A 1080p home theatre projector with great black levels and 100Hz technology.
- DeepBlack system works well and dynamic contrast is fast, 100Hz system smoothes out motion significantly
- 100Hz technology introduces occasional artefacts
We like the Epson EH-TW5000. It has a few niggling problems but overall its output is of a very high standard.
Price$ 5,299.00 (AUD)
Epson’s EH-TW5000 is a 1080p home theatre projector that offers high quality imagery. Its 100Hz frame-doubling mode smoothes jerky motion and its dynamic contrast setting is one of the best we have seen on a projector. A few flaws stop it from being brilliant, but overall it is a great contender for fulfilling your home theatre needs.
The Epson EH-TW5000 is a 3LCD projector built on the same chassis as earlier Epson home theatre models. It is large and heavy, but it is easily mountable and its dark colour scheme means it will blend in with the black ceiling of a dedicated home theatre room. A 2.1x zoom lens and vertical and horizontal lens shift mean installation in imperfect conditions is easy.
The EH-TW5000 projector has great specifications, with a compelling combination of 1600 ANSI lumens and a dynamic contrast ratio of 75,000:1. Usually with a home theatre projector brightness is sacrificed in favour of high contrast, but the EH-TW5000 has brightness levels significantly higher than expected. It is versatile enough that it does not need a pitch-black room to excel — which is a bonus if you do not have a dedicated light-proof home cinema.
One welcome innovation is the addition of Epson’s FineFrame technology. Like the Frame Creation mode on Panasonic’s competing PT-AE3000E home theatre projector, FineFrame interpolates frames to smooth out fast motion and panning video effects. We found this useful for action movies with fast zoom and pan effects, but in static frames with a single small moving object there were some artefacts and distortion. By and large the frame-doubling mode did improve picture smoothness. Try before you buy though, since a fluid picture on such a large screen may not be what you want.
Deep black levels and high contrast are undoubtedly the greatest selling points of the EH-TW5000. The static contrast ratio is a competitive 6000:1 thanks to a streamlined optics system, but enabling the dynamic contrast ratio bumps this up to a sensational 75,000:1. The auto-iris system is fast; we are generally not fans of dynamic contrast on projectors due to slow contrast transitions but in this case we found it unnoticeable when activated.
With dynamic contrast and FineFrame activated, the picture projected by the Epson EH-TW5000 was exemplary. Black levels were great, and plenty of detail was visible in both bright and shadowy areas of the screen. A wide colour gamut allowed the full spread of colours to be displayed when we played our Blu-ray test discs, with minute gradations of colour easily visible.
The price of the Epson EH-TW5000 is lower than we expected — it's similar in price to the Mitsubishi Electric HC7000 and Viewsonic Precision Pro8100 despite its specs being comparable to the Panasonic PT-AE300E. This combined with the high quality imagery and functionality makes it a great choice if you are looking for a high-end home theatre projector.
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