Epson’s EMP-TW1000 looks terrific on paper. This LCD-based 1920 x 1080 resolution design promises ultra-sharp images, accurate colours and (if the numbers are to be believed) more than ample contrast - it's claimed as 12,000:1 contrast. It also includes an HDMI 1.3 input, making it (theoretically) ideal for Blu-ray use.
That promise continues to the Epson’s styling, which is curvaceous and no larger than it needs to be, and its ease of installation. As an occasional-use projector, there’s much to commend it: the simple manual lens-shift control (in both vertical and horizontal planes) is a great convenience feature, as are its built-in test patterns, sturdy, stable supporting feet and short-throw lens. You could whip it out of a cupboard, plonk it down on a coffee table and be up-and-running in no time.
Lacking in real-world contrats
Howvever, there's bead news: the Epson’s picture, while commendably sharp and bright, lacks real-world contrast. Deep blacks are rendered more as murky greys and, even after extensive experimentation and plenty of tweaking, we couldn’t get the picture to reveal as much dark-scene detail as we’d like, which rapidly becomes a frustration with movies like Training Day or Letters From Iwo Jima. The night-time finale to the former movie is a particularly taxing tester, and the Epson really struggles with it.
Interestingly, and despite the theoretical promise of its LCD system, we also found that colours can also disappoint, lacking the richness of the best DLP designs here. Reds, in particular, are less vibrant than we'd likel, which is especially noticeable in the gory DVD of 28 Weeks Later.
Upsides? Motion across the screen is smooth and stable with high-def sources (although a little more staccato with standard-definition TV), and with brightly-lit films, particularly animations such as Ice Age 2, you’ll relish the sharpness, the relative lack of the ‘chicken-wire’ effect that once plagued LCD projectors, and the overall brightness of the picture.
Overall, though, this is a disappointing projector. It’s very user-friendly but, when compared to some cheaper rivals, is well off the pace.
Easy to set-up and use; short-throw design is living-room friendly
Image is well behind the best for black depth and colour realism
By Staff Writers
Sep 2, 2008 11:02PM
Sep 2, 2008 11:02PM