Epson MovieMate 25 Projector Review

Taking the MovieMate out of it’s exceptionally large box, you have two major pieces, the all-in-one MovieMate itself, and the small, powered sub-woofer. Both finished in a lacquered white. The projector is a basic cube, only not quite as tall as wide or deep. That lead another reviewer I know to refer to it as the “Revenge of the Borg”, which I found quite amusing and appropriate, despite it being white, not black. In a world where many projectors are cleverly scuptured, (you may want to note the sculptured look of Epson’s own Cinema series projectors, or the completely non-boxy shape of one of the MovieMate’s competitors, the Optoma MovieTime DV10), the Movietime has more of the flavor of a white microwave oven. Still it has a very clean look to it (even the buttons are white) that many will find attractive, if not award winning. The subwoofer is designed to match its look. Please note, Epson recommends that the sub-woofer face rear.

Starting from the front, we immediately find that Epson has done some things a bit differently than you might expect. In addition to the recessed zoom lens, with it’s 1.5:1 zoom, you’ll find he powercord plug and master power switch below the lens. To the far left side (facing the projector) is the Infra-red sensor for the remote, and just to the right of it, a recessed door with the projector’s inputs and outputs. Opening the door, you find that there is an S-video input, a composite video input, and a pair of audio inputs. There is also an RCA jack for subwoofer out, to connect your subwoofer. In case you want to output the sound to a bigger surround sound system that you already own, there is an digital optical output.

On the top of the projector just behind the lens are the zoom and focus rings, as well as separate lens shift controls for both vertical and horizontal.Vertical lens shift allows you to move the image up or down, without having keystone distortion, so that you can place the Epson MovieMate 25 on a table that might be slightly below the screen, near the top of the screen, or anywhere in between. In case its not convenient to place the projector so that it is straight back from the center of the screen (left to right), the horizontal lens shift will handle that equally well. As mentioned, the zoom is 1.5:1 giving you plenty of placement flexibility front to back.

On the top, toward the back, is the control panel, conisting of a row of buttons. In order (looking at the top of the projector, from the back, from the left, is the Power button, and next, the source select button. That is followed by a chapter back button (that doubles as a fast reverse, if you hold it down, the main Play/pause button, then a stop button and the chapter forward button (yes, it doubles as a fast forward if you hold it down). Next comes the volume up and down, and finally, a very interesting button, the Lamp On/Off, which I must admit is a great idea. Since projector lamps are not cheap, and the MovieMate, as noted can play CDs. By turning off the Lamp button, you can listen to the CD’s without the lamp on, saving money, and making CD playing practical.

You’ll notice that on the rear of the sides, wrapping around to the back are the built in speakers, with a light gray cloth covering. And that finally, brings us to the “back”. That’s where you find the built-in JVC DVD player. I mention the brand, only because Epsonis constantly dropping the JVC name, so I thought I’d give JVC a plug too. There is a button to open and close the DVD/CD player drawer, the door itself, and a display window (displays blue on a black background). You can control the brightness of the display, to darken it for movie watching. Also found on the back is the rear infra-red sensor for the MovieMate 25′s remote control.

With the flexibility of Lens shift, Epson apparently decided that the feet on the bottom of the MovieMate 25 did not have to be adjustable.

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