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Epson Powerlite 1985WU Projector Review - Special Features

Posted on January 4, 2015 by Art Feierman
POWERLITE 1985WU REVIEW - SPECIAL FEATURES:  Miracast and MHL, Other networking - Wifi and hardwired plus Moderator software, Lamp Life, DICOM Simulation

MiraCast and MHL

Epson not only offers MHL on one of its two HDMI inputs, but goes a step further and offers Miracast built in to its wireless capabilities.  Let's talk Miracast first.

Miracast is first, a certification process for peer to peer wireless.  If a projector (as a display device) has Miracast, it can display what the source screen displays.  It does this wirelessly from devices that also support Miracast.  Note that Miracast supports only certain protocols, so it doesn't work with all or most peer-to-peer solutions out there.  But, in most cases, two Miracast devices should work together.

There are resolution limits.  Officially Miracast will stream up to 1080p (1920x1080) just a little less than the maximum native resolution of this projector at 1920x1200.  Miracast also supports audio up to 5.1.

Think this way.  We're used to communicating wirelessly in many cases over a local WiFi network.  MHL is an example of that.  Take an MHL source - such as some of the Android tablets, and they can, using your home wifi, talk to, a display that supports MHL, such as this Epson Powerlite 1985WU projector.

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If you have no wifi network at your location, you have no working solution with MHL.  On the other hand...

With Miracast, it's just the two devices - using wifi technology - notably what is called WiFi Direct connection.  (The folks behind all of this is the Wifi Alliance.)   The two devices need no network, just two "peers" talking directly.

This makes for a simple way to wirelessly transmit, for example, what's on your laptop, to your projector, in this case, the Powerlite 1985WU.

It gives you another alternative method of communicating, without having to drag along heavy, long HDMI cabling, or lighter USB cabling for those devices supporting USB Display.  With Miracast, and the 1985 projector, and the right devices, no cables!   Miracast is found in many Android devices, and support is part of Windows 8.1.  That said, on the Apple front, (we're an Apple shop) there's no support, as Miracast is essentially a competitor to their own peer to peer network known to us Apple users as Apple TV. If I want to do the equivalent to Miracast, I would plug my Apple TV into one of the 1985's HDMI ports, and accomplish the same thing - displaying what's on my MacBook Pro, iPad, or iPhone.

MHL also requires smart devices that support it.  The Powerlite 1985 has one of its two HDMI ports supporting MHL.  With MHL, as mentioned, you do need a Wifi network to use.  I can plug in a Roku stick or Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV stick, etc.   Personally, I do use my Roku stick from time to time for Netflix or watching other channels of information.  Since I

An added bonus for the Miracast is that it functions as a separate input.  You are not giving up either of your HDMI ports for it, it is internal.  With some projectors you would need to plug in a Miracast compatible device into an HDMI input, giving up a valuable input spot.

WiFi and Other Networking, Moderator

If it wasn't obvious from the above, the Powerlite 1985WU, has Wifi built in.  The Wifi capabilities are complemented by the 1985WU also having hard wired networking as well.  Epson offers several software solutions, including the latest version of Easy MP, which has been around for years, supporting networking with lots of control and features.

The 1985 can track a large number of computers on a network, and display up to four selected computers displays at once over the local network.

This allows, for example, four student's computers screens to be displayed simultaneously on the Epson projector.  The teacher could then replace those with other computer's displays.

Longer Lamp Life

Historically high power projectors - in this day and age I'd consider a projector with 4800 white and color lumens to "still" be high power - have not had great lamp life.  In other words, they'd work the lamps hard to get maximum brightness out of them in exchange for shorter life.   Traditionally, such projectors are often 2000 hours at full power, and 2500 to 3000 lumens in their Eco modes.

The Powerlite 1985WU has been rated at 3000 hours at full power, and 4000 in Eco.  That should prove to be bargain compared to most competitors, especially since Epson seems to charge less for lamps than most of the competition, and charge minimal amounts for the education market.  I mention that because the Powerlite 1985WU should be an excellent projector for larger classrooms - such as at colleges and universities, with Epson education program lamp prices falling between $79 and $129.  Talk about inexpensive - when a few years ago, $400 - $500 was normal.

In fairness, Epson's less massively bright small projectors often provide 4000 hours at full power (some 5000), and 5000 to 6000 hours in Eco. Still, the lamp life is very good for a projector in this class.

DICOM Simulation

DICOM is the ability to accurately display medical images such as X-rays, CAT scans, MRIs, PETs and so on.  There are apparently two standards.  The Epson Powerlite 1985WU supports what is known as DICOM Simulation.  There is a higher level.  Here's the difference:

DICOM Simulation is deemed to have enough accuracy and detail to support teaching and training.  Thus a professor of Oncology would want a projector when teaching, that supports DICOM Simulation.

The higher standard DICOM demands that the display device be even more precise and accurate, losing essentially nothing.  Those DICOM devices are also suitable for diagnosis.  That is, an oncologist reads the digital CATs, PETs, MRIs, X-rays, etc., and from that makes medical diagnosis.  I am not aware of any projectors currently sold that meet the higher standard.  Of course the obvious market for a DICOM projector is to present the images to a group of people - for teaching.  So, the Epson has exactly what is needed for this slice of medical education.

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