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Epson TW500 - Oh.. Your... GOD!

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Liam @ Prog AV, Nov 28, 2003.

  1. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
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    Anyone that's phoned in recently would've heard me banging on about Epsons TW500. Well, it came, it saw and it most definitely kicked @$$!!! Not got a clue on the price, can't remember most of the spec (DCDi+, HDMI, buckets of inputs but the Epson guy didn't know the resolution and I've been salivating over the idea of a 1080p panel for ages and really want to know if it is!). So i've literally just had ten minutes with it hooked up to a Myryad Z122 (interlace mode to really push the PJ) running near factory settings plus my 30 seconds of tweaking before it goes back to Epson tonight.... and it's brilliant!

    Detail, smoothness, 3 dimensionality, colour - all of the highest quality. And did I mention detail because just in case I didn't - DETAIL! The test scene was Gladiator chapter 2 and I can safely say this was the most exciting image i've seen from an LCD projector ever, and the best I have ever seen this scene. I was completely and utterley imersed in the film until the Epson guy got sick of me poking him on the arm saying "did you see that bit there" and "look at that guys face, I could almost reach out and punch him myself!" and turned it off again. I begged and pleaded to take it home for the weekend, to even play with it for another half an hour so but to no avail. All the other dealers in the country need to see it too apparently (spoilsports!).

    Contrast and blacks are excellent for an LCD, but still not DLP levels and that's the only thing a decent DLP has over this and it's not by much either. Remember how the TW100 used to get so close to the NEC HT1000 in shoot outs? Well the TW500 might very well be the one to beat it...
     
  2. theritz

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    Liam,



    ..... Google is your friend......... http://www.i-love-epson.co.jp/products/elp/dreamio/emptw500/5002.htm... Using babel fish, the res of the TW500 is 1280x720.

    These panels must be a serious improvement over those used in the TW200 and Z2 to elicit such a reaction...

    498,000 yen = £2641, any idea what it will retail for when it hit you ?

    Sean G.
     
  3. phillfyspoon

    phillfyspoon
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    it sounds impressive but how does it compare to say the z2 at nearly half the price or the sony hs20, it would have to be alot better to make me want to get one over the above projectors.
     
  4. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Well, I'm sorry but having owned 2 x TW100's and an LPX500 I can assure you that neither of them came anywhere near the image quality of a HT1000. Liam, what have you been taking? Either that or you need you eyes tested :)

    Now, if you were pushing the DLPs like this I could believe it but only last week you said the Z2 was "The One" now you're in love with the TW500. Need I say more :D
     
  5. Kane D Williams

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    Anyone know when it will be on sale in UK?

    I see many HS20/TW500 fights in the not too distant future, with all the Z2 owners smugly saying 'yes but my beast only cost half the price and when set up right, kicks any butt'!
     
  6. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
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    The contrast and blacks were mighty impressive for any LCD, and for a while there I was convinced I could go without high CR for the benefit of the way the Epson makes brilliant use of the 1280x720 resolution. All in all it still isn't the HT1000 although the image detail was undeniably impressive. Messiah, you've gotta admit it took buying three High-Res LCDs before you could see where the NEC was superior.

    It's a bit like the Pioneer VS Panasonic debate regularly going on in the plasma forum. The Pio can't cut it in the contrast war, it isn't even close. But the picture is fantastic and really exciting to watch. In fact the comparisons go on with the Epson having more impressive connections too (HDMI, D4 and two YUV/RGsB/RGBS/RGBHV plus SVHS & CVBS to the NECs DVI, YUV, SVHS & CVBS), and some will argue better processing than the NEC in the same way Pioneer's Pure Vision is often put above Panasonic's processing and Cinema Reality circuit.

    Price wise I have no idea but I fear Epson are gonna expect more for it than it's worth :( And it won't have nothing on the Z2's cost to performance ratio either!!!! (and I still stand by my Z2 applaud, especially since I hear the price is falling soon, if not already) Epson are trying to get some shipping before Christmas, but don't expect regular supply until next year, they've still got to fix the 200!!
     
  7. theritz

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    Liam,

    Any view on the vertical banding with the Z2 ? Do you know whether the TW500 uses the same panels as the TW200 and Z2, or are the panels "improved" or is it firmware processing in the TW500 that causes the improvement ?

    What do Epson have to "fix" with the TW200 ? Is it a panel-related issue that will also have to be "fixed" in the Z2 ?

    BTW, I don't think that the resolution issue is the key to the difference I've seen in the performance of the HT1000 vs. any other pj............ While the HT1000 is clearly lower res than, say, the HS10, it's performance in terms of colour rendition, contrast, shadow detail etc. are streets ahead. Haven't seen any of the Sim range, but the price jump from the HT1000 (particularly Nexnix ex-demo stock clearance earlier this year) to the Sim range is substantial and would warrant a material improvement in picture quality, imo.


    Sean G.
     
  8. Messiah

    Messiah
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    That's exactly my point so, sorry, can't see where you're coming from here. And don't forget I didn't have a demo of the HT1000 until after I'd bought and paid for those 3 Hi-Res LCD pjs. In my opinion, LCD just does not cut it against DLP - so long as you aren't bothered by Bungle, George and Zippy :)

    Don't get me wrong, IMO, the perfect pj does not exist and is probably a long way off if it ever arrives. LCD pjs at around the £1.5k to £2k mark are a most excellent buy and I am not knocking them but just wish you would use a bit more perspective in your posts (e.g. The Z2 is 'The one' in it's price bracket).
     
  9. buns

    buns
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    purplecat told us totally the opposite.....

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  10. theritz

    theritz
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    ..................... amongst other things.......;)


    Price has already fallen on Nexnix's site......


    Sean G.
     
  11. buns

    buns
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    funny that...... clearly nexnix also noted the DP check arguement since they are making a big point of it!

    Im surprised price can drop so quickly..... unless there is something we dont know....

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  12. KraGorn

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    Which LCD pjs Messiah?

    I've had a 1000 on a trial over the weekend and it's a gorgeous picture, but I saw too many rainbows to be comfortable with the idea of keeping it for the long term .. OTOH, after watching the Prolog to FoTR on the 1000 and then again on my AE300 I realised just how much more detail there is to be seen with a decent contrast. :eek: It'll break my heart if I decide to return it. :(

    I'm wodering how the LCDs you tried would compare to the TW500 and the other new models like the HS20 and Z2.
     
  13. Messiah

    Messiah
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    I had a 2 x TW100 and an LPX500. Also demo'd the AE300 and Z1 and none came anywhere close to the HT1000 for image quality.

    I did see rainbows with the HT1000 but only on the second demo. First time round (both in my HC room) I saw none. Strange eh?
     
  14. KraGorn

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    Ooops, you said the models you'd owned above didn't you. :blush:

    My comparison between the NEC and my AE300 certainly show a stunning difference in shadow detail in particular.
     
  15. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Yes. I owned 1 x TW100 twice (bought it, sold it then bought it back). I then bought an LPX500 and then the higher contrast TW100. Sold them all on these very forums.
     
  16. uczmeg

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    Yes but it's fallen to the price that Purple Cat and Ivojo put their price up to!

    Cheers
    Marc
     
  17. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
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    TW200 had an issue with discolouration on the optics apparently (so wouldn't be an issue with Z2). No major dramas but it can only be a disadvantage when trying to launch a another new projector!!

    Unfortunately I don't know anything else about the 500, just what I saw in our demo room. I would say the bulk of the improvement is down to the Faroudja DCDi+ processing which doesn't struggle at all under fast moving pans where the (far cheaper) Z2 and TW200 might throw up those weird silver lines from the processing not quite being able to keep up with the film. In comparison (contrast and colour aside) to the NEC's processor (Faroudja DCDi) I would argue the 500's picture was more 3 dimensional and more detailed. Colour wise the 500 also has it over machines using the same panel (10 bit processing rather than panel improvements). On the battle scene swords really looked cold and steely, with scratches and light discolourations on the metal being defined very well. You could make out muddy patches in puddles where other projectors might just reproduce a unidentifiable blotch on the water. Skin tones were also remarkably impressive, especially with the difficult lighting of the battle ground, as too were the more "earthly" colours such as the leaves on the trees in the background half glistening in the sun, half in shade of other leaves. It's not enough to beat the NECs DLP panel in terms of reproducing very realistic, bright colour. But it is very comparable.

    I really do think this projector will suit a lot of people, the range of zoom on the motorised lens was very impressive for tight installations, the Lounge Mode will be used by people even though the picture will always look awful in a bright room - it looks a lot less awful than other projectors in similar lighting! And less face it, when you're using your lounge for the cinema room there's always someone in the house who doesn't want to sit in pitch black just to watch a bit of Pop Idol on the big screen! It's nice to know that it's a fantastic home cinema machine in the right conditions, but will also fare well when friends are over to watch a footy match. Of course you completely lose any black detail but colours are not washed out by the extra brightness, and we got a very watchable picture with side lights on and the door open letting in loads of light from the landing outside the demo room.

    It's big though, surprisingly quiet but big and heavy. Motorised zoom, focus and iris mean you can literally just stick it on the ceiling and control it from the remote - but it will look like an alien spacecraft! (the case colour lessens the effect but the shape and size are quite dramatic) Plus there's the inputs I mentioned, the lens shift function, and the same wide range of control over the picture settings that the TW200, and the ability to calibrate the machine with your laptop (as with the 200).
     

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