Hello Dear Readers,
Today we would like to present to you a very detailed review of the Epson EH-TW9200. It is the top home-theater projector from Epson under 3000€ !
The projector Epson EH-TW9200 came to the market one and a half years ago. It is a Full HD 3D projector with frame interpolation, using the LCD technology so familiar to Epson. There are 2 versions, one with wireless HDMI named EH-TW9200W with a white casing, and the black EH-TW9200 without wireless HDMI.
The Epson EH-TW9200 is the direct competitor of the projector Sony HW55ES. At the end of the year 2014, Epson made a major update of the firmware of the projector to improve its “super resolution” system that artificially improves the sharpness of the picture. The feedback in the home-theater forums around the world is very positive and enables Epson to compete with Sony projectors using “Reality Creation”.
The projector’s weight is 8,4kg and it measures 46,6 x 39,5 x 15,8 cm. It is very easy to integrate in a living room or a dedicated room thanks to its very flexible lens which has a very large zoom range and also allows to move the picture with a lens shift of great amplitude. The throw ratio varies between 1,34 – 2,87:1 and the lens shift allows for a vertical shift of up to ± 96,3 % of the height of the picture and a horizontal shift of up to ± 47,1 % of the width of the picture.
The menu of the projector is accessible with the remote control, but also with a side 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.
The projector Epson 9200 has all connections needed in the back panel including 2 HDMI 1.4 inputs and also a micro USB connection which is very useful to perform the firmware updates at home. In addition, Epson has even thought of a removable cover to hide all connections when using wireless HDMI.
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 projector comes with 2 pairs of 3D RF glasses 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 remote control allows for a quick access to all important functionalities like the frame interpolation or the super resolution to improve the sharpness. There is also a button to activate the backlight of the remote which is helpful while watching a movie in a dark room. The buttons of the remote control are big enough and as a consequence the remote is pretty large and a bit heavy, but lies easily in the hand.
The Epson 9200W is shipped with a wireless HDMI box with many HDMI inputs, but also an HDMI output to enable pass through. The box can also be used to charge the 3D glasses via its USB connection.
The projector in action
Movies in 2D
Out of the box the projector honors its price category with a punchy picture with high contrast and nice colors. The natural mode is the closest to the REC 709 norm, but some might prefer the cinema mode with very saturated colors and a lot of pop.
After activation of the frame interpolation on the setting “normal”, the picture motion is very smooth even in the most difficult scenes with travelling. There are almost no artefacts and the picture stays natural. For the more conservative people, the frame interpolation on the setting “low” will be perfect for a cinema experience.
The activation of the super resolution allows an increase in the sharpness, but be careful not to overdo it. Our advice is not to use a level above 2 of the super resolution. 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 super resolution at the level 1. The result is a very sharp picture which allows to show all the details of your favorite Blu-rays.
Below you can see a few screenshots taken from the Blu-ray The Dark Knight and BBC Africa. You can click on each picture to open it in the original resolution.
Movies in 3D
When looking at 3D the Epson EH-TW9200 shows its strength in comparison to the competition from Sony and JVC. Indeed this projector shows little ghosting and no flickering. For sources Blu-ray 3D at 24 images per second, the Epson has a refresh rate of 120 Hertz while the competition of Sony and JVC use a frequency of 96 Hertz which is a lot more tiring for the eyes. The effects of depth and pop-out are strengthened by the high contrast and the deep black behind the glasses, that you don’t find in the DLP competition even with their ghosting free picture.
You can see below screenshots taken through the 3D glasses to check the existence of ghosting. If the projector and the glasses were perfect, you would only see the letter L in the left picture and the R in the right picture, but we see that this is not the case. On the pictures with the numbers, which are again taken through each side of the glasses, the smaller the first readable number is, the higher is the ghosting. Here we see, that the number is around 30 of 80 which is a very good result compared to many TVs. Note that the exposition of the pictures is exaggerated in order to capture the ghosting which is very low on the Epson 9200, if you choose the low brightness setting for the 3D glasses.
Analysis of the Sharpness
Unlike the DLP projectors, the tri-LCD projectors, 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.
However, we had in our hands other exemplars of the Epson 9200 and the convergence can vary greatly depending on the model. You should keep this in mind and contact your seller if you think you have an unusual bad convergence.
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 SUPER RESOLUTION:
Here we make an analysis of the sharpness of the picture with different levels of the super resolution, the numerical sharpness improvement system of Epson.
On the sharpness test pattern of the reference disc AVS HD 709, we have progressively increased the level of super resolution from 0 to 5. We see clearly that the lines but also the numbers show more and more artifacts as we increase the super resolution. Indeed, on the lines we see more and more crosses and on the numbers some white ringing is appearing.
On the clown mask and the red hair but also on the jacket of the thief from The Dark Knight you can see very easily the effect of the super resolution through the different levels. The picture becomes clearly unnatural from level 4 upwards, even on these screenshots.
We can see the same behavior on the boat scene, again from the Blu-ray of The Dark Knight.
However, on the level 1 the super resolution brings an additional sharpness and the picture stays natural. We advise you to use this setting as a compromise between increase in sharpness and unwelcome artifacts generated by the super resolution.
You can click on the pictures to see them in maximal resolution.
Our exemplar of the Epson EH-TW9200 shows on a white pattern with 100 IRE a perfectly white and uniform picture. There is no shading visible as it can sometimes happen with LCD projectors showing pink colored corners. However, among the different Epson 9200 projectors we had in our hands, the uniformity of the picture was not always perfect. We have seen some shading and a dust blob visible on black pictures, but also a dead pixel. Buyers of the Epson 9200 must know that they buy a wonderful machine, but should pay attention to convergence, dustblobs, shading and dead pixels at the first start of the projector.
Colors: Out of the box
Out of the box, the projector has 4 predefined modes. The mode natural, cinema, living room and dynamic. 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 and an average CIE94 dE of 3.9 for the colors and 7 for the grayscale. That’s not a bad performance for the colors but on the grayscale measured off our screen, there is some work to be done. A calibration will be necessary to get the best out of the projector and correct a push of the blue color.
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, 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 75% and brightness amplitude of 75%. The projector is positioned with zoom MAX. The lamp has 366 hours.
The picture width projected on the screen was 252cm 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).
Mode Natural vs. Calibration
– Mode natural measured at 710 lumens
– Calibration measured at 638 lumens
After calibration based on the natural mode with patterns of 75% saturation and 75% brightness, the projector shows an excellent behavior with a very linear gamma around 2,27 and a grayscale with very low deltaE between 20 and 100 IRE. Also the CIE measurements for 75% and 100% brightness show perfect tracking for all the saturations 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% with a deltaE below 2, which means that the projector has a very powerful and linear CMS.
Grayscale (pre=Natural & Post=calibrated):
CIE chart at 75% saturation (pre=Natural & Post=calibrated):
Gamma (pre=Natural & Post=calibrated):
In-depth analysis of all saturation levels after calibration:
– 100% brightness
The projector shows a very linear behavior and the calibration is valid for all brightness and saturation levels. Congratulations to Epson!
Brightness & Screen size recommendation
The projector after calibration on the low lamp mode still has: 638 Lumens with maximal zoom. This is perfect for a screen width between 2.2m and 3m.
The highest number of Lumens is achieved in the dynamic mode with 2254 Lumens! It could be useful to watch football on a bright day.
Please click on the table below to get the brightness for all predefined mode and also for the calibration. A recommandation for the right screen size is also given.
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 53 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-TW9200:
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.
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%
ON-OFF contrast measurement averaged over 16 positions: 4476:1
ANSI contrast measurement averaged over 16 positions in an ideal room: 360:1
The contrast measurements of the Epson EH-TW9200 show that the projector is very uniform in its performance and can deliver deep blacks but also give some pop to scenes mixed betweeen shadow and light!
The projector Epson EH-TW9200W gives a very enjoyable experience for the home theater. It is a uniform projector with an excellent picture in 2D and 3D. The picture is rich in contrast and the motion smooth. The super resolution allows for a surprising sharpness. The projector is relatively silent on the low lamp mode but a bit noisy on the high lamp mode.
For football matches in the living room during the day, the Epson has the dynamic mode with a very high brightness that few projectors can match and succeeds in delivering a picture watchable in daylight. For the home theater in the evening with light control in the room the natural mode should be preferred. However, a calibration is strongly suggested to get the best results out of the projector.
The wireless HDMI box works perfectly well and allows for the disappearance of the HDMI cables. The lens shift and the large zoom range enable the integration of the projector in almost every room.
– the flexibility of the projector
– the high brightness for projection in daylight
– the controlled brightness in natural mode for a dedicated room
– the high contrast and details in dark scenes
– the frame interpolation which is working very well
– the sharpness improving system “super resolution” which is doing well on low settings
– a 3D picture of high quality with little ghosting and easy on the eyes
– the wireless HDMI system
– the convergence, shading, dead pixels and focus uniformity too variable from model to model
– ON-OFF contrast far from the standard of JVC projectors
– no zoom memory and motorized lens
– noisy in the high lamp mode which is necessary to watch 3D