The first high-definition projector to offer change from $5,000, Epson’s Dreamio EMP-TW1000 can turn your lounge-room wall into a slice of high-def heaven.
Capable of displaying 1080p, the TW1000 is a ‘short throw’ projector, meaning it can produce a large image from a short distance, great for small lounge rooms. It’s a 3LCD projector rather than DLP, meaning it doesn’t suffer from the ‘rainbow effect’ (when you move your eyes and the image momentarily blurs into red, blue and green).
The TW1000’s 1200 lumens rating is bright enough to offer a reasonable picture during the day with the curtains closed. It also offers impressive image contrast, rivalling the best LCD televisions, if perhaps not the best plasmas.
When it comes to inputs, it sports HDMI 1.3, component, 15-pin D-Sub, S-Video, composite and SCART via an adaptor.
Watching Mel Gibson’s jungle epic Apocalypto on Blu-ray, the picture was stunning — even at eight foot across. Colours were vivid, skin tones excellent and we could get all the shadow detail with only the slightest adjustment.
So if the TW1000 is a budget 1080p projector, what’s the catch? It will only project images at 50Hz or 60Hz (frames per second), the frequency of PAL and NTSC content respectively. Blu-ray and HD DVD are in 24Hz, meaning the projector converts them, which can result in a motion shudder. While more expensive projectors might project at 24Hz, or a multiple of 24, the sad truth is most Blu-ray and HD DVD players convert the signal to 50Hz or 60Hz before it even leaves the player. Our player was set to 24Hz, which the projector converted, but the picture still looked fine.