Epson MovieMate 30s, 33s Projector Review – General Performance

Epson MovieMate 30s Menus

Well, this is EASY. The MovieMate 30s basically doesn’t have the tradtional menu structure found on most projectors, And, there is no menu button on the remote either (other than those for DVD control). There is, however, a picture quality button on the remote, that does bring up in sequence the key image controls – brightness, contrast, color saturation, and tint. Separately, there is also a Setup button which does provide for a few basic features, such as “menu language” subtitle language, subtitle off/on, and similar type options for audio, and the DVD player.

There is also the selecting from the four picture presets – a button on the remote toggles you through the four presets: Theater Dark, Theater, Living Room, and Dynamic.

Epson MovieMate 30s User Memory Settings

Surprise – no user savable settings either – however, if you are in a preset, and change the brightness, staturation, etc., it will remember those savings until the next time you change them

Epson MovieMate 30s Remote Control

Now here’s something I can think my teeth into. The Epson remote has zillions of buttons. It’s not that they are extravagent, it’s just an “all in one” so you’ve not only got the basic projector controls, but also the sound system and DVD player as well.

Although some of the remote buttons do glow in the dark, they sure don’t glow bright enough. Forgetting layout for the moment, this remote just has too many buttons not to have most of them backlit. Maybe next year’s version. (We can only hope!)

Well, since there are so many buttons, I better get started. The top left, in red is the power button (one for on, one for off). Opposite it, is the DVD player’s door (open/close). Now in between is an interesting switch, labeled Func and alternately 123.

In the Function mode, the buttons in the next 3 rows, perform as the labels around them indicate, but in 123, the buttons now become numerics – 1 thru 0, plus +10, suitable for selecting track 13, or whatever…..

In Function mode these 12 buttons pick up a number of functions, including On Screen, Sleep mode, aspect ratio (wide/normal), Color Mode (the presets), Dimmer (lights on the DVD player’s led display, Repeat, Sound mode (surround, etc.,) DVD level, as well as a Cancel button ,Play mode, progressive and playback options. You should be able to download the manual from Epson’s site, if you want to explore these functions further – just too many details to tackle here.

The next row has larger buttons (glow in the dark), the first on the left is the source select. It toggles between DVD, Video input, and “computer”. Computer seems intelligent enough – when I hooked up my HD-DVD player via component video – into the computer input, it immediately grabbed the source correctly. Next to the source is the “coffee break” button. (Mutes audio and video), and on the right, Image Off (use to save the lamp life, when you are just playing music and not using the projector).

Click Image to Enlarge

Right below them, nicely grouped are the transport buttons for the DVD player. I should note that the fast forward and fast reverse buttons go from 2X speed to 5X to 10X and then back to 2X. On the Moviemate itself, there are only the chapter forward/back, but if you hold them down, you can control the 2X, 5X and 10X, speeds.

Moving further down, the usual DVD controls for Top and regular MENU. Under them the typical four arrow keys and center Enter button. Then there are a Setup, and Return button as well.

Right below is the audio section with volume up/down, treble, mute, etc., and also the DVD’s subtitle and angle buttons.

Finally, the bottom row, 4 small buttons – the left one displays info, the 2nd one lets you toggle through the image settings (as mentioned above), and the two on the right let you adjust those settings (+ and -).

Epson MovieMate 30s Lens Throw and Lens Shift

With a 1.5:1 zoom lens, and both vertical and horizontal lens shift, the MovieMate is extremely flexible when it comes to placing it in your room. About the only downside, as I mentioned in the physical tour, is that the projector can’t be placed singnificantly below the bottom of the screen, but rather anywhere from a few inches below to a few inches above the top of the screen. That means it will even work on a shelf!

The front of the projector can be as close to their 80″ screen as 6.6 feet, or as far back as 9.9 feet.

Epson MovieMate 30s Light Leakage

No issues here.

Epson MovieMate 30s Audible Noise Levels

In the MovieMate’s Theater Black mode, the lamp runs in low power mode, and the projector is quieter than the vast majority of home theater projectors out there. Even in the other three modes (Dynamic, Living Room, and Theater), where the fan is louder, the Epson is about average in noise level. For a projector more designed for a family room than a dedicated home theater, these noise levels should be more than acceptable. Epson claims less than 26db in Theater Dark, and less than 33db in full power.

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