Some friends of mine have frequently watched movies and football games in their backyard by setting up a projector. A few, like I have, used a projector as decoration or set pieces. This is thanks to the Epson Home Cinema 1040 and AtmosCheerFX. Next year, you can be the life of the party!
The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 1040
This projector is like most you have seen available at Sam’s Club. In fact, except for the model on the box, this one seems to be the very same one I saw at Sam’s and looks just as good. The projector is small enough you can stuff it in a bigger backpack or a canvas grocery bag although I prefer to keep it in a box so it is nice and padded.
Let’s look at the specs:
- Up to 3x Higher Color Brightness, and reliable performance — 3LCD, 3-chip technology*
- One measurement of brightness is not enough — look for both high color brightness and high white brightness.
The PowerLite Home Cinema 1040 has:
- Color Brightness: 3000 lumens
- White Brightness: 3000 lumens
- Bright, Full HD 1080p, widescreen performance — for movies, games and more, up to 300″ on virtually any wall or screen.
- Versatile connectivity — features two HDMI ports, so you can connect your cable/satellite box, Blu-ray Disc player, gaming console or streaming device.
- Stream HD videos — supports MHL-enabled devices2, including Chromecast™, Roku Streaming Stick™3 and more.
- Innovative 3LCD technology — amazing action scenes with no rainbow effect color.
- Dynamic contrast ratio — up to 15,000:1 for rich detail in dark scenes.
- Built-in speaker and easy setup — for HD entertainment right out of the box.
- Optimized color modes — whether you’re gaming in the rec room or streaming movies in the living room, pick the best mode to enhance your entertainment.
- Outstanding support — two-year limited warranty; two-business-day replacement with free shipping.
Connections supported for computers are USB, HDMI or VGA. You can also put standard definition video into it via the included composite input. It has a total of 2 HDMI ports. One of these is also an MHL port. MHL is a technology that lets you power your streaming device with the projector itself if it supports MHL. You CAN plug a thumb drive into it as well, but you will only be able to view pictures stored on the thumb drive and no video.
I used it with my laptop, a Chromecast, as well as a Raspberry Pi, and the image produced by all three of these devices was bright and viewable even in my office during the day. I was also able to use this with a screen I had purchased for a Christmas play. The screen was made of muslin, but it was thin enough I was able to get a good image by aiming the projector at the screen from behind the actors. For this, I used AtmosCheerFX which I will get to below.
One other option for controlling and sending images to this projector is WiFi. The optional adapter is 99 bucks which I feel is expensive. If it was a special port or something I can see it being priced at that level, but it’s simply a USB WiFi adapter. Would be nice if they made the projector’s software work with any USB WiFi adapter.
While this isn’t a 4K projector, there’s enough material out there for 1080p that you can probably use this projector for some time. The only thing I would add to the projector is an outdoor screen and maybe a cable box so I can watch the game outside while grilling. 🙂
The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 1040 retails for $799 (on special at Epson now for $699); it is also available for $679.00 on Amazon [affiliate link].
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Easy setup and easy teardown
What Needs Improvement: WiFi Adapter is expensive and proprietary
While the holiday season is now over, AtmosCheerFX is a great thing to have to get the jump on the next holiday season. AtmosCheerFX is a set of videos that you can get in high definition or on DVD with various holiday scenes available. The videos range from $24.99 to $59.99 depending on which video you pick. I used scenes from the Winter Wonderland series to mimic a window during a Christmas play. Other ideas you can use this are for a backdrop for a holiday party or even to decorate your house by setting up a screen in front of a window and shooting the projector from behind the screen. No decoration is easier to take down than this projector.
You can purchase these direct from AtmosFX!
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Liked: Festive and very pretty. Made the play I volunteered at a success!
What I Didn’t Care For: Price