Three thousand of your Earth pounds. That's a hell of a lot of money for a single component, even one as rarefied as a projector.
Okay, you can spend tens of thousands on a beamer if you're so inclined and financially endowed, but as we recently discovered, £700 or so gets you a very fine example with full 1080p capability. Put simply, this Epson EH-TW9000W needs to be seriously nifty.
Luckily, it is. We'll get to the projectory bits momentarily, but the fun starts with the extras.
First up is the WirelessHD technology. The idea is fully wireless transmission of lossless HD video. Physically, it involves a separate adapter that plugs into the wall for power, and the source for the images - in our case a PC. It has just a single HDMI input. It's basically a wireless HDMI interface that's equivalent to a wired HDMI 1.4 connection.
The projector itself has an integrated WirelessHD interface. Now, this is the sort of thing that had us sucking our teeth - premonitions of setup headaches, with craptastic frame rates even if we did manage it - that sort of thing. But no, it's as easy to select as any other video input. You just cycle through the digital and analogue settings, hit the wireless option and bang, it works. In fact, the results are indistinguishable from using a wired connection. Impressive.
Epson claims it has a working range of 10 metres, and we can confirm that it's definitely good for at least five.
Gimme some 3D
The other feature of broad interest is stereoscopic 3D. Active shutter glasses are the drill here (you get a pair), and again, we had no problems getting things running with Nvidia's 3D Vision platform. The only slight snag was the need to run the equivalent of 24Hz refresh at 1,920 x 1,080. That's dandy for movies, but less than ideal for PC gaming.
But what of the projector itself? Well, it's quite simply the finest of its type we've seen. As this is an LCD rather than DLP projector you might think that's damning it with faint praise, but no - this is a superb device by any metric.
Most impressive is the sheer contrast on offer. The black levels are outrageous for an LCD projector, and the result is preposterous detail in darker game and movie scenes. It's incredibly detailed in bright scenes, too. In fact, it's almost too good - suddenly some of the CGI used to paint in backdrops in Ridley Scott's Gladiator looks a little clunky.
In fact, this is one of the very few projectors we've been happy to run with the lamp in full power mode. Usually that means compromising black levels, but not here. That's partly thanks to Epson's fast acting active iris tech, but also because it just has some damn fine LCD panels and optics.
There's plenty more to be pleased about, including low noise levels and proper lens shift adjustability, which makes it a lot easier to set up. All of which will leave you wondering about the score.
Well, we're a games-loving bunch, and that means the TW9000W's one major flaw is a killer: it suffers significant input lag. Otherwise, you'd be looking at a score of five for performance and at least 4.5 overall.