First Look: EPSON 2019 PRO-UHD 4K Projector Range
During a recent launch event at a trendy little wine bar in Sydney, Epson introduced us to its new range of 2019 PRO-UHD Range of projectors.
Epson’s PRO-UHD range comprises the $3,999 EH-TW8400, $4,799 EH-TW9400 and $4,999 EH-TW9400W.
Handpicked local wines were not the only thing soaked up as we took in images from a range of different material including Avengers End Game from Epson’s EH-TW9400 on an 80” screen. Epson Product Manager Ms Soo Lee was on-hand to walk us through their new range of PRO-UHD projectors.
The TW-EH8400, 9400 and 9400W replace the outgoing TW-EH8300, 8300 and 9300W projectors, which were Epson’s first 4K offerings. The first new home cinema projectors from Epson since 2017, attendees were keen to see what the Japanese based manufacturer had to offer after a two-year hiatus.
Now in its second generation of 4K home theatre projectors, 2019's range sees a range of improvements over their predecessors. Arguably, the most significant is that all the models in the PRO-UHD range have a light output of 2,600 ANSI lumens.
Naturally, with an increase in overall light output, contrast ratios have also been improved, with the EH-8400 giving a contrast ratio of 1,000,000, while the EH-TW9400 and EH-TW9400W have a contrast ratio of 1,200,000:1.
Epson’s PRO-UHD projectors offer two HDMI inputs, the first of which is HDCP 2.2 complaint, in addition to a USB A input, RS232C, D-Sub 15-pin, optical input and network connection.
The EH-TW9400W is capable of transmitting video signals wirelessly. Apart from this small difference, both the EH-TW9400 and EH-TW9400W are identical in terms of appearance and performance.
All of the projectors in Epson’s PRO-UHD range are compatible with HDR10 and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma). They also offer Epson’s own proprietary Image Enhancement technology and Frame Interpolation.
Epson continues to support the 3D Blu-ray format in their PRO-UHD projectors, which will be welcome news to fans of the ailing format, particularly given new titles are still being released, at least in Australia.
While all of the PRO-UHD projectors are 4K, Epson is the first to admit that they’re not native 4K, but instead uses pixel shifting technology called 4K Enhancement to produce a claimed resolution of 1920 x 1080 x 2.
All three projectors provide full 10-bit HDR colour processing, with real-time 12-bit analogue to digital video processing, to reduce banding or contouring artefacts.
The EH-TW8400 and EH-TW9400 also incorporate a new 15 element aspherical glass lens design for sharper images. Both models also offer ten lens memory positions, two of which can be accessed directly from the remote control.
Installation options are flexible with the PRO-UHD range offering a generous 47% horizontal and 96% vertical lens shift, enabling them to fill a 100” screen from three metres. In addition to convenience, the motorised lens shift offers a higher level of precision in centering images.
Epson has quoted fan noise at 20db across the range, which will be welcome news to those who are seated close to their projectors. And indeed sitting 1 metre from the EH-TW9400 fan noise was inaudible.
The surroundings in which we were viewing the 9400 may not have exactly been devoid of light; they were, however, somewhat reminiscent of a typical lounge room with the curtains drawn. A place, I suspect, where many of Epson’s home cinema projectors will find themselves.
In such an environment it was hard to gauge black levels; however, given the less than ideal environment they could best be described as reasonable. The extra lumens, however, were quite apparent with the EH-TW9400 creating bright images and showing it’s more than capable of competing with a degree of ambient light.
The overall sharpness of images varied, at times appearing razor sharp, yet just as likely to look a tad on the soft side. Rather than being the fault of the projector, this is par for the course with the content that was shown.
Likewise, we didn’t notice any banding courtesy due to the Epson’s 12-bit processing. The motion was smooth but did struggle on occasion with crowded fast-moving scenes.
Image uniformity seemed good, and overall colour balance seemed decent enough, but in the environment, it was challenging to make critical image observations given both the short time we had with the TW-EH9400.
Epson did note both the 8400 and 9400 feature a full range of ISF Certified Calibration Controls and they recommend either projector is calibrated in its final viewing environment to get the best in image quality from them.
Available in either black or white, the TW-E9400 has a large, yet curvy and sleek appearance. The TW-9400 and TW-9400W both offer a three-year warranty, while the TW-8400 has a two-year warranty.
Epson’s PRO-UHD range is available now - EH-TW8400 ($3,999 RRP), EH-TW9400 ($4,799 RRP), and EH-TW9400W ($4,999 RRP).
For more information visit Epson.
Rob Follis has been writing about tech on and off for over 40 years, is a designer, photographer, information omnivore, gadget-head, Hi-Fi afficionado, owner of far far too many things and sadly an unsuccessful app developer. A born & bred Londoner now happily living in Melbourne. Email Rob.