AV pro­jec­tors

Sound + Image - - News -

It was a sur­prise to learn the price of Ep­son’s lat­est 1080p home cin­ema pro­jec­tor — at $1149 our bar­gain sirens were sound­ing at top vol­ume. It’s a compact unit, for sure, but it nev­er­the­less serves up 2200 lu­mens of bright­ness (Ep­son not­ing that its three LCD chips com­bine to de­liver the full colour range at up to 2200 lu­mens as well, whereas some com­pet­ing tech­nolo­gies can only achieve their stated bright­ness with full white), while the dy­namic iris (which opens and closes rapidly to ad­just the over­all light lev­els to im­prove the ef­fec­tive black lev­els dur­ing dark scenes) boosts the con­trast ra­tio to an im­pres­sive 35,000:1.

The 200W lamp is rated with a gen­er­ous lamp life of 4000 hours of op­er­a­tion in nor­mal mode and 7500 hours in eco mode (that’s a movie a night for 10 years), and re­place­ments are equally well-priced at $99. And be­ing compact, this is a pro­jec­tor you could bring out for movie nights with­out a per­ma­nent in­stal­la­tion — we like that it’s still curvy enough that it doesn’t look like a busi­ness pro­jec­tor.

There are two HDMI in­puts, plus D-SUB15 and com­pos­ite video — oh, and stereo au­dio in­puts, which are down-mixed to mono and fed to a small speaker built into the back panel, though we’d hope you’d plug your source au­dio into a rather bet­ter sound sys­tem given the qual­ity of bigscreen en­ter­tain­ment on of­fer here. The TW5300 was won­der­fully bright in ‘Nor­mal’ mode, with a de­cent pic­ture even in a well-lit room, while in our pre­ferred dark­ened room, ‘Eco’ mode de­liv­ered a pic­ture that was ab­so­lutely fine for bright­ness, with the fan run­ning at no more than a whis­per, though the dy­namic iris could au­di­bly ‘chuff’ a bit in op­er­a­tion. Colours were nicely rich and ac­cu­rate with good black lev­els, and it does 3D, though no eye­wear is sup­plied — avail­able at $99 per pair.

With the Ep­son name and this per­for­mance at this price, the EH-TW5300 was an easy pick for our en­try-level pro­jec­tor award. More info: www.ep­son.com.au

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