Extras Boost Epson's Projector/DVD Combo
At a Glance
Epson has upped the ante for DVD-equipped projectors with its MovieMate 25. The product features excellent image quality, tons of great extras, and an astonishingly low $1199 price tag. The only negative is its substantial 13.4-by-12.2-by-7.1-inch size--bulky for a unit that's designed to sit on a living-room table.
Other than in size, the MovieMate 25 is superior in every way to rival Optoma's impressive MovieTime DV10. The extras start with an 80-inch, floor-standing, pull-up, 16:9 wide screen. A 40-watt subwoofer works with the projector's integrated speakers to produce deep, natural sound.
Epson has also added lens shifting, an attribute normally found on high-end projectors. This feature enables you to raise an image, lower it, or move it sideways without resorting to the typical keystone controls (used to square up an image when the projector is tilted up or down).
The projector's native resolution is 480p (854 by 480), ideal for playing DVDs. The product is rated at 1200 ANSI lumens--plenty of brightness for presentations in smaller rooms or for movie viewing at home. I customized settings effortlessly using an easy-to-navigate menu system, though I never managed to attain quite enough detail in black areas. Still, the unit's smooth, brilliant color impressed me.
Rated at 26 decibels, the projector performed very quietly during my tests. In fact, except with regard to its lack of compactness--an admittedly important consideration for a tabletop projector--the MovieMate 25 was a joy to use, and ranks at the top of its class.
Epson MovieMate 25
This projector is a great buy for its tempting extras--if you can put up with its large size.
Price when reviewed: $1199
Current prices (if available)