Epson MovieMate 30S All-in-One Home Theater Projector System: Overview

Epson MovieMate 30s Projector Brightness

Epson has always had the bad habit (or maybe I should say good habit) of actually producing projectors that exceed Epson’s brightness claims. In an industry over the last 10+ years where many projectors measure only 75 to 85% of claim, Epson’s traditionally beat their specs. This is true of the MovieMate, and that extra brightness is one of the MovieMate 30s’s real strengths.

I measured the MovieMate in each of its preset modes. (Remember there is no way to toggle the lamp from full power to low power, but it goes down to low power automatically in Theater Dark mode.

So here goes: The MovieMate is officially rated 1200 lumens by Epson

Dynamic Mode: 1386 lumens (that’s a full 15% above published spec)
Livingroom Mode: 1046 lumens – overall color accuracy improves, and you still have plenty of lumens:
Theater Mode: 624 lumens
Theater Black Mode: 508 lumens (still brighter than most home theater projectors in their “best” image quality mode.

Here are small images of the four preset modes – with the exposure the same for all 4 so you can see the difference in relative brightness. To make things more interesting, there is a significant amount of ambient light on in the room, including some daylight through the window, plus 4 overhead recessed lamps (see that image first). The screen is on the opposite wall

Starting with Dynamic

Starting with Dynamic (the brightest):
Living Room:
Theater:
Theater Black:
+Starting with Dynamic (the brightest):

Just to give you an idea of the differences between the modes (in terms of contrast/black levels), the first image below is the Theater Black mode (Epson’s best), the second – is the same frame, with my best attempt to get the same exposure (dynamic turned out a touch brighter – sorry):

Aeon in dark theater image.

Aeon image in dynamic lighting.

Overall, the Epson MovieMate 30s is a very bright projector – better suited for wrestling with some ambient light in your family or bonus room, than most projectors that cost a lot more. Note, for measurement purposes the zoom lens was set about in the middle of its range, so you may expect in full “wide angle” (largest possible image from a given distance), to actually see lumens increase by 15-20%, from those measured.

Epson MovieMate 30s Lamp Life and Replacement

Epson rates its lamp at 2000 hours at full power (all modes but Theater Black), and 3000 hours in Theater Black mode. The lamp is user replaceable, with the door on the top, and the release for the lamp door on the top left side (if you are facing the lens). Very straight forward.

Projector Screen Recommendations

Most people I suspect, will end up buying the MovieMate 33s, which comes with the subwoofer and screen, so, for them, the 80″ (at 16:9 aspect ratio) screen size will work very well, and will be very bright.

Others will just shine it on a wall. Certainly the MovieMate, in a darkened room, can handle a screen size of up to 130″ diagonal!

If you need to buy a screen, and want one bigger than the Epson Duet, I would recommend a matte white surface (like the Duet) as a good complement. I could suggest an HC grey surface to improve black levels, but, those seriously concerned with black levels, aren’t likely to be buying this projector anyway. If you really want to crank out lumens, consider a higher gain screen – Carada’s Brilliant White 1.4 gain), or even brighter products like Optoma’s Greyhawk (1.8 gain) or Da-Lite’s HiPower surface 2.8 gain.. Once you get above about 1.5 gain, your viewing angle will start deteriorating rapidly, but – if you need the gain, and it works in your room…. go for it!

Meanwhile, the MovieMate works just fine with the Duet!

MovieMate 30s projector - Calibration

Nothing to calibrate, basically, however for those of you curious, here are the color temperature measurements for white (100 IRE) for each of the four preset modes:

Dynamic 6514K
Living Room 8093K
Theater 7731K
Theater Black 7012K

Epson MovieMate 30s Image Noise

Nothing to complain about here, the MovieMate did pretty well, overall, on the HQV test disk, and was particularly good on the jaggies tests.

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