Note: This projector was reviewed in comparison to 4 others as part of the Into the light – 5 projectors reviewed article.
Reviewer: Thomas Bartlett
In one way, including this projector in this collection is unfair to all the others. That’s because while they are all 720p models, this one is Epson’s second-generation 1080p model (its first generation EMP-TW1000 is still available for $1,500 less). That means it offers a full 1920 x 1080 pixels of resolution, ideally suiting it to Blu-ray, HD DVD and HDTV.
But it is also a little unfair to Epson, since it costs considerably more than the others. Nevertheless it is still excellent value for money.
The projector has a lens shift feature and a 2.1:1 zoom range for easy installation. For a 100 inch screen, a range of between 2.98 and 6.36 metres is required.
It is also an excellent performer. Whether with PAL DVDs delivered in 576i format, or Blu-ray or HD DVD delivered at 1080i, 1080p or 1080p24, the projector handled the signal as well as anything on the market. In the case of the last, film-like 24 frames per second mode, make sure you switch on the 2:2 pulldown option in the Signal menu or the projector won’t deliver these images smoothly. Once on, this doesn’t interfere with other display options so it can be left on.
The projector out-performed all the others on the picture sharpness stakes. Of course, with 1080i HDTV and 1080p Blu-ray and HD DVD this was to be expected, since its display resolution precisely matches those formats. But it also delivered with DVDs because these images scale more cleanly up to 1080 pixels than they do to 720.
The other major advance with this projector is the claimed 50,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. Epson has developed its three LCD panels to produce deep levels of black natively, and this is enhanced with a dynamic iris. Black levels were better than any other projector I’ve seen, other than old CRT models.
Consequently, colour performance was excellent as well, and there was a marked ‘depth’ in the image with the better Blu-ray and HD DVD discs.