Epson PowerLite 99W 3LCD Projector Review

The PowerLite 99W has a zoom lens with a 1.2:1 zoom ratio and with a specified throw ratio range of 1.30 to 1.56.   For the following measurements and evaluations, I positioned the projector at 100 inches from the screen and set the projector’s zoom lens to its mid position.  This produced an image 70 inches wide with throw ratio of 100/70 = 1.43:1 .

Brightness

The PowerLite 99W is a very bright projector.  It has rated light output of 3000 lumens and my measurements show that its peak output (measured at the center of the projected image) of the unit reviewed exceed the Epson specification in the brightest modes.  Below are the measured peak lumens values for the various color modes and when using the projector’s out-of-the-box settings.

Dynamic              3626

Presentation       3178

Theater                 2084

Photo                    2096

Sports                   2983

sRGB                     2076

Blackboard           1823

Whiteboard          2476

As I discussed in the Section 4 of this review the factory default settings for brightness and contrast generally resulted in the crushing of blacks and whites respectively.  After making the above peak lumens measurements I adjusted the brightness and contrast settings to produce more correct reference black and white levels in order to eliminate the crushing.  Then I measured the lumens output again for the Theater color mode.  In Theater mode the peak lumens decreased from 2084 with the factory default contrast setting to about 1900 lumens with the modified setting.

The above lumens values were measured with the projector operating in normal lamp mode.  Changing the projector  to “Eco” mode reduced the light output to approximate 2/3 the brightness of normal mode.

I measured the brightness uniformity with the projector sitting on a table and projecting a 70 inch wide image.  The vertical and horizontal keystone adjustments were set to zero, meaning no electronic keystone correction was being used.  The brightest point was near the center of the image and the greatest light fall-off was measured at the top right corner of the image where it was 29% lower than at the brightest point.

 

Noise

The Epson PowerLite 99W is specified to produce a noise level of 37 dB in normal lamp mode and 29 dB in Eco mode.  These values, especially in normal operating mode, are toward the upper end of what is typical for this class of projector.  While the noise level, especially with the lamp operating in normal mode, is certainly audible, it should not be distracting when this projector is being used in a class room environment.  Changing to the “Eco” mode resulted in a noticeable decrease in noise level and to a level similar to that from a typical home theater projector when such a projector is operating in its normal mode.

 

Audio Performance

The PowerLite 99W has a single 16 watt built-in speaker that produces adequate volume to not only overcome the projector’s fan noise but also is sufficient to provide the audio in a classroom or moderate size conference room.  As is expected from such a modest size built-in speaker, there is no real bass but the PowerLite 99W produces above average sound quality for this class of compact projector.  It certainly will work well for voice narrations and background music.

 

Networking

The PowerLite 99W has a RJ-45 network port on it rear panel for connection to a wired network and Epson also offers an optional wireless adapter (not provided with the unit used for this review).  Epson provides both PC and Mac networked projector management software with the projector.  This software provides the tools to managed one or multiple Epson projectors  from a single PC/Mac location.  The administrator can both monitor the status of each Epson projector and also control the power and certain settings for each of these networked projectors.

Epson also offers a free iProjection App for iOS or Android mobile devices that enables content from the mobile device to be displayed by the PowerLite 99W, if the projector has been equipped with the optional wireless network adapter.

As discussed in section 2 of this review, Epson also provides “Moderator” software that enables content from up to four devices (mobile, PCs or Macs) to displayed by the PowerLite 99W in a split-screen mode.

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