EpiqVision Mini EF12 uses Android TV & Chromecast
Epson just announced a new portable projector called the EpiqVision Mini EF12 Smart Streaming Laser Projector.
The picture resolution is Full HD with HDR10 and HLG support. It’s running on Android TV software and has a Chromecast built-in to the hardware.
Android TV already powers a number of Smart TVs, the new Google Chromecast (with Google TV) and streaming devices such as NVIDIA Shield.
So the EpiqVision Mini EF12 will be able to tap into a number of streaming apps such as Hulu, HBO Max and YouTube TV. (My favorite apps on Android TV are less mainstream — such as Pluto TV, Plex and The Criterion Channel.)
Projectors companies have been making a pivot into the streaming TV market — even before the onset of COVID-19 and the shuttering of movie theaters. Anker’s Nebula line of mini projectors were among the first to tap Android TV software last year with the Nebula Capsule II.
The remote control for the Mini EF12 includes voice search with Google Assistant to help you track down things to watch. The box-shaped projector delivers up to a 150 inch screen on a wall or projector screen.
I haven’t tested this projector, so I can’t say what kind of picture it will deliver in light and dark settings. Epson says the projector has color brightness and white brightness of 1,000 lumens.
The projector also functions as a standalone Bluetooth speaker designed by Yamaha especially for the EpiqVision Mini EF12. The 5W speaker system delivers audio that “rivals soundbars,” according to Epson.
Here are some more specifications described by the manufacturer.
Specs for Epson EpiqVision EF12
- Projection System: Epson 3LCD Laser
- Chip Design: (Architecture) 3-Chip
- Projection Method: Front/Upside Down
- Product Color: Black and Copper
- Driving Method: Poly-silicon TFT active matrix, 0.62″
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Native Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080
- Compatible with 4:3: Yes
- Color Brightness: Color Light Output: 1,000 lumens
- White Brightness: White Light Output: 1,000 lumens
- Contrast Ratio: 200,000:1
- HDR Support: HDR10/ HLG
- Color Reproduction: Full-color (up to 16.77 million colors)
- Image Size: 30″ – 150″ (Zoom: Wide)
- Keystone Correction Auto/Manual
- Vertical: +/- 34 degrees
- Horizontal: +/- 40 degrees
- Real Time Auto Keystone Correction
- Throw Distance: 26″ – 88″
- Screen Size: 30″ – 100″
- Color Processing Full 10-bit
- Light Source: Type Laser Diode
- Light Source: Life 20,000 hours (normal/quiet mode)
- Built-in Speakers: 5 W Stereo, Sound by Yamaha
Epson says the projector’s True 3-Chip Projector Design makes it possible to display 100% of the RGB color signal for every frame.
“This allows for outstanding color accuracy while maintaining excellent color brightness, without any distracting ‘rainbowing’ or ‘color brightness’ issues seen with other projection technologies,” the company said in its announcement.
Android TV: Why it matters
Putting Android TV and a Chomecast into a portable projector isn’t anything new. Anker’s Nebula line of projectors were among the first to tap Android TV software with the Nebula Capsule II.
BenQ and Epson have since adopted a similar Android TV/Chromecast setup, but with brighter, higher-end projectors.
That’s all welcome news for consumers because it’s not difficult to find a high-end projector with subpar software for streaming Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime. That usually means you need to shell out more money for a streaming stick, and plug it into the back of the projector. Adding more equipment and juggling a second remote isn’t ideal.
The EpiqVision Mini EF12 is debuting at $999.99. The projector has a standard 2-year limited warranty, full-unit replacement, along with free technical phone support for the life of the product.