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Epson EH-TW9200: 3D Picture Quality and Verdict

John Archer

By John Archer

Updated:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Epson EH-TW9200

Summary

Our Score:

9

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Epson EH-TW9200T: 3D Picture Quality

Having wrapped up the 2D section by saying that Epson has perhaps shifted its focus away from 3D and back to 2D, the Epson TW9200’s 3D performance is actually pretty impeccable. The main reason for this – or at any rate, the main way it outguns many rival 3D projectors – is its almost complete freedom from crosstalk ghosting noise. This makes it easier to lap up the full HD resolution of 3D Blu-rays, and to get more immersed in the action. After all, nothing throws you out of a 3D experience more than seeing double ghosting artefacts splurged across a 100-inch screen.

Epson TW9200

The TW9200’s ability to combine deep blacks with a really high level of brightness pays dividends with 3D too, helping 3D images look intense and contrasty despite the dimming effect of the glasses you’re wearing. The contrast additionally helps the TW9200 paint a very deep but believable 3D space with lots of well-rendered depth markers.

In fact, the only problem with the TW9200’s 3D playback isn’t related to its pictures. Rather it’s the fact that the lamp automatically shifts up to its Normal light output setting when 3D is detected, leading to a substantial increase in the projector’s running noise. And unfortunately you aren’t given the option to turn the lamp down to its eco mode.

Other Things to Consider

Epson TW9200The remote control you get with the TW9200 is a mostly excellent effort. Its large size, large buttons and potent backlight all show a good understanding of what you really want from a remote you’re going to be using predominantly in a darkened room.

There are also an unusual amount of buttons that provide direct access to specific picture features, reducing the amount of time you have to spend in the projector’s onscreen menus.

Epson hasn’t fared particularly well with input lag on its home cinema projectors, and this trend continues with the TW9200. We measured 64ms of input lag during our tests, even using the Fast processing setting – a figure that’s appreciably higher than the sub-40ms we like to find if we’re to be sure a display won’t potentially have a slightly negative impact on our gaming performance.

Should I buy an Epson EH-TW9200?

If you still hold a flame for 3D then the answer here is a thumping yes, for its 3D performance is comfortably the best we’ve seen from a sub-£3,000 projector. We should add that the projector runs rather loudly in 3D mode, but then actually so do many of its rivals, including the JVC X35. The Sony HW55ES runs more quietly in 3D mode, but suffers more crosstalk than the Epson. As does the JVC, in fact.

In 2D mode the TW9200 is also a compelling proposition. The JVC X35 reaches deeper and more stable black levels, while the Sony HW55ES’s images are slightly more dynamic and clean, but the Epson looks brighter than the JVC and slightly more neutrally coloured than the Sony. So choosing between the three is more a matter of taste and room setup than a simple case of being able to say one is definitively better than another. Sorry!

Verdict

Epson has surprised us with the TW9200 -- in a good way. By delivering a substantial rather than merely incremental increase in contrast over its predecessors and seemingly improving the quality of its lens and image processing, it’s taken LCD projector picture quality to a new level.

Overall Score

9

Scores In Detail

  • 2D Image Quality 9
  • 3D Image Quality 9
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Value 9

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Prem Desai

January 29, 2014, 4:06 pm

Picture quality aside, this seems to have far too many other issues. Main ones for me are noise and lack of zoom which reduces installation flexibility. Not sure why it scores 9/10.

I am in the market to replace my ageing JVC X3 but will steer clear of this.

liam

February 19, 2014, 11:40 am

It has no motorised zoom, "The TW9200 is superbly adaptable to different room environments thanks to its huge 2.1x level of optical zoom and extensive vertical and horizontal image shifting range."

shortshrift77

March 1, 2014, 10:10 am

Thanks for the review. I'm looking at this projector, the X35 and the HW55ES.

When CNET reviewed the TW9200 (as the 5030UB), they said "black level, which happens to be the most important aspect of picture quality" does not "pose a serious challenge to more expensive videophile favorites, namely the D-ILA JVCs and SXRD Sonys".

In the US, the 5030UB comes in at $2,599 and the DLA-X35 is indeed more expensive at $3,499.

But in the UK, they are about the same price, which makes the DLA-X35 a much better value proposition, no?

And Epson is ripping us off, unless I've missed something.

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