Epson EH-TW3200 - the right adjustment

If you view this post on your notebook, adjust the angle of your screen so you can see a difference between the face of the man and the background also hit F11 for full screen.

So, you read all the reviews, look up all the recommended settings like use only Cinema mode, keep it in Eco mode, set Gamma to 2.3 or 2.4, tweak brightness and contrast a bit, do not Expand the HDMI Video Range and set Epson Super White to on.

The result is a nice picture with deep blacks, good whites and colors.
BUT all the recommended settings above are WRONG.
I had absolutely no detail in the shadows and it reminded me on a wedding photo I once saw.
I tracked it down to give you an idea.

Now I sit here with a highly praised home cinema projector displaying beautiful blacks who try to take over my picture, well at least my shadows and this Epson has much less detail compared to my simple ACER P1265 dlp projector.

OK let´s check everything.

I am using a HP DV5 with a Nvidia 9600 GT and XBMC to play my files
HDMI connection: check
other video player: same results
WDTV: looks even worse
maybe the Nvidia needs to be tweaked:
after 2 hours there is not much more detail I have.
Changing the HDMI video range to 0-255 and Expanding the HDMI Video Range on the Epson brings a bit more, but still not good.
Changing  brightness and contrast in XBMC and the Epson EH-TW3200 brings out the shadows a bit but also washes out my picture too much.

Time to forget everything I read and do some intensive testing.
As usual when I do something like that I start to blog about it because then I have all my results in one place and I can share that with some folks who are in the same situation.
And there you have it, the Epson EH-TW3200 insider blog is born.

Every setting back to normal and let the testing begin.
All photos are with the same exposure and ISO setting and the screen quality is better than what you see here. The black is much less gray and the colors are better.

First stop Epson Super White
what is a misnomer since it reduces whites.
It takes away the blinding white and gives you a bit more detail in the white areas.

the best way to compare is to download the images and flip them back and forth in your image viewer.
Or how about I make you a quick gif animation? We will loose some quality but it is very easy to see the difference between the settings.

the problem is we are also loosing some detail in the not so bright areas like the face

Let´s Expand the HDMI Video Range

and the gif animation

we get some more details out of the shadow if we chose Expanded

I did chose the scene above for the extreme contrast and the subtle skin tones but we need something with more shadow detail.
The problem with this scene is there is a lot of lost detail here.

and the gif animation
Expanded is a bit better but still too much detail is lost

now we can see much more detail like that Baltar wears a bright colored trouser but for normal viewing in the dark the picture is just too bright

see how much you missed? This is what you should see under the table.

One of the most critical areas is the 3 people on the left, Roslin, Natalie and Tigh, so let´s zoom in.
same order as above, from x.v.Color to Dynamic

Here is what you should see, so get the full HD picture to do your own adjusting.
We need a way to just raise the brightness in the shadows without affecting the rest of the picture.

And this is where our hero steps in, meet Customized Gamma Color Tone 2
much too much, but you can see the huge impact this slider has

how does this setting work with very bright videos?

The gif pictures are 16 million colors compressed to 256 so you loose a lot of detail, but just take a look at the red candy wrapper, it is easy to spot how much more detail you can get out of the dark areas.

So what is my optimal setting?
For dark and with some little ambient light:
Cinema, 6500-7500k, HDMI Video Range Expanded, Gamma Custom Color Tone 2 between 10 and 20

For bright viewing situations depending on how bright:
Dynamic or Living room with or without ECO, 6500k, HDMI Video Range Expanded, Gamma Custom Color Tone 2 between 16 and 26

And this is where the Memory function comes in handy what I set up with 3 settings for bright, moderate and very little light and now I have my perfect settings.
Yours will be a bit different, depending on your taste, your player and the amount of light you have and what you watch.
But you know now a couple secrets to get much more out of your Epson EH-TW3200 and the rest of the Epson Home Cinema projector family.


  1. Thank You!

    And the best setting in darkness other option?(cinema mode)(brightess,contrast,RGB,etc...)
    Sorry,I don't speak english,just little...


  2. Thomas, for dark use:
    Cinema, 7500k, HDMI Video Range Expanded, Gamma Custom Color Tone 2 between 5 and 10, brightness -2 to -5

    for all other settings I need a bit more time to find out,so check back in a couple days.

  3. Thank you!I will back...


  4. Richard in Nova ScotiaMarch 19, 2011 at 1:21 PM

    What a superb resource you've created! Fascinating. I first read about your blog on the AVS forum on my smartphone several weeks ago. Went back this morning and found your post and am now reading it on my computer. I'll be trying these settings out tomorrow evening.

  5. Richard you will love what the Epson can become with these settings and thank you for your kind words.

  6. Just got my projector today and came straight to your blog :) It's a great resource, thank you!

  7. Hello ; And in your regulations the "superwhite" is activated?


  8. Thanks Matt and HCFAn "superwhite" is deactivated

  9. Thank you for sharing!

  10. Hi there,
    I am quite interested in buying this Epson TW-3200 model. However I read in a review on the web that the picture quality of this particular model is rather blurry. Is this true? what are your findings? Or were you able to rectify this blurry problem by tweaking the picture configuration on your projector?

    thanks in advance :)

  11. Hi!
    Instead of using extended you should use normal and set your PC to output 16-235 video range instead of 0-255 pc range. That way you get all the black level detail without limiting the contrast range on your projector. Trust me, this is the way to go.

  12. where do i do this? interesting blog

  13. Extended video range is a huge mistake to me.
    Ive tried many movies with and without extened range function and all it does is, that it changes black to gray without adding any details to it. You simply loose all the black from movies. This is wrong way to go!
    I would like to try that 16-235 video range output but dont know where to find it. Any help here?

  14. Extended range is a bad idea to my eyes. As the above post says, black turns to grey!

    1. Correct settings for my ati hd6670 card and epson projektor:
      ATI Desktop video range FULL(0-255)
      ATI VIDEO setting for the card: LIMITED (16-235) Because Movies dynamic range are 16-235.
      Epson settings will be correct when using the normal setting and NOT Extended. You will also have to do a calibrating of gamma, brightness and contrast....(do desktop adjustment first and when perfect move on to video adjustment in ati catalyst center)... Hope this help and clarifying things. I am no expert but this has proven good result with my eh-tw2900 with deep black and still there are plenty of deep details.

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  16. I have a 8300 model I'm using a grey screen which is definitely the way to go I'm in a basement this is my picture setup hope it helps
    Color Mode Dynamic
    Contrast 12
    Color Saturation -10
    Abs Color Temp 8000k
    Normal power consumption
    Been running fine for 4yrs so far

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