EPSON’s new UHD projector, the EH-TW7000 4K PRO-UHD 3LCD PROJECTOR looked fantastic on paper. This 4K Pro-UHD projecting device is armed with the RGB Liquid Crystal Shutter Projection System (3LCD) and boasts a 100% rate in achieving balanced colour and white brightness of 3,000 lumens.
It definitely sounds impressive, but when we were approached about it by EPSON, asking if we were interested to take a look, our immediate response to them was;
“Yeah, it looks good on paper but does it game?”
That is the common thought and question for most gamers when it comes to gaming on a projector. The fear of input lag, artifacts interfering with our treasured graphics, or even a device that easily overheats, the noise that rivals that of our PS4 Pro’s jet turbine engine, and of course, the unfriendly price range where men often fail to convince their spouse why they needed a 100” screen in the living hall to watch Football, Netflix, or in this case, play Video Games.
Epson EH-TW7000 Specs
Projection Technology : RGB Liquid Crystal Shutter Projection System (3LCD)
LCD Size: 0.61” Wide Panel (C2 Fine, 10Bit)
Native Resolution: 1080p
Projection Lens Type: Optical Zoom (Manual) / Focus (Manual)
F-Number: 1.49 – 1.77
Focal Strength: 18.2 – 29.2mm
Throw Ratio: 1.32-2.15
Screen Size (Projected Distance): Wide: 40” to 500”, Tele: 40” to 500”, Standard: 100” screen.
Brightness White Light Output (Normal/Eco): 3,000lm / 2,000lm
Colour Light Output: 3,000lm
Contrast Ratio: 40,000:1
3D Display: Yes
Connectivity HDMI TYPE-A: 2 HDCP 2.2
Knowing that we would review a projector, our team prepared a PlayStation 4 Pro and came out with a list of games for the test run. We knew that current technology meant the visual quality from the projector would probably be good, but the ‘input lag’ issue would remain a concern so we were on a lookout for it. The projector can produce the absolute best looking visual outcome in the universe, but as long as there is a noticeable input lag, gaming on a projector will remain an idea that video gamers will avoid.
The titles we picked had to be games where the input lag would be most noticeable. They also had to be games with good, detailed graphics and vivid colours, to see how the projector handles it. The games we went with;
- Grand Turismo Sport
- Formula 1 2019
- Need For Speed Heat
- FIFA 20
- Overcooked 2 (just for the lulz)
- The Last of Us Part 2 (just to admire sceneries)
- Tekken 7
With a projector capable of projecting images up to 100” screen size, there was no way we would forfeit the chance to set up a racing wheelset and get ourselves into that driver’s seat perspective in Formula 1 and GT Sports. The plan was to fire up Formula 1 first and quickly get a game going ASAP but that plan came to an immediate halt because the whole team was just stunned, admiring the intro movie at the start of the game. The projector already ticked several checkboxes here, mainly on graphics and colour presentation.
As I said, we’ve expected the projector to be good in the visual outcome, but the result was beyond what we expected. What we saw was pretty darn close, in fact, it was near identical to what we are used to seeing on a standard 4K TV.
What we immediately picked up was the crisp and detailed images, though, towards the extreme edge of the projected screen, images became slightly (just) less sharp, but this was no cause for distraction unless you are seated far away. During fast-moving scenes, the motion was translated very well with little noticeable artifacts. Any blur, motion trails or judders were absent.
All-in-all, it was a good first impression.
It is worth mentioning that we made sure light sources were scarce in the room we used. We turned off every light, covered every reflective surface, and curtains were drawn. We slowly allowed more lights to come in to see if the image quality would maintain. This is a very bright 3000nits capable projector after all, and it should be well prepared to handle brighter settings. But as it turned out, image quality appeared washed out (though not by much) when we allowed more light in, I guess this is inevitable due to the inherent weakness of projectors. Areas where the black colour appears still seemed “greyish”, but the shade was dark enough to pass on as black.
Switching back to the F1 game, we got a good look from team Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc’s cockpit perspective and it was surreal. The visual quality was again top notch and almost indistinguishable from what we used to see on a 4K TV. More importantly, there was no noticeable input lag, but we were on a driving wheelset which is not a reliable input lag detector. A DualShock 4 controller would provide more accurate hands-on feedback, which we did for other games, but we will come to that in a moment.
While Formula 1 is a great racing game, the level of detail in that game and overall graphic quality still pales in comparison to GT Sports. We knew we had to fire up the latter to get a better look at what the projector is capable of, especially with the game allowing us the ability to choose the time of the day (day, noon, night) for the race and most importantly, how the device projects a game running on 60 frames per second.
Playing GT Sports on this projector just validated our first thought that the projector could indeed handle the colour and image sharpness well. However, when the race starts, we caught a less than smooth motion when racing in 60 fps, compared to what we were used to on a backlit TV Screen. The difference, however, is not significant enough to warrant a turn-off.
We switched games again this time to Tekken 7. We played a Versus game locally between one DS4 user and one Arcade Stick user and perhaps we were seated too close to the projection when we played as overblown sized fighting game characters duking it out in front of us made us feel disoriented (now it make sense why they don’t use big screens for Fighting Games tournaments). It was hard to follow their movement when they are so big, and our skill levels deteriorated.
But the good news was that there was no input lag during Tekken 7. We spent an hour or so trash-talking each other while dishing out the most incompetent combos anyone have ever seen in the history of Tekken 7 before moving on to the next game, FIFA 20. Getting on the football game with a team of 4 on Volta Mode reaffirmed our initial finding that there is no, at least not noticeable, input lag in our gameplay. We tried several more games after FIFA 20 just because we were excited (and because we can :D). The experiences thereafter merely echoed what has been said before, so I will not repeat them.
Apparently, the foreign version of the projector comes with built-in a speaker which is convenient for those wishing to carry their projectors around for events or activities. The local version that we received, however, did not come built with the speakers. It does, however, have a 3.5mm audio jack for external speaker use. We had to use an external speaker for the sound experience, which was a shame because the projector would have been much better having it come with one.
Towards the end of our first test session that took 5 hours, we noticed that the device was just slightly warm to touch. The ventilation was well done, and one of the biggest things to note here is how little noise the fans produced despite working tirelessly to expel hot air from the device.
Falling back on conservative thoughts and fear of input lag, I was never an advocate of gaming on a projector. In fact, it took me a good while before making the switch from gaming on monitors to gaming on a tv. The price factor of projectors is also what kept me and most people away. But, apparently, at the price of RM 6,238 (around 1.5k USD), the Epson EH-TW7000 4K Pro-UHD 3LCD Projector is considered cheap in comparison to its competitors.
Now, we are no tv experts, which is why this impression piece isn’t aimed at convincing you why this projector is, or isn’t the viewing device you have always wanted or needed. Our goal was to have fun playing video games on this projector and to tell you if we managed to do just that. To this end, the results have been more than satisfactory, in fact, it was addictive. I can safely say my initial scepticism on playing games on a projector has been tamed.
So, does it game?
Yes, it does.
Now, it is a matter of saving up and convincing my other half why it is absolutely logical for our family to have a 100” image projecting device in our living room.
The price may still be pricey for some people, but for those who can afford this and wishes to get a projector for large co-op parties or just to enjoy the cinematic ambience when gaming solo, the Epson EH-TW7000 may just be what you need.