A non-videophile’s review of the Epson EH TW-2900 projector

I’m not really a hi-fi enthusiast, but I do know the difference between 480i, 720p, 1080p, Blu-ray and HDTV, component and HDMI, et cetera. For the past few years I’ve mostly used a BenQ PE5120 480p widescreen movie projector as my primary video device, but as HD projectors have dropped in price I’ve been increasingly tempted to upgrade.

Epson EH TW-2200 and BenQ 5120

Over Christmas, I watched the first movie of the Star Wars series on DVD, and when you have to make the picture artificially bright to see any detail at all in dark scenes – so bright that you lose lots of detail in bright ones (think Kamino, for those who know Star Wars) – well, then it’s time to spend some money. Even if Star Wars is not released for Blu-ray yet.

I do have a Playstation 3, so all I needed to go HD was a decent projector. I didn’t want to spend a ton of cash, but I did want the full 1080p resolution. No point in half measures. Also, I have a small living room and poor placement options, so flexibility and low noise emissions matter a great deal to me.

After a few days of doing a bit of research, the Epson EH TW-2900 became the front runner among the projector candidates – I also read about Optoma and Sanyo projectors. Now having used the Epson for movies (Star Wars), HDTV nature bonanza (BBC’s splendid Planet Earth) and gaming (Rock Band 2) as well as watching TV online, I have to say I’m very happy. The projector is physically huge – especially compared with the old PE5120 – but it delivers on all my key criteria.

– Noise is low. It is at least as quiet as the older, lower-specced BenQ. Even though I have the projector underneath a table in front of the sofa, what little noise the projector makes has not bothered me at all. (I do run in “eco mode”.)
– Heat exhaust is forward and to the right. Very convenient when you’re sitting directly behind the projector.
– Screen size is good, even though there’s just 2,5 metres from the projector to the screen. (I use one of those fantastic IKEA projection screens. Ahem.)
– The picture is fabulous. Note that I’m no hifi expert, but to my eyes, the image quality is sterling.
– It has a high lumen output. Watching TV in a bright room works well, even without using the extra bright mode.

My conclusion: If you’re looking for a reasonably priced (I paid 11000 NOK) home projector with full 1080p and decent noise levels, you must consider this somewhat tank-shaped unit. I’m looking forward to many, many hours of movie watching on the Epson EH TW-2900 (not least Star Wars in HD, whenever that blessed day arrives!).


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6 Responses to “A non-videophile’s review of the Epson EH TW-2900 projector”

  1. MN Says:

    Thanks for a great home-review. Easy to understand.
    You have convinced me into buying this projector.


  2. Are Says:

    Thanks for leaving a comment – I hope you’re as happy with yours as I (still) am with mine :)

    • Danni Nielsen Says:

      I’m thinking of replacing my old hd-ready projector with the Epson TW2900, but i have a couple of questions you might be able to answer.. You mention that the projector is 2,5m from the projection screen – how big is the screen? My current projector fills out a 108 inch projection screen from about 4m, and i’m hoping the Epson can do the same.

      Do you have any “lines” running horisontal over the screen? My current projector is an LCD panasonic unit, and it shows some somewhat visible lines over the screen. They’re always there, but I only notice them in bright scenes.

      In various reviews, the TW 2900 is said to have some slight colouration in black images and exaggerated colours – have you experinced this? F.x. in Casino Royale in the hotel scenes, the leaves of the potted plans looks more dark green than a ‘natural’ green.

      I would really appreciate if you could find the time to answer theese questions :-)

      Thanks in advance.

  3. Are Wold Says:

    Hi there!

    1) I believe I fliled a screen about 200 cm wide with a 16:9 aspect ratio, though I may be a few cm off. Have you tried the Projector Central screen calculator? Recommended! http://www.projectorcentral.com/projection-calculator-pro.cfm

    2) Not noticed bright lines.

    3) Colours look fine to me.

    Take my comments with a grain of salt – as mentioned, I’m a non-videophile :) Sounds like you might be a tougher customer.

  4. Paul Lucas Says:

    Thanks for the article on the Epson. I’m down to my final 2 projectors – Epson v Sanyo.

  5. John Says:

    Thanks for this no-nonsense review. This projector is now out of production but I have a chance to buy one of the last shipments at discounted price (900 CHF or 742 EUR). Is it still worth it or have huge progresses been made with the last generation? I don’t and won’t use BlueRay, and watch mostly pirated DVDs the quality of which is inconsistent.

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