Epson MovieMate 72 All-In-One Home Theater Projector Review: Overview

Epson MovieMate 72 Projector: Pros

  • Very bright (over 500 lumens in best mode, and over 1600 in brightest)
  • True 720p resolution – a first for all-in-one projectors
  • On board DVD player that can also play video CD’s, standard CD’s and music files
  • Very good color balance “out of the box” without any tweaking needed
  • Very good shadow detail handling
  • Five preset picture modes
  • Excellent build quality – it looks and feels solid
  • Reasonably good sound system (but needs a subwoofer to complete it)
  • Family friendly child controls (password protection; ability to prevent up to 40 designated titles from playing without entering a password, and to lock out the power button without password (still allowing the remote to power up), which prevents a small child from powering up, and staring into the lens when there’s no adults around
  • HDMI input as well as computer input (that can be used for component video)
  • Ability to be used for music playing without the lamp on
  • Very good sharpness
  • 1.5:1 zoom best of the all-in-one projectors (so far)
  • Can handle video and still images from USB sources, or even an iPod, Video iPod, or MP3 player
  • Swivel design for ease of placement
  • Reasonably portable
  • Good, not great, documentation
  • Excellent warranty of 2 years parts and labor – most all-in-one projectors have either a 90 day or 1 year warranty
  • Multiple modes for sound, with separate sets for movies (drama, action, sci-fi and concert) and a different group for audio only sources (jazz, rock…)
  • Good performance interfaced to a computer
  • Lens is recessed, with sliding lens cover
  • Adjustable sleep mode turns projector off when not in use
  • Coffee break mode – pause mutes picture, leaves lamp illuminating the room
  • Really easy to setup and use
  • An excellent overall value proposition.

Epson MovieMate 72 Projector: Cons

  • User manual comes only on disc (hard copy too, would be better)
  • Mediocre black level performance
  • Remote is not backlit
  • Menu features scattered from multiple buttons on remote
  • No fine tuning R,G,B controls for tweaking color
  • Not as much “pop” to the image due to limited black level performance
  • Image noise performance from internal DVD player is acceptable but not great, with slight motion artifact issues on just the “wrong” scene. All image noise issues improve to very good with external hi-def sources (including standard DVD’s played on a PS3)

Epson MovieMate 72 Projector: Typical Capabilities

  • Lamp life (2000 hours in all modes but Theatre Black – which gets 3000 hours)
  • Other than general functionality (DVD, speakers, remote), not much in common with other all-in-one projectors, due to superior performance

Epson MovieMate 72 Summary: The Bottom Line

Afterall, I have two rooms already set up with projectors. That said, this is a product that under other circumstances, I could own, and I am very comfortable recommending it to friends for their familyrooms, living rooms and bonus rooms as a family shared entertainment system. Our Hot Product Award is given to projectors and related products when they offer a value proposition that makes it a top choice for a significant group people. The MovieMate meets that standard – effortlessly.

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