Epson Powerlite W6 Projector - Physical Tour
5/9/2009 - Mike Rollett
Much of the content on this page is taken from Art's review of the Home Cinema 700 with some modifications. This is due to the two projectors being essentially identical, just aimed at different types of use.
The Powerlite W6 has its lens offset to the right side of the projector when facing it. There a manual, sliding lens cover, adjustable from the top of the projector, that protects the lens when not in use and also provides video and audio mute (A/V Mute) when the projector is in operation. A/V Mute can also be accessed from the remote without closing the cover and also allows for display of a blue screen or alternate screen (such as company logo). This is a feature that has appeared on other Epson projectors, allowing for a pause for questions during a presentation while helping to save lamp life. On top of the lens are tabbed rings for adjusting lens focus and zoom. Right below the lens is the removable dust filter, which pulls straight out from the front for easy access no matter how the projector’s mounted. There is also an IR receiving eye on the bottom right corner of the front panel.
Height adjustment is obtained via a push button, adjustable foot in the center front of the W6, and two screw feet in the rear corners.
In the rear left corner (again facing the front of the projector) is the cover for access to the lamp. Having the cover on top of the W6 allows for access even if the projector is ceiling mounted. However, the cover wraps around to the rear of the projector and the screw to release the cover must be accessed from the rear. This could present problems in certain installations where the projector is mounted close to the back wall. There is a large exhaust port on the left side of the projector (right next to the lamp), while the right side sports a Kensington lock and security anchor bar for a cable lock.
On top of the projector, right in the middle, is a control panel with the most oft-used functions, plus indicators for the lamp and temperature (if overheating). There are buttons for Power On/Off, Source Search, Menu, Navigation (Up, Down, Left and Right), Escape, Enter and Help. The Help button (also on the remote) has been an Epson staple for some time. It allows the user to solve simple problems that may occur, without having to stop and consult the manual. Pushing this button brings up some questions designed to narrow down the problem. Selecting the appropriate question takes you directly to the appropriate section of the menu to address that problem.
Powerlite W6 Inputs
Now let’s look at the rear panel. Moving across the top from left to right, there is an SD card slot, followed by USB Type A and B jacks. The Type A is for a USB thumb drive and the Type B is used for connection to a computer to output video over USB to the W6. Next are video inputs for composite and S-video, stereo RCA jacks for audio input, component/computer video via a mini D-sub HD15 connector for a VGA cable and an HDMI input for both video and audio. Moving across the bottom from left to right is a 7-watt speaker, the power cord connection and another IR receiving eye.
Just a quick note here about the W6’s built-in speaker (visible on the left, above); while the 7-watt amplifier would not normally be used for in-home movie viewing (for those planning on taking it home), it creates an acceptable volume level for a classroom video viewing.
Epson Powerlite W6 Menus
Epson hasn't changed its menu look, and structure is several years. Overall, it's a pretty good layout, that I have always liked.
Text is large enough to readable from a respectable difference. The menu itself can be positioned in different locations.
The Color mode selection is located on the Image menu (typical) and gives a choice of 7 options. You can see the choices in the image below.
There are four main menus. In addition to Image, there are Signal, which mostly deals with aspect ratio, and controls relating to hooking up a computer. The color mode menu differs slightly from that of the almost identical Home Cinema 700.
The Settings menu has one key setting, the lamp brightness control (I prefer when that is part of the Image or Picture menu). It also controls keystone settings, volume control and offers the ability to lock the projector's control panel, a feature probably here, because it comes from the Epson Powerlite W6's feature set.
There is also an Extended menu, where you can decide to put in your own Logo to project when there is no source, projector orientation (front/rear, ceiling/table), Control of the USB ports and menu language.
Epson puts its Reset on a separate main menu, although some menus have their own resets of only their features.
Lastly, there is, as is typical of almost all projectors, an Info menu which keeps you apprised of lamp life, input source and other "useful" tidbits.
Powerlite W6 Remote Control
With the exception of a few buttons, the W6’s remote is almost a duplicate of the previously reviewed 1735W. It’s well laid out, allowing easy access to the most used functions. There are buttons to access each input directly, the aforementioned “Help” button, number keys, control the electronic zoom, presentation pages and speaker volume. The buttons are not backlit, but that is typical for many multimedia projectors where backlighting might be more of a distraction than a benefit. Overall, the remote works quite well. As with the 1735W, the only issue I have with the remote is that most of the buttons are the same size and shape, making it difficult to locate them by touch in a darkened room.
Powerlite W6 Lens Throw
The Powerlite W6 is graced with a basic zoom lens with a 1.2:1 zoom ratio. That gives you limited placement flexibility (actually typical of DLP home projectors rather than 3LCD like the Powerlite W6). Epson expects most owners will place this projector on a (low) table, such as a coffee table, though some will ceiling mount.
To fill a 100" diagonal 16:9 screen the front of the projector can be placed as close as 10 feet 10 inches or as far back as 13 feet. These numbers are taken directly from the Home Cinema 700's user manual.
It should be noted, that the W6's LCD panels project a 1280x800 image, not the standard 1280x720 which is 720p.
1280x800 is referred to as WXGA (not 720p), and is the standard for most widescreen laptop computers. The choice of 1280x800 panels instead of 1280x720 indicate the Powerlite W6's (and Home Cinema 700's) pedigree as coming from a business projector heritage.
All considered, the Powerlite W6 is a "crossover" projector, one suitable for typical business presentations but one with sufficient image quality to double as an entry level home projector as well.
Powerlite W6 Lens Shift
The Powerlite W6 does not have lens shift. Adding lens shift would increase the price. Lens shift is rarely found on business projectors smaller than 10 pounds, and 4000 lumens. Most that offer lens shift also offer interchangeable lenses - and most of those lenses cost more than the W6. In other words, don't expect to find adjustable lens shift on any of the Powerlite W6's competition
The projector has a small amount of offset. For that same 100" diagonal 16:9 screen, the center of the projector's lens would sit 2.7 inches below the bottom of the screen surface. Or, if you are ceiling mounting, the projector mounts inverted, and would have its lens 2.7 inches above the top of the screen surface. All these numbers are from the Epson manual. That amount of fixed lens shift is pretty much standard for most business and education projectors, as it is fairly ideal when placing a projector on a table, to use with a screen mounted at the most common height - which is just a few inches above tabletop height.