Big Screen UHD Goodness for the Masses
by Venoth Nair
Everybody knows that when it comes to a full blown cinema experience, nothing beats a projector. With the advent of high resolution content further augmented with High Dynamic Range (HDR, for the uninitiated), it seems to make almost perfect sense to go gigantic this time around. With the current sea of offerings available in the market, a big screen stalwart, Epson, throws its hat in the ring with the EH-TW9400 4K PRO-UHD Projector. If you’re looking to step up to a more serious system, this projector might be the one for you.
Physically, the Epson EH-TW9400 is a rather large machine, befitting the PRO moniker, but still good looking with the lens seated in the center of the unit. All controls are pushed to side of the unit under a push open lid keeping the overall surface of the body clean and tidy.
The front sees the lens flanked by slotted openings to allow for air to circulate the EH-TW9400 and keep the projector cool. Additionally the lens come with a motorized door that slides open the moment your power it up. Around back the Epson comes with all the necessary connection that a decent mid ranged projector should come with. Dual HDMI (both 2.0 with HDMI 1 being HDCP 2.2 compliant), USB 2.0 (Type-A connection) and Ethernet are available.
Out of the box, this projector is already engineered to impress, sporting a contrast ratio of 1,200,000:1 and a claimed peak brightness of 2600 lumens.
The EH-TW9400 is also 3D capable if your into watching 3D movies although the active 3D glasses are going to cost you extra as the unit doesn’t come with any. Another impressive feature worth mentioning is the motorized lens assembly which makes the Epson EH-TW9400 an absolute pleasure to setup. This feature allows for much larger degree of freedom when it comes to placement.
The healthy zoom ratio of the unit also permits the projector to be operated in rooms which may not have long throw distances while outputting a sufficiently large image. Plug up all the necessary connections, hit the power button and the Epson is ready to go in about 30 seconds.
Being known for producing high brightness highly forgiving projectors, Epson has developed the EH-TW9400 to be the first major step into a serious high end system. Considering that the main architecture is not a native 4K design, the TW9400 relies on intelligent pixel multiplication technology to achieve the 4K resolution.
What this means is though the projector is not inherently able to produce ultra HD images, it is able to reproduce 4K content using technology that shifts each pixel by 0.5 diagonally from a regular full HD panel. What all this technological jargon means is that the image displayed by the Epson will be sharp and detailed as such of a native 4K picture but not as accurate as the image is interpolated to achieve this higher resolution. Is this a downside to the image? From my viewing experience, it’s safe to say not even the slightest!
I found picture quality to be spectacular! Bright scenes are reproduced exceptionally with great shadow details and nuance of colors especially on scenes with monotone palettes. HDR capability paired with this superior brightness pushes the wow factor even further especially on movies with high contrast scenes.
Watching the Easter egg spectacle that is “Ready Player One” and almost immediately the Epson engages you with its fantastic visuals. Black levels are also pretty darn good for its price point, clearly bested only when compared to projectors 2 times its price or OLED TV’s.
It’s important to recognize that unlike a conventional television display, a projector’s image quality is dependent on many external factors which can alter the way it performs severely. For example, the environment condition within a room such as ambient lighting, direct or indirect, can change how an image appears significantly.
The tone of the light can also change the image, making reds look more washed out or orange. Even the type of screen plays a part in the quality of the image which depending on your budget and setup can vary wildly. Sure like everything else, one could simply eyeball it and adjust the settings till the image looks “accurate” but whether we would like to accept it or not, this will never be absolutely correct (I too am guilty of this).
This is where a professional calibration comes in. A plus for the Epson is that its ISF certified which gives the EH-TW9400 a professional edge. When calibrated, using the right calibration tools and software, the Epson EH-TW9400 will project an accurate image no matter the content. An accurate image is important as what you want to see on the screen should be what was meant to be displayed by the movie makers.
I was lucky enough to have the review unit calibrated to suit different lighting environments and believe me the proof is in the image. Stellar detail, unbelievable contrast and sensational colors make the Epson highly enjoyable for movie viewing no matter the source.
If you’re looking to “go big” this time around, then the Epson EH-TW9400 PRO-UHD projector should be high up on your list as there aren’t many projectors out there that can offer so much performance and flexibility at such an affordable price which is comparative to a high end 65 inch TV.
The folks at AV Designs are also about to sweeten this already delicious deal further by giving out complimentary ISF-Grade calibration for both HD and 4K UHD designed to suit different sources which are all centered around this cracking projector. Look out for this and more on the Epson, coming soon. For more information about the Epson EH-TW9400 PRO-UHD Projector and the upcoming promotion with its purchase do contact Tony Low or James Tan of AV Designs at 03-62411237.
Audio Visual Designs Sdn Bhd
H-2-6, Block H, Boulevard Business Park
No.115, Jalan Kepayang
51200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia