The best home Cinema projector is the Epson EH-TW7300: It is currently the cheapest projector that can play in addition to FullHD Blu-ray synonymous 4K or UHD content. Although Epson uses a reckless trick – but it works wonderfully. In addition, the EH-TW7300 also creates an outstanding Full HD experience and even in this discipline beats our previous favorite, the Sony VPL-HW45ES.
Epson has presented two new Best Home Cinema Projectors at the IFA, which we will test shortly.
Enjoy films in a cinema atmosphere at home: With a Best Home Cinema Projector, this is possible. Modern devices can even play 4K content and bring a good picture to the screen.
We tested four current models. Our test winner reaches back to a little trick.
Short overview of best home cinema projector: Our recommendations
1. Epson EH-TW7300
With the EH-TW7300, Epson has set the bar for Best Home Cinema Projector for under € 3,000 enormously high. It is compatible with the new film standards and makes them affordable for a broader audience. Due to its easy and comfortable handling, it is also recommended for beginners.
Thus, the Epson EH-TW7300 is ideal for use at home and is our clear purchase recommendation as the Best Home Cinema Projector – with built-in future.
Although the EH-TW7300 has a great name similarity with the older 7200, technically it is more similar to the bolder LS10000, which establishes the 4K series at Epson.
Silent and sufficiently bright
Although it does not have its light source – the LS10000 and its successor, the LS10500 use long-life LEDs, whereas the TW7300 is equipped with a conventional UHD lamp – but the case is similar in size.
Therefore Epson able to lay hands on the ventilation, with the result that the TW7300 is even quieter in operation than the TW7200.
Not only that makes it the Best Home Cinema Projector for the living room cinema, the light output is sufficient even for not optimally darkened home theater. Epson uses the TW7300, as well as the slightly more expensive and slightly lighter 9300, the larger light output, in order to better bring out UHD films shot in HDR.
Arithmetic – His strength at UHD
Although the Epson is only a FullHD Best Home Cinema Projector, it can also perfectly reproduce 4K material, as it uses a special trick: Epson has positioned a special glass between the LCD panels and the lens. The light beam only takes the straight path through the lens to the screen and is then sent half a pixel to the right and up. Although this technique, which is called pixel shift, still does not achieve a true 4K or UHD resolution, it does provide a much finer pixel structure. The pixels look, to be precise, a quarter finer, if you stand with your nose in front of the screen
Even though Epson uses its computing skills here, together with the other parameters such as contrast range and extended color space, the projected 4K resolution ensures an excellent image impression with the appropriate source. As sharp as with a real 4K projector, the picture is not, but much finer resolved than a pure HD projector.
Just for comparison: The Best Home Cinema Projector with native, so true 4K resolution is the Sony VPL-VW320ES – however, that costs almost three times the Epson EH-TW7300.His strength at FullHD
Slowly, the supply of films shot in 4K resolution is increasing, whether online or on disk. Finally, there are more and more players who can play 4K discs. Nevertheless, you will still enjoy most content on “normal” Blu-rays and FullHD resolution.
Here the EH-TW7300 is completely in its element, beyond all calculation – the FullHD image needs no processing and can be thrown perfectly on the screen. There’s no question that the optimized
contrast benefits the Epson in FullHD mode as well, so it’s superior to the Sony VPL-HW45ES, our former favorite. Another plus he gets when handling.
Setting matter – Operation
With the connections, the Epson is almost as restrained as most other high-quality Best Home Cinema Projector, except the two HDMI sockets, there is only one VGA input, which must be enough – and it
does in most cases.
However, the standard interfaces for controlling motorized screens are also standard on the EH-TW7300, as is a USB connection, which is only used for service purposes such as firmware updates.
As befits a beamer in this price range, the Epson can be variably set up: Except overhead over the ceiling, it may also be properly placed on the back wall, so opposite the screen. In addition, but that is probably out of the question for most users, he may also be behind the screen, in the so-called back-pro mode.
Even if the lens of the projector is not aligned completely parallel to the screen, this can be corrected in the limited area with the lens shift. This applies to both slight horizontal and vertical inclines.
In addition to the shift, the focus and zoom can be conveniently controlled by remote control, so you do not have to go up to align and focus the optics on any pieces of furniture. In addition, you can summarily recall lens presets from the memory, which has been previously stored for different image formats.
If the Epson is in its place, it goes to the picture settings: Again, the EH-TW7300 shows its best side. It is delivered in bright Cinema mode, perfect for the living room cinema. This also fits the living room-friendly white housing, only good that the fan even in the bright lamp mode still pleasantly quiet purring itself.
In completely dark living rooms or in a complex home cinema installation, it makes sense to activate the Eco mode for better contrast values, and it is also worth optimizing the color presentation.
Easy to use and well adjusted presets
This is done quickly with the Epson: The Preset for natural color rendering puts all picture – relevant values in the correct lot at the push of a button, to whom the set picture with 6,800 Kelvin is too cool – 6500 Kelvin correspond to the target – the only color temperature in the menu on the Set value of 6,000 Kelvin, that’s it. The colors represent the standard color space and the color temperature is almost exactly on the required 6500 Kelvin.
The already very good contrast values can also be extended with the help of the adaptive iris – that is the automatic aperture on the projector. If the image content is very dark, the iris closes largely, since the lamp can not be switched on and off at short notice, and ensures that as little light as possible reaches the screen through the lens. In addition to the normal, somewhat sluggish reaction, the iris can also be accelerated for fast light / dark changes. However, this can sometimes lead to hectic pumping effects with fast cuts. However, the contrast that the projector has already achieved even when the iris is switched off, is considerable.
All connections are housed slightly recessed at the back. To get a nice back, they can be covered with a flap. Thanks to the skilful guidance of the cooling air – inlet and outlet are located only on the front of both sides of the lens – the Epson can also be placed directly with the back to the wall, without causing air congestion.
Even with the follow-up costs one thinks it is good at Epson, with about 150 euros for the replacement lamp is clearly in the lower third.
In eco mode, the lamp still has a lifespan of 5500 hours.
In the bright standard mode, it should still be enough for 3500 hours.
The layout of the Epson remote follows proven patterns: it is large, the keys are arranged clearly and many presets or, for example, all settings of the optics are directly accessible via buttons.
The fact that the buttons are lit when needed, is also part of the standard here, after all, you should find your way even in the dark home theater on the remote control.
What are the disadvantages?
The biggest shortcoming of the Epson EH-TW7300 is certainly that the 4K resolution is realized only by interpolation of a FullHD resolution, on the other hand, a projector with native 4K resolution is almost three times as expensive.
The EH-TW7300 also does not have analog connections. If you depend on it, because you do not want to buy all the equipment, you should look at the EH-TW9200 (see alternatives). Although it can not handle 4K resolution, it offers a great picture experience for a pure FullHD home theater.
Epson EH-TW7300 in test: That’s what the others say
While the big brother of the EH-TW7300, the EH-TW9300 has already been tested here and there, the EH-TW7300 still looks quite poor. Only my own test in the home theater has been available for a few weeks, but we will provide regular updates.
In my review in the magazine Heimkino, the Epson made it to 1.1 in the reference class (issue 4/2017):
»The EH-TW7300 is currently the Best Home Cinema Projector that you can buy for less than 3000 euros, and which gives the increasing 4k sources a reasonable projection. Even with the FullHD playback, they sets standards and can also distinguish itself here clearly from the competition. Last but not least, the comfortable equipment with motorized optics and the simple installation ensure an untroubled
home cinema enjoyment, even in 4K. «
Our previous winner is still available and cheaper to have. The same applies to the FullHD Best Home Cinema Projector from Epson, who have previously filled the price range below 3,000 euros, also here you can
equip your home theater or living room cinema with an Best Home Cinema Projector.ProsCons
- Easy operation is good for beginners
- No analog connections
2. Sony VPL-HW45ES
If FullHD is sufficient, the Sony VPL-HW45ES is well-advised. His price is also slightly below that of our test winner and he is not bad. But he has to take criticism nevertheless: He has only a manual Lensshift and unfortunately can not be easily calibrated. Since you should bring a little experience.
Of course, our former favorite is still a good choice when it comes to FullHD cinema alone. The VPL-HW45ES is also a bit cheaper to have than the Epson, and the price should give even more.
However, one then also takes into account that the projector has only a manual lens shift, much more decisive, however, is that the Sony graces the color balance something, and wants to be calibrated with care, which we had already criticized at the time.
- A little cheaper than our favorite
- Can be difficult to calibrate
3. Sony VPL-HW65
With the Sony VPL-HW65 creates a very high luminous efficiency, but must be familiar with the calibration. A layman will certainly despair if he has never set a projector before. However, if a professional puts hand to the Sony, you get a perfect cinematic experience for the home.
The VPL-HW65 is the big brother of the VPL-HW45ES, with more brightness and higher contrast.
The HW65 has been fitted with a brighter lamp and now nominally has a higher luminous efficacy of 100 lumens than its predecessor the HW55. This is true for him but even after the calibration. The EIA has been lowered to less than 3,000 euros.
In addition, he behaves even more caprice in the calibration than the VPL-HW45ES. However, if a specialist with appropriate calibration skills lends a hand, the VPL-HW65 creates an excellent cinematic experience at home.
- Very good light output
- Calibration even more difficult than with the HW45ES
4. Epson EH-TW9200
An alternative from the house of the test winner you have with the Epson EH-TW9200. But actually, it is more suitable for users who still have older equipment and are dependent on analog inputs. it brings these with him. Otherwise, the black level suffers and the brightness is not as clear in practice as the 2400 lumens make one believe.
Even Epson itself has with the EH-TW9200 still another alternative in the program.
The TW9200 also works on the LCD principle and offers with 2400 lumens at first glance, even more brightness than the Sony’s.
After the required adjustments, this nominal brightness is reduced significantly in practice, in addition, the black value suffers.
Due to the reorientation of Epson in this price range, the TW9200 was again significantly reduced in price, towards 2,000 euro mark. Special treat of this FullHD Beamer: It still has analog inputs, making it the first choice for owners of older equipment.
- Analogue connections for older equipment available
- Not as bright as you thought
4K, UHD, HDR, color space – the perfect picture?
As soon as the TV broadcasters have finally switched their programs to FullHD format, with 1920 x 1080 pixels, the hardware and film industries are already one step ahead: with the UHD format, the fourfold FullHD resolution comes on screen and screen, the Picture consists of 3840 × 2160 pixels. This flood of pixels has to be mastered by a beamer, and still remain affordable if possible.
UHD makes video projector work up a sweat
However, the UHD standard has not yet been fully exploited, as it allows not only the higher resolution but also a larger contrast range, as well as a color space that exceeds the previously required by far. Especially the higher contrast range – ie a brighter white with a darker black at the same time – presents beamer with enormous challenges.
While there is still potential in both directions in screen technology – ie both deeper black and more brightness – video projector systems have limited ability to provide more brightness with the same black level.
The larger color range, however, is already possible with many projectors. However, they often create an accurate color representation only after complex calibration. At best, a precisely adjusted color space is already set in the preferences and retrievable.
Technical Overview: DLP, LCD, UHP, LED
In the LCD technology, the light of the projection lamp is not reflected as in so-called DLP projectors through the finest folding mirrors on a chip as needed, but the amount of light for each image is controlled by the more or less transparent LCD chip The trouble-free rainbow effect of DLP Best Home Cinema Projector, for many people, are not on LCD beamers on.
UHP lamps need to be replaced – this can be money
However, the light source is the same in both DLP and LCD technology – namely an ultra high performance UHP lamp. It gets so hot that it needs to be cooled, but its life is limited. Although it can
amount to several thousand operating hours, it still has to be replaced at some point – especially since the color temperature changes due to age and the optimal color rendering is no longer guaranteed.
If you think now, just change the light bulb and you’re done, you’re wrong. Because UHP lamps for projectors are expensive: between 100 and 400 euros you have to lie down for such a replacement lamp.
LED and laser
Slowly, alternative technologies are paving the way to home cinema with regard to the light source: Optoma is the first manufacturer to launch a home cinema compatible Best Home Cinema Projector with LEDs as the light source with the HD91. And most recently, Epson has introduced the LS10000, the first projector with laser light source, which is also designed for home theater.
Although both are promising approaches, however, the light output of the Optoma with a nominal 1000 lumens is at best a perfect solution for a perfectly darkened home theater. Added to this is the price of around 3,500 euros. The laser car from Epson with 7,000 euros is perhaps interesting for outspoken technology freaks, but not absolutely necessary for the establishment of a veritable home cinema.
As interesting as the new developments are, the better price / performance brightness ratio still offers the classic technologies of UHP lamps in the near future – after all, this is all a question of the manufactured quantities.