How would you like to watch a 300 inches TV? You can’t do that, no, not on a standard TV. According to the Internet, the biggest TV screen to date is a Samsung 170 inches modular SUHD TV, and as the name suggests, the TV is not a single unit but a customizable set on which users can add or remove screen modules as per their preferences. Watching TV on such a screen won’t be any cheap as, according to this list that tells us how expensive big screens are, the Panasonic 152 inch Plasma TV costs roughly Kshs 50 Million. But why cough those millions when you can watch clear TV at 300 inches by using a simple portable EPSON EB-1776W Projector for Kshs 125,000 only?
Don’t get me wrong, projectors including EPSON EB-1776W Projector are not designed primarily for TV viewing, although they allow this pretty well. The main purpose of projectors is to enable marketers, academicians and other executives to perform presentations to an audience. Since most of these presentations are required at settings that do not have projectors, EPSON designed the EPSON EB-1776W as a mobility lightweight and portable projector for presenters who are always on the move.
As a presenter who is always on the move, you need something light, easy to carry and most importantly easy to set up. EPSON EB-1776W Projector meets all of these by the virtue that it weighs only 1.7Kgs at 210 by 292 by 44mm in physical dimensions and comes with a carry case bag to allow for easy transportation. If by chance you carried the projector with the hope that you’ll use the client’s laptop in order to connect and do your presentation, and by bad lack the client’s laptop does not accept the VGA connectivity, you still have the options to connect the laptop via USB Type A, LAN or even through the dedicated Wi-Fi that is enabled through the quick wireless connection USB key.
Setting up the projector is so easy such that my three and a half years old son set up by himself after watching me do it the first time. After setting up the projector on a table or on any other suitable support, you simply plug in the power then plug in the laptop, DVD, or a Set Top Box for TV and the projector will automatically identify the image source. If the image source is not found by the projector for whatever reason, the projector has a dedicated “Source Search” button at the top of the projector that when pressed automatically searches for signal from Computer, Video, HDMI, USB Display, USB, and LAN inputs (see image below).
The ease of set up doesn’t end with powering the projector and plugging in the image source, but setting up the screen area is also as simple as pressing the dedicated Screen Fit button. The Screen Fit button is nicely placed on the top of the projector next to the other controls. If the size and alignment of of the screen is not as desired, then the dedicated keystone correction buttons will come in handy. From the Menu, the keystone keys can be changed from Horizontal/Vertical controls to Quick Corner controls. I prefer using the Quick Corner option as it allows for quick adjustment of the corners. The H/V option only allow for expansion or reduction of the horizontal or vertical sizes but does little in ensuring the the screen is upright.
The image displayed on the screen is mostly clear. At high screen sizes (100 inches and above), the image resolution appears to be of 144p to 480p resolutions. For close to HD clarity, you need to set the screen to near minimum screen size and at 30 inches screen, you may get the promised 1080p HD resolution. The clarity is further affected by room lighting (should be totally dark) and the screen background. A white or black background should perform better than any other colours. My wall is painted teal so I haven’t enjoyed the maximum image clarity.
Still on image clarity, it is important to take cognizance of the fact that changing screen size using the screen wheel (a wheel at the top of the projector placed near the lens) distorts image focus. To take back the image into focus, the projector has a dedicated focus button. The best way to use the focus button is to foremost press the menu button so that you can see the writings of menu items on screen, then press the focus button (</>) until you can clearly read the menu items.
EPSON EB-1776W Projector has other value adds that include the ability to split the screen so that you can view images from two sources simultaneously. The projector also has four types of views/projections dubbed Front Projection (normal), Front/Ceiling Projection that turn images to be both upside down and right to left and at the same time, Rear Projection that is upright but allows for someone viewing the image through a mirror to view the image normally, and Rear/Ceiling Projection that is the upside down of the Rear Projection.
EPSON EB-1776W Projector also provide a PC-free connectivity which allows for presentation of slideshows directly from USB memory stick, meaning you don’t always need a laptop or comp to conduct presentations. The slideshow displays PDF documents as well as static images. The projector is also compatible with Epson’s iProjection app that once downloaded to a smartphone, can send Word (doc, docx)1, Excel (xls, xlsx)1, PowerPoint (ppt, pptx)1, Keynote and PDF documents wirelessly to the projector,allowing for extra options to enhance presentations on the move. According to EPSON EB-1776W Projector datasheet, the projector is “enhanced by Epson’s 3LCD technology to provide superb quality images with White and Colour Light Output of up to 3,000 lumens.”
Even though EPSON EB-1776W Projector provides an near immersive TV viewing experience, I cannot recommend to anyone to use it as the default screen for TV or movie viewing. This is because, just like any other projector, EPSON EB-776W Projector has maximum lamp hours which in this case is 4000 hours. The implication here is that if you are to power on the projector for 6 hours daily, you’ll need to replace the lamp every two years. Contrast this to TV sets that have their back or side light lamps rated at 30,000 hours on the minimum to at times 100,000 hours. Even at a minimum of 30,000 hours, a typical plasma or LCD/LED TV should last for more than 13 years before their lamps’ brightness fall to half brightness. The problem with projector lamps is that they are very expensive. A typical projector lamp costs roughly Kshs 30,000 so imagine spending Kshs 30,000 every two years on your big screen TV. If used for presentations alone at the rate of 4 hours every weekend, one lamp should be able to last for more than 19 years.
EPSON EB-1776W Projector, despite the many goodies that come with it, has one major set back, a serious heating problem. After one month of use, I have calculated that when used in a room with typical room temperature of between 20 degrees celsius to 30 degrees celsius, the projector heats up every two hours and after that should be shut down. To avoid this, a cold and wet piece of cloth should always be placed on top of the projector; right on top of the lamp area.
Cold water should be conveniently added to this cloth every so often, and the cloth should also be turned every several minutes (e.g. every 15 minutes) so that the warm bottom should face up so as to be cooled. I also found out that strategically pouring cold water at the bottom of the projector right below the lamp area maintains a cool internal projector temperature as the fan works by blowing air from the bottom then out through the front vents.
In conclusion, EPSON EB-1776W Projector is worth your investment if you are a presenter who travels frequently. It’s portability and ease of set up makes it one of the few projectors that travelers love.