Home-cinema projectors: we all want one, but they're a bit scary -- especially if like us you feel that nailing expensive electronics to the ceiling is probably best left to people with certificates in nailing things to ceilings. Fortunately, Epson has unveiled a range of six new shiny-lighty-movie-boxes designed to take projectors into the living room of families, batchelors and maybe even you and your mates. The EH-DM2 is a portable player for the whole family, while the EH-TW420 is a batchelor's model for gaming and marathon sessions with box sets of The Wire, and the EH-TW5000 is the daddy of the line. The EH-TW3000 and EH-TW3800 slot into the line below the EH-5000.
Epson unveiled the former three models at its factory in Shenzhen, China, where every single projector produced is played for two hours to test the lamp. Each home-cinema projector is powered by an E-TORL lamp, which Epson claims saves power by burning brighter at a lower wattage. Eventually all Epson projectors, including business models, will use this technology, which has an estimated life of 4,000 hours or so -- enough for roughly five or six years of use. Each and every model also comes with a three-year warranty as standard.
Let's kick things offf with the family-friendly EH-DM2. Epson is plugging the family aspect, emphasising the ease of installation of this model. It's plug-and-play, with just one cable, and a built-in DVD player for minimum faffing about out of the box. Sound is dealt with by two built-in 8W stereo speakers. It's also portable, coming with a spiffy carry case and a handy handle, and the remote control is luminous.
That DVD player comes with DivX support. The projector is high definition-compatible at native 720p resolution. It gives 16:9 aspect ratio, and packs 3LCD technology and a 1,200 ANSI lumens lamp.
The EH-DM2 will be available in September 2008 for around £500. For pictures and more on this and the other new models, click through the photos. -Rich Trenholm
Here's the top view of the DM2, showing the controls. Although, if you did stick this on the ceiling, it would be the bottom.
And the DM2's connections. As well as component you get USB for showing off pictures from a USB stick or digital camera.
Gentlemen, settle into your expensive L-shaped sofa, open a bottle of something French, and bang on the Bergman box set your model girlfriend got you to celebrate your second million. Or slump into your Argos bean bag with a Spar lager and EastEnders. Doesn't matter, the Epson EH-TW420 is a projector for boys. It's optimised for boys' funtime like gaming, sports and movies. Epson didn't mention porn.
It packs a 7W speaker and light output of 2,000 ANSI lumens for projection even in daylight. Save up the beer tokens and it'll be yours in September for £650.
Here's the Epson TW420's controls. Manly.
Here's the Epson TW420's boyish connections. You get HDMI, USB, SD card and S-Video for all your tough-guy watching needs.
Speaking of masculine, meet the Epson EH-TW5000. This is a serious projector, for serious people. It's Epson's full high-definition 1080p flagship, with a dynamic contrast ratio of 75,000:1, thanks to advanced DeepBlack technology and E-TORL lamp.
A true cinema screen format of 2.35:1 is possible with anamorphic wide mode that allows a third-party lens to be added, so movies can be enjoyed without black bands at the top and bottom of the screen. Although personally, Crave likes black bands. Makes us feel like we're at the pictures.
An HQV processor gives 12-bit video processing and 4-4 pull-down, as well as frame interpolation to smooth out video playback. Colour isolation calibration is also possible without the need for optical colour filters, which we're sure is a big relief to each and every one of you.
The figures: the TW5000 gives out 1,600 ANSI Lumens of brightness but only makes 22db noise, and will set you back £2,400 from October.
Here's the top of the TW5000.
Some of the controls are mounted on the side to make them easier to see if you nail the TW5000 to the roof.
And the TW5000's connectables: S-Video, component, and all sorts of acronyms: YUV and VGA and not one but two HDMI.
The TW5000 features horizontal and vertical lens shift to get the projector and optical 2.1x zoom to get your image just so. Now make yourself comfortable.