Projection specialist Epson is soon to release two new supercharged home theatre projectors into the Australian market. At the heart of the new high-end(AU$5500) and EH-R4000 (AU$7500) models is a newly developed 3LCD reflective technology, which reflects light off LCD panels like the competing LCoS solution (used by JVC). The advantages compared with regular transmissive LCD models include the capability to reproduce very high contrast ratios, plus enhanced colour reproduction and motion response.
With the 3LCD reflective panel, red, green and blue colours are displayed simultaneously, which results in richer colours, deeper blacks and higher energy efficiency. High contrast ratios — 40:000:1 native contrast, 1,000,000:1 dynamic contrast in the case of the EH-R4000 — represent the Holy Grail for projectors as they chase the goal of reproducing source content as accurately as possible. The "mega" contrast ratios of this new Epson range represents quite the jump up, considering that as recently as 2002, Epson's first home theatre projector sported a contrast ratio of just 600:1.
The EH-R4000 also has an aperture ratio that is 40 per cent higher than current transmissive LCD panels, which yields a smoother picture and a faster response time for crisp images, even in fast moving scenes.
Design-wise, the projector has a small housing, with a centrally-placed Fujinon lens. Installation flexibility is aided by its 2.1x power zoom/focus lens and wide lens shift range (85 per cent vertical, 40 per cent horizontal). The lens also features position memory for adjusting to both a 16:9 projection area as well as a 2.40:1 CinemaScope screen.
The projectors are ISF Certified with custom colour setting functions for precise in-home calibration. Lamp life is rated at 4000 hours. Both the EH-R2000 and the EH-R4000 will be available in November through selected AV specialists.
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