Why the Epson Home Cinema 1040 1080p Home Theater Projector might be the best backyard projector, regardless of ambient light.

One of the reasons why some people lean toward buying the Epson Home Cinema 1040 1080p Home Theater Projector could be because it’s better suited for spaces that have a bit of light. As a backyard projector, this means that you could run the Epson before the sun sets, and movie times will be a bit earlier, which could be important if you have bedtimes for kids. Its ability to show a clear picture in ambient light isn’t the only reason fans of this projector choose it, though.

Find out more about the Epson Home Cinema 1040 1080p Home Theater Projector and why it could be a good choice for you.

DESIGN & BUILD | Almost All the Specs

The Epson Home Cinema 1040 1080p Home Theater Projector offers a longer throw distance than others. So, if you want to fill a 120-inch space with the picture, you’ll need to physically place your projector about 13 feet away. That’s not a huge issue if you’re setting this up as a backyard projector and you have the space to do it, but if you decide to use this indoors, it could present a problem. At 15,000 to 1, the contrast ratio is decent, which means you should get richer blacks and bright, brilliant colors. Combined with the 3000 lumens, it seems like you’d have bright, crisp, tight images displayed on your wall or screen. What the 3000 lumens do, more than anything, though, it provides a bit of a buffer in case you have some ambient light interfering with your backyard movie nights.

“LCD bulb seems to be of high-quality, as it’s rated for 5,000 hours of life if you use it in normal mode, and 10,000 hours if you use it on a power-saving eco mode.”

Epson includes digital keystone correction, which can fix a few of the distortion issues that all projectors inevitably have, but it’s missing a key feature that most projectors of this caliber typically include: lens shift. If you could shift the lens physically, you could account for any off balancing of the unit if you decide to mount this to a ceiling. The LCD bulb seems to be of high-quality, as it’s rated for 5,000 hours of life if you use it in normal mode, and 10,000 hours if you use it on a power-saving eco mode. In fact, the LCD bulb uses newer technology that doesn’t allow for the rainbow effect that’s been a common issue with projectors. You also get a built-in speaker, but it may not be enough for a big crowd.

Epson Home Cinema 1040 1080p Home Theater Projector angled

Epson Home Cinema 1040 1080p Home Theater Projector angled

SAFETY & DURABILITY | One of the Noisiest Fans

When it comes to projectors, the only safety concerns one might have are with the heat generated by the unit, and perhaps the mounting options. In the case of the Epson Home Cinema 1040 1080p Home Theater Projector, you will likely notice quite a bit of heat coming off the unit after using it for only a few minutes. This can be combatted by switching the settings to a power-saving mode. This will blast your projector with a bit more air from the fan, but this also means two downsides: noise level goes up, quality of picture goes down.

“…you’ll lose a bit of quality, as the bulb is dimmed a bit to make sure it’s saving on energy use.”

Most fans on projectors make some sort of noise, in the same way, that a PC’s fan does, but this Epson model can get up to the same noise level of, say, a bird call. While that doesn’t sound terribly loud, try sitting next to it – you’re probably going to notice it. Also, you’ll lose a bit of quality, as the bulb is dimmed a bit to make sure it’s saving on energy use.

Epson Home Cinema 1040 1080p Home Theater Projector top

Epson Home Cinema 1040 1080p Home Theater Projector top

PERFORMANCE | Looks Great in Ambient Light

Ease of Use

What you’re probably going to notice first and foremost is that the colors that are displayed from this Epson Home Cinema 1040 1080p Home Theater Projector are vivid and bold. Thanks to the high contrast ratio, this Epson projector looks great on any screen, no matter the distance you set it up. You might want to mess around a bit with the calibration, though, as some media can look a bit off. Part of the reason for the off-looking colors could be because this Epson backyard projector is likely made with presentations in mind. Place this projector in an office with lots of ambient light pouring in through open windows and you’re still going to get impressive-looking slides and graphs. Outdoors in the twilight hours, it’ll also look great. Once the sun sets, though, you might want to readjust the levels to make up for the lack of light.

Best Features

The keystone correction works well to fix any distortion that comes with imbalanced projectors, but the more you use it, the less resolution you get. You can’t make any physical corrections, though, so you’ll have to rely on this one feature to patch up distorted projections. In other good news, there’s no rainbow effect with this projector. The newer technology eliminates any possibility of you seeing that slowly moving rainbow or pixie dust effect. Epson offers a high native resolution to begin with at 1920×1200, so you’re sure to see all the details of your favorite movies, TV shows, and sports events. The audio on this projector isn’t great, but that shouldn’t be a surprise, as built-in speakers on most projectors are quite low quality. The biggest issue here, though, is that it’s difficult to find an audio solution without a receiver. One solution is to get an HDMI audio and video splitter to make it work for your devices.

Epson Home Cinema 1040 1080p Home Theater Projector back

Epson Home Cinema 1040 1080p Home Theater Projector back

LONGEVITY & PRICE | You’ll Save on Replacement Parts

The lumens of the LCD bulb on the Epson Home Cinema 1040 1080p Home Theater Projector unit last longer than some other projectors in this same class. That’s important when cost is a factor, and to top it off, the bulb replacements are quite affordable.

Be sure to check the current Epson Home Cinema 1040 1080p Home Theater Projector – Amazon price here.

That brings us to the cost of the projector itself, though. With an MSRP of $799.99, it’s only a couple hundred dollars less than those models that top out on the high end of the mid-range of cost. That makes this unit a bit more affordable, but not quite inexpensive.

Epson Home Cinema 1040 1080p Home Theater Projector front

Epson Home Cinema 1040 1080p Home Theater Projector front

PROS

  • Affordable for the quality (see current Amazon Price)
  • Works well with ambient light
  • Images, text are sharp-looking
  • No rainbow effects

CONS

  • No lens shifts
  • No audio out
  • Picture a bit washed out

THE BOTTOM LINE | For the Early-Bird Movie Fans

For a backyard projector, the Epson Home Cinema 1040 1080p Home Theater Projector can do well, especially if you have an earlier movie time. In ambient light, this projector works well and provides a bright image. However, in movie theater-like conditions (that is, darker), the picture can look a bit washed out. Compared to the most expensive mid-range home theater projectors available, this one is a bit more affordable, especially for what you get. There are some perplexing missing features, though, including lens shift and audio out. So, if this one doesn’t catch your eye, then check out our Best Outdoor Projectors right here for more options!