Technophile

A multiplex for your coffee table

Visvaksen P | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on March 23, 2016

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The Epson EH-TW5300 is an affordable alternative to the multiplex and the flat screen television that can also do 3D

The home theatre was once regarded as an exclusive preserve of the elite while the common man made do with a small television set and occasional pilgrimages to the nearest 70mm theatre. Television sets have now gotten slimmer, cheaper and a lot better in terms of viewing quality, but they still remain prohibitively expensive once you stray past a certain screen size.

Enter Epson, one of the world leaders in printing technology and the inventors of the original LCD projector back in the ‘80s. The rather unimaginatively named EH-TW5300 is their attempt at breaking the monopoly of flat-screen televisions on the middle class market by offering a projector that supports Full HD and 3D at a price that is comparable to that of a 50-inch LED from manufacturers like Sony and Panasonic.

Design

The design of a projector is something that has never been a priority and that is reflected in the dull boxy shapes that most of them come in. This might be fine for projecting powerpoints in the office, but if a device is going to occupy pride of place in a living room, aesthetics are important. And Epson has gotten it spot on in that department.

The device has a relatively small and curvy frame, featuring rounded edges and a premium-looking white finish. The front of the unit features the large lens on the left and an exhaust vent on the right.

The lens has a focus and zoom ring mounted immediately above it, which makes it a snap to get the picture right. The vent is something you’ll want to stay quite far away from while the projector is in use because, like most projectors, this Epson gets pretty hot and there is a constant jet of hot air blowing out of it.

The top of the projector also features buttons that replicate some of the most important functions that the remote can perform, including keystone correction and volume controls.

The rear is home to a plethora of connectivity options including two HDMI ports (one with MHL support), a VGA input, a USB 2.0 port, an audio out port, and a composite video input. The USB port can be used for playing content off storage devices or compatible cameras.

Specs & performance

On paper, the Epson EH-TW5300 is a near perfect package. It is a low-cost projector with several high-end features such as frame interpolation, which helps reduce tearing in fast action sequences, and the 3LCD technology, which uses three individual LCD panels instead of one in order to eliminate rainbow effect and push more colour. The lens has an impressive brightness rating of 2,200 lumens and a contrast ratio of 35000:1.

The impressive specs translate to real life performance admirably. The Epson produces deep, dark blacks and well-defined images with rich colours. Although it has an impressive array of configuration options to tweak the image, we found that the default setting delivered great results in most cases.

It is also bright enough to operate in a space which isn’t completely dark – an added bonus in large, open rooms. The size of the image is obviously dependant on the distance of the projector from the screen, but the TW5300 can manage 100-inches at 1080p with ease.

A couple of RF-enabled 3D glasses are included with the projector, which supports both native 3D content and on-the-fly conversion of 2D to 3D. We at Technophile have been avowed sceptics when it comes to 3D and while Epson’s implementation isn’t the worst we’ve ever seen in the home theatre space, it isn’t exactly going to compete with the kind of immersive experience that an Oculus or a HoloLens can offer these days.

The projector also has a built-in speaker, but we found the sound output to be rather underwhelming. For optimal movie-watching, we would suggest pairing the Epson with a good surround sound system.

Life expectancy

According to the manufacturer, the projector has a maximum temperature tolerance of 35 degrees Celsius, which means an air conditioner might be necessary if you live in hotter locales. Under optimal conditions, it is rated for 4000 hours of use under the normal projection mode and 7500 hours under the eco projection mode (which drops brightness to a pretty serviceable 1500 lumens). This is a few thousand hours beyond its closest competitors and easily worth the price of purchase by itself.

Verdict

The Epson EH-TW5300 is a fantastic package that will comfortably offer a better movie-watching experience than many of the most expensive ultra-large ultra-high resolution televisions available in the market today.

The fact that it does it at a price point that undercuts most other projectors by quite a bit, is another feather in its cap.

If you’re considering cutting the multiplex out of your life – and with the price of popcorn and parking being what it is these days, who would blame you if you are – this unassuming little white box could fill the void quite well.

Price: ₹76,279

Love: Picture quality, design, price

Hate: Speakers

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Published on March 23, 2016
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