Epson MG-50 Projector - Physical Tour
March 2012 - Anthony Arrigo
Epson MG-50 Appearance
Epson designed a pretty impressive portable projector when it came out with the MegaPlex MG-50. The rear of the projector features the docking station. It pushes in and conceals itself in the projector when not in use. A simply pushing in make it slide out. The base is designed for just IPod or IPhone without the larger protective cases. However, if you use an OtterBox or case of that size you will have to remove it for a good connection. Epson also provides an adapter that creates a larger base station for your IPad.
To the right and left of the base station are the ten watt speakers which produce some pretty nice sound. I will get into more about the sound quality and other thoughts in the performance section. Right above the speakers on the left side is rubber door panel that reveals a few extra inputs besides the ones that are on the side of the projector. The front inputs allow you to hook up a projector via 15 pin VGA cable. Right next to that you will find a USB type B input.
The right side of the projector has the input for the standard AC power chord like you would find plugged into most desktop computers. Kind of convenient that they went with a standard power cable in case you lose the one the Epson came with. Most people have plenty of those laying around. You will also find the exhaust vent. On the left side you will find inputs for component video, inputs for composite video with L and R audio inputs to utilize the projectors speakers and, especially interesting the Epson MegaPlex MG-50 has a mic input. I am thinking this projector is really designed for those that want an economical, fun, entertainment Karoeke machine as well just a great movie projector. Last but not least you will find an HDMI input. All this located under a removable door.
Epson MG-50 Setup and Menus
Before I talk about the lens lets look at setting up the projector. Setup has been made easy with the adjustable feet on the bottom of the projector. You will find two in the rear and one adjustable foot in the front. I am huge fan of this configuration for setup and was pleased to see Epson didn’t leave that out. Getting the image true and square without having to use Keystone correction(which degrades the image) was simple and I think that is important if this going to be a crossover projector designed for business and pleasure.
Now to the lens. The Epson features a 1.0 – 1.35 digital zoom lens. There is no manual zoom on this projector. You must position the projector forward and backward to the screen in order to get the desired image size you are looking for. The lens does have manual focus, all you have to do is turn the lens like you would with any older camera lens. There is a slider near the lens that allows you to adjust the angle of the projector, but your best bet for the best image quality is to center that slider and position the projector in such a way where you can achieve a truly rectangular image without using all the adjustment features. Only using the focus does not degrade image quality.
The internal menu system was very well laid out and looks typical of most Epson projectors. The ability to navigate your portable device was also pretty straightforward and it very clearly defined on the screen. A person should have no problem getting around the MegaPlex's menus. For reference see the images below.
Menu for accessing portable device
Menu when selecting music
Menu when playing music
Epson MegaPlex MG-50 Remote Control
The remote was fairly easy to use. It is a pretty skinny remote but for navigating through your music library it will be a breeze to use. Not the most featureful remote Epson has made, but then again, this projector was not designed to do everything. It has a niche purpose and the remotes buttons light up near the bottom where you navigate the menu system while looking for music or movies from your portable device.