Epson PowerLite TW100 LCD front projector On the Firehawk

On the Firehawk

I spent an evening with our photo sample of the Epson PowerLite TW100 and my 80-inch-wide, 16:9 Stewart FireHawk screen. A calibration using our Photo Research PR-650 spectroradiometer produced an exceptionally linear and accurate gray scale, as PP notes. On this screen, I obtained a light output of 18 foot-lamberts from the 100 IRE window pattern on Video Essentials (chapter 17-10, 17-32). There was even a little cushion above this, but attempting to go much higher crushed the brightest white details.

The screen-door effect was slightly prominent, as PP observed. Blacks and black-level details were acceptable, but broke no new ground given the current limitations of transmissive LCD technology. There was noticeable light leakage from the ventilation louvers at the front of the projector (but it did not fall on the screen). The images were respectable for a projector in this price range, though not as sharp as I've seen from other, similar projectors, including the Sony VPL-VW12HT, currently being reviewed. (The Sony does cost $1500 more than the TW100.) I would not have fully appreciated just how crisp a transfer the new DVD of Star Wars: Episode II—Attack of the Clones was had I viewed it only on the Epson.—Thomas J. Norton