Projector Reviews

Epson PowerLite 1965 Projector Review – Picture Quality

Color and Picture Quality

As we’ve come to expect from Epson projectors, the 1965 displayed a sharp, clear image with rich, well-saturated colors.  Reds were deep and greens, while slightly oversaturated, were very nice as well.  Colors are very good with any video connection, but using a high definition source over HDMI really adds pop to the displayed image.  Unlike many projectors, the 1965’s colors are quite good in Dynamic (the brightest) mode.  This means you can make full use of the projector’s lumen output with many presentations that don’t require perfect color, without the result looking unnatural.  However, if you don’t need the full lumen output, dropping down to Presentation mode will cover most presentation needs.  If the best possible picture is the goal, Photo or Theatre mode will give you the most accurate colors, with better contrast contributing to greater image depth.

As a result of the very good color rendition, photographic images were crisp, with well-saturated colors (see test pictures).  Various nature photos viewed looked quite natural, without any particular color oversaturation or deficiency.

Presentation mode
Dynamic mode
Theatre mode
Photo mode
sRGB mode
Presentation mode
Dynamic mode
Theatre mode
Photo mode
sRGB mode

Readability

Although the 1965 is only an XGA (1024 x 768) projector, small (8 pt.) text was sharp and easily readable even on a 100” diagonal projected image.  This was true of white text-on-black and yellow text-on-dark blue backgrounds as well.  Switching from HDMI to an analog input did not noticeably affect image sharpness.

The sharp image and good readability was maintained at different resolutions and aspect ratios as well.  Switching to WXGA -1280 x 800, UXGA – 1600 x 1200, and 1080P – 1920 x 1080, there was no drop-off in image quality.  There was a little bit of blue fringing with white text on a black background, but again, only on the smallest font size.  Additionally, there was only minimal loss of sharpness in the text.  As we’ve noted in the past, 3-chip LCD projectors can be subject to a loss of sharpness with only a slight misalignment of its LCD panels.  The 1965 however, displayed very little misalignment, thus speaking well for Epson’s manufacturing process.  In any event, the 1965 is sharp enough for all but the most demanding presenter.  If you regularly have presentations that require the smallest details to be displayed with laser-like sharpness, you would likely be looking into a higher resolution (and more expensive) projector.

As is the case with other Epson multimedia projectors, there is a movable electronic zoom that allows the user to zoom in on a particular section of the screen.  This can be very handy for pointing out details in photos or charts.  There is also an on-screen pointer that can be controlled by the multi-directional thumbpad on the remote.  You can also freeze the displayed image via a button on the remote.

Native XGA resolution
1280x800 resolution
1600x1200 resolution
1920x1080 resolution

Video Quality

To check the 1965’s video performance, I used the DVD playback from my laptop computer, connected via HDMI.  As we’ve come to expect from Epson’s 3LCD projectors, video from any source looks very clean, with well-saturated colors.  Using Theater or sRGB modes, skin tones were natural and bright colors were well saturated.  The Theater mode of the 1965 can make use an auto iris that, when activated, can improve the contrast ratio to 3000:1.  A 3000:1 contrast ratio would be considered low for a home theater projector, but it is a good ratio for a projector this bright and contributes to a more film-like image with video.  The auto iris is also available in Dynamic mode as well.  Of course, using the projector in Eco mode will give you even better perceived black levels, so if you have good light control that would be the way to go.  For daytime TV or video viewing (like sports events), the high brightness of the 1965 provides for a highly watchable picture that is not washed out, as many home theater projectors would be.  Additionally, the good color reproduction of the 1965 in Dynamic mode makes it a good choice for classroom video presentations where light control is at a premium.

Click Image to Enlarge

As a lot of video also has sound, it should be noted that the 1965’s built-in 10-watt speaker should be more than adequate for any normal-sized classroom or conference room, negating the need for add-on, powered speakers.  While the 1965 is not likely to be used often for movie or TV viewing, it’s nice to know that it certainly could be used for that in a pinch, while still providing solid picture quality.