Meet Epson’s fairly affordable new pseudo 4K UHD home theater projector range

by on August 5, 2016

Stephan Jukic – August 5, 2016

Getting your hands on cinematic-style home theater projection technology with UHD levels of sharpness can be a bit tricky if your budget is less than a few thousand dollars but Epson has what might be the solution a lot of projector home cinema fans might like.

The company has very recently announced the release of a whole range of new projectors designed with consumers who want a big screen experience in their home and with the dual benefits of decent affordability and great display visuals. This is where the company’s “4K enhanced” projectors come into the picture.

We’re talking here about three new models and all of them offer a type of 4K enhancement technology which turns their native 1080p imagery into something which simulates the real resolution of 4K display. And while no, this isn’t the same as full native 4K home theater projection, it does offer a surprisingly decent substitute considering the price savings that come with the new models when you compare them to real 4K projectors like Sony’s excellent but expensive VPL-Series models such as the VPL-VW350ES which as the cheapest native 4K projector on the market today still costs almost $8000.

The new Epson models instead use a type of pixel shifting technology to take 1080p resolution and effectively create the perception of more than twice native Full HD resolution on the display surface. Thus, the Epson models can show 4K UHD Blu-ray movie content and 4K streaming content feeds at something which resembles their native resolution. This entire setup for pseudo-4K picture quality is very similar to that found in JVC’s 4K e-shift projector models, which we’ve reviewed here at before.

Furthermore –and this is a particularly neat feature at the price these projectors are selling for—all of the projectors offer high dynamic range support for color and contrast while also including motorized optics and lens position memory features. Epson is claiming a “dynamic contrast ratio” of 1 million:1 for the new projectors but we take these sorts of claims with a major grain of salt since dynamic contrast ratios are often close to being wholly invented numbers. Nonetheless, with integrated High Dynamic Range, the new EH-Series projector models should offer some fairly decent real contrast for a sharp, richly rendered picture quality.

The EH-TW8300 enhanced 4K projector with HDR

The EH-TW8300 enhanced 4K projector with HDR

Maximum lamp brightness for the projectors is set at a fairly bright 2,500 lumens, which is more than enough for great projected video quality even in well-lit rooms and finally, the models break down as follows:

First there is the priciest model in the form of the EH-TW9300W, which sells for $4,999 and comes with features such as WirelessHD projection technology for streaming HD content from external devices like smartphones, laptops, gaming consoles and media players. Epson also claims that its new WiHD technology for the projector allows for 4K content streaming to the device but this would likely depend heavily on the base strength of a user’s home internet WiFi connectivity.

Next up are the two entry-level models, the  EH-TW8300 and the EH-TW9300, costing $4,499 and $4,799 respectively. These units offer the same brightness, HDR, motorized optics and  “4K” pixel shifting technology as the top-shelf EH-TW9300W but lack the pricier model’s wireless content transmission capabilities.

Connectivity features include HDMI 2.0a, HDCP 2.2 and WiFi

Connectivity features include HDMI 2.0a, HDCP 2.2 and WiFi

All of these new projectors also support 4K content connectivity essentials like HDMI 2.0 support and HDCP 2.2 content copy protection integration, meaning that they should be open to smooth 60Hz 4K video flow from HDMI-connected sources without blockage due to anti-piracy measures.

The three projectors are now on sale to select markets.

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