The Epson MegaPlex MG-50 has a native resolution of 960x540 and is a 16:9 LCD projector. With a resolution lower than what is standard for a home theater projector it is safe to say that the MG-50 does not provide stellar image quality, but Epson has priced it accordingly and I must say it performed pretty well for not being a 1920x1080 native resolution projector. Expect to pay about $1200 more, as of this writing, for a projector with higher resolution. The example below shows spreadsheet text at its native resolution. Higher resolutions simply were not satisfactory enough unless the text size was going to be in the 16 to 24 pt size.
The MG-50 however is satisfactory and certainly would be a nice, inexpensive multipurpose entertainment system. Let’s take a look at the projectors capabilities when projecting from a source like a laptop. There is some slight compression of the image as you can see below.
Color reproduction was as you would expect from Epson. All the colors looked accurate and looked true. None of yellows had any discoloration that might shift them to be more of a green or muddy looking color. LCD projectors tend to reproduce color well so this was no surprise.
Flesh tones were also reproduced very well however different brightness and color modes did change how the images and color appeared. Keeping the projector in either Dynamic or its standard default mode seems to produce the best image when viewing from a source like a Laptop.
Since this projector is really a multimedia base station that accepts the signal from your IPod, IPad, and IPhone, no review would be complete without talking about how it performs when showing images from those devices.
Once again the Epson MegaPlex MG-50 is a lower resolution LCD projector, but it performed pretty well when displaying slideshow images from the IPhone 4S. The image was not as sharp and clear as the more expensive home theaters from Epson, but the fact that you can just sit your IPhone on the built in cradle and then show your pictures on a large screen was pretty nice. Playing video from the IPhone was also satisfactory and performed as expected since the projector is not considered high definition by today standards. Consider, that projectors that are classified and true high definition projectors cost sometimes twice as much. Ultimately you get a lot of a bang for your buck with the MG-50.
Video performance was also satisfactory, but I think playing DVD’s through the projectors Component or HDMI input did produce better image quality. The lower Contrast Ratio of 5000:1 did hurt the projector a little bit in terms of dark scenes, but when you compare it to home theaters twice the price it is to be expected that the darker scenes may not look as detailed. Still, not too bad for a projector with so many features and with a MSRP of just $699.