Epson is showing off its latest at IFA 2022, including a new 3LCD Ultra Short Throw (UST) projector that appears to be a major upgrade to the company’s previous UST models.
The EH-LS800B comes in black or white finish and is currently listed on Epson’s UK website for £3,699 (about $3,800) with an estimated shipping date of November. It features a 2 x 20 watt built-in audio system designed by Yamaha and runs Android TV OS for video streaming.
Epson’s new UST can transmit an 80-inch diagonal image when placed just 2.3 cm away from a wall or screen, with a maximum image size of 150 inches. The brightness is 4,000 lumens, which is quite high for a home theater projector. The EH-LS800B uses a laser light source and, according to Epson, features “4K Enhancement Technology that diagonally shifts each pixel to double the full HD resolution.”
Three HDMI inputs are provided, including eARC. One of those inputs is a “special” HDMI port that bypasses the projector’s video processing circuitry, allowing for sub-20ms latency when gaming, according to an Epson representative who spoke at IFA.
A very cool feature that I caught demonstrating was Epson’s iProjection app. Ultra-short-throw projectors are notoriously cumbersome to set up to match the image to the screen. But Epson’s app takes the pain out of that process by using your smartphone’s camera to capture an image of the projected image during setup, then operating the projector to correct alignment. From what I’ve seen, it’s simple, quick, and easily preferable to leveling the projector’s feet on the surface it sits on.
Ultra-short-throw projectors: brightness and sound matter
Ultra short throw projectors are designed to be placed in living room environments with relatively high levels of ambient light. Specially coated screens help reduce the effects of room light on the UST model, but the higher the light output, the more likely you are to get images with good contrast and rich colors.
In the EH-LS800B demos I saw at IFA, the projectors were typically placed in an open space with bright ceiling trade fair lighting. No attempt was made to optimize the environment for video projection. Still, Epson’s projector looked surprisingly good despite the challenges. It definitely contributed to the performance.
Another element of the UST model is audio. This is because it resides in the space normally occupied by a soundbar in a living room entertainment setup. Almost all UST projectors have some form of built-in audio, but often the sound is weak and lacks dynamics.
of Formovie UST Projector Recently, I tested the capabilities of a Bowers & Wilkins designed audio system that supports a total of four speakers and Dolby Atmos. The projector provided clear dialogue and a real atmos height effect, and both of these things really made a difference when watching movies.
Epson’s Yamaha-designed two-speaker audio system looks less ambitious than Formovie UST’s, but in our demo using an electronic music festival performance, the sound coming out of the projector is relatively rich and clear. It was good quality. You can also tap into Yamaha’s sound processing mode (one of the company’s specialties) to create stadium, theater, or sports he arena effects.
The EH-LS800B’s performance combined with its low-latency specs for gaming, living room-friendly looks, and app-based setup could make it a strong contender for one of the best 4Ks of 2022. projector. We look forward to spending some quality time with you in the near future.