A few months ago Epson showcased a handful of their projectors as part of their “Summer of Sport” with the goal of bringing more live sport into living rooms across the country.

Projectors can be a great alternative to televisions, especially when they’re priced like the EH-TW5210 which retails at £499.99. We’ve got the projector in to see how it fares.

What’s in the Box?

The projector comes alongside a power cable, documentation and a remote control including batteries.

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The EH-TW5210 is a Full HD projector sporting an LCD projection system. It supports both 2D and 3D video, has a contrast ratio of 30,000:1, can produce images up to 332” and includes a 5W speaker.

First Look

The projector has a nice look to it with a very fluid and curvy body and very few corners. The lens is off to one side of the front with a vent sitting on the other front corner.

Underneath the front of the projector is a small height adjustment raiser. This allows the projector to be corrected if sitting on an angled surface.

On the top of the projector behind the lens are the A/V Mute slider to cover the lens, the focus and zoom rings and the horizontal image adjustment. There is no vertical adjustment but there are both manual vertical and horizontal keystones of ±30°.

Further back on the top are all of the controls for the projector including volume and vertical keystone. On the rear are all of the inputs including two HDMI ports (one with MHL support), composite, VGA, USB and 3.5mm audio out.

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Using the Projector

The projector surprises at first with how bright the image can be, even with a high level of ambient light. With a purported 2,200 lumens (in normal mode) the image is crisp and clear.

Keeping the projector in normal mode does have its drawbacks, though. First, it’s a bit noisy and the fan can make watching very quiet videos a little cumbersome. In Eco mode, however, the fan makes very little noise and the light output drops to 1,500 lumens. In dark conditions, it is much more enjoyable to have the projector in Eco mode as the picture isn’t too bright and it’s quieter. Not to mention the theoretical lifespan of the lamp increases from 4,000 hours to 7,500 hours. 4,000 hours is already fairly impressive but nearly doubling that is fantastic!

While the brightness is very good for the price range the blacks aren’t too deep. Blacks don’t appear to have much of tint, though.

Using an MHL adapter it’s possible to mirror some phones/tablets via the projector. Mobile High-Definition Link allows mobile devices, such as phones and tablets, to be connected to TVs, projectors and other media devices.

The 5W speakers really aren’t anything to be excited by. Connecting up a speaker to the audio out is simple enough. It would nice to have an optical out but chances are most people would connect their main source directly to a soundbar or A/V receiver rather than through the projector.

It’s possible to create a 332” picture but will need to be a fair distance from the projection wall. What about in the confines of a small apartment? In my living room, I was able to create a picture that was approximately 110” from a distance of about 10 feet.

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The only issue I have with the remote is that there’s no backlighting. Some remotes have motion-based automatic backlighting, others have a single glow-in-the-dark light button to illuminate the rest; this, however, has neither.

The projector has a few features and settings that you can play around with to get it working to your personal preference. One of these features is “frame interpolation” which has the projector estimate intermediate frames and smooth playback. This can be useful for watching sports but it makes playing video games and watching movies a little odd.

For video gaming, there is an image processing mode setting which can reduce the response time.

The ability to play 3D content is nice and works well, though appears to be a dying trend at the moment. The projector does not include 3D glasses but active ones can be purchased separately and are a cinch to set up. Put 3D content on, turn on glasses, enjoy.

Summary

The EH-TW5210 from Epson is a great projector, especially at this price point. Even without a huge selection of bells and whistles it has sufficient has connectivity to satisfy most users and very good picture quality. Overall, the Epson EH-TW5210 comfortably punches above its weight.