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This was mostly due to the low peak brightness of older models, which could not stand up to even ambient illumination that is present in every home. Thankfully, with the launch of the new generation of Projectors, this problem seems to be on its way out as they promise to bring a crystal clear 4K projector to the wall nearest you, without the need for a special viewing room, even during broad daylight. This is the promise of Epson’s latest Epiqvision Ultra EH LS800 laser projector, and we will be testing it out in this review.
The projector features a sleek and minimalist design with flat sides and minute curves. The device barely looks like a laser projector and more like a compact soundbar that blends in with the furniture. Since it is an ultra-short throw model, the lens system is located inwards, with the projection spreading from the top outwards. Due to this special design, you don’t need to place it too far away from the wall to get a proper picture. In fact, you can get a full 120-inch projection from as close as 20.2 inches away from the wall.
The front part, which usually features the lens, is instead wrapped in a smooth fabric, which hides the 2.1 audio system that has been sourced from Yamaha. The left side features a slanted vent that blows backwards so that any residual warm air smashes into the walls instead of invading your personal space. At the same time, the right side features a full IO array hidden behind a removable plastic panel. You get adjustable feet on the back so that you can raise or lower the height of the screen easily. Whether you get the projector in black, gold, or grey, it will look amazing no matter what, thanks to its understated yet elegant low-profile design and smooth finish.
At full spread, the laser projector can display an image up to 150-inches in size, with an aspect ratio of 16:9. You can either project it straight onto the wall or use the recommended Ambient Light Rejecting Screen, which will cost you almost half the cost of the projector but does come with a lot of advantages. Ab obvious one is that it features a special criss-cross foam design, which captures the upwards projected images and focuses them towards the centre of the room. At the same time, it also deflects the incoming ambient light so that the image isn’t affected as much by the light as much.
You can always adjust the display to show a small-sized screen or even use multi-screen functionality to view multiple sources of content at the same time. Since the system is based on a three-chip 3LCD technology, it projects each image with brilliant yet distinct contrast and brightness levels, since now a single pixel does not have to worry about displaying all colours of the RGB range at the same time. This helps enable 10-Bit HDR Colour output, with dynamic contrast ratios of over 2,500,000:1. All of this, with the full support of up to 4000 lumens of colour and white brightness. That is what makes this projector so usable and versatile.
Multimedia & Gaming
The projector provides multiple ways of accessing your content, whether you want to go wireless, thanks to built-in Android TV, or simply stream your content from your smartphone or personal laptop via Wi-Fi and screen mirroring functionalities. You can, off-course, connect other smart devices to the Android-based system, so it can also act as a smart home hub. For people who prefer a more reliable wired connection, the company has even given marked dedicated sockets for HDMI-ARC and HDMI-Gaming.
The company promises as low as 16.7ms of input lag while playing through a console or PC. Although if you want to enjoy high-refresh-rate gaming, you will have to downscale the display output from 4K to 1080p, as that is the only resolution that supports 120Hz variable refresh rate. You can always tweak the image further, thanks to an easy-to-use menu, which provides most settings at the click of a button. Or you can always use the special Epson app that is available for both iOS and Android, which lets you turn your smartphone into your projector controller.
Other connectivity options include two USB-A ports, an optical out, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a DC out and a service port. There is even a manual focus slider which lets you take granular control over your display. We would still recommend going for the special Ambient Light Rejecting display, as it will make the fine-tuning that much easier.
The great thing about a projector like this is that not only do you get the best possible picture quality and the brightest output you will ever see out of a 4K projector; but the whole experience is powered by a very efficient True Laser Diode, which has a rated output of up to 20,000 hours before possible failure. This means that you can use this display for almost a decade before you have to worry about replacing the light source. Just in case anything does go wrong, you still have a 2-year limited warranty, so it’s as safe an investment as you can make.
The issue is that the investment being asked is quite significant itself, with the projector alone costing around $3,499, while the special display comes at an additional $1,999. And that is the real catch. You can get one of the best possible laser LED Projectors on the market, but it will also be one of the most expensive deals you make. If you think you can afford it, then we would definitely recommend it.