From Hong Kong and China, the next stop on our tour took us to Japan where we visited Epson's headquarters in Matsumoto. Here, we were given further incite into Epson's vision for the future of home cinema projectors.
Essential to this vision was the understanding that the market for home projectors has huge potential for growth. Whereas the TV market far outstrips that of projectors, it is also relatively stagnated. Now, although Epson doesn't pretend that your average consumer will get rid of their main living room TV in favour of a projector it does see the market for these devices growing considerably.
One of the main benefits it cites is the considerably lower environmental costs of owning a projector. They require less raw material to manufacture and subsequently at end of life there's less to dispose of. They are also kind to your wallet in the long run as they use considerably less power than plasma TVs - 20x less in fact!
The other key advantage of projectors is that they have a considerably smaller footprint for any given size of screen, as compared with a TV, and are inherently more portable. Indeed this was the main motivating thought behind the development of the new EH-DM2 home entertainment system.
This brand new model costs a not insubstantial, though very reasonable for a projector, £499 and is only 480p resolution. However, it also incorporates a stereo speaker system and a DVD player, making it a truly all-in-one home entertainment system - just plug in the power and you're away. It even includes a convenient carry handle on one end so it's easy to move from room to room, or even from house to house. When you combine this with the EH-DM2's tiny dimensions that enable you to stow it away just about anywhere, you have quite a compelling solution.