Truth be told, I’m a total covert when it comes to projectors. But unlike most converts I refuse to take my new religious too seriously.
There are a few “holy grail” purchases for home-theatre. One is the format-agnostic HD playback device plus DVR and PVR that will record HDTV as seamlessly but doesn’t require a cable card (NOTE: This does not exist), another is a strong, over-the-counter bottle of painkillers to help get through this upcoming season of Game of Thrones and Scandal (NOTE: This luckily does exist.). But the piece de résistance of every AV nerd’s arsenal is a 1080p projector.
For the past two weeks, I had the pleasure to play host to Epson’s EH T6100 projector – priced from R18 999 online. But still why wasn’t I excited? Well, there’s only so much that the specs sheet can tell you that the actual device packs which is too much of a good thing.
The TW6100 is a rather huge and sophisticated machine that outclasses your average home projector on every level. It’s a beast. It weighs in at 6Kg (8.4 kg when packed) and is 420 x 365 x 137 mm (WxDxH) – without the little legs. It boasts with native 1080p using Epson’s 3 LCD’s technology with 2x HDMI ports and one rather dated USB 2.0. RS composite and component ports, S-Video and VGA-in. The beast outputs a staggering 2300 lumens and blows out a 1920 x 1080 pixel image at up to 100 inches (2.5 meters) diagonal. Well, unless you live in very large barrack, this is rather too much for one man to handle.
Setting up the TW6100 is quite easy, it’s one of those plug and play devices. Of course you’ll have to toggle with the viewfinder to your desired level and tweak some frame interpolation depending on your source. I plugged my PS3 (via HDMI) and Blu-Ray player into the projector and saw excellent picture from both.
We’ve noticed how 1080p projectors are becoming rather popular, or fairly common as my editor would say but the TW6100 model however, has a striking contrast ratio of 40 000:1 and ultra-blacks which offers a picture more like those you’d find on LCD screens. For a model greatly aimed for at home use, you get to notice a definite sharpness around the edges of text and images on screen.
As I said, this thing is huge and it requires some sort of mounting system to get it out of the way and is definitely suited more for a large, long room than the average South African home. Our home and offices here in Welkom are pretty darn big it’s still a stretch to call it usable.
One thing to look forward to after a long day at work is Game of Thrones in 3D, it was pretty cool (although I still prefer the passive to active) the black levels were blacker, depth is increased to cinema levels and there was more brightness for fending off pesky daylight. In one word; it was amazing. If we’d gone overboard with a pull-down screen, ceiling mount, calibration and retro airline seats, the amazingness would only have become more refined. Adjust our budget Karli!! (evil laugh)
On the plus side, the TW6100 projector has built-in 20W Stereo speakers which are a huge thumbs up as one only needs to connect the Blu-Ray player and play without toggling with the sound.
Overall, however, I’m totally down with a +/-R20 000 1080p projector, especially with 3D. It’s affordable enough to look into as a TV replacement and it’s sharp enough to warrant a long look. In other words, whether you go low-end or high-end, low-effort or finicky, it’s arguable that projectors murder even the best TVs when it comes to gaming and movies. Epson failed dismally to convince us into buying one as they only included one (1) pair of 3D glasses. I thought the TW6100 was for family viewing?