Projectors are still a niche in home theater setups, but they provide maximum screen size for your buck if you don't mind using a projector screen instead of a sexier flat-screen panel. Epson makes it easy to create an instant home theater with its Ensemble HD Cinema System, which includes a 100-inch motorized screen with integrated satellite speakers, a controller unit with virtual surround sound and a built-in DVD player, a subwoofer, and a universal remote.
Now the company is bundling the system with its newest three-LCD 1080p projectors, the PowerLite Home Cinema 6100 and Home Cinema 6500 UB, giving you an unbeatable option compared to the biggest TVs on the market that don't cost $15,000. The biggest difference between the two projectors is the 6500's 75,000:1 contrast ratio, which dwarfs the 6100's 18,000:1 ratio—though we'll need to wait for some reviews before we know if that's a significant advantage in terms of picture quality. The A/V unit is equipped with a pair of HDMI inputs, which you might use for a Blu-ray player, since the system lacks one.
Considering the price for the system with the projectors—$6,499 with the 6100 and $7,999 with the 6500—that's a notable oversight. If you aren't as concerned with 1080p, you can get the Ensemble system with the PowerLite HC 720p projector for "just" $4,999. Those who want to install the system themselves can find them at online sites like Projector People and Visual Apex, or it can be professionally installed through a local Epson dealer.