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Epson EH-TW2900 review

Kat Orphanides
20 Jan 2010
Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Epson EH-TW2900 projector
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
1,119
inc VAT

The cheapest LCD projector we've ever reviewed is the best value choice if you can't stand DLP, even though its rendition of dark scenes lacks impact.

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Specifications

1,920x1,080 resolution, 1,600 ANSI lumens, 145x450x390mm, 7.3kg

At just under £1,200, Epson's EH-TW2900 is one of the cheapest 1080p LCD home cinema projectors currently available. It's significantly larger than similarly priced DLP projectors, so it's not an ideal choice if you want a projector that can easily be moved around or stored in a cupboard when not in use. Although its bulk makes it harder to position, it has a pair of manual lens shift wheels to help align the picture without having to resort to keystone correction.

The lens can move 47 per cent in either direction on a horizontal axis and 96 per cent vertically. This means that, for example, you can position the projector on a relatively high shelf but angle the lens to point downwards to produce a comfortable viewing angle from your sofa. Unfortunately, we found that our lens sometimes shifted automatically, which meant that we had to re-adjust the wheels. An advantage of the TW2900's tough case is that its fans are barely audible in Eco mode and little above a Normal mode. The projector has the usual range of inputs, including VGA, composite, component, S-Video and two HDMI ports.

The TW2900 has a lamp rated at 1,600 ANSI lumens, so it's usable under living-room lights easily, although a darkened room shows it off to its best. Under these lighting conditions, the TW2900 is a pleasure to view. Our preferred presets were Natural and Theatre Black, both of which have rich, slightly oversaturated colours that bring life to colourful scenes. The overall picture tone on all the defaults, except Dynamic, which adjusts the lens's iris to improve contrast ratios, is warm and flattering to skin tones.

Colours tend to have a natural, rather than vibrant tone and the EH-TW2900 doesn't produce as rich a picture as on DLP projectors. The reason is likely to be that its LCD technology doesn't produce blacks as dark as on DLP. That's not to say that this projector is poor, but you lose a little bit of detail, particularly in dark scenes. However, the trade off is that LCD doesn't suffer from the rainbow effect, which is visible on all DLP projectors. As a result, we think it's a fair swap and we'll take slightly less vibrant colours for a less distracting image.

A wide range of menu settings allow you to tweak and save settings from the usual brightness, contrast and colour temperature to advanced options that allow you to tweak the hue, saturation and brightness. The remote control is simply designed and easy to use, with clearly marked buttons to switch between different inputs and tweak the most important settings.

Running costs are reasonable with a full-brightness lamp costing 8p per hour to run, and 7p per hour in economy.

Considering its low price for a 1080p LCD projector, Epson's EH-TW2900 is an accomplished model. Natural colours and smooth movement make sure that it's a pleasure to watch, while its lens shift means it's incredibly flexible where you place it. The only downside is that blacks aren't quite as deep as on DLP projectors, but it's a fair trade off not to get the rainbow effect.

Details

Price£1,119
Detailswww.epson.co.uk
Rating*****
AwardBest Buy

Specifications

Projector technologyLCD
Lamp brightness1,600 ANSI lumens
Lamp life3,000
Lamp life in economy mode4,000
Contrast ratio18,000:1

Picture

Native resolution1,920x1,080
Max compressed resolution1,920x1,080
Aspect ratio16:9
Other aspect ratios4:3
Max diagonal at 7ft62.16in
Throw ratio2.4:1 to 5.1:1
Optical zoom2.1x
Projection distance0.87m to 19.15m
Mirror imageyes
Invert imageyes
Lens shift horizontal47%
Lens shift vertical96%
HD Readyyes
Special view modesDynamic, living room, natural, theatre, theatre black 1, theatre black 2, x.v.Colour

Inputs/Outputs

VGA inputyes
DVI inputNo
Sound inputsnone
Composite inputyes
S-video inputyes
HDMI inputyes
Component inputno
PAL supportyes
SECAM supportyes
NTSC supportyes
Audio outputnone
Video outputnone
Others inputs/outputssecond HDMI input, RS232, trigger out

Other

Noise (in normal use)28dB(A)
Size145x450x390mm
Weight7.3kg
Internal speakersnone
Extrasremote, cables (power)
Remote special featuresnone
Power consumption standby0W
Power consumption on252W

Lamp

Lamp cost (inc VAT)£259
Lamp supplierwww.lambda-tek.com/componentshop
Lamp cost per hour of use£0.09
Lamp cost per hour of use (economy)£0.07

Buying Information

Price£1,119
Supplierhttp://www.lambda-tek.com/componentshop
Detailswww.epson.co.uk

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