Epson TW-EH6600W projector review

Inside CI 5 Rating

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posted on Monday, 10th November 2014 by Steve May

projectors 

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The Epson EH-TW6600W is a multi-purpose home-theatre grade 1080p projector aimed at the highly competitive mid-range market. There are actually two iterations, one with a wireless HDMI transmitter, and one without which retails for £300 less. For those installs where 1080p isn’t a prerequisite, Epson offers the 720p EH-TW570.

Epson TW-EH6600W projector: Build quality and Features
As we’ve come to expect from Epson, both design and build quality are outstanding. The TW-EH6600W is unlikely to attract hateful glares from interior designers when ceiling mounted; the gloss white finish and curved edges are very contemporary. The projector sports an offset lens, with hot air vented to the right. It features the usual smattering top mounted menu and navigation controls, and it’s light at just 6.8kg.

Connectivity covers most bases. There are two HDMIs, component video, composite, a PC VGA input, USB and stereo audio. Control options include a 12v trigger and RS232. When it comes to installation, this is quick and forgiving. There’s generous vertical and horizontal lens shift, offering +/- 60 per cent and 24 per cent adjustment respectively, plus electronic keystone correction. At 1.32 - 2.15:1, the throw ratio is generous. Both focus and zoom are manually adjusted via two lens rings. Setup springs few surprises. A familiar Epson UI offers a good level of image control, and it’s quick and easy to navigate. 

The bundled wireless HDMI transmitter is an interesting addition to the spec. Accepting five inputs, with a local HDMI option as well as wireless transmission, it functions as both a wireless bridge and a regular signal switcher. It even supports MHL connection from a mobile device and has a USB port to recharge 3D goggles.

The link to the projector is WiHD. For the user, selecting the appropriate input on the TW-EH6600W is no different from choosing one of the hardwired connections. There’s no need for a receiver to be plugged into the projector, as the RX module is located within the intake vent. The transmitter itself just needs to be pointed toward the projector.

Interestingly for a home cinema model, the TW-EH6600W boasts an integrated 2x10w sound system. A feature more commonly associated with gaming projectors, the rear-mounted speakers are unlikely to get overmuch use from connected sources. However, onboard sound could prove useful for impromptu HDMI/MHL hook-ups via the wireless transmitter, as both audio and video are routed to the projector.  

Installers should note that it’s not recommended to install the transmitter on/in a metal rack, as this can make the signal unstable. Toggling between the wireless HDMI output and the local HDMI connection is all done via the remote control.

Rear Connections

Lens Adjustment

Epson TW-EH6600W projector: Performance
Visually, this projector is a knockout for the price. At 2,500 lumens, it’s brighter than a MENSA Xmas party and really pops in a light controlled theatre; it even gives a reasonable account of itself in a partially lit media room. Beneath the hood is a 250W UHE lamp; lamp life is quoted at 5000 hours in Eco mode, 3500 hours at full intensity.

Contrast is rated at 70,000:1 with the Auto Iris engaged. In a larger theatre room, or one where the projector itself is separated from the audience, it makes sense to leave this on as it doesn’t cause any unnatural pumping in the image. However, if the projector is located in close proximity to a seating position, there’s a possibility viewers could hear the ongoing physical adjustments. In which case, turning it off could be prudent.

Certainly peak whites impress regardless. While the image doesn’t quite stretch to absolute black, there’s no sense of pervading greyness about the image. Pictures look snappy with high levels of shadow detail.

Once calibrated to taste, settings can be saved into any one of ten memory slots. These can be renamed for easy retrieval – Games, Sport, Movies etc. There are no fewer than seven colour modes plus an Auto colour optimiser.

While colours are bold, the Cinema preset is well judged and never overheats skin tones. While the overarching palette of Agents of Shield errs on the gaudy, Coulson and Co never look like they’re embarrassed by their shenanigans. Meanwhile, Destiny on PlayStation 4, proves to be an otherworldly gaming experience. The vibrancy of the world, the gloomy subterranean stuff and the peak highlights are constantly mesmerising. The HDMI transmitter seems to work well. We had no problems running Blu-ray and Sky feeds, and there’s no loss of fidelity caused by the WiHD transmission.  

This isn’t a projector that requires a great deal of additional calibration to sing. There’s a number of presets, most of which do a fine job: Living Room, Natural, Cinema, 3D Cinema, 3D Dynamic, and Dynamic. For movie and TV consumption, the standard Cinema setting is fine. Deeper refinements include Epson Super White, Super Resolution and Detail Enhancement. While these can boost perceived detail and texture, they aren’t visually overbearing. 

Operating noise is a relatively high 36dB with the lamp in high brightness. Consequently, for most everything the Eco mode is the more palatable choice. This runs at around 23dB, which is easily lost within a sound system, and doesn’t penalise with any great drop in brightness. The only real performance caveat is if a client intends to use the projector primarily for sports. There are no high refresh interpolation modes here, and as a consequence motion resolution is a tad limited.

The EH-TW6600W is 3D compatible, and there’s one pair of Active Shutter glasses supplied with the unit. Although no longer flavour of the month, this projector’s 3D performance is refreshingly good. A 480Mhz refresh rate ensures that crosstalk double imaging isn’t a problem. For the most part, 3D appears clean and immersive. Two 3D modes are available, Dynamic and Cinema, and both cause the fan to accelerate. However you can force the projector into the quieter Eco mode. There is a noticeable loss of brightness as a result though.

Noise Reduction

Cinema Menu

Epson TW-EH6600W projector: Verdict
Overall, we rate this pretty Epson highly. Delivering vibrant, cinematic images, it’s a crowd-pleasing choice for mid-sized home theatres. It also has enough additional functionality to make this a solid choice for multi-function use. You’ll have it up and looking great in no time at all. It’s keen value too, particularly if you have no need of the wireless transmitter. The TW-EH6600W comes highly recommended.

The Epson TW-EH6600W is available now.
Retail price: £1,699
For more on Epson’s extensive range of projector’s, visit our partner page here.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and ERT (amongst others).

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