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Epson EH-TW6600 review

Katharine Byrne
15 Dec 2014
Expert Reviews Recommended Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,399
inc VAT

A bright lamp, excellent lens shift and built-in speakers make this a very convenient and flexible projector

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Specifications

Projector type: 3-chip LCD, Native resolution: 1,920x1,080, Video inputs: 2x HDMI, VGA, component, composite, Lamp life: 3,500h, Lamp brightness: 2,500 lumen, Size: 304x410x157mm, Weight: 6.7kg

The EH-TW6600 is a rather radical departure from the rest of Epson's 3LCD projector range. Having kept the same centrally positioned lenses and large, industrial-looking side air vents for several years, Epson’s stylish new look for the TW6600 is a breath of fresh air. Now there’s just one main air vent that’s angled to the side, hiding the fan from view when looking at it face on, while the main lens sits just off-centre, giving the whole projector a much more rounded, sleeker design.

Another major attraction is the wide amount of lens shift (+/- 24 per cent horizontal and +/- 60 per cent vertical), making it very easy to set up and get started. This lets you adjust the position of your image without physically moving the projector itself, giving it a lot more flexibility than slightly cheaper projectors such as the Optoma HD50. The lens shift isn't electronic, so you'll have to use the manual dials on top of the projector rather than the remote, but this is the case on even high-end projectors such as the £1,850 Sony VPL-HW40ES. The TW6600 also has manual 1.6x zoom and focus rings round the lens to help make filling your projector surface even easier.

You’ll still need to position the TW6600 toward the back of your room to get a decent sized image, as its long throw ratio of 1.32:1 to 2.15:1 means images will appear quite small if the projector is placed close to your wall or screen. You’ll still get a huge 73in diagonal from 7ft away, but its 26dB(A) of noise could be a bit distracting if you’re sitting right next to it.

All the ports are neatly hidden behind a plastic panel on the rear of the projector, located between the TW6600’s twin stereo speakers. It’s a shame the whole panel pops off instead of having a hinge to keep it attached, but there’s a wide variety of connections, including two HDMI ports, component and composite inputs, a VGA port, a USB port for projecting JPEG images from a USB stick or a compatible camera, a 3.5mm audio output, an RS-232C port for home automation systems, a 12V trigger and a mini USB service port.

If you’re concerned about the number of HDMI ports available or simply want to cut down on the number of wires in your home cinema setup, the TW6600 is also sold with a wireless HDMI transmitter pack as the TW6600W. This can transmit video wirelessly to the projector without the need for extra cables. It also has another five HDMI inputs, one HDMI output, an optical S/PDIF output for your sound system and a USB port for charging the bundled pair of 3D glasses.

The transmitter worked extremely well when we tried it out, and we didn’t see any decrease in picture quality, even when the video reception was at 40 per cent. We didn’t have to place the transmitter directly in the projector’s line of sight either, as we could still get a good signal even when it was facing away from it. Placing it behind other objects often killed the signal completely, though, making the picture completely disappear. This may problematic depending on your AV setup. However, at time of writing, the transmitter adds another £300 onto the projector’s price, which is a hefty premium for what’s essentially a relatively small bit of extra convenience.

IMAGE QUALITY

Otherwise, the TW6600 and TW6600W are both exactly the same projector, so image quality should be identical on each model. With a 2,500 ANSI lumen lamp at its disposal, our test footage of Star Trek was beautifully bright and vivid even in our brightly lit test room, so you should have no problem watching films during the day or with the curtains left open. We could even see a good level of detail in darker night scenes with the lights on, but you’ll want to turn the lights off to make the most of its claimed contrast ratio of 70,000:1. Epson’s Auto Iris is meant to recognise the brightness of the projected image and automatically adjust the aperture of the lens to control the intensity of the lamp light, leading to brighter highlights and deeper shadows, but we found it made little difference to the overall picture. 

The TW6600 is set to the Auto colour profile by default, but you’ll need to switch over to one of the other four if you want to use any of the additional picture settings. We wouldn’t recommend Dynamic, as this made the screen appear overly green and yellow, but Living Room, Natural and Cinema all produced a much more balanced colour palette.

We settled on Cinema for our testing, which gave us access to the projector’s full range of controls. As well as basic brightness, contrast, colour saturation, tint, skin tone, sharpness and colour temperature settings, the TW6600 also lets you adjust the gamma, RGB offset and RGB gain, as well as RGBCMY hue, saturation and brightness.

Sadly, the TW6600 doesn’t have frame interpolation, so you’ll have to make do with the projector’s slightly jerky image processing. We only really noticed this in particularly fast camera pans, though, and it certainly didn’t make watching films uncomfortable. As it uses LCD projection, you don’t get any rainbow effects that are common to DLP projectors either.

Super Resolution upscaling proved very effective, making films appear that much sharper and more defined, even on Blu-ray. In Star Trek it was a little too noisy for our liking on top of the intentional film grain effect, but we did appreciate the extra sense of detail it brought to close-up facial features and clothing textures in Avatar.

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