Sorry high quality projection fans, but the TW3600 we’re looking at today is not one of Epson’s new ‘Reflective LCD’ projectors. These projectors, which impressed us so much at the IFA show earlier this year, now look like they’re going to be delayed until the new year.
So in the mean time, we thought we’d run our eye over one of Epson’s new standard LCD projector models: the distinctly affordable EH-TW3600. Especially as this new model has a couple of seriously eye-catching numbers on its spec sheet.
Most striking of all is an extremely high brightness output of 2,000 Lumens. This figure immediately raises both expectations and concerns about the projector’s likely performance potential. On the plus side, it raises the possibility of being able to watch its pictures in at least a little ambient light - something that will likely make it a hit with casual users after an occasional projector for watching the odd movie or sporting event. On the down side, we have to wonder if such an affordable high-brightness projector will be able to deliver much of a contrast performance as well.
Which brings us neatly to the second eye-catching figure on the TW3600’s spec list: a claimed contrast ratio of 50,000:1. These figures always need to be treated with a hefty pinch of salt, of course. But the 50,000:1 number is high enough to at least raise hopes that the TW3600 really will be able to deliver a decent black level response as well as some presumably very punchy bright stuff.
As you would expect with a budget LCD projector, the 50,000:1 contrast figure depends on an auto iris system built into the TW3600’s optics. This is switchable between normal and high speed modes, or it can be deactivated if you’re not comfortable with its automatic adjustment of the amount of light emerging from the lens.
More brightness flexibility comes from the option to run the projector’s lamp in Normal or low-power modes, while other picture adjustments are strikingly numerous considering how affordable the TW3600 is. Among the highlights are a series of Kelvin-based colour temperature settings, a gamma adjustment, options to adjust the offset and gain of the red, green and blue colour elements, and a colour management facility allowing you to tweak the hue, saturation and brightness of red, green, blue, cyan, magenta and yellow colour components.