September 22, 2023
Epson CO-FH02 review: Big screen streaming on a budget

Finances 1080p projectors just like the Epson CO-FH02 aren’t a brand new phenomenon, however they provide the second-best factor, if not good, in terms of fashion or options: nice picture high quality at a particularly inexpensive value level.

It is easy to arrange and use, comes with an Android TV stick that is really value plugging in, and the image high quality is nice for the cash. Players and critical dwelling theater fanatics can have causes to argue, however in the event you’re searching for a cheap and simple strategy to give your favourite streaming companies the large display screen remedy, then the Epson CO-FH02 is one in all your greatest selections.

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Epson CO-FH02 evaluation: What do you get for the cash?

That is an LCD projector and makes use of Epson’s 3LCD know-how to mission a Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) decision picture onto your wall or display screen. It has an output lamp of three,000 lumens as its gentle supply, and with a reflectance of 1.19:1.61:1, it may possibly output a 60-inch image from 1.58m or a most 391-inch picture from 10.4m. However at this distance, you are in all probability pushing it to get a vivid sufficient image.

It doesn’t assist HDR or any fancy viewing modes and doesn’t have any particular gaming options. Actually, there is just one HDMI enter, hidden in a hidden compartment on the left. That is the place you plug within the included Epson Android TV streaming stick.

The latter is designed to suit inside this compartment by connecting to the HDMI port and a USB port (for energy) by way of the 2 supplied cables. It is a problem to snap the wires into place and snap the bar into place so the bulkhead might be closed, however not less than you solely need to do it as soon as.

With the stick in place, it is a compact, elegant projector that will not dislodge on the typical tripod, and a number one stand can maintain it on the proper angle. Though the projector doesn’t have any bodily mounting factors on the bottom, the software program additionally helps the other way up ceiling mounting. Noise ranges attain round 36dB to 37dB in normal mode and when you can scale back that to a hum of 30dB in eco mode, meaning shedding a number of the shade and brightness.

READ NEXT: Our favourite 1080p and 4K prepared projectors

Epson CO-FH02 evaluation: What does it do effectively?

Upon getting it up and operating, getting a great picture with the Epson CO-FH02 is comparatively straightforward. There may be computerized keystone correction on each the horizontal and vertical axis, which compensates for any distinction in peak between the projector and display screen and in the event you set it up a bit off middle. With the projector on a tripod, I needed to make some minor handbook changes and use the main target wheel to sharpen the image, however it solely took a number of moments to repair it.

My greatest shock was the streaming stick and software program. Even when a projector producer guarantees Android TV, it seems that there are sometimes some bizarre do-it-yourself variations the place half of the apps do not work or are hopelessly old-fashioned.

Nonetheless, the Epson C0-FH02’s bundled streaming stick makes use of the right Google software program, full with up-to-date apps, entry to the Google Play retailer, and Google Assistant assist. I obtained Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube and Disney+ up and operating in quarter-hour and so they all labored flawlessly, I even copied login info from my Google account or their respective smartphone apps. That, and the wonderful usability of the software program, make Epson one thing of a rarity: a budget-friendly projector that you do not have to make use of a Roku or Hearth TV stick to.

There are some respectable 1080p projectors on the market for round £500, together with some wonderful transportable choices. However the Epson C0-FH02 has one thing that the majority fashions lack: excessive brightness ranges. Epson’s specs state it is 3,000 lumens, and I measured the utmost mirrored brightness from the display screen at 320cd/m2 at 50cm when the projector was in Cinema mode; that is greater than any of the 2 or thrice costlier projectors I’ve examined. The draw back is that, as you may count on from LCD know-how, the black degree is sort of excessive, affecting distinction and inflicting a grayish high quality to black and darker shadows.

On stability, nonetheless, the C0-FH02’s picture high quality is up there with the most effective I’ve seen from a projector at this value level. You will not get the extent of sharpness and readability you’d get from a costlier 4K mannequin, however the output nonetheless appears very sharp with good ranges of element and pure but vibrant colors.

I measured 85% of the sRGB shade gamut and 65% of the DCI-P3 in testing, however watching Wall-E, Star Wars Episode VIII, and Solely Murders within the Constructing on Disney+ noticed how sharp and cinematic the presentation was. Similar factor with Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Energy and The Hateful Eight on Amazon Prime Video. Whilst somebody spoiled by 4K OLED TVs and 4K DLP projectors, I discovered the Epson to be a straightforward and cute watch.

Once you look intently, you may see some pixelation that you’d usually affiliate with a Full HD LCD projector, however you’d need to get inside a meter or so to see it. Nothing to trouble you at regular viewing distances.

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Epson CO-FH02 evaluation: What may it have achieved higher?

The most important disappointment with the Epson CO-FH02 is the onboard sound. It is not dangerous for readability, and its tone is not painfully tinny, however it solely reaches usable quantity ranges and there aren’t many low-end our bodies. To make this worse, there is no such thing as a bodily audio output. This implies your solely various for audio is a Bluetooth headset or Bluetooth soundbar or speaker in the event you’re utilizing the included streaming stick. The headphones work and there is not any critical lag or lag, however your expertise might differ relying on what you are attempting to pair and the way effectively it syncs.

The CO-FH02 additionally lacks gaming options, and there have been no noticeable issues taking part in Borderlands 2 and Gotham Knights by way of a linked gaming laptop computer. -delay mode.

Lastly, it is a projector that works greatest as a single supply gadget, ideally Epson’s personal broadcast stick. You solely have one HDMI enter that’s usually hidden, and there is not any strategy to swap sources with out unplugging what you have already plugged in.

READ NEXT: The most effective projector screens you should buy

Epson CO-FH02 evaluation: Ought to I purchase it?

This isn’t the best projector for everybody. It is not an awesome selection for avid gamers or critical dwelling theater fanatics, even these with restricted cash, and the dearth of connectivity is an actual limitation. Nonetheless, there’s rather a lot to love as a projector for streaming out of your favourite companies.

It appears good, is neat, straightforward to arrange, and whereas the picture high quality is much from good, it is higher than most projectors for this type of cash. An excellent, sensible price range buy.

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