Posted on April 17, 2006 By Art Feierman
The Epson MovieMate 25 is the 2nd all-in-one home entertainment projector system we have reviewed. Many months ago, we reviewed Optoma’s MovieTime DV10, which earned a Hot Product Award. As was the case with the Optoma, the Epson makes several compromises compared to stand alone projectors, but still manages to earn a Hot Product Award. In this case, some of the overshadowing strengths include its very simple, plug and play design, flexibility as a home entertainment system, excellent color handling (without needing adjustment), and solid construction.
Unlike the Optoma, which in some ways offers more features, but focuses on being a projector with built in speakers and DVD player, Epson has approached the MovieMate 25 as a real home entertainment system, making sure its viable to view photos, conveniently play music CD’s and more.
Epson’s MovieMate 25 truly is an all-in-one solution. When you open the box (rather large), you’ll find not only the projector itself (a rather cubish device done in all white), that contains built in speakers and DVD player, but also, you’ll find a separate powered subwoofer to enhance sound performance. Epson is currently also bundling an 80″ portable, pull up screen, so you have everything you need to get started, except a DVD to play, CD, or television source. That’s right, the MovieMate 25 is even designed to efficiently play your CDs.
The MovieMate is a versatile home entertainment system, that can project movies, video games, show conventional and Hi-Def television (HDTV), or display any other sources (CD, etc.) that can output traditional composite video or S-video, including VCRs, portable DVD players and more. Resolution is not true HDTV, just like the other couple of all in one projectors, rather it is a widescreen with 854×480 resolution (EDTV), which also happens to be the same resolution as todays standard DVD players, or for that matter, most 42″ plasma displays.
What the MovieMate offers, is a low cost solution, complete with sound system (with subwoofer) and screen that sells for around $1000 or slightly more, at the time of this writing, that allows you to project your favorite source to a huge size. You’d be surprised how much larger an 80″ diagonal is compared to, say a 55″ big screen TV, in fact it’s image is over twice the square footage. And of course you can project a much larger image still, if you choose a larger screen or have a large white wall to project the image on. The Epson MovieMate 25, can easily do 100″ or handle a 110″ diagonal in a darkened room. (That 110″ would be the size of four 55″ big screen TVs!)
The kids are going to love this projector. I borrowed the old family Dreamcast game machine, and hooked it up to the MovieMate, trying out Crazy Taxi, and SoulCalibre, and it is a whole different experience on the 106″ screen in my testing room. Our XBox worked really well, too, I just can’t remember the title my daughter provided. That machine is normally buried in my daughter’s gameroom. The MovieMate did a great job with the high speed movements in the games, which can sometimes be a problem for DLP based projectors.
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