You know you’re in for a treat from the start. Even before we calibrate its picture the TW6100W throws out a clear, bright and vivid image. And after some fine-tuning with a THX Optimizer disc it looks absolutely stunning. Our Life of Pi Blu-ray’s gorgeous ocean shots are conveyed with luscious detail; you feel almost as if you’re part of the vista.
Colours are vivid, with great depth and subtlety – the Epson skilfully displays the varying shades of orange, yellow and gold of the sunset reflecting on the ocean. And with a rated contrast of 40,000:1, whites glow and punch against the opulent shades of the dark backdrop. The startlingly starry night and bioluminescent sea-creatures look beautiful and bright amid the vast ocean’s blues and blacks.
The Epson is fantastic at relaying textures. With water looks slick and tangible, skin appears coarse and weather-beaten, and fur is crisp and realistic. There’s a satisfying sense of depth to the picture that adds to the immersive viewing experience, and we’re pleased that this quality is carried through to 3D. The picture is still dynamic and lively even with the slightly darkened tones that are part and parcel of the tech.
Motion is admirably smooth too, with only a hint of instability in fast-moving scenes or with more dramatic 3D sequences. It’s a problem that most projectors face, though, and the TW6100W is largely confident with its handling of motion, so we don’t find it a major issue.
More after the break
The Epson delivers more than just a fantastic picture. The ‘W’ in its name denotes built-in wireless – which comes in the form of a WirelessHD transmitter box that can beam Full HD video to the projector wirelessly.
This is a godsend if you don’t want a mess of cables trailing from the projector to your sources. The WirelessHD box is compact and has five HDMI inputs to keep multiple sources connected, from Blu-ray players to set top boxes and games consoles.
Two HDMI outputs mean you can output to both the projector and your TV – simply flick through each input/output option using the wireless-specific buttons on the included remote control.
The idea is to keep the transmitter box with all your source kit while the projector is free to be placed elsewhere. However, if you plug a Blu-ray player straight into the transmitter, the audio will come through the EH-TW6100W’s own built-in 20W speakers.
It’s not an unpleasant sound, but nowhere near as satisfying as a surround system – and for such a brilliant £1600 projector, you’ll want a decent surround-sound package to match (we suggest the excellent £500 Sony STR-DN1040 AV amplifier partnered with Dali’s terrific Zensor 1 5.1 speaker package (£980)).
It’s a far better idea to connect all sources to your AV receiver and then plug the receiver into the wireless transmitter. The picture goes to the projector and the sound goes into your surround speakers. Brilliant.
There is one caveat to this wireless set up, though. While setting up the connection to your home network is painless, you need to make sure that are no obstructions in the line-of-sight path between the transmitter and the projector. Anything in the way will disrupt the streaming feed – if only for a second or two.
The Epson EH-TW6100W has a decent list of features for its price. It’s an LCD unit that supports Full HD 1080p and 3D content, claims 2300 lumens light output to account for its pleasingly bright picture, and puts out a relatively quiet 32dB rated fan noise in normal operation.
Connections are hidden under a panel at the back. Two HDMI inputs are available alongside PC and component inputs, and the wireless receiver is built in – hence the need for a direct line of sight.
The chassis itself is impeccably finished and sturdily built. Epson’s characteristic white finish and curved edges make it look quite classy, too.
Also included with the EH-TW6100W are a backlit remote control with easily navigable buttons, and one pair of active 3D glasses. Additional glasses cost £70 a pair and you can charge them by plugging them into the wireless transmitter box using the USB cable provided.
The Epson EH-TW5910 is good value for £900, but the EH-TW6100W shows how much of a leap in performance you get as you move up the price scale.
We’re utterly bewitched by the incredible detail and the dazzling brightness and sharpness it offers. The wireless capabilities are a bonus, and we also like how easy it is to set up all aspects of this projector.
If you have £1600 to spare to improve your home cinema system, then the Epson EH-6100W should be right on top of your wish list.