Hello Dear Readers,
The projector Epson EH-TW5300 was here at projectiondream.com and now you can read our detailed review! It is the new Epson Full HD 3D “low cost” projector and will be sold for 700€.
In the USA, it is also known as the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2040.
The Epson EH-TW5300 is using LCD technology. It is a 3D projector even if it is not anymore the main focus these last months for the consumer market.
The big news is the presence of a frame interpolation mode in this price class. The frame interpolation from Epson is usually of high quality like on the Epson EH-TW9200 reviewed here.
The Epson EH-TW5300 comes in white which is nice for integration in a living room.
The Epson EH-TW5300 is small 297 x 245 x 114 mm, light (2,9kg) and transportable.
The throw ratio varies between 1,22 – 1,47:1. That means that you can get a picture of width 2,5m with only 3m between projector and screen. The Epson EH-TW5300 projects upwards and is thus very adequate as ceiling mounted projector, or on the table in your living room.
The projector has also a rare feature, which is the horizontal trapezoid correction (of course it also has a vertical correction).
The menu of the projector is accessible with the remote control, but also with a top panel of the projector. This can be very helpful in order to use the projector if the remote control is not available or even lost.
Epson uses the 3D RF technology with rechargable glasses, which allows for a user friendly 3D experience. The glasses are sold for about 70€. The Epson 3D RF glasses come with a nice design, little weight and a micro USB input for recharging the integrated battery. The glasses can be recharged extremely fast: 5 minutes are enough to watch a whole movie.
The advantage of the RF glasses over DLP Link is that you never lose the 3D signal when turning your head and there is also no red tint in the picture like you get with the synchronisation flash of the DLP Link technology.
The nice looking and modern remote control allows for a quick access to all important functionalities like the frame interpolation or the Image Enhancement to improve the sharpness. The buttons of the remote control are quite small, but it lies easily in the hand.
The projector in action
Movies in 2D
Out of the box the projector delivers a nice picture for its 700€ price category with brightness, sharpness (good convergence) and nice colors. The natural mode is the closest to the REC 709 norm like always with Epson projectors.
On bright content, the projector looks very good. When the scene is darker, the black turns to grey due to the low native contrast and you remember that the projector “only” costs 700€.
We were however very excited about the the integration of the Epson frame interpolation on a 700€ projector, which is unique as far as we know.
After activation of the frame interpolation on the setting “Middle”, the picture motion is very smooth even in the most difficult scenes with travelling. There are a few more artefacts to notice (for example in the intro scene of batman) than on the higher end Epson EH-TW9200 projector but on the overall the picture stays natural and gives the feeling of having a more expensive projector at home. For the more conservative people, the frame interpolation on the setting “low” will be perfect for a cinema experience.
The activation of the Image Enhancement allows an increase in the sharpness, but be careful not to overdo it. Our advice is not to use a level above “Preset 2” of Detail Enhancement. For the ones using a Darbee, it is totally possible to combine the two, but we advise to use the Darbee on 35% and the Image Enhancement at the Preset 1. The result is a very sharp picture which allows to show all the details of your favorite Blu-rays.
Movies in 3D
When looking at 3D the Epson EH-TW5300 shows a nice performance even in comparison to the 700€ competition from DLP manufacturers. Indeed this projector shows little ghosting (still more than the DLP, especially for background ghosting) and no visible flickering.
The Epson EH-TW5300 delivers a really smooth 3D experience due to the presence of its frame interpolation. And for this, it has no competition a the moment for the price class.
For sources Blu-ray 3D at 24 images per second, the Epson has a refresh rate of 120 Hertz while the higher end competition of Sony and JVC use a frequency of 96 Hertz which is a lot more tiring for the eyes. Only the DLP competition uses of a even better refresh rate of 144hz (also named triple flash).
We have however noticed a small problem when combining 3D and the dynamic iris on the 3D bluray Brave: some strong ghosting appeared which was not present without the activation of the dynamic iris. This will be without doubt solved by Epson in a firmware update in the near future.
Analysis of the Sharpness
Unlike the mono DLP projectors, the tri-LCD projectors, like the Epson EH-TW5300, as the name indicates, possess three color matrices for red, green and blue, which are supposed to be aligned perfectly. Naturally, in reality the overlap of the tri-LCD matrices is not perfect, often referred to as convergence problem. Our exemplar shows a very good convergence which contributes to the sharpness of the picture.
On the pictures below you can see the sharpness of the picture with the electronical alignment of the matrices not activated. We can also notice a grid effect on the close-up pictures typical for tri-LCD projectors, but with our viewing conditions, sitting at a 3,5m distance from the screen and the picture width being 2,5m, this effect is invisible.
Sharpness vs Image Enhancement:
Here we make an analysis of the sharpness of the picture with different levels of the Image Enhancement, the numerical sharpness improvement system of Epson.
On the sharpness test pattern of the reference disc AVS HD 709, we have compared the desactivated “Image Enhancement” with 2 different Preset levels: 2 and 5.
We see clearly that the lines but also the numbers show more and more artifacts as we increase the Image Enhancement. Indeed, on the lines we see more and more crosses and on the numbers some white ringing is appearing.
On the pictures below (Image Enhancement desactivated, Preset 2, Preset 5), look at the hair of the blue monster. You will see how sharper they become while increasing the “Image Enhancement”.
We advise to use the “Image Enhancement” activated on the Preset 2 for the best results in order to get a sharpness boost while keeping the picture natural looking.
The uniformity of the white and grey patterns was really good.No problem here!
Colors: Out of the box
Out of the box, the projector has 4 predefined modes. The mode Natural, Cinema, Dynamic and Bright Cinema. Every mode was analyzed with the colorimeter i1 Display Pro profiled to the spectrophotometer i1 Pro 2 with the software Chromapure. The measurements were taken off our screen: Elunevision Reference Studio 4K 100 (gain 1).
The mode that is closest to the norm REC 709 is the mode Natural with a gamma value around 2.2 and an average CIE94 dE of 4.4 for the colors and 4.6 for the grayscale. That’s not a bad performance for the price class. However, a calibration will give the best out of the projector and depending on the color neutrality of your screen, correct a small push of the blue color (color temperatur of 6961 instead of 6500K).
Ideally, you would like to have a flat gamma curve of 2.2 and a CIE94 DeltaE under 2 for all colors and the grayscale. With that and the right brightness and contrast adjustments, the black will not be crushed, the white levels will not be clipped and the color will be natural and as close to to the movie producer’s choice as possible.
Here are the Chromapure results for the grayscale and the CIE diagram for a saturation of 100% and brightness amplitude of 100%. The projector is positioned with zoom MAX. The lamp has 5 hours.
The picture width projected on the screen was 243cm for all these measurements.
Out of the box: predefined mode detailed analysis:
Calibration of the projector
The measurements were taken off our screen: Elunevision Reference Studio 4K 100 (gain 1).
The calibration is based on the “Natural” mode with the lamp brightness on LOW.
For the color calibration, we used patterns of 75% saturation and 75% brightness.
- Grayscale & RGB analysis:
The Grayscale after calibration of the mode Natural shows a very good behavior with a CIE94 DeltaE below 1.5 from 50% APL level to 100% APL level. For 10%, this is probably our calibration sensors showing their limit for very low brightness level.
Grayscale (pre=Natural & Post=calibrated):
- CIE and color management analysis:
The colors in the CIE after calibration of the mode User show a very good behavior with a CIE94 DeltaE under 2 for 75% brightness and 75% saturations for all colors.
- Gamma analysis:
The gamma curve is pretty linear around 2.2 between 30% and 90%. The gamma under 30% decreases then progressively to reach 2 at 10%.
In-depth analysis of all saturation levels after calibration for 75% brightness:
For 75% brightness, the Epson EH-TW5300 shows a good tracking within the CIE diagram for 25%, 50% and 75% saturations. However, it does not track well for 100% saturation. This is still a very good performance for a projector of this price class.
However, we see that the CMS of the Epson EH-TW5300 is not as performant as the one of for example the Epson EH-TW9200 (4 times the price of the smaller brother). Indeed, we achieved a calibration below a delta E of 2 for 75% saturation but we see that the calibration is not as good/valid for other saturation levels like for example 100%sat on the picture below.
Note: The calibration was not completely easy as the different parameters interact (too) strongly with each other.
Brightness & Screen size recommendation
The projector after calibration on the low lamp mode still has: 867 Lumens with maximal zoom. This is perfect for a screen width between 2.6m and 3.5m.
The highest number of Lumens is achieved in the dynamice mode on high lamp with 2355 Lumens! It could be useful to watch football on a bright day.
Advanced contrast measurements
A great number of contrast measurements were made to deliver you results that are unique in the world. Actually, in the different tests of projectors around the world you can often find native contrast measurements (ON-OFF with one picture completely black and one completely white) and sometimes ANSI contrast measurements (checkerboard with 50% white and 50% black).
The problem is that these contrast values are two extremes, but most images from movies are in between.
Have a look at our article where we made a big brightness analysis of 57 movies:
Therefore we have created appropriate patterns in order to give you contrast curves BETWEEN 0% and 50% white in the middle of the screen:
Also our optimized room has the advantage of being transformable into a room with white walls and ceiling. Thus it is easy to compare the contrast performance under very different conditions:
- with opened curtains (comparable to a living room with white walls, reality of home theater in many homes)
- with closed curtains (optimized room with black floor, ceiling and walls)
- measurement at the lens (highest contrast possible, but not reachable in any room)
Illustration of our reversible room:
Left: opened curtains / Right: closed curtains
In the following table are the calibrated contrast results measured in the middle of the screen for the Epson EH-TW5300:
To visualize these numbers, here the resulting 3 contrast curves.
The scale on the contrast axis is logarithmic to represent the perception of the human eye. For example your eyes will see the same difference between a contrast increase from 1000:1 to 2000:1 and a contrast increase from 10000:1 to 20000:1.
The contrast curves of the Epson EH-TW5300 confirm the impression we had while watching our favorite blurays: the contrast of this projector is particularly low, also in comparison to the “low cost” DLP competition.
Remember our results from the ADL analysis (with a gamma of 2.2) of 53 famous movies:
- 90% of all movie pictures have a brightness below 20% (ADL=% of white)
- 80% of all movie pictures have a brightness below 13%
- 50% of all movie pictures have a brightness below 5%
- The average brightness/ADL of all analyzed movies is 8%
The contrast is not the strong point of the projector Epson EH-TW5300 but it has other qualities. Still, dark movies like Batman or Tron will look a bit washed out. For brighter movies, the difference with better contrast competition will be less visible.
The projector Epson EH-TW5300 has surprised us positively and will deliver a nice first experience for the home theater. It is a projector for people looking for their first projector with a small budget who desire a smooth picture (frame interpolation inside). This is also a projector for all the allergics to the rainbow artefacts that some people see with the DLP competition. The Epson EH-TW5300 shows also no picture noise on dark pictures which is often not the case in the DLP competition .
The contrast is however very low and cannot compete with the DLP of the same price class.
The motion is nicely smooth with few artfacts with frame interpolation set on “low” and this is a really welcome feature in this price class with no competition!
The Image Enhancement does a nice job to allow for a nice sharpness boost without much artefacts for our favorite bluray.
The projector is not too loud on the low lamp mode but noisy on the high lamp mode.
The Epson EH-TW5300 is bright and can light up screens up to 4m without effort on high lamp mode.
If you have 700€ to spend in a projector right now, and you are allergic to rainbow effects and if you like a smooth picture motion with travelling scenes and for 3D, then the Epson EH-TW5300 should be at the top of your list!
– the price
– the frame interpolation
– the high brightness for big screen sizes or projection in daylight
– the sharpness improving system “Image Enhancement” working well
– nice 3D experience especially with the frame interpolation and the RF glasses
– the small size
– a good looking projector
– good convergence of the 3 LCD panels on the projector reviewed
– the low contrast
– no Lens shift
– noisy in the high lamp mode which is necessary to watch 3D
– a bit of ghosting in 3D
– a calibration could be necessary depending on your screen or exemplar
– a few artefacts visible while using the frame interpolation ( not visible of the bigger brother Epson EH-TW9200)