Channel 5

Epson EH-TW3500

Wednesday 15 September 2010

G-Rating

Rating of 4

The basics

The Epson EH-TW3500 is an HD home cinema projector with a full 1080p (1920 x 1080) resolution. It uses 3LCD technology to produce an image between 30 and 300 inches across, boasts a contrast ratio of 36000:1 and a brightness rating of 1800 lumens. You can connect video sources via RGB (for computers) or one of its two HDMI inputs. It weighs 7.3kg and measures up at 290 x 450 x 145mm.

The good

The Epson EH-TW3500 isn’t hugely expensive for a full HD home cinema projector, but don’t make the mistake of thinking it a lightweight model for penny-watching budget buyers. This projector serves up a truly impressive picture, reproducing colours with striking vividness, delivering the sort of deep, punchy blacks that home cinema enthusiasts crave and keeping the detail levels high with both HD and upconverted standard def sources. It’s also bright enough to produce a watchable image in a room with some ambient light (although results are much better in a blacked-out room). On the feature front, the horizontal/vertical lens shift and x2.1 optical zoom make the projector flexible when it comes to setup, meaning you don’t have to whack it right in front of the screen.

The bad

Like most decent projectors, the Epson EH-TW3500 requires a fair bit of setting tweakery to produce its best images. If you’re familiar with setting up TVs and other display gear, you can perform this calibration yourself, but if you don’t fancy delving into the settings you’re going to need to bring in a pro to do so, and that could add some extra cost to the projector’s price tag.

The bottom line

Epson has produced a very capable 1080p projector that should please movie fans and hardcore gamers alike – and all for a very reasonably price. If you don’t mind a spot of calibration when first setting it up, this is a fine big screen choice for your living room.
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