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Epson EMP-TW2000 LCD Projector - Epson EMP-TW2000
Of course, as with all LCD projectors with an interest in home cinema, you'll only get the deepest, most movie-friendly black levels out of the TW2000 if you are willing to sacrifice quite a bit of brightness during dark scenes, as an optional automatic iris goes about its work. But even with this in mind, 50,000:1 is a very impressive figure. And at least the TW2000's brightness is starting out at a very high level before the dynamic iris kicks in if its 1600 Ansi Lumens maximum brightness figure is in any way realistic.
There are one or two more features tucked away within the TW2000's menus that warrant our attention. First of all, you can manually set the colour temperature in Kelvins - though obviously we'd recommend you stick with the 6500K default setting for film and TV viewing.
Then there's a skin tone adjustment that delivered the most natural results when set to its ‘three' level, and a brightness control feature that lets you toggle between high and reduced lamp output.
As well as considerably altering the image's brightness on your screen, this brightness control feature has a dramatic affect on fan noise. With the brightness set high, fan noise from the TW2000 is quite intrusive, at least if you're sat anywhere near the projector. But turn it to low and the projector suddenly runs almost silently, though you do lose a bit of punch from the image.
Next is the facility to toggle the Auto iris system on or off. I strongly recommend that you play with this feature rather than just assuming that it's best set to ‘on', since there are cons as well as pros to having it active. On the plus side, an active auto iris will deliver consistently the most contrasty image with whatever you're watching. On the downside, you can sometimes actually see the iris adjusting the brightness, distracting you from what you're watching. Plus its adjustments can lead to some noticeable noise from the projector's chassis.
Tucked away deep inside the TW2000's menus is another feature that can profoundly affect picture quality - a motion compensation system designed, I presume, to tackle judder. The problem here is that this feature can cause motion in the image to look very blurred or artificial if you have it set too high. I'd certainly recommend you never have this running at higher than level 2, and probably leave it at 1 for the vast majority of the time.
Other lesser bits and bobs still worth a mention include a handy selection of image presets (of which I personally preferred Cinema Night or HD); a white boosting option; a noise reduction option (which again you should avoid like the plague when watching high definition); and two different progressive scan settings.