Epson has launched new Epson EpiqVision ultra-short-throw projectors that compete squarely with other brands of consumer-grade laser smart TV projectors.
It seems every second press release is about COVID and how we have changed the way we live, work and play. Now Epson EpiqVision has an entry-level EF-100, a 1080p EF-LS300 and a 4K EF-LS500.
GadgetGuy recently attended the Epson EpiqVision launch
Yes, my first face-to-face launch replete with food and drink). I always say a virtual beer is no substitute for the real thing. It was so nice after eight months to see fellow IT Journalists and experience real products. Bah humbug Zoom!
Now ultra-short-throw simply means you can place it below and near a screen. Smart TV, in this case, means Android TV and that is a huge plus.
And we have to hand it to Epson. – in the typical Japanese manner, there was no marketing hype, all specifications were readily available. They even let us open up blinds and turn on lights to see the impact of higher ambient light levels.
We saw the 1080p EF-LS300 and the 4K EF-LS500 specs are provided for reference. This is not a review.
|Cost||$3,999 bare unit|
With 100” ALR screen $5,099
With 120” ALR screen $5,699
|$5,499 bare unit|
|Res||1920 x 1080p native No upscale|
Manual focus lever
Manual keystone adjustment
|1920 x 1080 native 3840×2160 with Pixel Shift/Boost technology F/1.5|
Same + some digital focus
|Inputs||[email protected] downscale 1080p/i;|
|Same Note that all inputs are downscaled or upscaled to 1080p then shift/boosted|
|Screen size support||61-120” 16:9 format||Supplied 100” screen has .6 gain and 170° viewing angle|
|Minimum distance from the screen for 100” image||26.6cm plus device depth||39.1cm plus device depth|
51.9cm for 120”
Note this quite deep compared to other short throw projectors.
|Light source||Epson 3LCD (not DLP)|
Three R, G, B Laser 60Hz
20,000 hours at 50% brightness (ECO mode)
Eye protection mode
Note: Bulb warranty is five years or 12000 hours
3LCD .74” does not suffer from rainbow effect or colour striping typical on DLP projectors
|Peak Brightness*||3600 ANSI Lumen >1000 nits in both colour and white Eco-mode (normal 1800 Lumen/500 nits)||4000 lumen/1155 nits|
|Maximum Contrast||<1000:1||We estimate 1100:1|
|Gamut||100% REC 709||Same but that is below 100% DCI-PC|
|HDR||HDR 10-bit and HLG||HDR10|
it’s a trade-off – more highlight and shadow detail and less brightness
Dynamic contrast – luminance adjustment
Detail Enhancement Dynamic – games in a bright room
Vivid – TV content – ditto
Bright Cinema – movies – ditto
Cinema – 50% brightness 250 nits for movies in dark room
Natural – no enhancements
Left and Right full range %W each 10W sub-woofer Includes Theatre, TV, Studio, Stadium, Concert and Karaoke modes
Capable of decoding PCM mono and 2.0, AC-3 and DTS 5.1
|2 x 10W Left/Right 2.0forward-facing speakers No bass but plenty of volume|
|Comms||Wi-Fi, BT 5.0, USB-A 2.0, Optical||Same plus Ethernet|
|HDMI||2 HDMI 2.0 18Gbps|
ARC on HDMI 1
|3 x HDMI|
|Game mode||Reduces lag to 26.8ms||Reduces lag to 16.7ms|
|Tuner||Single DVB-T2 with Freeview support||No smarts but used an Android TV dongle supplied or connect to a set-top box or NVIDIA Shield TV box|
|Power use at nominal 50 cents per hour||Max 388W Normal 278W|
Approx. price 19 cents/hr
|Voice support||Google Assistant||Same|
|Remote||IR Yes Android TV Chromecast and AirPlay||Same|
|Size||467 x 400 x 133mm x 7.2kg||458 x 375 x 215mm x 9.3kg|
|Manual||Here (care it is a PDF)||Here (PDF)|
Epson 3LCD versus DLP
Epson use the 3LCD method of projecting colours. In some respects it is superior with higher brightness, colour accuracy and contrast. But its blacks tend more to grey. It is a matter of personal preference.
GadgetGuy’s take – Epson EpiqVision ultra-short-throw projectors are worth considering for the right use.
We saw the 1080p LS300 and for what it is – it a nice image. Yes, like all other ultra-short-throw projectors it was impacted by overhead lights and open curtains.
We did not see the LS500 and as you may have picked up from the specs, it is not really 4K but 1080p enhanced by pixel shifting. Pretty well all projector makers use pixel shift for their consumer models.
In fact, genuine 4K, 8.3 million pixels tend to cost $50,000-100,000.
GadgetGuy is not ready to give any projector brand the ‘tick’.
Why? Because consumer-grade 4K laser projectors do not substitute for any LED/LCD, Quantum Dot or OLED TV experience. They particularly don’t substitute for higher-end Dolby Vision or Atmos TVs.
They are for specific use cases in media rooms or areas where you have excellent ambient light control.
When they are equal to, or better than TVs for general use, we will let you know.