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Epson EH-TW480 review

David Ludlow
3 May 2013
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
459
inc VAT

An excellent 720p projector with great image quality and extensive menu options

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Specifications

1,280x800 resolution, 2,800 ANSI lumens, 228x79x295mm, 2.3kg

A 720p (1,280x1,080) projector is a great way to get an occasional-use projector on a tight budget, while still providing enough resolution for most uses, as the Epson EH-TW480 proves. While a lot of budget projects use a single DLP chip, the EH-TW480 is a 3-LCD model.

DLP projectors often create deeper blacks but they also tend to suffer from a slight rainbow effect, while 3-LCD models are immune to it. For anyone that's tried and hasn't got on with DLP before, the EH-TW480 could be the ideal alternative.

For such a small projector, it produces an impressively large image, and it easily filled our screen from 7ft away. Its weight isn’t evenly distributed across the unit, though, and its off-centre height-adjustable kick-stand at the front isn’t particularly sturdy either, so we’d recommend installing it on a shelf where it’s unlikely to get knocked over and use its height-adjustable back feet to angle it downwards instead.

Epson EH-TW480

There's no lens shift on this budget model, so you'll need to get the projector square-on to the screen. If you don't, the only option is to use digital keystone correction, which reduces the quality of the picture. Annoyingly, the automatic keystone adjustment is turned on by default, although you can turn this off using the projector's menus or the dedicated buttons on the top.

Setting the EH-TW480 up was very easy, but its slightly limited range of inputs makes it a little less versatile than other budget projectors. There’s just one HDMI input, for instance, along with VGA, S-video and composite inputs. There’s also a USB Type B input, so you can run your computer's video and audio over USB; this is more a business feature, though, and not good enough for high-quality video, so we recommend sticking with HDMI. A USB Type A input lets you connect mass storage devices, so that the projector can show any stored images.

Epson EH-TW480

Despite having just four colour modes at your disposal (Dynamic, Living room, Theatre and Game), each one can be fully customised using its brightness, contrast, colour saturation and temperature, tint and sharpness settings. You can also tweak individual colour values as well as noise reduction, but some options were a little less intuitive than others to use due to poor labelling on each setting.

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