Epson MovieMate 25 Projector Review

Image Quality and Pixelization

Remember that the MovieMate is a entry level resolution projector, it is not HDTV resolution (HD defined as 720 or 1080 vertical lines of resolution), whereas the MovieMate is 480p resolution, the same as other entry level projectors, and for that matter the same resolution as today’s DVDs.

Due to its relatively low resolution, its pixels are more visible than higher resolution projectors. If you sit fairly close, this means you can see the pixels in the display, though most of the image. Sitting further back, pixels become less visible, mostly detectable, in larger white, or light colored areas of the image, such as sky or clouds. The pixel structures, as with any projector, tend to be most visible inside of the type of text that you most often see in credits at the end of movies.

Since the Epson MovieMate is an LCD projector, its pixel structure is noticeably more visible than you would find on a DLP projector of the same resolution, and ultimately this is the big weakness of the MovieMate 25. To really sit far enough back so that the pixel structure is virtually invisible, (except on credits and large stationary bright areas of the image, where the pixels would still be slightly visible), you would have to sit at least 2 times the image’s width.

Of course with these small images, and, for that matter, the limits of using digital cameras to record them (yep, digital cameras are also fixed pixel devices), you cannot see the pixels in these full screen shots. So immediately below is a full screen photo of the Philadelphia boat houses, from a Hi-Def tape. You can see the caption Schuykill River at the bottom. The image below it is a closeup of the text. In the closeup, you can easily see the pixel structure (also a slight color shift due to partial misalignment of the three LCD panels. The color shift, however is not visible at any normal viewing distance.

Unfortunately, I did not take the same images when reviewing the competing Optoma MovieTime DV10, but, had I, the pixels would still be visible in the same sized image, but just not as much. The pixel sizes would be identical, its just that the black border – the mask – around each pixel on an LCD is wider than on a DLP, making the defining lines much more distinct. So, if you are using the bundled 80″ diagonal screen, that screen is approximately 70 inches wide. That would put you 140 inches back, or just under 12 feet away. To fill a 100″ diagonal image, that means 15 feet back. If you really want the pixels not to be visible, figure 2.5 times screen width, which would change those seating distances to 15 and and 19 feet respectively. Figure that a DLP projector for the same amount of pixel visibility would allow you to sit about 2/3 the distance away.

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