Here’s the situation: you need a projector, but you have less than $400 to spend. The projector needs to be bright enough to use in a conference room or living room, which rules out the cheap projectors that you see all over Amazon and eBay. You don’t need especially high resolution, just a high-quality image with decent color and contrast from a projector that actually does what it claims to do on the spec sheet.
The Epson VS230 is an SVGA LCD projector that solves all of these problems. At $340, it is inexpensive enough to compete directly with the cheap projectors, but it is a quality product built by one of the largest projector manufacturers in the business. When you need a projector on a shoestring budget, the VS230 is definitely worth a look.
By our own admission, it is not fair to evaluate the VS230 as a home video projector, but we’re doing it anyway. Why? Simply put, there is incredible demand for cheap projectors, and the people who want these cheap projectors usually want to use them for film and video.
So what do you get for your $340? A bright picture, for one. I set up the VS230 on the coffee table in my living room and turned it on. A few seconds later, a blazing bright picture appeared on the wall, with rich colors and decent black levels. With the open curtains and cellular shades, my living room measured almost 300 lux — enough light to read by without straining your eyes. At this level of ambient illumination, the VS230 is still bright enough to put out a TV-sized image of 60″ diagonal and enough color and contrast performance to make video look good. With ambient lighting reduced, like after the sun goes down, image sizes of up to 140″ are possible. If anything, the VS230 is too bright for nighttime use at small image sizes, as it produces over 2400 lumens in its brightest mode and over 1000 lumens even in its dimmest one.
The VS230 teaches us that today’s business and data projectors can be great for video under the right conditions. The projector is certainly more capable than the cheap junk being advertised for video use on sites like Amazon, and it doesn’t cost much more.
By Bill Livolsi ***See Full Story on www.projectorcentral.com