Everybody worth their salt in movie trivia and special edition box sets is rushing out to buy a 40-inch HD (high-definition) LCD television, but if you really want to impress your friends with a great home cinema feel get a HD projector, pull the curtains and pop some corn.
The first thing I noticed about Epson’s new EMP TW1000 projector as I unpacked it is that it is compact and lightweight. It is definitely not some monster that needs to be lugged around the living room. I hooked it up to my laptop but it can be attached to all the obvious inputs like your DVD or Blu-Ray player, Sky box or gaming console.
Once attached, just switch it on, aim it at the nearest wall or screen and adjust the lens, which has a 2.1x zoom. Any white wall is fine for projection but you can buy special acrylic projector paint like Screen Goo, which is highly reflective.
This projector has a 16:9 resolution of 1920×1080 pixels so images were large and sharp. Depending on the lighting in your room, there are six different colour modes, with ‘dynamic mode’ for lighter rooms and ‘theatre black’ for the darkest.
The projected image of my Bruce Lee movie was big and clear with vivid colours. There was no blur and no bleeding at the edges. Widescreen movies look great and because it is HD capable it will do your Blu-Ray or HD DVD player justice.
Obviously, for maximum clarity it is best not to set up the projector in an extremely bright room. For testing purposes, however, I did, and though the colours weren’t as vivid it still looked fine.
The projector lens can be shifted 96pc vertically and 47pc horizontally so there is no need to specially mount it on a table directly in front of the viewing area – it can be mounted from the ceiling or placed on the floor.
The Epson EMP TW1000 has a recommended retail price of €4,000. This is a bit pricey but no more than investing in a large HD LCD television.
Price: €4,000 RRP
Pros: Feels like a proper cinema experience
Cons: Visibility in very bright rooms is not so great
BY Marie Boran