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However, as the light has to pass through each polarising filter and substrate, LCD projectors tend to be less bright than DLP, and the latter is the technology used in digital cinemas. In practice LCD technology tends to be cheaper, making higher quality and resolution projectors more accessible, which certainly plays a part in its popularity.
That said the 1,600 ANSI lumens rating is on the bright side. In fact, the specs from the TW-700 are rather tasty. The native resolution of the LCDs are 1,280 x 720 – standard HD. Epson’s EMP-TW1000 will offer a headline grabbing 1,920 x 1,080 resolution and also HDMI 1.3 with Deep Colour but otherwise this is the same unit.
Perhaps the biggest standout feature of the projector is a claimed 10,000:1 contrast ratio, which is really an impressive figure and should really help those all important dark scenes. You’ve also got a 2.1 zoom lens and a 10-bit processor capable of delivering up to 1.07 billion colours. The question is, does it deliver?
The unit itself is really quite attractive with a cream finish and plenty of good looking curves. There’s even a racy looking grille through which the heat from the lamp exhausts. It does shift quite a bit of heat so you shouldn’t put it in too enclosed a space. It also gave out a bit of a hot plastic smell, like a new car so I wouldn’t sit downwind of the vent either.
It feels well put together but I was actually surprised by how light it was - I was expecting it to be heavier. That said, at 5.4Kg, and dimensions of 310mm x 406mm x 124mm, it’s not a portable machine by any stretch – it’s intended for home use. The remote is curvy and doesn’t look that impressive, with slightly wobbly plastic buttons, but in fact it’s easy to use and comfortable to hold, with wide, spaced out buttons and a backlight that’s easily activated with a button at the bottom. It illuminates with a cool orange glow, though I wished it stayed on for a bit longer.
Connectivity is very good. There’s an HDMI port, HDCP compliant naturally, though having just the one means that you’ll need to use an HDMI switcher if you want to have a Sky HD box connected up at the same time as a PlayStation 3 and or a HD DVD player. You also get component and a VGA connector – but there’s no DVI, which is a shame. If you’re looking to hook up a media PC digitally then you’ll want to get an HDMI card and get that switcher. You’ll also get S-Video and composite to add to the flexibility and there’s also a 12V trigger and an RS232 serial port, used for custom control installations. The Japanese D4 connection isn’t actually completely useless – there’s a SCART adaptor in the box. This makes it easy to even hook up a VCR – though that would be like connecting a caravan to the back of an Aston Martin - deeply wrong.