It appears that 3D is no longer a premium AV feature. It already commands only a relatively minor price hike in the TV world, and products like the Epson EH-TW6000W show that it’s fast becoming pretty standard fare on projectors too. For despite sporting active 3D playback, driven by a crosstalk-reducing 480Hz system, and shipping with one free pair of active shutter glasses, the TW6000W can be yours for just under £1550.
What’s more, the features just listed are merely the tip of the iceberg. For a start, there’s also the Epson brand name to consider. Epson has forged an excellent reputation for itself in recent years as a maker of seriously able home cinema projectors - a reputation that was only enhanced by Epson’s impressive debut 3D model, the TW9000W, tested a few months back.
The ‘W’ at the end of the TW6000W’s name is interesting too, for it indicates that like the Epson TW9000W, the model we’re testing ships with a Wireless HDMI system. Comprising a slightly bulky transmitter you attach to your source equipment, this system can transport Full HD and even Full HD 3D video - and audio - source signals ‘through the air’ to the projector. This is clearly a much more convenient solution for your average home than trying to run massive cable runs right around your room.
What’s particularly good about the Wireless HDMI system is that it actually works. It delivers a seemingly flawless Full HD picture with no loss of resolution, no obvious signs of compression, and during our three days of testing, not a single mid-film dropped connection - not even for a second.
As with the Epson TW9000W, we did experience a few instances where the projector didn’t always ‘see’ the transmitter on first power up until we’d unplugged it and switched it back on again. But once the two devices were talking, the signal was flawless.
The TW6000W also benefits from an unusually nice design for such an affordable projector. Its glossy white finish (there’s a cheaper, non-wireless HDMI version available in black too, if you prefer) wraps classily around a busy but ultimately appealing shape, with extra aesthetic punch coming from the black finish applied to the projector’s front vents and lens mounting.
The TW6000W goes further than you might expect for a projector at its price level when it comes to providing image calibration tools. There’s a pretty comprehensive colour management system, for starters, that lets you adjust the hue, saturation and brightness of the RGBCMY colour elements, as well as further RGB offset and gain settings. You can also adjust the projector’s gamma level, using any of five presets (including the generally best-for-video 2.2 one) or a customised setting based on manual adjustments to a gamma curve. It’s worth noting, too, that the projector helpfully freezes the image being shown while you’re in the colour adjustment menus.
The colour customisation menu
Other potentially useful adjustments in the Epson TW6000W’s menus include a variety of mostly sensibly calibrated picture presets, a skin tone adjustor, Eco and normal power settings for the lamp, and auto-iris options.
Auto iris systems can be useful for maximising image contrast, but in the TW6000W’s case we tended to leave the feature switched off on account of it causing a) some noticeable brightness ‘shifting’ and b) some slightly distracting grating noise from deep inside the projector.