Yet more good installation news finds the TW2900 sporting a superbly flexible 2.1x level of optical zoom, and a surprising amount of image adjustments within its simple but effective onscreen menus.
Among these features are: a large and genuinely helpful selection of clearly labelled colour mode presets; a gamma level adjustment; low and normal lamp levels; a six-level skin tone adjustment; a Kelvin based colour temperature adjustment; the option to turn an auto iris off or leave it set to Normal or High Speed settings; a noise reduction routine; Epson’s own processing for boosting white colours; and last but by no means least, not one but two colour management tools.
One of these allows you to adjust the hue, saturation and brightness of the red, green, blue, cyan, magenta and yellow colour components, while the other is for tweaking the offset and gain for the red, green and blue colour elements. Using these tools I really was able to get pleasingly close to the video-friendly colour tones established by our resident HD Basics Digital Video Essentials Blu-ray.
Other specifications worth running by you are a high claimed colour light output of 1,600 Lumens, a respectable claimed dynamic contrast ratio of 18,000:1, PixelWorks processing to deliver better scaling of standard definition sources, and a claimed running noise of just 22dB. Regarding this latter figure, I can happily say that the TW2900 is one of the quietest budget projectors I’ve ever heard. Or not heard, as the case may be! In its Eco lamp mode, in fact, this projector is pretty much impossible to hear, even during the quietest of scary movie build ups.
The first thing that strikes me about the TW2900’ s pictures, meanwhile, is how refreshing it is to watch a budget projector without having to contend with the rainbow effect found with rival DLP technology (on account of DLP’s colour wheel). For while neither the BenQ W1000 nor Optoma HD20 projectors suffer unbearably badly with the rainbow effect, it still makes its presence felt under the right circumstances. Being able to watch even the notoriously tough-on-DLP black and white sequence at the start of Casino Royale without seeing stripes of pure colour flitting around over bright picture elements actually feels like a relief!
The TW2900 also delivers a natural colour tone, especially if you use one of the Theatre colour presets. Personally, I went with a marginally tweaked version of Theatre Black 2, seeing as I test projectors in a completely dark room. But if you have the slightest bit of ambient light around, or you just prefer a bit more dynamism and colour vibrancy to the black level depth I was pursuing with the Theatre Black 2 setting, then the standard Theatre or even, at a push, the Natural settings aren’t bad places to start.
The Dynamic mode doesn’t really cut it with a decently dark room, as it pushes colours into cartoon land and emphasises brightness at the expense of too much black level. But it does show off the projector’s brightness potential, and in doing so produces a picture that a casual user could still enjoy in a really quite light room.