Epson BrightLink 455wi Projector - Image Quality
The Epson BrightLink 455wi projector earned our Best In Classroom: Interactive Projector Award in this year's 2011 Classroom Projector Report: The Best School Projectors for K-12 Education!
May 19, 2011 - Anthony Arrigo
Epson BrightLink 455wi Color & Picture Quality
Being that the Epson BrightLink 455wi is a 3 LCD projector, color reproduction was extremely nice. The Epson 455wi performed very well in Presentation Mode. Color accuracy is typically right on with LCD projectors. DLP on the other hand used to have poor color reproduction, but newer technology has pretty much eliminated the issue. The image also seemed to very uniform in terms of bright spots and dark spots. When projecting a pure white image the brightness levels across the screen were very uniform. I would estimate the difference in light variations to be about 10 percent. The images below attempt to show what kind of picture you can expect from the BrightLink 455wi.
In the area of picture sharpness, the 455wi produced a very crisp image. Contrast ratio when set to Presentation Mode put out an image of Excel that clearly showed the faint lines in the spreadsheet without having to make adjustments in the menu system. The image is a little more pixelated than your typical DLP, but the Epson 455wi produced a really nice image overall. If you are going to be speaking to the same audience for a couple of hours or so then the quality of the image is definitely nice enough to not produce a lot of eye fatigue.
The Epson 455wi is a native WXGA(1280x800) projector and under extreme compression the image looked very readable. Even at some of the smallest type settings like 10pt the projector produced a readable image. Keep in mind that I am basing my opinion from a distance of 10 feet. If you plan to use the projector to teach high end software programs that like CAD then you might want to consider a projector with a higher native resolution. Although the Epson performs extremely well when receiving higher resolutions than the native 1280x800 it still is not clear enough, as most projectors are not. I mention this only to reinforce what I said earlier about eye fatigue. You simply need a sharp crisp image to hold an audience for a long duration of time.
With a contrast ratio of 2000:1 and a native wide screen aspect ratio, the Epson 455wi proved to be able to perform well for users that plan to project and annotate over photographs, designs, and scientific information. Although ultra high resolution projectors with higher contrast ratios than 2000:1 would be ideal, the price tag for such an interactive projection system is often prohibitive for the average k-12, vocational school, or university where multiple projectors might be required. With that said, the Epson BrightLink 455wi is a great value considering how well it performs.