Epson EMP-822 review

£609
Price when reviewed

These days, most projectors that pass through the doors of the PC Pro Labs are based on Texas Instruments’ DLP technology, but there are a few manufacturers still championing the cause of LCD. One of the two on show this month is the Epson EMP-822 and, with its triple polysilicon LCD panels, it puts in an impressive performance.

Epson EMP-822 review

What most caught our eye was the immense screen size this projector is capable of displaying at relatively short projection distances. At 2m, the EMP-822 managed to display a massive 72.5in screen – bigger than even the ViewSonic projector this month.

It’s a bright image, too. At that screen size, its 2,600 lumens is beaten only by the InFocus, and image quality elsewhere is good, too. The hallmark of LCD projector technology is bright, vivid colours and the Epson’s were notably more saturated than the muted tones offered by most of the DLP projectors on test.

With keystone correction, text remained extremely readable, with excellent interpolation. But the EMP-822 disappointed in two key areas: focus and its ability to produce blacks and greys. We found that we couldn’t even get close to the kind of crisp, pin-sharp focus across the screen that the InFocus and ViewSonic machines were capable of. And we had to compromise on the black levels in order to make sure that darker areas of the image were distinct from each other. This results in a slightly flat-looking video image. But these problems are offset by very reasonable running costs: the Epson is the second cheapest projector to run in this Labs. It also has a decent range of connections and features. Although there’s no DVI or HDMI, the EMP-822 has two VGA inputs, and among other features that impress is a generous three-year on-site warranty.

Overall, it isn’t quite good enough to win the Epson an award this month, but if large screen size in a restricted space is imperative to you this should definitely be on your shortlist.

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