Epson EH-TW9100W

Score

Sections

Pros

  • Mostly excellent 2D and 3D pictures
  • Very easy and flexible to set up
  • Runs very quietly in Eco lamp mode
  • WirelessHD system introduces outstanding connection options

Cons

  • Native panel alignment not the best
  • High input lag when using the WirelessHD system
  • WirelessHD system didn't like our Onkyo receiver

Key Features

  • Review Price: £2899.99
  • LCD projector
  • active 3D support
  • 320,000:1 claimed contrast ratio
  • ISF certified
  • Wireless HDMI included

Introduction


Looking back at it now, the Epson TW9000W

projector was quite a watershed product. For as well as redefining the

2D and especially 3D picture quality we could expect for under £3,000

(forcing JVC to get its prices similarly low), it also introduced the

brilliant idea of wireless HD video transmission to a projector for the

first time.

We’re pretty stoked, then, by the arrival on our

projector stand today of the TW9000W’s eagerly anticipated sequel, the

TW9100W. Especially as this new projector comes packing a more flexible

version of the wireless HD system and a contrast ratio that rises from

the TW9000W’s already impressive 200,000:1 to the heady heights of

320,000:1.
Epson TW9100
Admittedly

this figure isn’t a ‘native’ one like the 100,000:1 and higher figures

quoted by some of JVC’s D-ILA home cinema projectors now, meaning it

relies on a dynamic contrast/iris system for its contrast claims and so

could suffer with brightness instability and a lack of punch and shadow

detail during dark scenes. There’s also no avoiding the fact that

Panasonic’s AT6000E projector claims an even higher dynamic contrast of

500,000:1. But the bottom line is that 320,000:1 is still a very large

figure for an LCD projector, and should hopefully result in pictures

that look extremely dynamic and enjoy a profound black level response.

Epson EH-TW9100W – Design

Aesthetically the TW9100W is

pretty much identical to its predecessor. Which is no bad thing, since

its combination of a white main top and side plate, contrasting black

front edge, large centrally mounted lens and subtly rounded edges make

for a projector that’s really easy on the eye. Just bear in mind that

it’s got quite a large footprint for a relatively affordable projector.

Epson EH-TW9100W – Connectivity


The TW9100W’s connectivity initially looks in line with that of the

TW9000W too, with its rear boasting highlights of two HDMIs, component

video inputs, plus RS-232 control port and 12V trigger output

installation aids.

However, there’s a big surprise in store when

you look at the TW9100W’s WirelessHD transmitter. For while the HD video

transmitter on the TW9000W only carried one HDMI, the larger one you

get with the TW9100W remarkably carries no less than five HDMI inputs.

This means it’s effectively a very handy HDMI switchbox, allowing you to

shift between as many as five different video sources just by cycling

through them using a set of buttons at the bottom of the (large, backlit

and well laid out) main projector remote control.
Epson TW9100W
The

potential convenience of being able to connect up to five sources to

the TW9100W without having to worry about trailing five separate cables

right around or across a potentially large room really can’t be

overstated, and seems at this stage at least to make the £300 price

premium the TW9100W commands over the non-WirelessHD TW9100 seem like

money well spent.

The multi-HDMI streaming is supported by an

onscreen menu, which even shows you what video is playing through each

input via a row of small, selectable ‘windows’.

The actual

process of picking which of the input ‘windows’ you want to watch is a

touch faffy, but it’s hard to be churlish about this when the TW9100W is

trying so hard to make our lives easier in so many ways. You don’t even

need to worry about placing an external WirelessHD receiver somewhere

near the projector, as the necessary receiver is built into its

bodywork.

Epson EH-TW9100W – 3D Capable

As is the TW9100W’s 3D

transmitter. For yes, as with its predecessor, the TW9100W plays active

3D pictures. It even ships with two pairs of 3D glasses – pretty

generous given its aggressive sub-£3,000 pricing.

The

convenience pointed to by the wireless HD transmission and HDMI

switching is backed up by the simplicity of the TW9100W’s other main set

up areas. For instance, it features simple and robust zoom and focus

wheels accessible through its top edge, and at 2.1x the level of optical

zoom available is excellent, making it easy to adapt the TW9100W to a

wide range of room and screen sizes.
Epson TW9100W
Also

supported are vertical and horizontal optical image shifting, and this

is extensive enough to mean that in the vast majority of cases users

won’t have to resort to using the projector’s keystone correction system

(which essentially distorts the picture).

Epson EH-TW9100W – Interface

The

TW9100W’s onscreen menus, meanwhile, are very good for the most part.

They’re easy to read and generally divide options across their submenus

fairly sensibly, and they harmonise nicely with the tactile remote

control.

Delving into the menus’ features uncovers plenty of

genuinely useful calibration aids – along with a few intriguing

oddities. The immediately useful stuff includes a series of Kelvin-based

colour temperature presets (including the best-for-video 6500K); Eco

and normal settings for the lamp output; a series of straightforward

gamma settings; offset and gain adjustments for the RGB colour elements;

hue/saturation/brightness adjustments for the RGBCMY colour elements; a

skin tone adjustment; and a trio of colour gamut settings covering the

HDTV, EBU and SMPTE-C systems.

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