Excellent image quality and 3D support, but its wireless HD transmitter still isn’t quite good enough
1,920×1,080 resolution, 2,300 ANSI lumens, 137x420x365mm, 6.0kg
One of the problems with installing a projector is running cabling to it. With the TH-TW6100W Epson thinks that it has the answer: it bundles a wireless HDMI receiver with it. This makes it more expensive than the identical non-wireless TW6100 (roughly £80 less from www.dabs.com), but this feature lets you transmit your films wirelessly without having to rout lots of cables (except power) to the back of the Full HD (1,920×1,080) 3-LCD projector.
It’s easy to set up, as all you need to do is connect an HDMI cable to the bundled-in wireless HDMI transmitter box and enable the Wireless HD source. In our testing, we found it was a huge improvement on the last Epson model we saw with this kind of technology. We still had to place the transmitter in direct line of sight to the projector to get the best reception, but we didn’t see any decrease in overall picture quality even when the transmitter’s reception was rated at less than 15 per cent.
It didn’t have to face the projector either to send a clear image, but we ran into problems when we placed the transmitter behind another object or on top of a shelf out of sight. This made the signal and picture disappear altogether, and so may still be problematic for some depending on your A/V layout. Because of this, we’d recommend buying from a retailer with a good returns policy so you can test it out in your own home.
If you’d rather ignore the wireless HD, then the projector has a great range of inputs round the back. We didn’t like that they were concealed behind a cheap piece of removable plastic, but along with two HDMI inputs, there are VGA, component and composite inputs as well as two USB inputs (one for displaying pictures from a USB mass storage device and the other for video and audio from a PC) and a mini-USB service port. It’s a shame that there’s no lens shift, though, so you’ll need to carefully position the projector if you want a square picture and don’t want to resort to keystone correction.
More impressive was its stunning picture quality. Its bright 2,300 ANSI lumen lamp meant we had hardly any trouble watching films with all the lights turned on in our test room, and we could even pick out a reasonable level of detail during particularly dark scenes as well. Of course, it’s best viewed with the lights turned off, as it’s here where colours truly shine. Its black levels tended toward the grey end of the spectrum, but overall films looked sharp, vibrant and were judder-free.
When we first turned it on, its colour mode was set to Auto. This locks all the settings into place, but there are also a few preset modes as well. Its 2D picture modes include Dynamic, Living Room, Natural and Cinema, and these can all be customised to your liking using the in-depth menu settings. We found most of the default settings on these modes to be either too bright or too muted compared with the Auto settings, but there are manual controls for brightness, contrast, colour saturation and temperature, tint, sharpness, skin tone and individual colour values.
There are also advanced settings to change the power consumption, auto iris and its Super-res feature. Super-res helps sharpen up images that may have become blurred through projection, particularly if you’re projecting in standard definition, but the effect was fairly minimal. Text looked sharper and highlights looked a little brighter, but overall we couldn’t see a huge difference in picture quality.
The EH-TW6100W is 3D-ready as well and comes with a pair of active shutter 3D glasses. As with any pair of 3D glasses, there was a slight loss of brightness, but the picture quality is outstanding. Colours remained vibrant and we didn’t experience any cross-talk or screen flicker whatsoever. Its 3D menu options are also very thorough, including two 3D picture modes (Dynamic and Cinema), 3D brightness settings to help take the edge off the dimmer image quality and depth of field options.
It also has a pair of 20W speakers. While these can’t compare to dedicated home cinema sound system, they produced a pleasing amount of bass and had more than enough volume to fill a room. For occasional use, they could be useful.
Running costs aren’t too bad compared to the price of the projector, with the lamp rated to last 4,000 hours at full brightness and 5,000 hours in ECO mode. This works out to running costs of around 6p and 5p per hour respectively.
The Epson EH-TW6100W is a superb projector. The wireless HD won’t be for everyone, but its 3D capabilities are excellent and the added pair of 3D glasses makes it excellent value. Still, wireless HD issues aside, we marginally prefer the cheaper non-wireless Epson EH-TW5910. Aside from a slightly dimmer lens, there wasn’t a considerable difference in image quality, and the EH-TW5910 is £450 less. The Best Buy winning Optoma HD25 is even better value.
|Lamp brightness||2,300 ANSI lumens|
|Lamp life in economy mode||5,000|
|Contrast ratio||40,000:1 dynamic|
|Max compressed resolution||1,600×1,200|
|Other aspect ratios||none|
|Max diagonal at 7ft||73in|
|Throw ratio||1.32:1 to 2.15:1|
|Projection distance||0.9m to 14.5m|
|Lens shift horizontal||0%|
|Lens shift vertical||0%|
|Special view modes||dynamic, living room, natural, cinema, 3D dynamic, 3D cinema|
|Sound inputs||phono stereo|
|Others inputs/outputs||second HDMI input, USB mass storage port, USB service port|
|Noise (in normal use)||32dB(A)|
|Internal speakers||yes (20W stereo)|
|Extras||power, HDMI cable clamp, RF 3D glasses, remote control, wireless HD I/F cover, wireless HD transmitter|
|Remote special features||aspect ratio, backlight, colour mode, 3D mode, input select|
|Power consumption standby||1W|
|Power consumption on||314W|
|Lamp cost (inc VAT)||£270|
|Lamp cost per hour of use||£0.07|
|Lamp cost per hour of use (economy)||£0.05|