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My Experiences with the TW100

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Messiah, Aug 10, 2002.

  1. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Well, I've had the TW100 for abot 2 weeks now and have racked up about 20 hours viewing on it. I thought it time I posted a brief review so here goes.

    The TW100 forms part of my HC setup including

    8ft Draper Baronet Electric screen
    Sony DVP-S7700 DVD player
    Sony STR-DA50ES amp
    JVC S-VHS Video player (used as tuner only)
    Sky Digital
    TiVo

    As soon as I had set up the TW100 I grabbed my Gladiator disc and sat down ready todo some fiddling. I have the DVD player connected to the pj with both S-Vid (via the amp) and also component leads. Switched on the pj and set it to component input and started playing the disc. Picture was dark with little colour and to say I was unimpressed was an understatement. beginning to wonder what I had paid all this money for.

    Anyway, to cut a long story short I switched to the S-Vid input and, WOW, what a difference. Not to bore you but I have determined that my S7700 is not that capable when it comes to component output and as such have watched all further films using the S-Video connection.

    I am projecting an 8ft horizontal image and was expecting to see noticeable 'screen door' but am pleased to say that at a 12ft viewing distance there is absolutley no sd effect whatsoever. The more I watch this pj the more I am impressed. Colours are vibrant and the image quality is very filmlike with just the standard settings. Overall, the image quality is phenomenal and remember this is via S-Video. (I can't wait to pick up my new Tosh SD900E tomorrow which should make things better still :D ). One thing you get included with this pj is the Faroudja DCDi processing circuitry and it certainly seems to make a damned fine job of removing jaggies and other picture noise. You can of course switch this off if you wish. I just leave it on auto all the time and leave it manage it itself.

    One thing people often get concerned about with LCD projectors is black level, and indeed, my old Sony pj managed to produce very dark greys but not quite black. Well, I have black borders around my screen and I am hard pressed to tell the difference between the colours of these borders and the blacl levels generated by the pj. Black levels are not an issue for me with this pj.

    The menu options on the TW100 are very clear and plentiful with plenty of adjustment for all areas. This includes black level, white level, colour, tint, keystone, gamma, colour temp, etc, etc. There's plenty to fiddle with if you need or want to and you also get 6 memories for storing all your settings on a per input basis. The remote is small and easy to use also with direct access to inputs and picture memories making for easy use and also great for use with my Pronto as I can have the macros send the correct input commands depending on my viewing source. I currently use the component inputs for the PS2 and XBox and the S-Vid for DVD.

    The unit produces an image pretty quickly (<30 secs) and when running has minimal fan noise, although it is just noticeable in quieter scenes. However, I guarantee you will become so immersed in the action that you won't even notice it.

    Currently I have only two issues with this projector.

    1. Via the S-Video connection I notice very slight vertical banding on lighter scenes. I have no idea what this is but when I switch to component it disappears as it did when I connected my HCPC via VGA (more of that later).

    2. When you put this unit into standby a (lower level) fan continues running 24 hours a day. Ihave never known any electronic device to do this and have raised it with Epson who believe it may be a fault and have requested the unit be returned to investigate (just not yet as I am enjoying it too much).

    Notice I have not said that price has been an issue as I truly believe this unit to be worth the £3.5k asking price.

    Overall, I am massively impressed with this projector and believe it produces images equivalent to or better than more expensive projectors I demoed such as the Sim2 HT200, Sony VW11HT and Runco models (although please note I do not know how those others were set up or how much better they or mine could be).

    In time I intend to set up a HCPC and to see what this would be like I carried my PC into the lounge last week and connected it to the pj via the Lindy 10m VGA cable run in readiness. My PC is a P4 2GHz with a GeForce 2 video card and running PowerDVD XP and Powerstrip (thanks to Shockabuku for the settings). Playing Collateral Damage the increase in picture quality was absolutely phenomenal. Brighetr, more colourful, far more detail and a much steadier image. I wasn't expecting such a big improvement but guess I should have considering it's S-Vid >> VGA. I'm gonna compare my new SD900E to the HCPC and if there is still a noticeable difference will work over the next few months on setting up a HCPC in my AV Rack. If anyone is owndering how good a HCPC is just connect your PC temporarily to your pj (or plasma) and try it for yourself. I think you too will be amazed.

    I have no regrets whatsoever with this pj and am sure I am going to have many years of enjoyment from it (if I keep it that long as I get bored quickly and enjoy spending money :p )

    For anyone looking for more reviews the latest What Hi-Fi (UK) has just done a review of it and awarded it 5 stars.
     
  2. jrwood

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    Thanks for the review, was truly a pleasure to read :). This is one of the projectors on my shortlist come November/December :).

    Have you found out how to get into the service/factory menu yet?. Your comments about vertical banding on svideo was interesting, maybe svideo does not have enough bandwidth or maybe a different set of cables would get around this but like you say I would only use a HTPC these days with home cinema projectors :). What refresh rates does the projector support, as some projectors only support one refresh rate like the 11HT and I think the toshiba to name a few. Have you tried watching the projector with say a lamp or some lights on?, is the picture bright enough?.

    Ive spoke to quite a few people with various projectors and I dont think any of them can get this test to be perfect so if you have a spare 5 mins try this out. Load up gladiator and go to the chapter where maximugs enters the arena from below after being stabbed by Emperor Commodus. Soon after this the camera pans from right to left showing the arena and on most projectors/htpc's this bit is very juddery!. Try it and see :)

    Sorry for all the questions :D
     
  3. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Hi jrwood

    Yes, I have found out how to get into the service menu but you have the option of 4 sets of 10 x 0's and 1's. Don't know what they do so am waiting for a call back from Epson tech support.

    Haven't yet identified all the refresh rates it supports but not had any probs yet with S-Vid, component, NTSC PS, HTPC etc.

    I always watch films with the room lights at 40% brightness (3 x 60w sidelamps) and it copes admirably. It's not bright enough for day time viewing but at dusk with the curtains open it copes no probs.

    I'll try the Gladiator bit tonight and report back later.
     
  4. Shockabuku

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    Hi Messiah mate. Great that we have another HCPC convert! :D Interesting that you have the lights on when watching movies...don't you find the image is better if the room is as dark as possible?

    PS. Hang on to your "old" screen for me ;)
     
  5. jrwood

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    I tend to watch films in the dark, but when Im watching TVdscaler I tend to have the far wall lights on.
     
  6. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Yeah, it's better in the dark but more than acceptable with the side lights at 40% brightness. Sometimes turn them down to about 20% but rarely do I turn them off altogether. Guess if I did it would be more like a true cinema experience rather than watching at home but hey, knowing my luck I'd fall off the chair with all the lights off :D

    Broke me thumb this week falling off a ladder (second time in 3 months - broke my foot last time :mad: ).

    How's the house hunting going? The screen has your name on it m8.
     
  7. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Not seen that film. Any good? :D :D Who's in it?
     
  8. Shockabuku

    Shockabuku
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    Ouch! Hope the thumb recovers soon!

    Found a house...should complete around December. Already planning where that screen is gonna go :D I'm gonna have neighbours for the first time in ages though, so volume levels will have to be lower than I'm used to. House prices suck :(
     
  9. GearHead

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    Messiah,

    I'm going to be very interested in how you get on with the Toshiba 900E on your projector. I know you are also going to be trying out the HTPC via DVI option so this is going to be very, very useful to me.

    Following a discussion in an adjacent thread ("What is HTPC") I've had my curiosity aroused by the Arcam DV27. If the Tosh gets anywhere near a HTPC, particularly with DVI, then a) I'll be surprised, and b) so surprised that I might have a chat with my local Arcam dealer.

    The HTPC is great but it's let down by the sound quality and ease of use. Plus, if I can eliminate another source of noise and heat and get a better picture thrown in then I'm interested. I don't doubt for one second that the Arcam blows away the HTPC when it comes to sound.

    Allan
     
  10. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Well, I've setup and used the SD900 tonight and these are my immediate findings.

    1. The NTSC prog scan is superb and way way better than the S7700 I was using but still not up to the quality of the PC (with a low end Geforce 2 graphics card). If the PC was a 10 I would say the SD900 is a 7 or 8.

    2. The PAL prog scan (pseudo) is poor. Fast moving scenes have loads of edge artefacts which can be minimised using the film/video/auto settings but to be honest I would switch back to interlaced. Don't think I could watch a complete film PAL PS.

    Due to 2 above I will be letting the SD900 go if I can find a suitable alternative. Not sure whether to go denon 2800MkII (can get for £599 MR), order the 962SA from HiViZone or wait for a full UK PAL PS unit later this year. I'm still gonna dabble with the HTPC but if I can get a standalone player that will consistenetly give an 8 score (as above) on both NTSC and PAL then I think I'll be happy with that.

    I've got a library oif 500 DVds I wanna work back through so may not have much time for dabbling :D

    As to sound from the HTPC I was more than satisfied using the digital optical out from the Fortissimo card into my amp when I tried it earlier in the week. Certainly do for me.
     
  11. Kimmo Jaskari

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    Did you use component video with the SD900? The vertical lines are present on my machine as well and I find them distracting even though they are faint and if using component video does indeed remove them I may have to use both a component and an s-video cable. I was hoping I wouldn't have to do that since I have other s-video sources and would prefer to just switch them through the receiver, but if it gets rid of the vertical banding... hmm.
     
  12. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Yep, using component they disappear completely, on both interlaced and progressive. Don't know what or why they are there but they are only on S-Video.
     
  13. Kimmo Jaskari

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    Blast! I mean, thanks, but now I'll have to buy a component video cable. :)

    Ah well, I guess it's for the best as that was the plan from the start.

    Thanks!

    Did you get the image via component sorted out otherwise, ie did you manage to correct the first impression?
     
  14. Messiah

    Messiah
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    Yes. Bought a Tosh SD900E and the pic via component on that is just perfect. For some strange reason my Sony 7700 just wasn't great via component.
     
  15. Kimmo Jaskari

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    Good news. I have an older Toshiba with component outs so I guess I'll be fine too.
     

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