updated 04:15 pm EDT, Mon July 7, 2008
Epson Ensemble cinemas
Epson today announced it released two complete home entertainment systems, with the Ensemble HD 720 and Ensemble HD 1080 systems. Either is capable of throwing up high definition images on a 100-inch motorized screen that is part of each package courtesy of Epson's PowerLite 3LCD three-chip HD projector. As the product names suggest, the projectors are the main difference between the two packages, with the former capable of 720p (1280x720) HD images, the latter of 1920x1080 (1080p) resolution video.
Other components part of each system include an audio/video source unit that doubles as an upconverting DVD player and a 150-Watt Atlantic Technology 5.1-channel surround sound system with a 10-inch subwoofer. The A/V receiver / DVD player has two HDMI inputs, with the surround speakers integrated into a custom cradle that holds the projector. The front-channel speakers are integrated in the screen's hide-away housing. A universal remote with LCD screen is preprogrammed and controls all aspects of the systems, including the operation of the motorized screen.
The only difference between the systems lies in the projector. The PowerLite Home Cinema 720 in the Ensemble HD 720 system features a 16:9 aspect ratio, along with a 1600 lumens brightness and 10,000:1 contrast ratio when set to Dynamic Mode. The PowerLite Home Cinema 1080 projector in the Ensemble HD 1080 set-up is good for a maximum of 1200 lumens and a 12,000:1 contrast ratio. Either sports one HDMI connection, three component, one composite, one S-Video, one RS-232c and one VGA port, with the 1080 adding one RS-232c and a D4/SCART connection.
All the necessary mounting brackets and cables to get either system up and running are included, along with a management track system. The Ensemble HD 1080 system is priced at $6,999, while the HD 720 setup can be purchased for $4,999.