Epson MG-850HD Projector - Performance
11-22-2011 - Mike Rollet
Epson MG-850HD Projector - Brightness
The MG-850HD is rated at 2800 lumens. This is quite bright for a multimedia projector and almost unheard of in a home theater projector. While we did not achieve that rating in our measurements, we did manage to measure 2611 lumens in Dynamic mode (the brightest) at full wide zoom. This output did not vary much over the full (albeit limited) zoom range. We measured 2553 lumens at mid zoom and 2542 lumens at full telephoto zoom. This performance was consistent with other recently reviewed Epson projectors, where Epson’s measured versus claimed lumen output is usually closer than most of the competition. Consistent with our other reviews, all other measurements were made at mid zoom. Using Game mode, the output dropped to 1820 lumens, which is still bright enough for most daytime use. Living Room mode, also a popular mode for daytime use, measured 1774 lumens. Surprisingly, Cinema mode came in at 1884 lumens. As was the case with previous Epson models, the decent color accuracy in Dynamic mode makes it a more usable mode than it is with some of the competition, thus expanding both the size of room and degree of ambient light that the MG-850HD can handle. The MG-850HD can also be put into a “Business” mode, which replaces the Game and Living Room color modes with Presentation and Blackboard. Presentation measured 1997 lumens and Blackboard was the lowest of all the modes at 1432 lumens.
Dropping the lamp into Eco brightness mode resulted in a 23.3% drop in lumen output, corresponding to a measurement of 1958 lumens in Dynamic mode, which is still very bright.
Below, the Epson Megaplex MG-850HD projector in its brightest mode, Dynamic mode.
Epson MG-850HD Projector - Audible Noise
The Epson Megaplex MG-850HD has a noise level (35dB in Normal lamp mode) equal to other multimedia projectors in its brightness range. However, the built-in 10W stereo speakers are powerful enough that there’s no problem with projector noise. For viewing without sound, it might be a bit noisy over time. If a quieter environment is desired, dropping the MG-850HD into Eco lamp mode reduces the noise level to 29 dB. As you still have almost 1500 lumens with Cinema mode, the MG-850HD could still be used in most room lighting condition, while providing quieter video or movie viewing. To put this noise level in perspective, 29 dB is only one dB higher than Epson’s 8700UB Home Cinema projector running in its Normal lamp mode. The bottom line is that the MG-850HD’s fan noise will not be objectionable for most viewing.