Epson EH-TW 7100 Projector Review
Epson manufactures several types of audio products, and their projectors are constantly being improved. We had the opportunity to try the EH-TW 7100 mid-range home cinema projector lately at the request of our customer. This type of projector is extremely popular with home theatre owners, despite its relatively high price.
The Epson EH-TW 7100 is a 3LCD, 4K projector with a brightness of 3000 lumens, with a lifespan specified by the manufacturer as 4-7 years for the bulb – depending on the usage of course. This roughly means that the bulb life is about 3,000 hours under normal use, which can increase to 5,000 hours in ECO mode.
The zoom range is 1.62: 1. It has 2 HDMI 2.0 and 2 USB 2.0 inputs. One USB port is required for Google Chrome and the other is for Epson Wi-Fi. Using the latter function, you can project the image to the projector from a telephone or computer. The 6.9 kg, compact, white, nicely curved device can be ideal for any home cinema room. The only little awkward thing about its exterior design is the confusing white colour, which is not always practical in a dark cinema room, would we want to achieve complete darkness. The 1080p LCD projector is HDR compatible with pixel shift for UHD effects. It also supports HDR10 and HLG. The noise level is very low at 32 decibels, which is not disturbing at all. It is also capable of delivering sound through the 20 Watt built-in speaker. A Bluetooth connection can be used for audio output. We also discovered a 3.5 mm analog audio output on the device. It does not have built-in streaming options, but you can purchase an Epson ELPAP10 uncontrolled LAN adapter for this.
Thanks to the vertical or horizontal objective lens shift options, it can be mounted both horizontally and vertically, which facilitates installation. The lens was easy and precise to adjust, and the manually adjustable optics made it even more easier. For an image with a diameter of 2-2.54 meters, it is recommended to install the projector at a distance of approximately 2.95-4.77 meters. The projector can fit in rooms of different sizes.
The remote control is transparent, easy to control with hotkeys, and the orange backlight is very useful in a dark movie room. Due to the 3 LCD technology, the colour brightness of the projector is much higher than that of DLP projectors with 1 chip. The contrast ratio is 100,000: 1. You can also use your device with a Bluetooth headset.
Let’s start the movie screening!
The testing took place in a 28-square-meter cinema room installed in the basement of a family house. We paired the Epson projector with excellent Dali Epicon speakers and Onkyo TX-SR393 receivers, which were placed about 3 feet away from the ceiling. It was really extremely quick and easy to install.
We first watched the 2018 3D computer animated film The Grinch in Blu-Ray 1080p quality. There are several setting options: Dynamic, Bright Cinema, Cinema and Natural Mode. We chose the Natural mode. The image was tinted with a balanced colour palette and an excellent contrast management. We witnessed detailed, sharp and accurate quality. There are no frame interpolation options for 4K HDR content, and 4K motion processing was lacking.
We went on screening a terrifying horror movie, The Prodigy , presented in 2019. The colours were natural, so was the movement management. There was some discolouration in the skin tones, the colours in the close-ups were not as stunning as in a real 4K image, and the blacks could have been deeper, more intense. But apart from these, we saw beautifully detailed images, the colours were also harmonious. On Blu Ray blacks could have been more beautiful, the skin colour more red and smoother than on UHD Blu Ray. For UHD Blu Ray discs, it is better to choose a lower colour resolution.
Select Bright Cinema Mode when using the projector in a brighter room at daylight, and the Cinema Mode is ideal in complete darkness. The Dynamic Cinema setting is better avoided because the effect is too bright and oversaturated.
It can be used in a moderately lit living room, but strong natural or artificial lights are not recommended. In a movie theatre, proper darkness is important, not only for a true cinematic experience, but also for the ideal operation of projectors. You can darken the room with curtains, but if you want complete darkness, it is recommended to place thick, densely woven acoustic curtains with sound-insulating and darkening properties in front of the windows. These special materials not only block out light but also external noises. They are also excellent for improving acoustics thanks to their sound-absorbing fabric. In addition to practicality, the great advantage of these curtains is that they are also aesthetic, beautiful home accessories. It is advisable to make the curtains twice as large as the windows if you wish to see a softly hanging and decorative piece of accessory in your home.
Our customer replaced the old Epson EH-TW 7000 with the new Epson EH-TW 7100, so we were able to compare the two projectors. Both 3 LCD devices have 4K technology, objective lens shift mode, 3D effect, 1.6x zoom. The 2-2.5 meter diagonal can be enjoyed at a distance of 2.6-4.3 meters, making it ideal for rooms of different sizes. The TW 7100 has a higher contrast ratio of 100,000: 1, resulting in nicer, brighter, richer colours, compared to the TW 7000, which has a contrast ratio of 40,000: 1. The Epson EH TW-7000 has fewer connectors, and the trigger and RS232 connectors are also missing. The Creston system made integration easier. The 7000 does not have a speaker either. Although the price (approx. 890-1030 EUR) is cheaper than that of the 7100 projector (1390-1500 EUR), we still recommend the newer model if you want crisp, bright and balanced colours.
The Epson projector has 2 built-in speakers, 10 watts each (although don’t expect much from film music), and it’s easy to control with the remote control. In normal mode the noise level was 32 decibels, in ECO mode it was reduced to 21 decibels, so it is an absolutely quiet projector. Installation and settings are very simple, producing bright, beautiful, detailed and harmonious colours. Blacks could be nicer, deeper, in Blu Ray movies the skin tones had a bit weird hues. It can’t compete with the performance of true 4K projectors, but the EH-TW7100 is an absolute winner in this price range.
Written by Róbert Polgár