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on 14 November 2014
A great projector at the offer price of £299 (Nov 2014) but not necessarily worth the RRP or the current street price.

Pros: Its will work well as a home cinema or business projector and the replacement lamps are affordable. The projector is nice and bright and ok for daylight viewing. Use the Eco mode to prolong the life of the lamp and to reduce fan noise. The manual keystone controls are easy and quick to use. Tip: when using the keystone controls if possible use a screen with a black boarder to reduce the appearance of the non-projected areas (without a image, the overspill). If you want a bright projector for presentations or occasional movie and TV viewing the Epson would be a good choice ... if the price is right.

Cons: If you are looking for a projector which gives you true blacks this is not for you; this relates more to artists, musicians or VJ's who may be working with black canvases (backgrounds). You will not achieve a true black (absence of light), there will always be a some light even with the auto iris operational. Note: true blacks are the Holy Grail for projectors and may only be achievable with Laser light sources, and at this level you will always have some light on the screen. For blacker blacks look at DLP. The projector fan is noisy particularly if the Eco and sleep modes are off and the fan will always be running.

Running costs: If you can get the projector at a good price your running costs could be quite low, the lamp should last up to 5000 hours depending on how you use the projector and possibly longer on Eco mode. Epson have some extended warranty deals which include replacement lamps.
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on 5 January 2015
Got this during a one-day special at £299 in November 2014.

I previously owned an Epson standard-def projector a few years ago which I liked a lot, hence my preference for the brand, but to be honest, it was a bit of an impulse buy. I liked having a projector for movies and a few games, still had a screen in the loft and wanted to get it running again.

Very pleased with the TW490, it has good build quality and doesn't feel cheap at all, very light weight, and easy to set up. I even think it's a reasonably attractive unit with a kind of 'carbon fibre' effect on the case. The built-in lens cover is a nice touch.

Out of the box picture is very good. Black levels are not amazing, but the auto-iris helps. I found the "dynamic" setting to be the best with the Colour Temp set to Low and Auto-iris set to Fast. The iris makes a bit of noise, but I didn't notice while watching a movie and it helps by dimming the lamp when the scene is dark.

We have a similarly priced and spec Benq DLP projector at work which I have borrowed before for a couple of days, and which seems to be pretty much typical for the price (about £400). While it has better black levels than the Epson, that is only really of benefit if you have a light controlled room with fairly dark walls because except for completely black scenes, the light from the screen bounces off our beige walls and lights up the screen. Therefore you will never see true black in a living room space from any projector. The lamp is bright enough that it's not necessary to black out the room (or even dim the room lights on full power!), so this works well as a 'lifestyle' device.

The issue with budget DLPs is the rainbow-coloured after images which are caused because a DLP projects each colour sequentially and relies on persistence of vision to merge colours together. They are not too bad if you are watching a Powerpoint with a static image, but when playing a game where you are scanning your eyes around the screen I can really see the coloured after images which are quite annoying to me. I am sure more expensive DLP units overcome this, but not at £300. This is not a problem for the LCD technology however, and the colours are great from the TW490 and it's comfortable to watch with no flicker or rainbows.

The fan is a bit noisy on standard power, but you would only need that for daylight viewing, the Eco mode is quiet and bright enough for evening viewing. It has a built in speaker but I don't use it, as I have an 'all-in-one' home cinema - it's only useful for presentations that might include a couple of videos, or maybe for a just a quick set-up with a games console. If you use it as a portable projector, a carry-bag is included, and the projector is very light to carry round. It has something called 'auto keystone' which is good for portable use as you can basically plonk it down anywhere and it will automatically square up the image, and it will save some set-up time before a meeting (with some loss of resolution however, so don't use this function it if using for a home cinema).

I have it wall mounted up behind the sofa with a 100-inch screen just under 3m away and even though it is not "Full-HD", it's not like you can count the individual pixels from the sofa. Mounting it higher up also helps with noise.

So recommended for a budget model if you can get the same price as me or better, but at the current list price I think it might be worth looking around at the competition.

Update after few weeks:

Seems the lamp has settled in now and I have played around with the settings more. I now like it even more than my first impressions. My wife is totally amazed and we have had some great movie nights. My only regret now is maybe holding out for the 3D version, the TW-550.
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on 22 April 2015
This is the 3rd projector I have bought, although I bought it from a big electronics and computing store on the high street It is easily the best I have had so far for lots of reasons, as you will see here.
The projector is really quiet, so quiet that you cannot hear it above the sound from the built in speakers (which are only 2 watt, so not that loud) on low volume. It makes my last projector seem so deafening in comparison that I got used to turning the volume up very high just to get over the whirling noise. The only time the whirling noise is audible is when there is no picture/channel input. But as soon as there is a picture it goes back to its quiet humming in the background.
I love this projector because it is the only projector I have been ble to watch during the day. I used to dread summer days because I just couldn't see the picture clearly until around 10pm. With this projector, day or night, the picture is crystal clear and rich in colour 24/7. The picture is still vivid even though it is time to replace the bulb.
This projector is great for gaming. The large wide screen makes playing my PS4 a pleasure that I look forward to almost everyday. The fact that the projector has a HDMI port just makes the picture and sound even better, although it would have been great to have two or more HDMI ports so I can connect both my Set top box and PS4 at the same time. But that really is only a minor inconvenience.
The bulb that came with the projector has lasted for 8 months so far, nearly double the length of time that the bulbs in my previous projectors have lasted. I am amazed about this because I work from home, so I watch TV during the day, the kids play their games in the evening and I play my game for many hours nearly every night into the morning.
I am just about to buy a replacement bulb, hence taking the time to write this review. Buying replacement bulbs is always tricky because there is usually a wide price range. I believe you get what you pay for and I have found most of the options for this projector are just over £100. For my last projector I was regularly paying £230 (including VAT) for replacement bulbs that lasted just a few months of light use, given that I couldn't watch it during the day and did not did not play my PS4 anywhere near as often or as long (I had a proper job then).
The projector is very lightweight, so it can fit nicely on any shelf without risking falling down at any minute. The corner-adjust function also means that you get a full screen picture from anywhere in the room. My previous projectors had to be square-on to the screen for a perfect picture.
I have not had better projector than this, and for the price, I would definitely recommend it. I don't think I will ever go back to watching a small screen TV even if its is 40+ inch because I am now so used to watching larger than life size TV, DVDs and gams on a whole wall!
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on 16 September 2015
It's my first projector, was choosing it between this and DLP BenQ MW526. I picked this because of newer 3LCD technology and I love it so far.
Very bright, sharp, vivid colors. I like the physical switches on top, for contrast, image size and image tilt, very useful when you need quick adjustments.
The black contrast could be better, but since I knew that LCD's don't have dark blacks and I am using it on white wall, no screen, I am satisfied.
Overall - good bang for buck.
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on 23 March 2015
We bought this to project from a Macbook to illustrate lectures on Photoshop during the day in our Studio. Even with bright sunlight streaming in the many windows it is still possible to see the image clearly and projected at a good size. I bought an expensive 3m Full HD Mini Displayport on HDMI cable which proved to be unnecessary as a simple USB cable works perfectly and needed no complicated adjustment for the resolution. The projected resolution is good enough at large sizes to read the Photoshop menus and dialogues easily. All in all highly recommended so far. it may of course conk out next month but hopefully not!
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on 9 March 2014
Bought this for presentations and some occasional film watching. Considering the price it does a decent job.
The internal speaker is a bit weak and distorts when played loud, although this is easily remedied by using some external speakers. Also the fan is a little on the loud side (in my opinion) but this can also be improved by running the projector in 'eco' mode.

I've sat through a few movies played via this projector and I'm really impressed with the picture quality given the cost and that it's only 720 HD.
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on 13 November 2014
The throw range is much better than most projectors.

The darks are terrible.

There is no audio out (confirmed this with the Epson helpline) so you can't plug in external speakers, you have to redirect the audio source from whatever you have the media on - fine for a PC or last gen console, and some digital TV boxes. Not so good for other digital TV boxes and, say, a PS4.

Make sure that you're aware of whether this would be an issue for you. I would not be able to get away with it. The internal speaker is woeful.
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on 13 March 2015
I'm really surprised about the quality of this videoprojector. I truly love it. The throw range is great and the image is clean and bright.
If you want to use it for presentations or watching films it's definitely a great choice. With the auto iris operational it's no problem to achieve a true black. Unfortunately I bought it from an electronic store in London and not from Amazon so I spent way too much for it, but well that's not the point. If you are searching for a screen to use this product I highly recommend this one http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000SKNCMU/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B000SKNCMU&linkCode=as2&tag=cm_cr_pr_wr_but_top-21&linkId=VZLGHBRFQLJQ2WXF - it's the one I'm using at the moment and I'm really satisfied with it.
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on 6 December 2013
I'm not an expert of videoprojector, so sorry if my review will not go into details. However I truly love the Epson EH-TW490. I bought it with the purpose of watching films and photos in my house and I'm really satisfied about the result. Image is clean, bright and colours looks good to me plus is very easy to use. The HDMI port makes it easy to connect it to the latest devices. If you use the "cinema" mode it's quite silent and perfect when the room isn't too bright. While by using other mode such as "game" or "dynamic" the fan noise increase but image becomes brighter so that during the daylight you can watch films or playing games without much problems.
Overall I'm very happy about this product.
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on 28 November 2014
Bought this projector @ GBP299 and at this price it is simply amazing. If it's at its standard price of ~GBP379 then there are better options out there.

-very good screen quality (colours)
-XGA resolution
-easy to operate
-price! (GBP299)

-a bit noisy (cooling system and mine has some noisy coil)
-blacks are not as good as the ad says. Definitely not 12K. Unless they measured with full Iris (which is noisy as well). This is a plague of all projectors anyway.

Overall - I highly recommend this projector. You don't spend a lot and get a quality piece of hardware.
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