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Epson TW-2000 (PRO UB) review

18975 Views 42 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Blaser
Manufacturer Specs:

Technology: 3LCD
Native Resolution: 1080p (1920x1080)
Brightness: 1600 lumens
Contrast: 50K:1 with Dynamic Iris
Native Contrast: 4000:1
Zoom Lens ratio: 2.1:1
Lens shift: Vertical and Horizontal
Lamp life: 3000 hours brightness: low, 2000 hours at full brightness
Weight: 11.5 lbs. (5.1 Kg)
Warranty: 3 Years Parts and Labor, 1700 Hrs for the Bulb
10 Bit video processing
2 HDMI 1.3 inputs, with support for 1080p 24fps
Price in Egypt: $3500

I have waited so long (2 months) to obtain the TW-2000, since it was brought to me as a special order by Epson Egypt. Nevertheless they lent me the S4 entry projector, which is a SVGA business projector as my screen was mounted and I had removed my 29" CRT. Of course although the S4 was better than nothing, it cannot be compared to Epson's high end projector, it is also not the same price category. I guess nobody will ever use the S4 as a home theater projector so I won't talk about it.

Equipment: See my signature. Projector is fed with 1080i signal through the free HDMI cable that came along with my Samsung HD-870 SD DVD player. I still don't own a BD player, so this review just covers up converted SD material. It will be updated soon when a BD player is available.

- I am not a professional reviewer and what I write reflects my personal opinion only
- The projector is only calibrated for black and white levels. For colors I have used Art's settings at projectorreviews with Theater Black 1 (HD on the TW-2000). More tweaking will be performed upon receiving some video calibration tools.
-I am using a poor digital camera and Photos are not as good as reality. Colors are not saturated and some compression/noise is generated as well, exposure is not necessarily correct. Just posting photos for fun, but if you like them, you will also like the projector ;)

I will organise my comments as follows, in an attempt to address the most relevant criteria:

1. TW-2000 vs Pro UB
2. Built quality, Throw and lens shift,
3. Convergence, Colour uniformity, dead pixel,
4. Brightness, Contrast, Gamma, dynamic range, black level
5. Colours (CMS), Picture details, digital noise
6. Sharpness, Pixel visibility,
7. Cooling fan and Iris
8. remote control,
9. Screen recommendation,
10. Conclusion
11. Photos
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1. TW-2000 vs Pro UB

Basically the same units (TW-2000 is mentioned in the back of the Pro UB) and mathematically speaking: TW-2000 = Pro UB – (spare lamp + ceiling mount).
There is nevertheless a discrepancy in the information on Epson website regarding video processing of these projectors: 12 bits for the UB vs 10 Bits for the TW-2000. I asked for advice from Middle East technical support but they confirm the TW-2000 is only 10 bits processing and that this is a completely different model from the UB. I am not sure I bite this since TW-2000 is on the back of the UB.
Let's pass, anyway 10 or 12 Bits will offer both excellent dynamic range as we will see below.

2- Built quality, Throw and lens shift:

This projector made the S4 look ridiculous in terms of size and built quality. I love its aggressive look, and each time I enter my HT I must say hello. The lens is large and looks very impressive.

I am throwing 106" diagonal from about 12' and still more size can be delivered probably 120" but I haven't measured.

From the other side there is ample lens shift, I can't imagine a setup where this projector wouldn't fit. The lens shift dials are not very accurate in my unit, for example shifting left or right will also vertically down shift the picture. Nevertheless it is not that bad, once set, you never touch it again.
There is no lens lock in this model, but I never experience any problem although I have dual low frequency 18 inchers shaking everything, so that shouldn't be an issue.

3- Convergence, Colour uniformity, dead pixel,

I guess there has been so many complains mainly about misconvergence of the unit's panels. I would say people are being too picky on that one. I believe not a single projector can have perfect convergence on the entire screen, and slight misconvergence won't probably kill the viewing experience. My unit has about 1 red pixel and 1 green pixel misconvergence in the left bottom quarter of the screen, and excellent convergence on the right. Indeed If I look for it, I can see the red pixel convergence on credits and subtitles from my watching position, but I believe this does not deteriorate picture quality though. If it is about the misconvergence issue, my unit is a keeper.

Color uniformity on my unit is acceptable, slight green on the right part of the screen but that can only be seen with gray test patterns, but never with watching material, so this is not an issue.

The S4 had one green stuck pixel in the center of the screen, and it was very bright and large. The TW-2000 is 100% clean from stuck or dead pixels.


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4- Brightness, Contrast, Gamma, dynamic range, black level

This is propably not a light cannon if it is watched in its best mode (HD) but there are times where I had to close my eyes when for ex. In "Matix reloaded" Agents are looking for Neo, knocking on the door with the car's lights behind them (see pictures). That is a very bright projector in my setup, maybe a tad brighter than I like, but that's a lot of WOW!!

One of the strengths of this projector is its native contrast ratio which is said to rival more expensive LCDs abd DLP projectors. I must say the picture was always very clear with excellent contrast.

I must add that at times in very dark (and long) scenes I tell myself this projector is not that bright and then I am suddenly surprised by a daylight bright scene that reminds me how bright this projector is.

I am even more impressed with its huge dynamic range (ability to produce very dark blacks and extremely bright whites). It is am amazing to see what 10 bits or more is!!

As far as black level is concerned, it is excellent compared to the S4. Unfortunately I did not own any other projector and I can't compare, nevertheless I will compare it to my CRT, which is the only thing that can compete with this projector.:unbelievable:
Blacks are very dark grey compared to my CRT, but that is not the fault of the projector. In fact is mine. The BW screen has 1.4 gain and my room has white ceiling and yellow walls, and it will strongly reflect light that will wash out blacks. I will talk about the screen later on.
But to cut it short, blacks are very good with my setup, not excellent for the reasons stated above. Another thing to consider is the projector has only 30 hours on it, and will truly begin to deliver its best after the first 100 hours, and dim over time.

In order to enhance the blackness of the picture, I have planned to paint my room next week with dark colors.
Indeed this projector has so much dynamic range and brightness that I think It would power a 106" high contrast grey screen with CRT blacks and still enough brightness to please most fellows.

I will end this part with the Gamma adjustable setting which is really an excellent feature. It allows to set the contrast level to taste. Just like an audio graphic equalizer allows to adjust the desired frequency response, the gamma settings allow the user to adjust the grayscale to taste.
Not only there are basic configurations from 2.0 to 2.4, but there are options to customize the contrast behavior either by graph or from the picture.
By graph is very similar to an audio equalizer, the left end slider will control the darkest black, the right end slider will control the whitest white, and grey scale through sliders in between. The cool part of it is while adjusting any of these controls, the freeze picture concerned part blinks to show the user what he is adjusting.
By picture is quite the reverse, the user uses the pointer to chose which part of the screen he wishes to adjust and then the concerned slider is automatically highlighted to allow doing the needed correction.
That is a great feature IMO and a tool to obtain any contrast and picture gray scale the user wants (of course within the limits of the projector), just as we can theoretically have any audio frequency response from a parametric equalizer (above tuning).

5- Colours (CMS), Picture details, digital noise

I won't be long in this part although this is IMHO the strongest quality of the unit.
CMS is "Color Management System". Although the unit seems to be quite good out of the box, Epson provided the user with extensive control of the colors. In order to fully enjoy all of these controls one has to really use some calibration tools. Don't misunderstand, you can still enjoy the projector with its beautiful colors in the HD mode or even night Cinema which are said to be quite accurate.
Here are listed the CMS controls:
- RGB adjustment (offset and gain): 6 controls
- Hue, Saturation and brightness adjustment: 18 controls

Now about the colors, they are very vivid, eye poping, accurate (no 2 colors are ever the same). Colors are saturated, power supply delivers as much red (hardest on power supply) as required (not orange). Just Try "Finding Nemo".

Shadow details are excellent, far… far better better that my CRT or older projector, I don't miss a thing (I guess). Whites are shown in detailed grades. I never new (for years) that Nemo was not only red and white…Stunning!
Picture is always very detailed (I remind you I am talking SD DVDs): did you know that Nemo had imbrications?? For years I didn't.:whistling: (See my poor quality pictures at the end)

There is very slight digital noise, but you have to look for them to see them on certain scenes, but they are very far from being annoying, and to be honest I believe they are mainly from my poor DVD player. I am nevertheless not saying the projector itself does not have a little bit. When the S550 BD player will come out, we'll know better.


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6- Sharpness, Pixel visibility,

I lowered the sharpness setting to -2 and on resolution patterns, it looks great. With movies, sharpness is very good, I am really satisfied with SD DVD material, what about 1080p input?
The D7 generation panels have less visible structure than the D6, nevertheless the pixels are there. I can barely see them from 5-6feet but at 11 feet none…Nada. I will try binoculars :rofl2:

7- Cooling fan and Iris

Forgot to say the projector is 2 feet above my head. Fan is in low mode and is barely heard when there is no sound. Distractive? NO
Those who know me also know I have dual pro amps for my subs. I wish they were as noisy as the fan because they are way too noisier!! So I can never hear the projector fan unless I turn off my amps power. Really not a concern for me

The Dynamic Iris helps cut black from the projector. It takes about 1.5-2 seconds to fully close or open, and not noticeable on movie material. Only switching to the black screen shows its activity. Noise you say?? See read the above paragraph!

It is far less noisier than the projector fan, I can't imagine how some people complain about its noise, it must be defective units for sure.

8- Remote control,

The remote is very well designed. It is backlit and unlike my yammie receiver, buttons are very clear in the dark.
- Memory button for loading saving or erasing memory, color mode access button, Menu and aspect button
- 6 source buttons for quick access to signal input (HDMI 1, HDMI 2, components, PC, S-video and video),
- 6 picture adjustment buttons (Gamma, Contrast, Color temp., S. Tone, Pattern and blank)
What I like best about the remote control is that it works in any direction… it is also very light but well built.

9- Screen recommendation,

I will tentatively try to help here but again pls read the disclaimer in the very first post. That is only my opinion.:time-out:

For a throw of about 12', and dark environment

Less than 100" : 0.8 HCCG screen
Between 100" & 115" : unity gain screen
More than 115" : 1.4 or higher gain screen

EDIT: for a Bat Cave (extremely dark walls and ceiling), 150 Hours on the bulb

Less than 100" : 0.8 HCCG screen
Between 100" & 105" : unity gain screen
More than 105" : 1.4 or higher gain screen

In my setup I use a Carada 106" BW screen (that I will soon review) was a tad brighter than what I wanted until the first 100 Hours passed. After about 100/150 Hours, the bulb lost some of its original brightness and it is now perfectly matching what I like (deep blacks and still bright picture).

For different throw distances, just do the math or go visit projectorcentral calculator.

10- Conclusion

This is the best upgrade done so far to my HT. I just can't wait to see what will be the impact of Blu-ray. Can't wait!!:boxer:
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11- Photos

The photos are washed out, colours are far less vibrant than reality... The purpose of the pics is just to give an idea and having fun...Enjoy!:bigsmile:

Let's start with Harry Potter IV & King Kong


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Shadow details with Van Helsing and some pics from Casino Royal


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If you're like me you like Angelina Jolie:bigsmile: and the bright picture of Troy... Jonny Deep picture's contrast also caught my attention


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We can't really feel a review would be complete without LOTR or Saving Private Ryan


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It's the Last Ones Sonnie :hide:


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RESERVED FOR upcoming BD material

Good news! I have bought the lateset Sony DCS-W300 digital camera to have a more accurate representation of the pics! With time I will replace the shots I made with my mob above with better ones from my cam.
I have played with the settings (and saved them) until I had the nearest look to what is on the screen....well on my computer.

I have also upgraded to Blu-ray and hope to take some shots soon... ;)
Reserved 2
Reserved 3
Thank you Thxgoon, indeed I'm very happy with it :)
Hey Prof!

Thanks for your lovely comments. I really need to buy something like the next coming Sony S550. That player will decode everything for an announced price $550. I need to stick to a BD player that will do the audio decoding job as I do not want to upgrade the AV receiver anytime soon.

I don't know if I will be able to wait until the release date of the Sony player (last quarter of 2008) :hissyfit: ... I just don't know. The next Panasonic might be an option as well.

PS3 is available at a store located near my house but I don't think it would be a good thing to rush, only to regret it when more DTS MA or whatever is widespread in the future.

I have a digital camera, but these shots are from my Nokia N95 mobile phone (5 Mp), Nevertheless, they are nowhere close to reality. Believe me, sharpness' got quite a hit, the colours are washed out and too much noise and softness in the picture are integrated. Look at the very last "Darla" shot and you'll notice some blue noise everywhere in the picture that is not available on the screen.
The camera's very good, but you'll understand it is not originally designed for such a duty:dumbcrazy:.

Thank you Prof!
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Actually, my mobile camera is not far from my digital camera, and that's why I don't even care to use it. Any camera will have flaws and will never be the same as reality. Some have just less flaws than others.

Basically a CIH would require an AT screen as well as a complete re-design of the false wall. I am quite satisfied with a 16:9 screen, nevertheless VS is a good thing to have if ever... and the Oppo is certainly on my list, but when? Do you know of any Samsung BD player that does VS now?

Depending on the results of BD quality in my setup, I might change the screen to be 115" instead of 106" :R
I think no BD player to date does VS. Future Oppo is the only hope!:daydream:
Re: Black Bevel enhancement

Hello guys!

As I had pointed out few posts above, I have painted my room very dark grey. My room is now a bat cave. I had some complain with black level and brightness that seems to be a bit high. Indeed I was correct about darkening the white ceiling and yellow walls first before adding a ND2 filter or changing to a "darker" screen.

The result: Night and day. I would not be exagerating if I told you I can't find a difference with my eyes between the blacks of my CRT and the TW-2000, whereas the TW-2000 appears to my eyes to have more dynamic range and CR than my CRT :raped:.

The very dark bat cave sucks about the extra brightness that bothered me, and light is not reflected anymore on the screen which leaves the opportunity to the screen to "produce" (it doesn't) the deepest blacks.

I will make an analogy with sound frequency response: Bass standing waves tend to sound boomy and muddy. Now dark walls are like standing waves have been removed by adequate room treatment/equalizing. There is much more quality to bass which seems about right without boominess or single note.

Forgot to mention brightness is about correct now, but still plenty, which leaves room to a lower gain screen and blacks bars would then be lost with the screen borders :raped:

I am tempted to say if you have a bat cave "decrease my screen recommendation above by 5" for each size category". I will also edit that post to add this opinion.
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my projector has now more than 150 Hours. I am really surprised Brightness has been reduced by a noticeable amount. For movies, I really am happy with my Carada BW screen at 106" size now. To be honest I had thought I would need to change my screen material to be a unity gain, but at this point and only after 150 Hours, I doubt I will ever consider that.

My screen recommendation will be again changed to reflect what I hope (and think) is the steady state of the projector brightness.
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