True movie lovers want to enjoy the 3D spectacle on the big screen. Now big screen 3D is a reality in the home thanks to products like Epson’s EH-TW9000W home theatre projector.
Not only can the device provide full high definition with a contrast ratio of 200,000:1 in 2D it can also bring impressive 3D quality to a home theatre as well.
It can also convert 2D content to 3D on the fly as well but one of the standout features of the product is the WirelessHD capability.
Under the hood, the EH-TW9000W uses inorganic C2Fine D9 LCD panels to provide the accurate and eye-catching picture quality.
The Epson isn’t small – it’s 46.6cm wide, 39.5cm long and 15.8cm thick – but that just lent weight to the projector’s claim of being a serious device worthy of a high-end home theatre.
For our testing, WirelessHD was one of the first things we looked at.
We set up the Epson projector in a dedicated home theatre with a 110-inch screen where we could achieve complete darkness at any time of the day.
Anyone who has installed a projector, or is thinking of installing a projector, on the ceiling will know that one of the biggest challenges is snaking the main HDMI cable to the receiver or Blu-ray player.
To do so you need a cable that can run up to 15 metres long depending on the size of your home theatre and the distance to your sources.
But with the WirelessHD receiver that ships with the Epson EH-TW9000W, this wasn’t an issue.
The cylindrical wireless receiver needs it own power supply and has a HDMI port on the side so it can be connected to your receiver or a Blu-ray Disc player.
Once we set up the receiver it only took a minute to sync and we were ready to go. One of the biggest hurdles of set up was complete.
There are still two HDMI ports on the projector for those who may be replacing their previous projector or would prefer to have a cable connecting the Epson to their equipment.
The only thing we had to make sure of was that the receiver faced the front of the projector for a clear transmission.
The EH-9000W is capable of projecting an image up to 300-inches in size – which was more than enough for our use.
Throw distance – the distance the projector has to be away from the screen – is impressive. A 120-inch picture can be achieved from about 3.6m – a vast improvement from projectors in recent years where a larger picture meant you’d have take the projector back a fair distance and therefore requires a larger room.
It only took a few minutes to adjust the picture to our screen size and focus the image but it can also be professionally calibrated for users who want to truly optimise the picture quality to a professional standard for their home theatre.
Speaking of picture quality, the sharpness and detail were remarkable with warm colour and excellent flesh tones and all in full high definition when were watching Blu-ray movies.
Contrast was also impressive with superior black levels – an impressive achievement with a projector. The listed contract ratio of 200,000:1 can certainly be seen here. The detail in dark scenes was also easy to make out as well.
Brightness, at 2400 lumens, was also a standout. We viewed the EH-9000W in a completely darkened room which provided best viewing conditions.
But that’s not to say the Epson, with its high brightness, couldn’t be viewed in a room that couldn’t be completely darkened during the day. It can, and it still, maintains the picture quality.
By the way, the WirelessHD receiver worked without an issue so there was absolutely no degradation of the video or the audio quality even when transmitting an uncompressed signal.
Now that was all fine watching full high definition 2D movies. What about 3D movies?
Picture quality was still above average and the lightweight glasses (you get two pairs of active shutter glasses with the Epson projector) worked well to create a cinema-like 3D.
But what we did find was the same problem with other 3D displays – a noticeable loss of brightness.
The Epson EH-TW9000W has a feature called High Brightness 3D which uses a 480Hz active shutter rather than the usual 240Hz system.
The reason for this is to minimise the time the shutters are closed as it alternates between the left and right eyes. The shorter that period the more light can be seen through the glasses.
Unfortunately viewing 3D with the Epson projector reduced the brightness significantly. Wearing the 3D glasses was like watching a movie through a pair of sunglasses.
This was especially evident when watching a movie with dark scenes and dark backgrounds. The brightness was not as dampened when watching brighter animated movies, for example, but it still took a slight edge off the warmth and vibrancy of the colours.
There is no projector on the market that runs absolutely silently but the Epson, at 32dB, was hardly a chain saw. In fact, above the audio of the movie we were watching, we hardly heard it.
What was noisy was the lens cover which retracts when the lamp comes to life – but thankfully that only lasted a second when the projector was warming up.
The Epson also offers other useful features like anamorphic lens mode and split screen.
Anamorphic lens mode can push the black bars above and below the 16:9 picture out of view.
Split screen, as its name suggests, can allow the viewer to watch two images side by side from two different sources at the same time.
The Epson EH-TW9000W is a good value projector worthy of a decent home theatre with outstanding picture quality, an acceptable 3D experience and features that will help you get the most out of your system.