For those who need to turn an entire wall into a 3D TV.
These days just about every living room sports a massive flat panel 3D TV thanks to absurdly affordable prices. Even projectors are a dime a dozen, with 1080p models available for as little as $1,200. So aside from a bigger popcorn bowl, how can you spice up your home theater setup? Hiring actors to play out movies right in front of you gives excellent definition but is slightly too eccentric and expensive for most of us.
So we give you the next best thing -- the Epson EH-TW6000W. Ignore the boring name, all you need to know is this photon cannon can display full 3D 1080p on a 7m+ screen (300 inches). That’s bigger than most people’s living rooms and is easily capable of turning the entire outside wall of your house into a massive moonlit cinema. For those who love the tech specs, the Epson uses a 0.61in LCD system and projects at a 16:9 ratio with a brightness of 2,200 lumens and a 40,000:1 contrast ratio. It has dual-HDMI inputs as well as a VGA port and an old-school composite connection. It also has dual 10W speakers that sound almost passable and for those who plan to hang it from the ceiling, it weighs 6kg.
Out of the box, colour and image quality are great, though we always recommend you tweak it to your specific environment. The Epson has an excellent menu system with full adjustment options, though if you don’t feel comfortable messing about you won’t miss much. To test 3D, we connected a compatible Blu-ray player and fired up Tron: Legacy. We found you needed to sit a fair way back to get the best effect from the 3D and that it tended to suffer a little on very large screen sizes due to dimming. It also seemed to look better on some screens -- for example our seemingly innocuous white wall seemed almost glittery. While chunky, the 3D glasses included give excellent vision angles and didn’t run out of power during testing.
The W in the name means this model comes with wireless HD video streaming, though you can save a bit of money and get the identical model without. Wireless HDMI sounds gimmicky until you realise how incredibly easy and neat it is to set up and how much time it saves if you regularly move the projector around. You can buy a range of accessories such as extra 3D Glasses ($99) or a roof mount ($170). A new lamp will set you back under $300, which is not bad considering you'll need to watch a movie every night for the next seven years (rated 5,000 hours) before the original kicks the bucket.
Like any bit of hardware, shopping around can net you big gains. The Epson retails for $2,799 but you could easily pay a few hundred dollars less. And like all 3D devices, make sure you plan to use the 3D capabilities, otherwise you can get the same performance in 2D for fewer dollars. Available from Epson, retailing for $2,500
.APC rating: 7/10