Epson EH-TW5350 – Is a projector the way to go?

Projectors are often used in this part of the world for professional and office use, but the fact remains that modern projectors are so capable, they can replace the televisions all together! So why don’t they?

This would be my first encounter with a projector for review, and the Epson EH-TW5350 does have quite an impressive spec sheet!

Epson EHTW5350 - Front

Projector Specifications

Before diving right into the Epson EH-TW5350, let’s get the facts out there.

The device is capable of bright, sharp Full HD 1080p images with 2,200 lm white and colour light output. It offers outstanding quality with 3LCD Full HD technology and a RGB liquid crystal shutter capable of projecting screens up to 300 inches large and in 3D.

Based on a 105 minute long movie, projected with Eco mode, Epson projects (get it?) that the device will be able to live up to their 11 year of use claim.

Tech specs:
Full HD 1080p projection with 16:9 aspect ratio
35,000:1 contrast ratio
The Lamp has the capacity of 200 W with 4,000 h durability, 7,500 h durability (economy mode)
Keystone correction auto vertical: ± 30 °, Manual horizontal ± 30 °
Colour processing at 10 Bits
2D Vertical refresh Rate at 192 Hz – 240 Hz
3D Vertical refresh Rate at 400 Hz – 480 Hz
Colour reproduction upto 1.07 billion colours

Optical specs:
Projection Ratio 1.22 – 1.47:1, Zoom Manual, Factor: 1.2
Projection Size 34 inches – 332 inches, Projection Distance Wide/Tele 1.62 m – 1.95 m (60 inch screen)
Focal Distance 16.9 mm – 20.28 mm with a manual focus

Walk Around

The box was fairly straight forward with the projector, power cable, a remote control and manuals. 3D glasses would be additional.

Overall the Epson EH-TW5350 is a fairly compact projector with the dimensions of 297‎ x 245 x 114 mm (Width x Depth x Height) and with a weight of 3.1 kgs. The device can be mounted in almost all positions and locations thanks to its flexible settings and compact size.

Epson EHTW5350 - Front Raised

On the front sits the lens optical lens with a built in shutter. There is also a front, centered-ish lift tool which can be adjustable. The overall design of the device is pretty cute and friendly looking. On the left, you’ll find the vents, which we’ll talk about a little later.

Epson EHTW5350 - Side

The right side of the device (when the lens faces you) basically is clear, with additional vents. Ensuring the device stays cool as much as possible.

Epson EHTW5350 - Top

Moving to the top, you’ll find all the essential menu controls of the projector, which can all be used from the remote control. This includes light indicators for screen mirroring, wireless connection, lamp, temperature warning and power. An array of labels and stickers to remind you that the Epson means business.

Moving to the back, is where you realize the Epson is quite a connectivity workhorse.

Epson EHTW5350 - Rear

Connecting this device is as easy as it gets. You can safely assume connectivity can be achieved by any cable you have! The device has the following ports and connection points:

USB, VGA, RCA, 2x HDMI and an Audio out port.

Epson EHTW5350 - Remote Control

The remote control is a standard projector with all the basic and essential options at easy access. One thing I would have to point out. Since this is essentially a home and entertainment purpose projector, often used at night/in the dark, it really bugged me that the remote control was not back-lit!

It did have quite a few nice user-friendly features like freeze, screen capture, etc though.

Setup & Menu

Plugging in the device is pretty straight forward, and you get quite a visual connectivity screen.

Epson EHTW5350 - Connection Setup

This was slightly impressive and I thought this had moved the projector into Smart TV level of interface and update. Unfortunately, it was only this screen that was cool. It did have all the connections you can use to set the projector up and a few other quick settings. Wireless screen mirroring was a nice touch as sometimes, setting up a tablet or laptop wirelessly would make the whole experience a lot more mobile and easier!

Beyond that startup screen, the rest of the menu options, were ordinary previous generation. Which is a let down in 2016.

Epson EHTW5350 - Menu Options (2)

Image settings is where all basics of color, brightness, contrast, sharpness, temperature and consumption settings are. They have organized it fairly decently, a little confusing at times but overall, I just wished it looked modernized.

Epson EHTW5350 - Menu Options (3)

Signal is where 3D can be set up, aspect ratio settings and advanced signal settings are.

Epson EHTW5350 - Menu Options (4)

Settings is where the general settings are.. Naming clearly was a bit of a tricky one. Here, the user can adjust keystones (allowing the projector to project straight while being at an angle. The Epson gives you pre-defined keystones, where some other brands provide semi-manual adjustment, which is a minus for Epson), volume, links, memory and the ability to reset the projector’s basic settings.

Epson EHTW5350 - Menu Options (5)

Extended has a few additional settings for the home screen, display, language and a bit more.

Epson EHTW5350 - Menu Options (6)

Network would be the final actual menu where the user can select and adjust screen mirroring and wireless settings. The rest of the menu provide information on the projector’s firmware and a full reset of the device.

How does it project?

On the basis of what it is and what it can do, the Epson EH-TW5350 is a very good all round, well-priced LCD projector with great features and a fairly compact size. There are a few technical points to make though.

The projection itself

Epson EHTW5350 - Screenshots - Browser

During the day the lighting is fairly decent and the Epson EH-TW5350 manages to display lovely colors on a white wall but overall the projection is a little bit washed. Which raised a few concerns when projecting in the dark, especially the blacks.

Epson EHTW5350 - Screenshots 3

In the dark, the device does a good job in projecting bright and vivid colors, but with a sub-par black levels. Blacks and dark colors seem to be a little washed or grey, which does effect the overall experience.

Epson EHTW5350 - Screenshots 1

When watching in 3D, some of this gets corrected with professional 3D glasses so its not really noticeable, but when directly projecting a 2D image/video to a wall, blacks are not as strong as they should be.

Usability

The device is quite a great little projector. It is light, cool looking and fairly easy to use. Mounting it is fairly easy and with good keystones, lift and adjustability, makes it fairly usable.

A criticism has to be made for the Audio. It has a mono sound system, which does affect the overall experience. A single mono output is not what one would want to experience, especially with movies. One thing to note is when people use a projector for a home cinema experience, they definitely will be using a home theater system, but out of the box, the audio is not great. Good for professional use, but far from satisfying home/entertainment use.

The device runs fairly decent in terms of noise, but in high performance mode running 3D and not in Eco mode, the fan does run fairly loud.

3D is a real delight, the device can process 3D video in both horizontal and vertical splits and does a fantastic job in displaying video content without any dropped frames or stutters in full HD

Overall Impressions

The Epson EH-TW5350 is a lovely projector for the general use at work or at home. With a proper setup of a projector screen, a professional audio system and a out-of-your-way mount, the projector can completely take away the need of a typical television. It does not have smart TV features, but there are alternatives to that, especially if you connect the projector to a smart device of some sort.

It was a pleasure giving this device a try and with projection up to 300 inches, I had kept my projection around 80-100 inches and it was a lovely viewing experience, but I would look at what the competitors are offering at a similar or higher price-point as the EH-TW5350 sits around the AED3000 mark, especially if you want this as an entertainment machine.

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