LCD projector Review: Epson EMP-TW1000

Native FullHD projector of the "inventor" of the D6 LCD-Panels, everything from one manufacturer...

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We continue to look at FullHD: after numerous LCOS and also DLP models with the desired 2-Megapixel resolution came on the market this spring, now the third 1920x1080 LCD projector has been released after the Mitsubishi HC5000 and the Panasonic PT-AE1000, this time from no other company than the developer and manufacturers of the LCD panels themselves, Epson.

Epson projectors have always convinced so far by a well thought out optical path and with that, an very high attainable flexibility, our published test of the EMP-TW700 proved this again. Therefor ofcourse it is very exciting to see what Epson was able to do with its own panels in the TW1000.

After our detailed Preview Special we now submit the test with elaborate details and measurement results concerning the final machine as it is on the market.


We refer in advance to our test criteria, which are described in detail in our Know How Special: "Projectors / Plasma TV's - Quality aspects".


1. Equipment and technology (Know How link here)

Optically, the TW1000 strongly resembles its small brothers TW600 and TW700. The form was maintained, only the color was changed from white to an elegant black/anthracite coal.

Because of the color the projector looks very exclusively and elegant, however some will be disturbed because it now stands out under the usually white living room ceiling. Nevertheless the projector is a pleasant eyecatcher, which one does not have to hide. The build quality of the projector in this price range is just about appropriate, however it does not really give a "High End" impression. Like with its brothers, the not completely matching housing and edges here and there disturb the otherwise high-quality feeling.

The optical appearance of the EMP-TW1000 justifies its elevated "class". It is a successfull mix between elegance and extravagance, and an eye-catcher in every living room.


1.1 Technology (Know How link here)

However we do not evaluate optical Design in our reviews, but technical efficiency. This is primarily shaped by the optical and mechanical structure of a projector. Only with a good physical construction the image quality can also fare accordingly well. For this reason we begin every review with a view in the inside of the projector, how well is it constructed?

After removing the cover we are again strongly reminded of the TW1000's small brother TW700, the structure seems about the same. Substantially larger and completely differently designed however are the signal electronics of the TW1000 and with it we see the first special characteristic of the Epson beamer:

The "powerful" signal board of the EMP-TW1000

As the first projector on the market the digital picture input of the TW1000 supports the new transmission standard "HDMI 1.3". Behind it a genuine 10-bit video transmission is hidden. The emphasis is on transmission, because so far it has been the bottleneck regarding color depth. While most projectors do offer 10-bit signal processing, this is of not much use at present if the input signal does not sufficiently contain the signal dynamics.

The much desired chip with which HDMI 1.3 becomes possible

If a suitable input signal is present, the HDMI1.3 standard enables a complete 10-bit video chain with theoretically approximately a billion color and brightness nuances. Now we must only wait for suitable software, because so far no purchasable media or TV transmissions support the new standard. Thus a large potential is still waiting to be addressed unfortunately.

After removing the signal plate the encased optical optical path is visible. The TW1000 resembles its small brothers here also.

As the usual LCD principle is used, there are no innovations to the structure of the optical path. Like always, halfpermeable mirrors behind each other split off the primary colours and lead them on to the appropriate LCD panel.

The optical path of the Epson TW1000

The optical block is new, at which the FullHD panels of newest D6-Generation are firmly installed. They are also developed and produced by Epson and at present represent the first FullHD home cinema LCDs on the world market.

The individual panels are firmly connected with the glass prism,
which unites the individual basic color pictures

Directly in front of the panels are the individual polarizing filters, which are installed onto a framework in the structure similarly as with the Panasonic. Thus they can easily be removed.

Primarily the contrast and with it the plasticity of the projected picture depend on the polarisation filters . In the picture above the slight coloring of the glasses can be seen. The individual LCDs finally provide the actual light modulation. The light is polarized, reflected or passed by the LCD, and afterwards the three basic colors are layered on top of each other by a glass prism again and leave the optics as a common color image.


Meanwhile into its third generation is the integrated Adaptive Iris, which is used in all current HomeCinema LCD projectors in different variants. As with almost all models, the adaptive iris is placed directly at the beginning of the optical path, in front of the projection bulb.

With its two wing doors, the iris can open and close and thus control the light-flow of the lamp. In scenes with little light and much blackness the screen closes, until only a small light gap remains (see picture above).

In bright scenes however, the wings are placed into a horizontal situation, so that the light window becomes maximally large and sufficient light comes into the optical path:

Opened iris

As already described in many of our reviews, the adaptive iris can cause advantages for the image representation. Important with this however is their programming and response time. The large step engine which drives the iris appears a little too heavy, and with its predecessors proved to be relatively slow. Because of the unchanged structure no improvement is to be expected here unfortunately.

Descriptive sketch of the operation of the iris

The second contrast-increasing technical measure is, as before, an insertable color filter in the optical path. It is a red/blue (= pink) filter, placed directly in front of the lamp, behind the adaptive iris.

The inserted color filter of the TW1000

In the picture above the high-quality filter of the projector is visible. Its cyanide color is deceptive: the camera picks up only the reflecting light portions of the filter. Since the filter primarily passes Red, it reflects Green and Blue (=Cyanide), which lends the filter a Turqoise glow.

The filter is not placed firmly in the optical path, but can be in added if necessary by the user by remote control. A small engine then pushes the filter in front of the lamp like a slide.

Above: The engine in close up.
Down: The position of the filter construction relative to the lamp

What is the functioning principle of the filter? Regular readers of our web page know that video projection requires a relatively warm light color temperature of 6500K (D65). The presently used UHP lamp technology however produces a "native" light with higher blue and green portions than red parts. This cool lamp light is invariably not suitable for an accurate color reproduction, so it must be post-corrected. With almost all projectors this correction takes place via the LCD panels, which clearly decreases the maximum brightness and thus the contrast however.

The filter is pushed into the optical path if desired

The alternative is an optical filter, it corrects the light to 6500K and equally decreases the brightness in white and black, so that no loss of contrast has to be suffered. Exactly this principle is the basis for the very well-known "Projector Tuning" , on which we regularly report for quite some time and which ever more specialist dealers offer as a service to their customers.

But in the case of the TW1000 projector tuning, as with its predecessors, has already been integrated in the factory, so re-tooling the projector with an external color filter is not necessary. And motorizing the color filter clearly offers some luxury here compared to the additional tuning option. How the color filter affects the image representation we will continue to examine in the picture test.


Altogether, the optical structure of the projector appears very well thought thru, even if it was copied practically without any changes from the predecessor models. The same applies to the ventilation system:

The necessary projection light in the TW1000 is provided by Epsons own special "E-TORL"-lamp ("Twin Optimized Reflection Lamp") with 170 Watts of power. Praiseworthy are the guarantee conditions: three years or 1700 hours (whichever comes sooner) one does not have to concern about it, which is something offered by hardly any other manufacturer.

The E-TORL lamp of Epson

The advantages of the E-TORL technology should be smaller dimensions, less waste heat and higher light output by less loss of light, up to 1200 lumens the TW1000 is able to reach with this lamp. The lamp has a life span of up to 3000 hours which permits a cost effective use, there is no need to dwell your thoughts over each "wasted" hour of operation. Once the lamp must be swapped, the exchange can take place on the lower surface of the projector.

After releasing a few screws the lamp module can be changed. The placement of the lamp pit on the equipment lower surface however is a little less fortunate. So the projector must be taken off the ceiling mount from if placed that way.

The empty lamp pit with a view on the first integrator optics

Even if the new lamp technology promises to be more light-efficient, it must be appropriately cooled nevertheless. But cooling is achieved by air movement, and air flows cause noise, and noise is the enemy of every home cinema projector. For this reason, the technical designers must develop a well thought out airflow, which permits quiet cooling with modern projectors. The solution used with the TW1000 again remained unchanged here compared to its predecessor and so it goes into its third generation.

The necessary cooling air is sucked in on the bottom, and a majority of that air is directly led to the lamp. The other part is led towards the optical path, where a second exhaust continues to distribute air. Afterwards, "used" air is exhausted completely from the machine at the front right:

The lamellas of the exhaust air duct are exemplary positioned diagonally (see picture above), so that no heat flares are visible in the picture. The ventilation works pleasantly quiet, and fortunately Epson has opted to add an Eco mode to the TW1000 which can be used in every picture mode, thereby solving one of the larger drawbacks of the TW600/700.

The air duct described above is well encapsulated and less susceptible to dust, however the same can not be said of the air filter. It is located on the lower surface of the equipment and consists of only one layer of micro fiber cloth.

Other models with double layered filters appear substantially more well thought out. Because of this, the user has to clean the filter regularly, at least every hundred hours or so. This however proves extremely unpractical, because the filter is positioned on the bottom of the machine. Depending upon the ceiling mound used, one must loosen it from the mount and take the projector off the ceiling for cleaning. Almost every other projector model currently on the market meanwhile offers lateral air filters, so it is not understandable that users have to put up with such a design error especially with a high-end Full-HD projector.


Altogether, the technical structure of its predecessors was transferred to the TW1000 without changes and thus goes into its third generation. Considering the well thought out design this is not a disadvantage. To criticize however are the adaptive iris which still suffers from a too slow motor, and the ventilation system with its thin filter and the awkward filter cleaning.


1.2 Connections / Signal types (Know How link here)

Optically there are also few changes visible on the connection front: 1x HDMI, 2x Component (YPbPr), 1x S-Video, 1x Composite and 1x RGB H/V are present. The addition of the second component input in the Japanese D4-variant is a little unpractical in this country, but supplied with the projector is a Scart adapter so that this input is almost perfectly suited for connecting it to conventional satellite receivers.

Connectors of the EMP-TW1000

However, there is one substantial innovation: the HDMI is one of the newest variant "1.3", which also permits "Deep Color" with more color depth. The TW1000 is one of the first projectors world-wide with this type of input, and sets it apart from other projectors. Despite this new fact however a second digital input would have been desirable, as meanwhile can already be found as standard on entry level devices like the Sanyo PLV-Z5 for example. For control signals, another trigger Out connection as well as an RS232 interface are integrated.

Regarding signals types, the projector understands and processes everything a modern projector must, and that even includes the movie standard of the future: 1080/24p.


1.3 Placement (Know How link here)

The projector remains absolutely exemplary regarding placement flexibility, which was copied almost completely from the smaller models. This begins with the large 2-fold Zoom range of the projector, which enables an equal display width over a wide range of distances.

Projection distance table
Epson EMP-TW1000

As can be seen from the table above, the TW1000 makes a display width of 2.2 meters possible, a common size in home cinema, from a projection distance of 3 meters. This means that appropriate cinema dimension screen sizes can be realized even in smaller living rooms. In addition, if one needs particularly large distances, the TW1000 could be used without restrictions. The same display width can also be projected from a distance of 6.3 meters.

The TW1000 optics offer an exemplary range


With the large Zoom range comes an equally large mechanical Lens shift. The picture can be shifted up to 96% vertically and 47% horizontally.

It must be noted however that horizontal and vertical Lens Shift mutually affect each other as clarified in the sketch above. It is a little disappointing that comfort was discarded. Both Zoom range / Focus and Lens shift can only be adjusted manually at the projector.

Besides, the Lens shift wheels are not very precise, the picture shifts a little in both directions if one of the wheels is adjusted. A little patience is therefore required in order to perfectly align the projector to the screen. Here all other Full-HD LCD projectors, like for instance the Mitsubishi HC5000 or the Panasonic PT-AE1000, offer more luxuary for the same price.

Almost any space planning can be realized with the Epson Beamer

Apart from this small deficiency however the Epson EMP-TW1000 offers outstanding placement characteristics, which are perfectly adaptable to local room considerations. With the TW1000 it should be no problem to find a the "suitable place" in almost all room conditions . LCD projectors remain the most flexible concerning placement.


2. Operation (Know How link here)

There are further changes with the operation, which does not apply to the remote control however. Here the "bone" model also goes into its third generation, this time however in a black color.

In three themed sections, keys of a category are placed, between them the navigation cross. The input selection buttons are particularly worth of praise, because they allow the user to switch directly to the desired source. The remote control is very ergonomic, all keys can be reached comfortably with the thumb and the infra red transmitter reflects off of the screen even over larger distances. In addition, electrical back lighting can be activated in dark rooms with the push of a button.

The projector can also be operated without remote control. On the top side of the machine the necessary function keys are placed, clearly arranged:

The on screen menus of the new Epson projector were visibly revised. While preceding models showed a difficult to understand structure without logic, the parameters of the TW1000 are clearly divided into four main categories "Image", "Signal", "Settings", "Memory" and "Info.".

"Image" category

The "Image" menu contains, like the name says, the picture parameters like Tint, Color Saturation, Brightness and Contrast. The first of all these settings is the "Color Mode", but the name is a little misleading: instead of colors this option concerns the selection of different factory presets for different targeted applications and room conditions.

The disadvantage that the lamp brightness and thus the ventilation volume are firmly connected to the display mode, was repaired: now the projector can be placed into Eco mode in every projection mode with the aid of the "Brightness Control" option. This time, redundant nestings and confusing submenus were avoided. The "Advanced Menu" remained, with which furhter picture adjustments are possible:

With "Gamma", the brightness distribution of the image representation can be affected, it is essentially indicated as the rise value understandably. The function opens a further submenu, which we saw before in the TW600.

As can be seen in the screen shot above, one can essentially select the desired brightness rise from a list. A rise of 2.2, commonly used for DVD Mastering, is preset. This function already permits an exemplary adjustment on room conditions. In addition it is possible for the user to change the brightness distribution with the help of the practical Equalizer however. With nine different sliders the light output can be fine-tuned to the signal level. Technically experienced users will quickly appreciate this option.

The second professional menu is "RGBCMY", which permits the tuning of the color space.

For all primary and secondary colors, the color and the saturation can be changed in detail here. For the first time this color space correction can be combined also with an exact white alignment on D65 by means of the "RGB" function.

With the predecessors TW600 and TW700 one still had to decide what one would like to correct when working with the menus. Clear improvements were also achieved here.


"Signal" category

As the name implies, the signal menu offers numerous functions for the adjustment of the input signal.

We still classify the "Epson Super White" function under the category "Marketing Gag". It is to avoid blooming (Clipping) of bright picture details and permit more coloration. In practice this function simply and clearly lowers the maximum white level. Since such corrections are better made with the contrast and gamma functions however, one needs to consider this feature no further.
The award for the most confusing function designation again goes to "Output Scaling", with which Overscan is affected and/or switched off (100%). The function "HDMI Video Range" is equally important, with which with the digital input signal standard can be selected between PC and Video standard.


"Settings" category

The third and last main parameter menu "Settings" contains all functions that did not fit into the two other categories.

The adjustment options of the TW1000 are various, as is typical with Epson, like hardly any other video projector. With so many functions a memory function is important, so that one does not always have to make all adjustments again. Epson also took every precaution here again:

This time, a new record is set with the TW1000 as ten(!!) memory banks for setup storage which is even more than the TW700 (which has only nine memory banks). With so many storage locations every projector application can have its own profile.

The next to last "Info" category offers an interesting overview of the picture signal being fed into the projector.

New here is the Deep Color information, which indicates the color depth of the signal that is fed into the HDM1.3 input.

Remaining is the "Reset" menu. Here the lamp counter can be set to zero and the projector altogether can be reset to its delivery status.

The menu concept of the TW1000 sets new standards: its predecessors offered many functions, but these were descibed almost cryptically and in an incomprehensibly menu system. , The TW1000 presents an optimal combination of meaningful parameters and a clear menu structure. Almost everything can be optimized in understandable way, particularly the color space and gamma functions are worth noting. The picture menu of the new FullHD Beamers does not leave anything to be desired.


So far, the Epson EMP-TW1000 offers an appropriate quality in structure and operation into the Full-HD world for its favorable entry price. What remains is a look at the image quality, which we will examine in the next part:


3. Picture test

In our Preview Special the EMP-TW1000 already made a good impression, if figure also outstanding made. We supplement the Preview in this part with results concerning the finished standard set.


3.1 Screendoor (Know How link here)

The LCD technology profits particularly from a high native resolution, the pleasant side effect here: there are so many pixels are on the screen that they are no longer visible to the human eye from appropriate viewing distances:

Close up of the pixel structure of the D6 panels

Also from small viewing distances the screen door is by far no longer as visible as with 720p LCD projectors, and this although the filling rate did not change.


3.2 Color Space (Know How link here)

The topic Color Space grows in complexity, as we already pointed out in our test of the Panasonic PT-AE1000. Reason for it is the increasing flexibility of modern projectors. While in former times a digital projector often only had a preset Color Space which was more or less near the video standard, high-end variants often offered an increased Color Space, which in addition could be changed by Color Management. The TW1000 also offers such Color Management:


3.2.1 Native Color Space without Cinema-filter

Like already described under technology the Epson EMP-TW1000 corrects the color representation for movie representation by using an internal Cinema filter. As a starting point therefore we ae only interested in the native chromatic spectrum of the e-Torl-lamp. Therefor we switch the projector into the Dynamic or Living Room mode, which pushes the Cinema filter out of the optical path.

Native Color Space of the TW1000

The result is disappointing. The diagram above shows that the projector is only able to produce a bright image with a very limited Color Space. Although the TW1000 reaches a brightness of 1200 lumen, the green is much too pale and is almost yellow. An accurate image representation is therefor not possible, and also with Color Management the green portion of the Color Space can not be improved. The spectrographic analysis of green shows exactlty what the problem is:

Spectrographic analysis of green

Especially the "green" wave band between 500 and 550Nm, which are obtained by e.g. a xenon lamp well, are missing in the spectrum. This alone would still be justifiable because this is not rare with UHP lamps, but the high yellow-orange spectral portions have no business being in the green basic color. They could have been separated by better color fragmentation in the optical path (dichroitic mirrors). Probably they did not filter it in order to obtain the maximum light output of over 1000 lumens. This is a popular trick in order to increase the maximum brightness by using the yellow light portions. As is shown here however, marketing can negatively affect the image representation. A large native Color Spae with 800 lumens would have been better. Therefore, the TW1000 scores some negative points in this domain. High brightness and strong greens are not possible, only a pale "apple green".


3.2.2 Color Space with Cinema-filter

Since the yellow spectral portions in the optical path were not filtered out, there is no other option than additional optical filtering in order to adapt the Color Space to the video standard and to thus make accurate color representation possible. The engineers made the so-called "Cinema-filter"  possible, which automatically pushes itself into the optical path with the selection of a theatre picture mode. And as expected, the green now appears substantially stronger on the screen.

Spectrographic analysis of "Theater" green

The above spectrographic analysis clearly clarifies that the disturbing yellow spectral portions are filtered from green by the auxiliary filter. This way the deficiency of the pale green is repaired. But the additional color filtering always has an unwanted side effect: loss of light! In the case of the TW1000 a very strong filter was used, which "swallows" no less than 75% of the light. This becomes clear if the spectral levels are compared in the same graph:

Above: Native spectral behavior
Below: Filtered spectrum by the Cinema-filter

In the diagrams above it is quite clearly visible how the "peaks" are only a quarter of their former size. The yellow spectral portions are filtered out, but the brightness visibly suffers.

How now does the resulting Color Space look in a measurement? Substantially larger as before, even larger than the video standard:

Color Space of the "Theater" mode

Above diagram shows the Color Space of the EMP-TW1000 (white triangle) in comparison to the HDTV standard (dark triangle). One can see the fact that the Color Space is larger than the video standard requires. Here the vicious circle between large Color Space of the original cinema, and the Color Space of our picture media begins again. The Color Space is laid out evenly so that no colour is overemphasized disproportionately, but altogether the color representation becomes more multicolored than is intended by the film producers. On the other hand the Color Space makes stronger colors possible this way, as they are possible also in movie theater. Here the user must set his desired emphasis.

Those who are disturbed by the strong colors can tweak the Color Space with the help of the "RGBCMY" menu and appropriate measuring instruments for almost unlimitedly. An exact tuning to the video standard is therefor possible.

Color Space optimized on the video standard on the TW1000

Because of its extensive adjustment possibilities the TW1000 all requirements are met, even if it needs a little help getting started. Beginning from large but correctable Color Space is to be regarded as the correct way to go about.

Altogether the Color Space possibilities of the TW1000 are extremely versatile and exemplary. The Color Space can be optimized by the extensive Color Management for every application. A point of criticism however is that there is no factory setting which adheres to the video standard, like for instance with the Panasonic PT-AE1000. Besides this, it is very annoying that a good Color Space can be only be achieved with a substantial loss of brightness. The very much limited Color Space of the bright picture modes is not expandable, here competiting models are clearly ahead.


3.3 Color Temperature (Know How link here)

Also with the Color Temperature we set high standards in the price range of the TW1000. So far, Epson projectors have always been exemplary regarding the factory setting of the color temperature, and this time is no exception:

Since only the theatre modes with the color filter enabled are able produce an accurate color, we first concentrate on these. "Theater2" in combination with the "6500K" setting produce the desired color temperature of 6500K/D65 at the push of a button, as presupposed by the video standard.

Factory setting Theater2/6500K

Above diagram shows the factory preset without additional adjustments, and it is a very good approximation to the standard. Only a small blue surplus can be seen, which lets the image representation appear slightly too cool. But the competition has become harder, other Full-HD projectors like the Mitsubishi HC5000, the Panasonic-PT-AE1000 or the JVC HD1 already offer even more exact tuning from the factory.

By the good adjustment possibilities one can perfect the result further. In almost all brightness ranges an alignment is possible on the correct color temperature

Re-adjusted color temperature

The LCD typical blue surplus close to black is the only thing that could not be changed with our review machine, but fortunately our eyes are very insensitive to chromatic distortions in these dark ranges.

For the sake of completeness we also checked the color temperatures of all other modes, the color temperature in the picture menu was always kept on "6500K". Following logic this should always result in the same color temperature on the screen, however it does not:

6500K "Dynamic"...

6500K "Living Room"...

6500K "Natural"...

6500K "Theater"...

6500K "Theater1".

As one can see, the "6500K"-setting of the Theater Black 2 mode shows other results than those of the other modes, including "Theatre Black 1". Technically this makes no sense, because "6500k/D65" should always produce the same color temperature. Therefor, those who would want to tune another mode to the video standard do not escape an elaborate measuring procedure.

Also regarding Color Temperature the TW1000 scores with its flexible adjustment possibilities. In combination with the well tuned Theater2-mode one quickly arrives at good to perfect results. It is again shown however that the bright Dynamics and Living Room modes in no way permit accurate color representation.


3.4 Luminance tracking / Uniformity (Know How link here)

Since the TW600, Epson integrated a clear and understandable as well as efficient gamma management with its home cinema projectors. This was maintained also with the TW1000, with the same good results:

A correct color representation already constitutes a large part of the picture. At least just as important factors however are Contrast Range and its use in the gamma distribution. The gamma affects the brightness distribution in the picture and with correct settings ensures that all details in the picture appear exactly as bright as they should be, as was intended with the recording. As for the colors, a certain standard applies to the brightness distribution. Depending upon room and screen size, gamma rises from 2,2 to 2.5 are usable. The Epson engineers considered this range exemplary and offer different rises from 2,0 to 2.4 in the gamma menu. Factory setting is 2,2, which corresponds to the common DVD Mastering standard.

These various options are absolutely exemplary and enable the user a quick and uncomplicated adjustment to his own needs, however only if the recallable presets actually correspond to the promised values. This we checked and were pleasantly surprised. For example the 2.2 Preset corresponds very exactly to a 2.2 Gamma curve without disturbing fluctuations (measured in Theatre Black mode).

This preset thus makes a good picture depth possible, in which no elements are over- or under-stressed. The coloration within dark ranges is exemplary, nothing disappears into black. The same applies to the bright ranges. And also the other selectable values correspond exactly to the actual results on the screen.

The 2.3 preset also appropriately fulfilled the "promised result", the projector shows an even gamma rise of 2,28 here.

Gamma "curve" of the 2,3-Presets

Because of these required factory settings the projector is already almost universally applicable. But they even thought of perfectionists, who want to optimize the brightness distribution in detail. In the "Customized" mode, the user can affect the output brightness in nine different ranges .

The combination of different factory presets, Gamma equalizer and markings in the picture is an unusual and unique concept, which we have never seen with any projector. It enables both the experienced user and the layman to perfectly adjust the picture composition.

In movie viewing this pays off with an appealing and exact brightness distribution, which allows for a deep and at the same time believable picture.


3.5 Black Level, Contrast, Brightness (Know How link here)

Brightness and contrast performance of every projector are much discussed topics, over and over. There is always something wrong: either a projector is too dark, or its black level is too bright, or its contrast is not high enough. Many of these points of criticism are not independent of the personal taste, therefore we publish objectively determined measured values here, which can serve as first reference points to our readers.

Because of the similar technical structure of the projector compared to its predecessors, we obtain very similar results with the contrasts. Also with the TW1000 both an adaptive iris and an internal color filter, which optimize the lamp spectrum to D65, work inside to maximize the contrast of the projector at correct colors.


The results are unchanged in the "Theater2"-Mode: here the TW1000 reaches a contrast of approximately 5000:1 (with correct colors), but it takes over 15 seconds (believe it or not) for the iris to close completely with a dark picture and a perfectly improved the schwarzwert. The adaptive iris becomes almost invisible in its operation because of these slow reaction times, however only scenes which remain dark longer for a longer period of time benefit from this, with fast bright/dark changes there are no improvements. When opening the iris it does act somewhat faster, up to approximately eight seconds to the maximum opening with white.


The projector impresses like no other with this high contrast value at D65. However, the value has little meaning for movie projection because of the slow response times. In practice hardly a dark scene persists for a long enough time for the iris to close completely. In the time between, the black level is not that dark and shows the usual "blackgrey". The more amazing is the fact by the way that the slow increase in black value is not disturbingly noticed by the eye during the movie. The whole procedure runs very subtle, so that the dark scene slowly gains image quality. In order to determine a more realistic contrast range more near practical values, we set a time limit of 6-8 seconds for the iris, and measured the contrast at the time of closing. Now, the TW1000 still reaches a value of approximately 2300:1!

The step engine of the iris produces a quiet knocking by its jerky movements, which is strengthened by the resonance of the housing. In calm scenes one can hear the iris working (depending upon seating distance), so some prospective customers could find this annoying!


Measurement data:
Brightness and Contrast Emp-TW1000

Picture mode
Lamp mode
Contrast with adaptive iris
Low 960 1180:1 10000+:1
High 1254 1180:1 10000+:1
D65 (without Cinema filter)
Low 490 650:1 2200:1
D65 (without Cinema filter)
High 580 650:1 2200:1
D65 (theatre Black2)
Low 250 1000:1 2000:1 - 5000:1
D65 (theatre Black2)
High 320 1000:1 2000:1 - 5000:1

The table above shows the measurement results concerning brightness and contrast of the individual picture modes. The most optimized contrast is with the "Theatre Black2"-Mode, In which both color filter and iris are activated. This mode permits a deep picture, which also reliably represents dark scenes on the screen. Without a doubt the picture is one of the most appealing we saw with a LCD projector so far. But the good contrast has a price in brightness, too large screen widths cannot not be realized with the TW1000 in this mode.

Those who wishe more brightness must fall back on the Living Room mode, in which the optical filter is taken out of the optical path. This way the projector gaines brightness (to scarcely 600 lumens with D65), but loses contrast and thus black level however. Dark scenes have the typical "LCD veil" in this mode. Besides this, the color space is so severely limited that an accurate color reproduction is not possible.

For those who really needs much light, for example to watch TV in not darkened rooms, the Dynamics mode can be selected. With this Preset the projector actually reaches its factory specification of 1200Lumen. However the color representation turns out to be completely "way off base".

Altogether the TW1000 shows an appealing variety regarding contrast and brightness, on which the user can put his emphasis. A combination of high light output, accurate colors and high contrast is not possible however, compromises must be made here.


3.6 Sharpness / Brightness Uniformity / Convergence (Know How link here)

The EMP-TW1000 is one of the first Full-HD projectors on the market. Full-HD is characterised by its high native resolution of over 2 megapixels and therefore an enormous sharpness potential. This sharpness potential can only be transferred to the screen if the optical components are of an accordingly high-quality.

The projection optics of the TW1000

The optics of the TW1000 are copied from those of the TW700 and it is remarkably large. It enables an even illumination over the entire projection area, during movie presentation no annoying bright or dark spots could be seen, not even in the edges.

Less than perfect are the results regarding the image definition: small details are surrounded by a small tail, which smears the outlines a little. This becomes particularly clear if the menu of the projector is in the picture.

In the screen shot above, the "halo" which surrounds the writing can clearly be seen. The sharpness impression suffers in the small details. One should not overestimate this detail however, because when fed a Full-HD signal the TW1000 does not belong to the most blurry of its kind under any circumstances.

Our review sample showed good results with convergence. The chromatic distortions were on a very small level, so that no disturbing color fringings impair the picture impression.

Only blue is shifted upward half a pixel, which remains practically invisible for the eye however.


3.7 Overscan (Know How link here)

The Epson EMP-TW1000 offers a variable Overscan adjustment in its signal menu, even if it is described cryptically as "Output Scaling".

At 100% the entire picture content is displayed without cut off edges. This is the preferential variant in the home cinema range, since nothing is lost from the picture here.

Output scaling: 100%

If the projector is fed its native resolution, then no scaling takes place at "100%". The Overscan can be increased in several steps to 92%.

Output scaling: 92%

If necessary, annoying image lines can be faded out beside or over/under the picture.


3.8 De-Interlacing (Know How link here)

One of the larger weak points of the last Epson models was the De-Interlacing. Although we often still have to do with signal sources in the half-image format (e.g. PAL) in this country, devices do not succeeded in converting video or filmmaterial to the progressive representation method of the projector adequately. While this can be overlooked with entry level projectors, good quality is expected with such a high priced device like the TW1000 also regarding De-Interlacing. Epson apparently recognized this and improved their current model:


Video material

Video material, like television shows, sport transmissions or camera recordings, are recorded with 50 different pictures per second. Although each picture offers only half the resolution here, it represents its own snapshot. With this video material the 1000er showed good results in our picture tests throughout. Joined in the so-called "Motion Adaptive" procedure, still picture elements will be joined from two sequential half-images, while moving elements are extrapolated by the internal scaling electronics. The procedure was well executed. Video pictures (e.g. from a satellite receiver) are converted to the progressive representation with very good sharpness and without movement artifacts or fraying.



It does not look so good with material consisting of 24Hz photographs of the cinema. The beginnings of the film mode can be recognized and in images with little movement the film mode remains stable to a large extent, but with movements the mode quickly loses its rhythm and provokes loss of detail and annoying edge flares. Therefore one should always pay attention to a progressive input signal, which should not represent a big problem nowadays owing to modern sources.


3.9 Detail / Scaling / Sharpness (Know How link here)

Apart from the optical sharpness, also signal processing is important for the image definition and detail representation. High end projectors should display the picture appropriately sharp and without annoying double outlines or artificial over-sharpening.


3.9.1 Signal Processing

Analog / Digital
The contrast transitions can be evaluated as being very good, they are displayed sharply and without annoying double outlines.

The detail resolution is used to its maximum nevertheless, so that details really appear in the way they are recorded on a DVD.


3.9.2 Scaling Horizontal

The DVD resolution amounts to with 720x576 pixels, not even a quarter of the native resolution of the projector (1920x1080). Therefore it is converted by the internal scaling electronics:

Analog / Digital
The horizontal scaling characteristics are on a very good level, as with all Full-HD projectors, and the high native resolution pays off. The Burst-Testsignal is displayed almost without linearity fluctuations on the screen.

Even the difficult resolution range around 6MHz hardly points out any interferences in the scaling. In addition the small drop in level in high resolutions ensures that also smallest details appear as bright as large details. Thus the sharpness of the picture is visibly enhanced.

It looks equally good during the color resolution, good scaling and an appropriate conversion without disturbing artifacts are offered here. The color separation is ensured and homogeneous up to highest resolution.


3.9.3 Scaling Vertical

Analog / Digital
However the vertical scaling shows slight deficits. Visible interferences show up, depending upon line resolution.

In addition to the linearity fluctuations, there is a visible limitation of the dynamic range of small details, which produces less brightness and thus less sharpness. In the picture above can clearly be seen how the thin lines appear less radiating.

The test patterns show that the scaling of the TW1000 is on good level but does not use the sharpness potential of the Full-HD resolution, at least with PAL material. During movie viewing this expresses itself by a slightly "soft" representation, which some feel as being more natural or "filmlike". In our experience however the picture is soft compared with competing models. The absence of any artificial sharpening nevertheless ensures that the picture does not work too digital. Nevertheless: those who wish an optimum image definition on the screen do better using a high-quality external scaling solution. Fortunately, DVD players with for instance the HQV scaling are no longer priceless and thus a meaningful "ADD on".


With pictorial material in the 4:3 "television format" a part of the horizontal resolution remains unused. As is the case for a conventional 16:9 television, black bars appear to the left and to the right from the picture. The "remaining" resolution however is still clearly over that of our PAL standard, so with 4:3 material there is no no deficit in the detail representation therefore.


3.9.4 Chroma Timing problems (Red Delay) provoke delay effects and reduce sharpness

During the course of our test we encountered a perfectly new artifact, which non of the LCD projectors we tested had before. The control of the three color channels does not seem to be correctly synchronized, red precedes the other colors. In fast image motions red edges are provoked.

IIn the screen shot above the red discolorations in slow motion is visible. The faster the movement, the further the red channel is separated:

Red ghost images with fast movements

This artifact can not only be seen with news tickers, with fast movements of bright picture elements one can also see the red seams in the TV picture. Even with cinema material, which is based on only 24 images per second, the edges can be seen with horizontal movements, although substantially more subtle. Apparently it comes with fast camera movements like for instance football transmissions.

We have examined the problem with other LCD models (HC5000 / PT-AE1000) and it did not emerge there. Therefore the TW1000 signal processing is not a system-dependent problem, but only a bug in the TW1000 signal processing. We hope that Epson quickly improves this with a firmware update, but for now we have to deduct points in the picture evaluation.


3.10 Color Uniformity / Shading (Know How link here)

Many artifacts that are common with the LCD technology have been under control since the new panel generation. What remains however is the problem of the color homogeneity, which is due also to the 3-Chip technology. Because of tolerances in the chips and in the optical components like the prism, color clouds in the picture can occur which must be digitally corrected in the factory.

In the case of the EMP-TW1000 this factory correction succeeded well. While our review machine showed a slightly reddish coloration on the right half of the screen, this was only subtly perceptible in grey tone test patterns. During normal movie viewing the picture appeared even in color and brightness.


3.11 Vertical Banding

Our tests of the HC5000 and the PT-AE1000 already showed that the inorganic new LCD panel generation from Epson does not show annoying vertical banding anymore. Also with the TW1000 the picture is perfectly free from this annoying artifact.


4. Result / Evaluation

Also the Epson EMP-TW1000 shows that the LCD technology has finally outgrown the shady existence of the "entry level technology" with numerous problems at the latest with the current Full-HD generation. Like already its LCD brothers, the Mitsubishi HC5000 and Panasonic PT-AE1000, the Epson projector shows that it can compete with far more expensive devices of other technologies and be superior in various aspects.

First here is the unbelievable placement flexibility which other technologies do not reach in such a way. With the uncommonly large zoom range and the horizontal and vertical Lens Shift, the TW1000 belongs to the most versatile of all classes. There is hardly a room in which it can not be integrated with the desired picture size dimension. Especially for users who do not want to build a room for home cinema, but rather the reverse, this is a large plus. The strongest competition regarding placement comes thereby from the same technology camp, the TW1000 can not keep up with the comfort of a Panasonic or a Mitsubishi unfortunately. With the TW1000, Zoom range, Focus and Lens Shift are not motorized and not as precisely adjustable and also not as stable as with the other devices mentioned, yet good quality is offered.

In the processing department the TW1000 disappointed us a little. The chassis of the by far more favorable entry level projectors TW520/600/620/700 is used. So, for different signal processing and the full-HD resolution a hefty surcharge must be made, because the chassis can not be the most costly factor. To be fair, with this criticism it must be pointed out that this is a chassis with a matured basis, which exhibits no large weaknesses and so also a Full-HD variant is "worthy". However, the loud iris mechanics and the "thin" dust protection appear a little simple.

The control concept of the new Epson top model was really improved: the revised menu structure is clear and combines innumerable picture parameters with clear nomenclature. For the user, this makes it possible to make desired adjustments himself without getting mad or confused in the chaos. The handy bone-like remote control with its large range underlines the good general impression.

The many parameters really pay off: above all it is outstandingly possible to optimize the color representation of the EMP-TW1000. An appealing and at the same time natural color representation is without a doubt possible with the new Full-HD Beamer like with hardly any other machine. In connection with HDMI 1.3 standard, very much potential is offered to the user. It would have been even more beautiful however if the projector would be tuned from factory with the settings stored in one of its Presets. Above all an additional color space adjustment requires expensive measuring instruments, which the normal user does not have readily available. It is recommended to buy with a specialist dealer who can accomplish a conscientious calibration to the video standard. The large loss of light during cinema color representation also leads to a great deduction of points. The bright modes offer a too limited color space, so that they are really only suitable for watching TV.

The projector combines the outstanding color representation possible with an also appealing contrast. Particularly in the TheaterBlack2 mode, the TW1000 reaches a picture depth, which to a large extent shows films without disturbing greys on the screen. The projector does not belong to the brightest its kind, but it is clearly superior to for instance an HC5000. The latter is brighter, but in a comparison does have visible weaknesses in the absolute black level however. For the successor of the TW1000 however, more light output is recommended, because for display widths of over 2,5 meters the projector is only conditionally recommended.

The signal processing was improved with the new Epson. The De-Interlacer is now very well suitable for video material and thus makes projector suitable for TV viewing. Also the film mode gives satisfying results, however it can not keep up with a good progressive scan DVD player. Something similar applies to scaling: although it performs very good on average, is does not reach tje efficiency of a good external Scaler. In order to use the maximum sharpness of the TW1000, there is no other option than using a high quality HD source.

Signal processing becomes less elaborate when feeding the projector Full-HD material with a native resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. Appropriate sources are represented by the new standards Blu-ray and HD-DVD. With such State-Of-The-Art feed, each pixel of the projector is individually controlled by the signal source. The picture, which is then free from scaling, is accordingly sharp. The full potential of the TW1000 only shows here and proves that high resolution is worth its money. The wealth of detail and the absence of digital artifacts make the HD picture on the screen an experience that leaves both 720p projectors and the local cinema behind. Regarding sharpness however, the TW1000 is defeated by iother HD projectors, as the optics do not fully succeed in putting the entire sharpness potential on the screen - particularly the red Chroma Delay, which provokes annoying delay effects, is to be classified as error which hopefully will be corrected by firmware updates by the manufacturer.

Evaluation picture overall: 1,82 (Good +)

Black Level & Contrast

1,9 (Good)

Sharpness & Interpolation

2,2 (Good -) (because of red Chroma Delay!)

Color Space / Temperature

1,6 /1,5


2,2 (Good -)

Other aspects

1,5 (Good +)

(All evaluations refer to their respective kind of projection and the current state of technology. A direct comparison between machines is therefore only conditionally possible!)


Die evaluation show the high level Full-HD projectors operate at currently. The Epson EMP-TW1000, of the manufacturer of the LCD-Panels, offers an exemplary image quality at an attractive price, as do other representatives of its technology. From day one it could be purchased at a price of about  b,3500.- with selected dealers, while other models were clearly more expensive and only later were drawn to the same price level. Meanwhile, as all LCD projectors are more or less the same price, the TW1000 suffers from deficits in Build quality and Accessories. Nevertheless, it is a universally applicable allround high-ender, which should provide the user with thousands of hours of viewing pleasure. Its HDMI 1.3 input sets it apart as before, and makes the projector future-proof even for coming video standards. The TW1000 is one of the most flexible Full-HD projectors, which can be tuned to just about every application and use. Epson continues the tradition of flexibility...

We recommend to compare this projector in a direct shoot-out with other models at a dealer of your choice.


5. Evaluation

+ HDMI 1.3
+ Powerful and clear control concept
+ Flexible placement
+ Few LCD-Artefacts
+ Good factory tuning
+ Good Black Level
+ High maximum brightness

- Delay effects because of red Chroma-Delay
- Build quality
- Not very precise, manual Lensshift
- Very limited color space with high brightness
- Low light output with correctly tuned colors
- Slow and audible adaptive iris
- PAL-Filmmode with weaknesses
- Scaling with slight weaknesses
- Loss of sharpness because of the optics

Evaluation overall: 1,7 (Good +)


1,8 (Good +)


1,7 (Good +)


1,7 (Good +)


1,82 (Good +)

Price / Performance

1,3 (Very Good -)

(All evaluations refer to their respective kind of projection and the current state of technology. A direct comparison between machines is therefore only conditionally possible!)

08. Juni 2007, Ekkehart Schmitt
Translation: Den Walterfang (22-06-2007)



5. Technical details (manufacturer data)

* 1080p Full HD-resolution, 1920 x 1080 Pixel

* Epson Crystal Clear Fine 3LCD-Technologie for brilliant images, natural color reproduction, deep black and fine details in shadows

* Very high contrast ratio of 12.000:1 because of improved optics

* 1.200 ANSI Lumen brightness

* 2.1 x Optical Zoom

* Many connection options: HDMI v1.3, Video, YUV S-Video, RGB and Scart

* Authentic Home Cinema experience with real 16:9-representation

* Three year guarantee on Epson 170W UHE (E-TORL)-bulb

* Cinema Filter with six different color modes enable easy adjustment to the room: Dynamic, Living Room, Natural, Theatre, Theatre Black 1 and Theatre Black 2

* Easy adjustment of the image because of vertical and horizontal Lens-Shift function

* 10-bit colro processor enables fine color details and smooth transitions

* Quiet operation at 26dB



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