Epson PowerLite 1965 3LCD XGA Projector Review
Starting at the front of the projector, the 1965 has its lens slightly right of the center of the projector when facing it. There is a manual, sliding lens cover, adjustable from the top of the projector, that protects the lens when not in use and also provides video and audio mute (A/V Mute) when the projector is in operation. As is the case with other Epson models, A/V Mute can also be accessed from the remote, allowing for display of a blue screen or alternate screen (such as company logo). A/V Mute is used to allow for a pause for questions during a presentation while helping to save lamp life. Right behind the A/V Mute lens cover switch are recessed, tabbed rings for adjusting lens zoom and focus. Behind that is a slider for adjusting horizontal keystone. All the way over on the left side of the front panel is an IR receiving eye, followed by an exhaust vent that wraps slightly around the corner. Height adjustment is obtained via a push button adjustable foot in the center front of the 1965. Both rear corner feet are adjustable as well.
On top of the projector, right in the middle of the projector, is a control panel with most of the important controls. There are buttons for Power, Source Search, Menu, Navigation, Escape, and Enter. The Up/Down menu navigation buttons double as adjustment buttons for vertical keystone adjustment. The Left/Right menu navigation buttons double as volume adjustment for the built-in speaker and also for horizontal keystone adjustment. Lastly, there is a Help button (also on the remote) which we’ve noted on previous Epson models as way to solve simple problems that may occur in use, without having to stop and consult the manual. Pushing this button brings up some questions designed to narrow down the problem. The Help function then takes you directly to the appropriate section of the menu to address that problem.
Indicators for Power, lamp status and temperature (if overheating) surround the Power button. In the rear left corner, diagonally behind the control panel, is the cover for access to the lamp. Having the cover on top of the 1965 allows for easy access even if the projector is ceiling mounted. The screw to release the cover is on the rear of the projector. Moving to the right (again facing the front) side of the projector, there is an intake vent and air filter near the front and the built-in speaker toward the rear. Like the lamp compartment, the air filter can be easily accessed even if the projector is ceiling mounted. The wireless module is plugged into a jack above the air filter
Moving to the rear panel, there is a full array of connections for video and audio. Moving from left to right, there is a DisplayPort input and an HDMI input, followed by a composite video input with stereo audio inputs. There are two standard VGA computer inputs with accompanying audio inputs and a VGA computer output with audio output. These are followed by two USB connectors, a standard Type A for a USB thumb drive and a Type B that is used for connection to a computer to output video over USB to the 1965. There is also a document camera input and wired LAN jack between the two USB inputs. Following those is a second IR receiving eye and a Kensington lock port. Below all the connectors is the power cable connector.
Setup and Menus
The Epson Powerlite 1965’s startup time is the same as other previously reviewed Epsons, which means a readable image is projected on the screen in about ten seconds. The 1965 also has instant shut down as well, so the projector can be moved immediately after shutdown. Setup is quick and facilitated by the front and rear height adjustment, as well as the 1.6X zoom. Also, like other Epsons we’ve reviewed, the bottom of the projected image is right at the center of the lens when table mounted, so keystone correction can mostly be avoided by placement on a table that’s equal in height or slightly lower than the bottom of the screen. If you do need some keystone correction, the 1965 has both vertical and horizontal keystone adjustment, as well as Epson’s Quick Corner feature, a staple on most of their multimedia projectors. Simply put, Quick Corner allows you to adjust each corner of the projected image independently, as opposed to normal keystone adjustment which affects the full length of any side of the projected image. If you’re pressed for time, Epson’s Screen Fit feature will automatically fit the image to the screen. As with any digital manipulation of the image, the sharpness and precision of the image can suffer with overuse, but by affecting a smaller area, using Quick Corner has less of a negative effect as compared to traditional keystone adjustment. In addition, there is a focus screen that can be displayed to help you focus the lens to achieve maximum sharpness (see picture).
Bringing up the menu, anyone who’s ever used a recent Epson projector will immediately find themselves in familiar territory. The menu system in Epson projectors is pretty much the same in each model, with the only differences relating to the feature set of the particular projector. Menus are well organized, and easy to navigate. Once set up and connected to an image source, you simply bring up the menu; select the Image menu and the Color Mode (Dynamic, Presentation, Photo etc.) that’s appropriate for your presentation. From there you can also make the usual adjustments for Contrast, Brightness, Color Saturation, Tint and Sharpness. The 1965 also features full grayscale adjustment and a color management system for precision calibration of the picture. Additional adjustments can also be made, such as selecting other color temperatures and turning the auto iris (for increased contrast in darker scenes) on or off.
The 1965 has a built-in 10-watt speaker, making it acceptable for presentations with sound in smaller venues. If greater sound level is required, the 1965 has an audio output jack to connect to an externally-powered speaker system.
Much like the menu system, the 1965’s remote bears a close resemblance to other models in the Epson lineup. The remote is well laid out, allowing easy access to the most used functions. An on-screen pointer can be brought up by a button push on the remote and then moved around with the arrow keys. Similarly, other buttons search for or directly access inputs, access the Help function, control the electronic zoom, presentation pages and speaker volume. There are also buttons for AV Mute, Freeze, selecting the Color Mode, split screen function, aspect ratio and to automatically sync the projector to the computer. The Menu navigation buttons also function when the remote is used as a wireless mouse. As is typical for most multimedia projectors, the buttons are not backlit. Considering that this projector can be used in rooms with a fair bit of ambient light, backlighting is unnecessary.
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