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Epson Movie Mate Review

— November 28, 2005 — Tech
Epson's new MovieMate 25 rocks. Also known as the EMP-TWD1 projector, the unit combines a high end projector with all the features you need for easy home integration. At $1,199, the unit includes speakers (although I would opt to use your own speakers), a sub-woofer (ditto), and a DVD player. More interesting to me is the fact that the unit came with an 80" screen and features a short throw lens that lets you create up to a 100" screen from just 8 feet away. Note that the DVD player can also play CD-R/RW discs to pick your music files (MP3 & WMA) as well as JPEG images.

How to measure performance:
If you are looking to upgrade your home theater system, the advantage of a projector is that you can have a much larger screen without having to clutter your living room. Why have a living room that centers around the TV, when you can convert your entire living room into a TV.

Epson's features & perfomance:
In terms of performance, there are only three things that are really important to look at when you are buying a projector: (1) The brightness, which is measured in ANSI lumens (1000+ is a good minimum standard); (2) contrast ratio (2000:1 is good), and (3) resolution. In terms of resolution, the best thing to do is to get a unit that can perform at XGA resolution, which means you can watch HDTV. However, the HDTV factor will be the largest driver of cost.

The Epson MovieMate 25 featres 1200 lumens (which is above our rule of thumb), 1000:1 contrast (which is below our rule of thumb), and 480p resolution (which is not 100% ideal, but meets a minimum standard. Overall, I'd say the key feature here is that the unit can project such a wide image from such a short range, and the fact that everything is all integrated into one unit (ie. the DVD player, etc.). In other words, it isn't for everyone, but for many people, this will revolutionize their living room.

From the Epson website:
"Just plug in the Epson MovieMate 25 and let the show begin! There are no video or audio cables to connect, so you're up and running in no time. And, with offset lens shift functionality, you get crystal clear images no matter where you set it up. It's so flexible, you can project an 80" image from just 6.6' away. Use it for the kid's slumber party or in your game room for that video gaming marathon. Project your favorite movie on the wall in your family room, or on the side of the garage for the neighborhood block party. Epson 3LCD technology ensures true, continuous color and exceptional detail that's sure to wow your audience. Plus, with 1200 ANSI lumens, it's bright enough for inside daylight viewing."

At DC views they stated:
“The Epson MovieMate 25 truly is the ultimate combo projector and is suited perfectly for users of all technical levels, including those who may have absolutely no experience using a projector,” said Jodi Maugham, product manager, Home Entertainment Division, Epson America. “Not only does it give you all of the key technologies you need to create an immersive, big screen experience quickly and easily using just one solution, but it's also a very attractive product that blends nicely into virtually any home's decor.”

Technical Specifications:

Projection System: Epson 3LCD technology
LCD: Three 0.55" wide poly-silicon TFT active matrix
Resolution: Native 480p (854 x 480)
Aspect Ratio: Native 16:9 (4:3 resize)
Contrast Ratio: Up to 1000:1
Lumens: Up to 1200 ANSI lumens

Projection Lens:
Type: Optical 1.5x zoom, manual focus
F-number: 1.7 - 2.1
Focal Length: 13.7 - 20.5mm

135 W UHE lamp (User changeable)
Screen Size: (Projected Distance)

Wide: 30" - 300" (2.4ft - 24.8ft) Tele: 30" - 300" (3.7ft - 37.3ft) with Keystone Correction

Vertical +/-15 degrees
Brightness: (typical)

Up to 1200 lumens
Contrast Ratio: Up to 1000:1

Sound Output:
DTS and Dolby 5.1
Terminal Inputs
2 RCA (Audio L/R)
Terminal Outputs
1 RCA (subwoofer)
digital optical
headphone stereo jack
Video I/O

Input signal:
Video Input
Composite video: 1 RCA
S-Video: 1 Mini DIN
Dimension: 13.4" x 12.2" x 7.1" (WxDxH)
Weight: 15 lb
Fan Noise: 26 dB/33 dB

Warranty: Two-year limited warranty. 90-day lamp warranty, epson Home Exchane Program and Epson PrivateLine dedicated toll-free support (U.S. and Canada only)