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Epson EH-TW6000 Review
When one steps into a theatre to watch a 3D movie, they may certainly enjoy the entire effect of the show, as they are not restricted by size. No matter how many advancements are implemented in 3D HDTV sets, one will always feel confined by the fact that they are staring at a box and not in your face 3D content. So what does one need to do to bring the experience of a theatre to their home?
Since 2010, brands launched a range of 3D projectors that cater to customers with different budgets and requirements. When this concept was still in its budding stages full HD 3D projectors were quite expensive, but as with technology and time, the prices of these full HD projectors have dropped quite significantly.
Full HD 3D projector
Keeping this concept in mind, Epson have launched the EH-TW6000, a Full HD 3D projector that is relatively pocket-friendly and comes loaded with a range of features that may excite any home theatre enthusiast.
Design and Build Quality
Being a full HD home projector, this model is larger than most other models when it comes to its size. By looking at the design, one might mistake the projector to be an extremely expensive one. Finished in glossy white, this model can surely complement a potential buyer’s home. Moving back a little to the size of the projector, though it is on the larger side, it can be easily table mounted, or ceiling mounted. LCD technology projectors, such as this EH-TW6000 are typically larger in size than their DLP counterparts.
On the glossy white top panel, apart from the branding, the controls for the projector are located. These include options for controlling the various settings and on screen options. The toggles for the large focus ring and horizontal keystone are located at the top, above the lamp. The rear of the projector is littered with connectors, which include ports, such as two HDMI, a USB 2.0, composite, component, DVI, an RS-23 and a port for an external 3D IR. The addition of an additional HDMI interface can certainly prove useful as it allows one to tether more than a single device to it.
Connections at the back
The first thing one may notice is the large fins located at the front. These assist in keeping the temperature of the projector in check and cause it not to overheat. This design comes as a refreshing change from the standard vents that are usually found on projectors. Moving on to the legs of the projector, they are fitted with plastic tips that can be turned to either raise or decrease the height of it. What we found lacking was that there were only two legs only located at the front and none at the rear. This can be a bit inconvenient especially if one needs to position it accurately.
When it comes to the features of the projector, the chief attribute of it is that it offers full HD 3D projection. Though this may be a very impressive feature, there are various other full HD 3D projectors available in the market these days, such as the Panasonic PT-AE7000, which is also based on the same LCD technology found here - taking some of the shine off this model’s USP. This model from Epson is one of the first of their projectors to come with 3D capability. Though it comes loaded with this feature, one should ideally use a 3D Blu-ray player to get the best out of this projector.
In the case of the Panasonic projector, it was a real pleasure to view content on it and since it uses the same LCD-based technology as this model, naturally we were excited about the performance of the EH-TW6000. Epson have established a name for themselves for the LCD technology, termed as 3LCD, which is used on their projectors. Ideally there is no real difference between the LCD technology used in other projectors and this one as all LCD projectors have three LCD panels that transmit light.
Backlighting featured on the remote
The Epson EH-TW6000 features a brightness of 2,200 lumens and this is more than sufficient for displaying content in an ambiently lit environment. Being a full HD projector, the native resolution is 1920 x 1080 and the aspect ratio found here is 16:9. Featuring this resolution, there will be no need to upscale content for full HD videos. The projection distance is sufficient for a medium to large sized house, a small office or even a classroom.
The interface of the projector is extremely easy to use. The text of the interface is crisp and the menu overall is well detailed. The colour mode, brightness, contrast, colour saturation and colour temperature, along with a range of other settings can be changed, thus making it a very customizable projector. These many setting adjustments is quite in depth for a Full HD 3D projector, priced at this amount. Apart from adjustment to the image quality, one can also tweak the different signals as well and in this tab, one can adjust the way 3D is rendered, for instance allowing one to choose between 3D in side by side or 3D in top and bottom. Another neat feature found in the menu is the split screen mode, this allows one to watch content via a Blu-ray player and a PC or TV at the same time. It is a feature found on HDTVs and it could prove useful to those who need it.
Besides the above mentioned features, the Epson EH-TW6000 comes with a horizontal keystone slider that allows one to quickly adjust the keystone from the top panel itself. While adjusting the digital keystone using this slider, the vertical keystone also gets automatically adjusted. This helps when it is positioned in an angle, since this way the entire projected image will appear accurately.
Horizontal keystone slider
This projector also comes with the ability to read USB flash drives, but strangely, there were very few formats that were supported. This feature of adding a USB flash drives to projectors isn’t particularly new or unique as many entry-level projectors come equipped with this ability. The Epson projector also features an Auto Iris feature, which automatically scans the scenes and automatically adjusts the videos that help in reproducing brighter or darker images when needed. This feature comes in handy while watching movies and one does not need to strain to notice images in different lighting settings.
The bundled remote acts as an all-in-one remote for other devices, such as AV receivers and Blu-ray players. While this projector is 3D capable, the brand does not bundle 3D eyewear with it and one will have to purchase it separately. This is a bit of a put off, as considering the price of the projector, the brand could have easily thrown in a pair, which costs approximately Rs. 3,000.
While you do not get 3D glasses, you do get integrated speakers with the projector, they have added two 10W speakers on the projector which are loud enough for casual viewing. They can easily be used, instead of attaching a dedicated speaker set to the projector.
Highlighted Specifications of the Epson EH-TW6000:
- LCD Size - 0.61-inch wide panel with MLA
- Native Resolution - 1080p
- Projection Lens - Optical Zoom (Manual) / Focus (Manual)
- Lamp Type - 230W UHE (E-TORL)
- Lamp Life - 4,000 hours (Normal) / 5,000 hours (Eco)
- Brightness - 2,200 lumens
- Contrast Ratio - 40,000:1
- Dimensions (Including Lens and Feet) - 365mm x 420mm x 137.3mm
- Weight - Approximately 6.0kg
From the time we switched the projector on, we were impressed by its performance. In the age when projectors are becoming smaller, they are losing their projection quality even when a little light seeps in the room. While testing the performance, we connected the projector to a PC to view content as well as a Blu-ray player.
Control panel at the top
To start off with the performance, we ran the DisplayMate test to gauge the rendering of colours, greys and black levels. We tested it with the settings set to auto and there was no need to calibrate it as greys and whites rendered accurately out of the box. The black levels are really good and most of the dark grey blocks could be seen. However, in this test, some of the dark grey blocks had a reddish tinge and this was strange, as in the previous test, it was not noticeable. In the pixel tracking and timing lock test as well as in the defocusing, blooming and halos check, we observed that there was the moire effect across the image slides. But for its part, its reproduction of the image is a lot better than most other projectors found in the market.
In the reverse video contrast check we noticed that the text of some colours appeared crisp while others seemed soft. The softness of colours was especially present in colours such as green and cyan. While checking the primary colours we noticed that there was only a slight difference between dim green and green and both shades appeared more vibrant than it should be. Apart from green all other colours appeared accurately. In the colour intensity scales test, we observed that there was a lot of detail present in most bars except the ones that had shades of blue in them such as cyan.
Focal ring located above the lamp
While testing the Blu-ray performance of the projector, we observed that the quality is really good. A great feature of this projector is the brightness levels and content can be viewed easily with ambient lighting. However, as in the end it being a projector, one would want to turn the lights out to experience the projector’s true capabilities. While watching our test Blu-ray, we observed that there was a lot of detail seen and all colours appeared natural. This was apparent, especially with skin tones and they did not appear saturated or unnatural. While watching dark scenes, the projector does really well in reproducing blacks and the image on screen looks great.
To playback high definition videos, we connected the projector to our test rig and ran videos in HD 720 and Full HD 1080. While watching videos in 720p, we noticed that it does well in upscaling the content. Images ran smoothly across the screen and there was nothing to complain about. We really liked the way the projector renders colours and they all appear natural and not enhanced. While playing a video in 1080p running at 60fps, we noticed that there was a slight judder visible and it was not as smooth as it should be. This slight fault may not be noticeable to most people, but it was certainly present. Other than this slight judder, there was no other fault with the projector.
To test the 3D performance, we played a 1080p sample video that had stereoscopic 3D. The 3D performance is not really great as the level of 3D depth is not that substantial. But the black levels really come out strong when the EH-TW6000 is in this 3D mode. However, there are a few issues that go along with playing 3D through the projector. We tried the 2D to 3D conversion, but we were limited to only side - by - side and top and bottom. To get it to work is a bit of a roundabout process, especially while trying to view 3D content from a PC, which is kind of time consuming. Another issue we had with it is that one would need to purchase the glasses separately as Epson does not bundle them along with it. This is apart from the fact that one needs to own a 3D capable player.
The interface of the projector is really smooth and one can get used to it within a matter of few minutes. Navigating through the interface is simple when used on the station on the projector or the remote. The performance of the remote controller is really good and one does not necessarily need to point it to the projector for it to function. The backlighting feature available here allows one to easily use it in the dark. The EH-TW6000 emits a lot of heat, as compared to other projectors, which would be a cause for concern for those planning on using it as their only display option. To keep it cool, one would want to put it in an air conditioned room, where it can get that additional cooling.
Large vents at the front
The Epson EH-TW6000 3D HD projector is available in India at an MRP of Rs. 1,14,000. Although this may come across as a rather expensive printer, considering all the features that have been loaded in it, this model offers good value for money. Epson, as a brand have established themselves as great projector manufacturers and this model exemplifies it. When it comes to 2D performances, this model does really well and though it has average 3D performances too, we had some issues with it. That being said, this is a projector that performs well and also has looks that match.
This projector is ideal for home users wanting to spend a little extra and get a projector that offers above average 2D performances. Alternatively if one does not want to spend this much, then there are other options without 3D capabilities, such as the Epson EH-TW3600 available for around Rs. 10,000 less. On the other hand, this can also be an ideal solution for small office conference rooms or classrooms, as it can be used with an amount of light seeping in the room as well.