Video Projectors: Evolving Towards High Definition

Epson EMP-TW200H

Epson has also launched an HD tri-LCD projector. With its 1280x720 imager, the TW200H is especially designed for Home Theater use and is already High Definition-ready. With a brightness of 1500 lumens and a contrast of 1000:1, the Epson's specifications are about average in these areas.

This model's rounded design gives it a rather cute look that's far from the standard grayishness of the competition. The body is a clever blend of pearlescent white and silver-gray plastic of excellent quality, from which the lens barely protrudes. The projector has power zoom and focus - a first in this price range - and they make this model much easier to adjust. With the remote control, you can enlarge or reduce the size of the image at will, then focus with a few button presses. This function will be even more practical - even indispensable - if you plan to install your video projector on the ceiling. If you install it on a coffee table, you won't need to sit exactly in front of the screen, because this model also has a right/left and up/down lens shift function.

More traditionally, there are buttons for access to the menu on the top of the body, two adjustable feet for the tilt adjustment, and a series of connectors on the rear: YUV, RS232c, USB, S-Video, and composite video. Unfortunately there's no DVI or HDMI, which seems paradoxical given the use of an HD imager. Most DVD players that can put out a 720 or 1080 signal do so via an HDMI or DVI connector. So it's a shame that Epson has decided they were optional, especially since its big brother, the TW500H, includes those connectors.

The remote control is illuminated and handles well, with quick access to the basic functions. There are numerous adjustments with several color modes: Dynamic, Living Room, Natural, Theater, and s-RGB. You can also access custom adjustments and even test patterns that are built into the projector. Though the menus are very complete, they're still accessible and easy to learn thanks to excellent ergonomics.

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