you don’t have to strain to hear the sound coming out of your computer speakers in the next room – yes, we’ve done that before with our old one! This projector is lightweight and can be taken outside to enjoy a picnic and movie with the family – a drive-in without the cars, if you will!
The picture is great and has been perfect for watching our favorite shows – we’ve already pulled it out when having company over. Watching movies on the “Big screen” never gets old, and it’s always a hit with party guests. You can also use this to play slideshows of family photos, and also as a decoration – click here to download a “Starry night” file that you can play to create a beautiful constellation right in your home. I will have a field day with this come Halloween….
Since Jai is our household’s resident projector expert/tech head, he had a lot to say about the Epson Home Cinema 600. I’ll let him tell you about it in his own words:
I have been a fan of projectors (and large displays in general) for many years and I was very excited to get a chance to try out he Epson Home Cinema 600. The first things that stood out to me when I pulled it out of the box were the small size, light weight, and comprehensive control buttons on both the remote control and the unit itself. The reason that I was impressed with the well-labeled button layout is due to my years spent as IT support in a large corporation. Projectors are used extensively for presentations and they are notoriously difficult to navigate sub-menus and set up for the presenter. Often, one of us from the IT team would be on standby for important presentations to set up and wrangle with the projector, giving the person making the presentation one less thing to worry about. I know this projector is targeted at home users but I can’t help notice how helpful it could be in a small office as well.
This projector has a button to quickly scan and switch to whatever input you’re using. We tried this over HDMI with our dedicated Netflix box and Wii U. It works perfectly with our computer in a dual-monitor configuration. The projector also has a built-in speaker in case your laptop speakers aren’t quite enough when playing a movie for guests. The controls let you easily configure the screen to the situation you find yourself in. Often it’s not possible to place the projector exactly in the middle of the room and you have to compensate for the stretch effect when the picture is projected at an angle. This projector has a very quick and intuitive slider to correct for this common problem.
We don’t currently have a proper projector screen and our taste in interior design and paint color is… unorthodox so there’s a shortage of large white walls in our house.
The best I came up with was putting eyelets in a king-sized sheet and hanging it on the wall. It actually works very well as an 8’x7′ screen, at least for the time being.
The projector impressed me further when I was able to fill that screen by only moving it back 12′ from the wall. I’m used to having to take the projector back 20+ feet to get a screen that size. This makes the Home Cinema 600 great for smaller rooms and offices. You can also change settings to display the picture upside-down and mount the projector on a ceiling. There are a few advantages to this. If you have a large white wall this makes the whole setup take literally no space from the room at all, as well as minimize the shadows when people need to walk through the room. This can also work great in a rec-room where it will be safe on the ceiling from the destructive powers of all but the most ambitious toddlers.
You can also use it to display pictures as a slide show. I was able to plug as USB flash drive directly into the projector and navigate, display, and even rotate the photos as needed for slide shows.
It didn’t recognize any of our cameras or smartphone directly through USB (although it did charge them) but the USB flash drive worked easily. I also couldn’t find any videos that were in a format it could play directly from a USB drive but simply playing them through the computer worked beautifully.
The Epson Home Cinema 600 Projector is available on Epson.com for $359.99.