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Epson EH-TW650 review: The projector with a knack for detail

It ticks the right boxes: 1080p, 3,100 Lumens, 15,000:1 contrast, dual HDMI, long lamp life, and affordability.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Jul 04, 2018, 02.16 PM IST
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epson
It ticks the right boxes: 1080p, 3,100 Lumens, 15,000:1 contrast, dual HDMI, long lamp life and affordability.
Price: Rs 58,990

Rating: ****

Specifications: 3LCD technology with RGB liquid crystal shutter, 1920 x 1080 pixels native resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio, manual zoom (18.2 to 29.2mm focal length), manual focus, 3100 lumens brightness (1925 lumens in eco mode), 4500 hrs lamp life (7500 hrs in eco mode), 15,000:1 contrast ratio, 30-300 inch image size, composite input, VGA input, 2 x HDMI, 2watt mono speaker, 7dB/28dB fan noise (normal/eco), 298 watts power consumption, 2.7kg

Pros: Affordable & practical 1080p projector for home cinema, shorter throw distance than usual, useful split-screen mode (display two sources side-by-side), high brightness, MHL port for mobile connectivity, compact & lightweight

Cons: Limited placement flexibility, limited PC-free mode, built in speaker is very weak, non backlit remote


Bigger screens equal bigger impact. Whether you’re into sports or a movie aficionado, nothing delivers more bang for the buck (and a lower cost per inch) than a good projector. For home use, we’ve always maintained that the minimum resolution you should get is full HD 1080p — any less and you’re better off getting a budget 55inch 4K TV. The problem is, projectors with native 1080p resolution have always been prohibitively expensive.

Well, not this Epson! It ticks many of the right boxes: 1080p, 3,100 Lumens, 15,000:1 contrast, dual HDMI, long lamp life and affordability (replacement lamps are just Rs 4,499). With this projector, you can get a sharp 300-inch screen (given you have the space) at just Rs 197 per inch!

There’s an inherent difference between the two popular competing projection technologies DLP and LCD. The 3LCD type of projection that Epson uses doesn’t have the rainbow effect of DLP (some people notice it more than others; it’s caused by the spinning colour wheel). On the other hand, DLP has a sealed light path and is not susceptible to dust. In this Epson, you will have to periodically clean the the little air filter and it might require professional service/cleaning of the LCD panels every two years.

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(Image: epson.co.uk)

The PC-free mode is very limited. The idea is, if you have a USB flash drive with content, just plug it into the projector directly. It supports display of JPEG/PNG images and motion JPEG movies only. It’s not a very seamless or fast experience so you’re better off using this projector with external video sources. We tried it with a PS4 Pro, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV Stick. Then again, be warned — there is no audio out on the projector and the tiny, single speaker inside the projector is very feeble. We had to use a separate HDMI splitter with audio out.

If you have a limited amount of space, you can still get a fairly large screen because of the relatively shorter throw lens on the TW650. For instance, we were able to get a 120-inch screen (measured diagonally) from a projection distance of about 8 feet. Give it a couple of feet more and you can comfortably go to a 150-inch screen without an apparent screen door effect (visibly distinguishable pixels). The image is bright enough to use in the daytime with curtains drawn and you can adjust it to softer settings (for evening/night). It offers vivid colours and is overall a very pleasing image right out of the box.

So this projector is available only on Amazon India. And it’s a very good price considering the 1080p competition (or lack thereof). Unluckily for us, the very same projector (Epson Home Cinema 1060) is priced at US$600 in the US, or roughly Rs 41,000, even with the Rupee at the lowest it’s ever been. Our price is thanks to all the extra taxes and duties we pay. Get it cheaper if you can but it’s still a great deal for the price and a very practical way to setup the big screen experience at home.

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