Editor rating: 5/5
The Homestar Classic is a beautifully designed planetarium from the SEGA toys brand. While most people associate SEGA with video games, the company's foray into astronomy gadgets is an impressive one! This planetarium is awe-inspiring, filling rooms with tens of thousands of stars.
Unlike other star projectors on the market, the Homestar Classic focuses on realism. It has an accurate depiction of what you'd see if you were to look up at the night sky in the northern hemisphere. You can spot real-life constellations and celestial bodies. The Homestar Classic is a valuable educational tool that can also double as mood-setting home decor.
In this review, we're going to take a closer look at what the Homestar Classic has to offer. Is it a worthy buy or a cosmic dud? Read on to find out!
3-watt white LEDs
Shooting star function
Roughly 6.34 inches long, 6.25 inches wide, and 5.94 inches tall
Weighs approximately 1.8 pounds
Homestar Classic Planetarium Review
SEGA's planetarium has a lot to offer; there's no denying that. This unit serves a specific purpose, fitting into a niche that not too many models can cater to. It has a lot of strengths and some notable weaknesses. To help you determine if it's right for you, we're going to look into some of the most important features and performance elements.
Ease of use
Using the Homestar Classic is relatively easy. This planetarium doesn't have all of the bells and whistles as some other units. You won't find any complicated control schemes or anything like that. All of the buttons intuitive and easy to understand.
Controls are on the rear of the device. In addition to a single power switch, you have three buttons. They adjust the movement, timer, and shooting star feature, respectively. More on that later!
One thing that the Homestar Classic lacks is a remote control. Many star projectors and galaxy lamps these days have a wireless remote to let you make adjustments from across the room. Sadly, SEGA didn't include one. That's a bit of a bummer, but it's certainly not a dealbreaker.
This fist-sized planetarium is packing in some surprising features. Despite its small footprint, you're getting a unique and detailed imaging system.
Rather than laser diodes or traditional bulbs, this unit uses 3-watt LED technology. The lights are small but mighty! Crisp white and low-energy, the lights can generate a detailed image without using a ton of energy. Plus, the LEDs stay cool to the touch!
To make it look like you're drifting through the cosmos, the Homestar Classic uses an image disc. They slide into the housing much like a CD would in a music player! Fitting right above the lights, the image on each disc can project onto your walls and ceilings. It's no small image, either! You can get a picture as big as 106 inches in diameter, depending on your positioning!
The Homestar Classic comes with two discs. Both are accurate depictions of the night sky in the northern hemisphere. One features constellations. The other is all-natural!
The cool thing about the imaging system is that you can easily purchase more. SEGA has over 30 of them available. Some utilize cool overlays and vibrant colors to create nebula, aurora, and more.
Thanks to those realistic discs, the Homestar Classic planetarium performs well. The image is not big enough to cover every single wall in your room. But, it is wide and bright.
SEGA also included a rotation feature. With a press of a button, you can set the disc to turn. This simulates the Earth's rotation and the ever-changing view from above. The rotation system works both ways, so you can see what's it's like to be on polar opposite sides of the planet!
In total, the Homestar Classic can display over 60,000 stars at once. That's a far cry from the basic green laser grids that some projectors have.
Another exciting feature is the shooting star function. When you turn this element on, the Homestar Classic will create sporadic meteors every few minutes. The simulated star dances through the image, pushing the realism of the projector even further. It's a nice touch that can add a hint of whimsy to your stargazing ventures.
What's In The Box
First things first, let's talk about the box itself. SEGA designed some beautiful packaging for this gadget! It features a picture of the planetarium itself against a black backdrop of stars. You might not care too much about the packaging if you're getting this unit for yourself. But if you plan on gifting it, that extra touch makes all the difference!
Inside, you're going to find the planetarium safely sat within a cocoon of projective material. It also houses the two image discs, a power cord, and an AC adapter. We appreciate that SEGA included an AC adapter alongside the USB power cord. Some star projectors force you to buy it separately or use one you have lying around the house.
The Homestar Classic also comes with a two-sided poster. While not necessary to the planetarium functions, it is an excellent educational tool. The poster features a skymap, encouraging you to learn more about the images you see.
Controls & Functionality
As mentioned earlier, the controls on this system are pretty straightforward. It doesn't come with a remote, but the control panel is intuitive and easy to understand.
In addition to a power switch, you can use the controls to initiate rotation, turn on the shooting star function, and start the timer. The timer comes with three intervals. You can set it to turn off after 60 minutes, 30 minutes, or 15 minutes. There's also the option to keep the timer off so that you can enjoy some cosmic beauty for hours on end.
One functionality feature that the Homestar Classic lacks is brightness controls. Unlike other galaxy lights, you cannot dim the image down. As a result, it may not be the best choice for a kid's room. This planetarium is designed for joy in the moment. It's not one of those "set it and forget" units that help set the background mood. While it can certainly do all of those things, SEGA built this gadget to capture your attention! Thus, there's no way to dull the image. It may be too captivating for those trying to sleep.
The SEGA Homestar Classic doesn't have any audio features. It's a light-based projector and nothing more!
That said, you may hear some subtle noise here and there. Typically, the device makes an audible noise when the rotation feature is on. Luckily, the noise is very minimal and nearly undetectable in most applications. Overall, it's pretty quiet and calming, allowing you to enjoy the show in peace!
There's a lot to love about the design of the Homestar Classic. It's a spherical unit that's sporting a metal wire stand. Thanks to the unique design, you can easily tilt the device to get the best image possible.
SEGA even included a focus knob. The focuser is the perimeter ring that surrounds the lens. Give it a few twists to sharpen the image and get things just right!
Now, the Homestar Classic is not made for rough-and-tumble environments. It's an indoor-only planetarium. So, don't expect super-rugged materials. Except for the stand, most of the tangible materials are all plastic.
The plastic is tough enough to withstand regular wear and tear. However, it's not going to hold up outside. So, it's best to keep it in a safe, air-conditioned room.
Customer Service & Guarantee
SEGA is a company that's been around for ages. That experience is evident when you take a look at its customer support system.
If you have any issues with the planetarium, you can contact the US-based customer support team for assistance. You can find the contact form on the official Homestar website. Or, you can use the seller contact system on Amazon.
The team is responsive, answering questions on the Amazon page regularly.
SEGA doesn't disappoint with the warranty, either. Each Homestar Classic comes with a limited two-year warranty for peace of mind.
Homestar Classic & Homestar Flux
As you may or may not know, SEGA Toys has two versions of the Homestar Planetarium. The Classic or Original and the Homestar Flux. Both are incredible star projectors packed with awesome features, but there is a difference between the two models that you should know about.
They both have pretty much the same spec, except when it comes to the brightness, clarity and quality of the star projections. Homestar Flux is the superior model. If you want to find out more about the Homestar Flux vs Homestar Classic, why not check out our comparison of the two.
Stars per disc
Shooting star function
3 Watt LED
5 Watt LED
6.34 in x 6.26 in x 5.94 in
6.34 in x 6.26 in x 5.94 in
What's In The Box
Our Star Rating
Homestar Classic Planetarium
There's good and bad with most star projectors. It's important to cover all bases and display the facts both positive and negative.
If you want a true-to-life show that simulates the night sky to a tee, the Homestar Classic won't disappoint. It's perfect for astronomy buffs and casual hobbyists alike. You can learn about the constellation and get a crystal-clear view even if you're surrounded by light pollution!
It doesn't have any of the fancy features as some other units. There are no wireless remote controls or even changeable light colors. But, realism and beauty make up for those shortcomings tenfold.