This 4K LCD projector is a decent gaming and movie all-rounder at an appealing price, reckons John Archer. Read our Epson EH-TW6150 Review.
HOWEVER BIG AND affordable TVs get, they’ll never be able to compete on sheer screen size value with an affordable projector like Epson’s EH-TW6150. Priced at just £ it’s the new entry point into Epson’s current 4K range – although its 4K capabilities are delivered by a diagonal half-pixel shift system of native Full HD optics.
The TW6150 has appealing styling to go with its appealing price, its chassis finished in a living room-friendly gloss white and given rounded corners and edges. It stands taller than most rivals, places its lens within a black recess, and its sides feature an unusual combination of grilles and ‘corrugated’ finishes.
The top of the unit houses sliding focus and zoom adjustments, the latter a very generous – at this price – 1.6x. Also unusual for such an affordable 4K projector is a vertical lens shift wheel, enabling optical adjustment to 60% up or down.
Both the TW6150’s HDMI inputs (one hidden alongside a powered USB port under a removable cover) are vl.4. My Xbox Series X reported these HDMls as capable of 4K/60HZ. but not 120Hz or variable refresh rates. The PJ carries no dedicated Game preset (you get Dynamic. Natural. Vivid and Cinema modes), but only takes a reasonably zippy 26ms to render 60Hz images. Oddly, toggling between Fine and Fast picture processing options has no impact on its response time.
|4K HDR LCD projector
|Epson’s new entry-level 4K model
|BenQ TH690ST; BenQ W1800
Epson claims a high maximum brightness of 2,800 Lumens for its new projector, and optimistically suggests images of 500in(!) are possible. We’d recommend you max out somewhere between 150in and 200in if you want to enjoy much benefit from the TW6150’s HDR10 and HLG HDR playback.
There’s a built-in 10W speaker system that should only be considered as a last resort. It does project its sound up and forwards, correlating reasonably well to the onscreen action, but doesn’t get loud or full-range enough to really satisfy.
On a 100in screen this beamer delivers strikingly bright images for its money. Switching from the standard dynamic range Zombieland: Double Tap Blu-ray to the HDR 4K Blu-ray version yielded a palpable increase in visual impact. And it’s not just for HDR; the TW6150’s brightness also helps its pictures remain watchable if there’s a little ambient light in the room, which is always handy with relatively ‘casual’ living room-focused projectors.
|Yes. 3.840 x 2.160 via pixel shifting
|Yes. HDR10; HLG
|2 x HDMI; 2 x USB (one service-only, one powered): 3.5mm audio output
|333(w) x 131(h) x 275(d)mm
|LCD projector; built-in 10W audio system: claimed 7,500 hours lamp life (Eco mode); Dynamic, Natural, Cinema, Vivid presets; 1.32-2.15:1 throw ratio; frame interpolation processing; 200W UHE lamp 1.6x zoom and vertical lens shift are welcome setup aids
A strong colour performance, at least when using the most all-round enjoyable Vivid mode, stops images become washed out or thin during Zombieland: Double Tap’s White House massacre scene, or with stand-out bright areas of colour, such as the carnival lights that adorn the Babylon camp.
Vivid mode can produce a little colour banding and the occasional overcooked skin tone, even with this film’s pristine transfer. These issues largely disappear if you switch to Epson’s Cinema preset, while extreme brightness highlights, such as the sun flares during Zombieland: Double Tap’s splat-tacular credits sequence, can suffer clipping in Vivid mode that again disappears in Cinema mode. Yet the Cinema setting looks much flatter overall than Vivid, leaving the latter feeling like it’s making better use of the TW6150’s strengths.
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Although not a native 4K projector, there’s impressive detail, sharpness and depth to the picture. And Zombieland: Double Tap’s climactic, action-packed assault sequence reveals clean motion handling, even without using Epson’s frame interpolation tool.
The TW6150’s downfall is its contrast. It claims a healthy ratio of 35.000:1, but night scenes in the zombie flick, especially with the HDR version, invariably look grey where they should look black. Dark images are much less convincing and cinematic than bright ones, creating an uneven movie viewing experience.
You don't notice the greyness so much with some ambient light in your room, and Epson's PJ retains good colour intensity and shadow detailing despite the grey wash. Black level matters to home cinema, though, so this limitation can’t be ignored a bright, sharp and vibrant performer that's easy to set up and gets good value out of HDR sources. Just don’t expect great black levels.
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