Epson Powerlite 1815p, 1810p: Overview

Epson Powerlite 1815p Remote Control

I strongly prefer backlit remote controls. Sure, the Epson Powerlite 1815p is an extremely bright projector, and rarely (except in auditorium and ballroom sized rooms), will be used in pretty dark room lighting. Still, better to have a good backlight capability should you need it, than not.

The Epson remote is also very small. Which is handy for some, but it also means that buttons are small and tightly packed together.

It does support wireless mousing, a feature that seems to be less popular on projectors today, than in the past. (There are “3rd party” wireless remote systems available from under $50 to $200 depending on capabilities). It requires the usual USB hookup between the Epson projector and your computer. When up and running, it works just fine, allowing you to go forward and back in powerpoint presentations, move the cursor, launch applications, etc. (All the usual stuff.)

The Epson projectors also have their own pointer mode – allowing you to choose a pointer style, and move the pointer around the screen, to make your point. The pointer system is totally internal, that is, separate from the remote mousing capability. You can put a pointer on the screen at any time, with just a touch of the pointer button, and then navigate with the disc pad on the remote. (Note pointer movement is up/down/left/right – it cannot move directly in a diagonal fashion. (A minor issue.)

Here’s a quick run through of the remotes features, from top to bottom:

Top left, the orange power button (press once for powerup, twice to power down). on the top right are two pairs of buttons; page up and down for remote mousing, and some PC card functions, and E-zoom, which lets you zoom and magnify any area of the image.

Then back towards the right is the Menu button, and below it the disc pad for navigating around the screen. Below the disc pad, are the obligitory Enter button and an Escape button (moves you back up in the menu structure…)

On the same row as those two, but on the left, is the Pointer button mentioned earlier. Pressing it brings up your selected pointer (you can choose from several styles), press again, and it goes away.

Now we get into the packed area of buttons consisting of 4 rows of four buttons each. Each button has a specific function, but many of them have numbers on them (0-9), for inputting numbers such as for passwords or wireless setup.

As to their primary functions, first on the left is the Color mode (presentation, etc.), moving to the right, is the A/V mute (which can also be accomplished physically on the projector by closing the lens cover slider. Next is a Freeze button, and on the right, the Num button which switches you to the numeric keypad mode.

Below Freeze is a resize button for aspect ratio control, and to its right is the ID button. An Auto setup button is below the Resize, and to its right is the Help button (green with a big question mark on it), which takes you into Epson’s interactive help system – a very nice feature.

Back to the left side, below the Color mode and A/V Mute, are four buttons for direct source selection (computer 1, computer 2, video, S-video)., and below them on the last row is EasyMP for the wireless networking, and also a Search button (didn’t check that one out.) Opposite those two are the last two buttons – volume up and down. Since these Epson’s have an audio out, if additional speakers (powered) are wired through the audio out, then adjusting the projector’s volume will also adjust the external speakers as well. That’s a nice touch, as few less expensive projectors have audio outputs.

All-in-all, it’s a nice little remote control, and I especially like the direct source selection, the remote mousing, pointer system and the ability to magnify any area of the image. I personally prefer a larger remote, with bigger buttons, but this remote is very funtional, and, the disc pad, and Enter and Escape keys are well positioned for easy navigation.

Epson Powerlite 1815p Lens Throw and Lens Shift

The Powerlite 1815p and 1810p have a 1.6:1 ratio zoom lens, which provides a great deal of placement flexibility, whether on the road, or celing mounting the projector.

To fill a fairly large 100″ diagonal 4:3 ratio screen (standard ratio for XGA), the front of the Epson projectors can be as close as 9.5 feet (that’s pretty close for that large a screen), and as far back as 15.7 feet. For a projector in the under 7 pound range, that is more zoom than most other LCD projectors, and far, far more than the typical DLP projectors (which normally have zoom lenses with as little zoom range as 1.15:1, and rarely more than 1.3:1. The Epson provides enough range for some real choice as to where it will be positioned, whereas most under 7 pound projectors just offer enough range for “fine tuning” Set them down where they are close to filling the screen and most only have enough range to move the projector closer or further by a foot or two, not the 6 plus feet of the Epson.

Epson Powerlite 1815p and 1810p - SDE and Rainbow Effect

As these Epson projectors are LCD, there is no rainbow effect to worry about. As the projector is XGA resolution, pixels are going to be slightly visible to those sitting closest to the screen. As is typical, though, with XGA resolution LCD projectors the screen door effect will rarely if ever, be an issue. That’s not so say, that the pixels may not be visible, but the screen door effect usually implies that the pixel structure for the projector, clashes with fine detail (usually a photo) to create a sort of moire’ type pattern. All said, not to worry about either of these.

Epson Powerlite 1815p and 1810p Audible Noise Levels

Definitely, these Epson projectors are not the quietest game in town. In full power mode they put out 37 db of audible noise, and that, in a small to medium sized room will make the fan noticeable. It’s not loud enough to have to raise your voice to present, but it could be a notch quieter. Drop the lamp power down to low, and the projector gets, I believe about 5 db quieter, and that puts it in line with some of the noisier home theater projectors, and a level which would definitely be considered “non-intrusive” while presenting. All considered, the noise level is probably about typical for a projector their size and brightness, but possibly a little noiser than average. Mind you the bigger heavier projectors – in the 10-20 pound range tend to be noisier still, some as noisy as 40 – 45 db. By the way, these noise levels be they 37db or 45db, are non-issues in larger rooms, when presenting to a couple hundred people or more.

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