So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
- Outstanding image quality, truly dark shades of black, runs at 720p natively
- A little dark to use in a bright room, limited range of adjustments
Epson's home-theatre oriented EMP-TW500 projector runs at 720p in a 16:9 aspect ratio and offers outstanding image quality for watching DVDs in a home theatre environment.
Price$ 6,999.00 (AUD)
Epson's impressive EMP-TW500 unit runs at a native resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels at a 16:9 aspect ratio, making it perfect for playing back 720p content without having to scale the image. As a result, any footage at this resolution looks fantastic, and it's tailor-made for watching widescreen content.
Component, S-Video, composite, and HDMI inputs are all on offer, with the latter providing the best quality image. It's also possible to connect the 6.5kg projector to a PC with the supplied USB cable and upload colour profiles directly. Epson has designed the 45 x 35 x 12cm unit for a home theatre environment and it remained whisper-quiet during operation.
This projector is obviously meant to stay in a single location and not travel. There's a limited range of tilt adjustment (2.5 degrees), and 30 degrees of vertical keystone correction, but you can't tweak the image horizontally.
Home theatre projectors don't tend to be as bright as their boardroom counterparts, mainly because they don't have to overcome bright fluorescent lights to produce an image on a screen or wall. Home theatre is generally watched in a darkened room and too much brightness can cause eyestrain and wash out dark shades.
The Epson machine features two brightness modes: a high brightness setting of around 1000 ANSI lumens for dynamic and living room modes, and the low brightness setting of 300 ANSI lumens (in the Theatre Black colour mode). The latter requires a room to be almost completely dark, but it produces outstanding image quality complete with rich colours and a true shade of black at its darkest. The device includes a Faroudja DCDiTM video processor, which enhances both clarity and colour. Epson has even bundled a backlit remote control to ensure you can still control the device in dark environment. Brightness, contrast, tint and saturation are all adjustable via either the controls on the projector itself or the remote control.
An integrated monophonic speaker is included; however, it's too small to provide much grunt for watching TV or movies: you're much better off relying on a decent home theatre system. The device itself is ceiling-mountable and ships with a two-year warranty as standard.
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