Epson’s new range of high-end low-price projectors – with a dash of 3D

One of the heavyweight exhibitors at IFA was Epson and I spent a great deal of time getting to know their new range of home cinema projectors. I now desperately want a home cinema. Coincidence?

Epson debuted the first HD-Ready (720p) 3LCD home cinema projector featuring an iPod docking station, the MG-850HD. With inbuilt 10W stereo speakers, the MG-850HD plays music, videos and photos on a large, cinematic scale that can reach up to 300 inches. And obviously it takes standard HDMI inputs. The entry-level projector delivers equally high White and Colour Light Output of 2,800 lumens and a high contrast ratio of 3,000:1, ensuring high quality, even in daylight. We had a look at the MG-850HD and it’s a pretty simple plug and play device, especially given the ubquity of iDevices. This should make it an ideal entry-level device for people, especially given the £650 price tag.

Epson-Projectors

Even cheaper was the £550 EH-TW480, a 720p HD-Ready projector that gives a big screen experience on a budget. Epson’s entry-level offering was non too shabby and had decent picture quality but we only took a cursory glance before running off to see Epson’s 3D offerings.

As you probably know, Epson weren’t into 3D, so this release was a big deal. According to Madlyne Colson, product manager at Epson Europe:

We have previously stated that Epson would hold back on developing 3D home cinema projectors until we were confident that there was a strong commitment from content providers for 3D material. With the projection that 27% of households will be 3D capable by 2015 and over 40 3D video game titles expected to be released this year, now is the time for Epson to release its 3D projectors and give viewers the ability to watch 3D content on the big screen.

Epson released five high-end projectors offering a three dimensional experience that outshines the Mile End Genesis cinema in Stepney. The EH-TW5900, EH-TW6000 and EH-TW6000W are some of the most affordable 3D 1080p home cinema projectors I’ve seen, despite their equally high White and Colour Light Outputs of up to 2,200 lumens and contrast ratios of up to 40,000:1.

We spent some time with the medium range EH-TW6000W, which along with the EH-TW9000W are the first Wireless enabled Full HD 3D projectors. Even in imperfect lighting conditions, the quality was impressive and with the right content the 3D really pops (nothing can make Clash of the Titans look good). More importantly bog-standard 2D, which most of your content will be in for quite some time, looked amazing. And *most* importantly it was only £1649.

The EH-TW5900, EH-TW6000, EH-TW6000W are available from October 2011 and the EH-TW9000 and EH-TW9000W are available from November 2001.