Epson TW9300W Review – ‘A 4K PROJECTOR for less than $20,000? Preposterous!’ I thought to myself as I read the Epson press release for its new TW9300W. Until now, the most affordable true 4K projector on the market was from Sony, and priced at around $20,000. So when I heard that Epson had released a 4K projector for just a quarter of the price, I knew something was too good to be true.
It turns out that Epson has borrowed similar tech to JVC, where it’s actually a 1080p projector which then upscales the image to 4K, so it’s not a native 4K image. It can accept a 4K Blu-ray player, but the image is not true 4K, which is a real shame. It’s definitely a step up from native 1080p players, with a level of clarity that basic 1080p can’t match, but it’s also a long way of the crystal-clear image provided by a native 4K projector.
The W in the name of this product’s points to the fact that it’s wireless; there are cheaper, wired options available. If there is one huge benefit to this projector, it’s the fact that it supports High Dynamic Range (HDR) content. This basically extends the colour gamut to 10-bit, making blacks blacker and white’s whiter, while also delivering exceptionally accurate colours. This is why Epson claims this projector has a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 — it should be noted that this is a result of a dynamic iris, though, but we barely noticed this in action. The true native contrast is a still-impressive 10,000:1.
A trade-of is the brightness — at just 2,500 Lumens, you’re going to need a light-controlled environment to get the very best out of this projector’s image.
Unfortunately, the amount of HDR content on the market is limited at best, but expect this to grow rapidly over the next couple of years, with the likes of Netlix ofering support for its top series later this year.
The powered lens shit is a handy feature, allowing viewers to align the image precisely from the comfort of their couch, without having to use a step-ladder to manually adjust rotating dials. It’s also short-throw, so will it inside a relatively small theatre the size of a normal bedroom. 3D compatibility is a given, and we have to say that it displayed some of the most comfortable 3D we’ve seen on a projector of this price. Obviously, being Epson, it’s built around the company’s 3LCD technology, so there’s no risk of rainbows from DLP. Finally, Epson claims a bulb life span of three years, based on a daily use of 105 minutes in Eco mode.
It’s a shame that true, native 4K projectors are still in the realm of the rich, but the inclusion of HDR makes this one of Epson’s best projectors in this price range. Now if only they can bring true 4K to the table for a similar price range… We can only hope.
Epson TW9300W Specifications
- 2,500 Lumens: 1,000,000:1
- contrast ratio: 1080p resolution with 4K
- upscaling: HDR compatible