Epson TW5820 Projector Review: Ready to Play

When it comes to home entertainment there are levels. The majority of people, ourselves included, stick with the standard level, which is a Full HD or 4K-sporting smart TV. The next rung up is a projector to create a home cinema environment.

While this sounds great for enjoying the latest blockbuster films to land on streaming platforms, how good is a projector setup when it comes to watching sport on the weekend, or binge watching series on weeknights?

That is what we aimed to find out with the Epson TW5820 Projector, which at R29 999 (RRP), is a sizeable investment to make when it comes to home entertainment. Is it fit for one purpose or can it pull duty on other media too?

Here is what we discovered after a couple of weeks reviewing the TW5820.

Boardroom or living room?

Before we delve into aspects like practicality, visual fidelity and overall performance, let’s look at design.

When you first unbox the Epson TW5820, you could be forgiven for mistaking it for one of the Japanese manufacturer’s business-focused projectors that are more commonly found in a boardroom or conference centre.

As such, the TW5820 is not necessarily as eye catching as some more trendy recent offerings from competitors, like the Samsung Freestyle.

That said, we may be judging books by their cover and all that, so let’s give the projector the benefit of the doubt. Depending on the colour of your room, for example, it can fit in rather nicely. Added to this is the fact that visual performance is ultimately our key consideration here.

Before we touch on that portion of the review, it is worthwhile looking at the technology and components on offer.

Well specced

Here the TW5820 is a 1080p FullHD delivering projector, with up to 1.07 billion colours available on a fairly wide gamut. In terms of colour reproduction, this device is 3LCD certified, which are normally categorised by a high level of brightness and lower power consumption.

Looking at some of the other important numbers, both the colour and white light output is 2 700 lumen, with an economy mode dropping this figure down to 1 780 lumen. Sticking with the lamp, it is a 200W UHE offering that is said to serve up an estimated 4 500 hours of use before a replacement is needed, with the economy mode pushing this figure to 7 500 hours.

Also worth noting is the keystone correction, which is ability to adjust the projection when the TW5820 is not placed front and centre of the surface the image is being projected onto.

This is a particularly important element as the layout of everyone’s home is different, so attaching the projector to the ceiling or indeed placing it on a plasma/media unit may not always be possible. Here the TW5820 offers +/- 30 degrees of vertical and horizontal keystoning.

Added to this is the ability to project an image ranging from 30″ to 300″ in size, as well as being capable of projection from a distance of between 2.35 metres to 3.82 metres.

Lastly worth mentioning on the specifications are the refresh rates, with 2D content available between 192Hz and 240Hz, while 3D content is between 400Hz to 480Hz.

Up to the task

Now for the important – visual performance – and here the Epson TW5820 starts to shine.

For the purposes of our review, and to open up access to a variety of media, we went with connecting a MacBook Pro (our daily driver) to the TW5820 to the HDMI (1.4) port on the rear. This port is not joined by much, with a USB 2.0 option only there for servicing and any other connections facilitated by Bluetooth.

There is also support for Android TV, so if you are deep into the Google ecosystem when it comes to media, the TW5820 can fill some of the gaps that a regular smart TV does.

In terms of the actual visuals, content looked sharp and while contrast takes a hit in an environment where there is a lot of sunlight, in general all media recognisable and easily enjoyed.

The only time we encountered problems or issues was based on the level of darkness of the content itself and the time of day we were watching. An example of this was The Sandman series on Netflix, which features a few early episodes that are quite dark. This is less than ideal viewing during the cold light of day, and will therefore necessitate drawing the curtains.

This is a bit of an outlier though, with all sports content and the majority of gaming (via a PS5 on HDMI) all looking solid regardless of the environment’s lighting or time of day.

The TW5820 is indeed an all-around entertainment-focused projector as Epson has billed it.

Final verdict

Spending nearly R30k on a projector is a tough ask, even at the best of times, but for those wanting to make an upgrade, the Epson TW5820 is as solid as they come.

Sure it does not offer some of the portability that some flashier options might do, but the crisp visuals on offer regardless of the media make this projector well worth considering.

With it ticking most boxes, being feature rich and adding a interesting elements like Android TV and the Epson TW5820 is more than your run-of-the-mill projector, despite looking fairly innocuous.

If you want a projector for the home that can do a bit of everything well, this might be it.


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