July 26, 2017, 2:47 am
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The home theater, business, school projector

by Raymond Gregory
 B. Tribdino

VIDEO enthusiasts disagree on the fidelity of projected images and videos. The true home theater experience should go the direction of HD. And that means the realm of P50,000 and above projectors. 

Imaging expert Epson however, does its usual coup in this area and introduces a upper mid-range priced projector that delivers beyond a satisfying HD resolution performance. At P39,200 the Epson’s EB-U32 is an impressive device cloaked in simplicity and portability. 

It looks slightly different than regular projectors usually found in both classrooms and boardrooms. Hidden under the ubiquity is a lighthouse of power—3,200 ANSI lumens to be precise. And that the number simply means that there is more brightness power in the EB-U32 compared to projector of equal price, footprint and specifications.

Entry-level home theatre. Any projector below the 5,000 lumens scale cannot possibly project HD and 4K properly. It can replicate to a certain degree the amount of resolution (which again is also a variable depending on distance) but a light intense enough thrown to a screen of proper light absorption and reflection will work.

The ability of the Epson’s proprietary 3LCD’s 3-chip architecture makes it a powerful home theater imaging solution. Having one chip dedicatedto process each primary color means RGB is delivered simultaneously. Unlike single-chip technology that colorizes the image sequentially.

This “full time color” capability results in vibrant, realistic images and video.

The screen resolution is WUXGA (1920 x 1200 pixels) for high quality images an
d crisp, sharp text without any distortion.WUXGA or Wide Ultra Extended Graphics Array and is ideal BluRay content,HDTV at its native resolution, graphic intensive programs, educational film slides, and any application requiring exceptional detail andrequiring Full Hi-Def.

And considering this projector is just at the top rung of the entry-level performers, delivering full HD images and videos is where the U32 excels. Using brightness power to overcome the small image imperfections, it keeps a precision that allows the viewer to perceive a higher resolution and crisper images. It is quick enough to ensure a flowing video and the helps deliver picture quality in less than ideal lighting conditions.

Thus the experience of full HD comes because it is three-times brighter than anything the competition can offer. Again it’s that 3LCD imaging engine that projects equally high white and colored light output.  

This means better dynamic range for darker image detail. But it also means a larger screen—up to 120 inches across, by my measurements—without significant loss. 

To this add the 15K:1 contrast ratio which allows viewers to see the details with crisp, clear blacks creating clearly defined shadows, and fine skin tones too.

Consider this too. Using an abandoned dark room studio as a cinema venue, I’ve experimented up to a massive 300 inches display with clarity and image precision too. Plug into the two available HDMI slots means high quality digital video and audio. Proper RCAs are provided to hook up into a 5:1 system or simply an AUX connection on the tabletop component system.

The Epson direct-to-computer option via a USB cable (with certain systems downloading the proper Epson software is needed) is not good for high resolution but works perfectly with data. So that’s the next conversation.

From box to boardroom.In the office environment, the U32 is a good employee. Not only does it 

execute its job well, it also provides for a range of options that allows content sharing because of its built-in connectivity options.

This projector is particularly designed for business use—the name prefix “EB” gives it away. EB stands for Epson Business and according to the product literature it is a productivity tool. Feeding it purely data, like boring Excel tables and charts and stoic Powerpoint presentations with “Split” transitions do a great injustice to the U32.

Talking about the “splitting” the projector has a great feature called Split Screen and will display two inputs at the same time. 

To do this, two feeds were used—one from an Android phone into a HDMI converter and the other from a Powerbook with a Firewire to HDMI adapter. One of the two HDMI ports supports MHL or Mobile High Definition Link, which allows a compatible smart device to the projector and it mirror data and HD content on the big screen.

This allowed projecting a Skype conversation directly from an iPad with a FireWire to HDMI converter while a Keynote presentation is running from a Macbook Pro. Once connected, the device can be operated via the projector’s remote control.

Because business is about money, the EB-U32 brings in the economics of technology and scale. The P39K pricing is affordable considering the functionality and availabilityis at all authorized Epson dealers. 

The long-life lamp—the heart of any projector system—will last up to 10,000 hours in Eco mode. That is about 416 days non-stop use.Eco mode is set by the user, the timing to turn it off and on when the lamp is not needed and minimizes replacement, reducing the total cost of ownership.The exhaust outlet is in the front and side, to prevent the CEO (who is the guy usually behind a projector) from being exposed to the hot exhaust gas.

Graded in the classroom.The U32 features a connectivity option via an app called Epson iProjection. The app is iOS and Android compatible and runs on a WiFi connection that is easily and intuitively set-up and allows sharing and transmitting images, text and files from a tablet or smartphone. This is a really smart feature. Students will enjoy doodling on screen and in real time as teachers can highlight points on the lessons.

For teachers, it makes it easy to walk around the class and still be able to share engaging content. Something done simply by connecting a mobile device by scanning a QR code on screen.

Students pay attention because the professor is no longer trapped behind a podium and lessons project larger-than-life on screen grab attention. The app is easy to use and navigate with intuitive menu options. Several devices can plug in and can be moderated by an on-screen control.

Split screen works well with multi-tasking millennials—one screen projecting a SWOT analysis for instance, and the other screen a video explanation.

What is most unique with the U32, especially for ungeeky educators is the Horizontal Keystone Adjuster. The feature allows for intuitive horizontal keystone correction of distorted images. Vertical distortion is detected by the projector itself and is corrected automatically. A manual slider does short work of keeping the image oriented properly and the combination of adjustment features correct image distortion, either with just one touch or via manual means for a broader range of placement options.
If I were to rate the Epson EB-U32 on a scale of bright to dim, it gets brightest in my book.
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