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Epson Pro Cinema 1985 W Projector Review - Special Features

Posted on April 11, 2016 by Art Feierman
Pro Cinema 1985W REVIEW - SPECIAL FEATURES:  Gaming Input Lag, Miracast and MHL, Other networking - Wifi and hardwired plus Moderator software, Lamp Life, DICOM Simulation As mentioned, the PC1985 is essentially identical to the Powerlite 1985WU so it's no surprise that there are a number of "business" features, especially the advanced networking.  Epson could have chosen to strip some of these from the Pro Cinema version, but as you can learn below, some of these features which are business or education market oriented, may be useful to a small percentage of home users, not to mention any smart folk who are buying one projector for home that they plan to double for work use from time to time (or vice versa).

The Pro Cinema 1985 as a Gaming Projector

This Epson (like most of their home projectors) offers acceptable input lag when you set the Image Processing menu item to Fast.  Using our Leo Bodner test device, Fast mode measured 56ms (compared to just under 80ms for Fine mode).  Relative to this device, 56ms represents a lag of about 3 frames for 60fps games.  Very good performance (for hard core gaming fanatics, is down under 40ms, and anything below 20 is pretty darn impressive, delaying only 1 frame out of 60.

If you are playing championship level team League of Legends or Call of Duty, then this Epson probably isn't fast enough for you, but it likely is for the rest of us.

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.  This allows you to stream content (movies, games, whatever) so that you are showing exactly what's on the source's display (could be a laptop, tablet...)

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 of it 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 PC1985W projector.

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" - your two devices talking directly to each other.

This makes for a simple way to wirelessly transmit, for example, what's on your laptop or tablet or phone (if Miracast compatible), to your projector, in this case, the PC1985.

It gives you another alternative method of communicating, without running heavy 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.

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MHL also requires smart devices that support it.  The PC1985 has one of its two HDMI ports supporting MHL.  With MHL, as mentioned, you do need a Wifi network to stream.  I can plug in a Roku stick or Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV stick, etc.   Those devices pull in the content from the internet over your Wifi.  Personally, I do use my Roku stick from time to time for Netflix or watching other channels Roku provides.

BTW an added plus 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, so it's an extra input.  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 Software

As mentioned elsewhere, the Pro Cinema 1985WU has WiFi built in.  The WiFi capabilities are complemented by the PC1985 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.  While most of us don't need the hardwired networking, if you have an "old school" type home automation system, such as Crestron, this makes it easy to tie in and control the projector from that system since the PC1985 is Crestron RoomView compatible.

Epson's Moderator software is another feature primarily for education (and some business), that you "could" use in your home.  Got a big family, and a network?  Moderator will let you display up to 4 images (in four quadrants), at the same time.  I guess you parents can act as teachers and watch your kids homework in four separate windows.  (OK, not likely!) I'm really reaching here for a home use for Moderator. But it could be used, if you have the multiple computers and tablets, to put up multiples at once, which could be mine and two of my friends' fantasy football screens as well as having a game in one of the windows.  Moderator requires a network. Like I said - a stretch!

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 Pro Cinema 1985 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 a lot less for lamps than most of the competition.

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

I'll mention DICOM because it is built in.  DICOM is a standard for viewing medical imaging such as CAT-scans or MRIs.  Epson's DICOM is typical - rated high enough to use for teaching, but not for diagnostics reading of the films.

OK, unless your pediatrician gave you an ultrasound of your yet unborn child, to take home and view, you won't need this feature, unless...

...Unless you are a radiologist, or other doctor or tech, who likes or has to bring their work home from time to time.

OK "Doc", it's there if you need it.  For the rest of us, it's just a mode we'll never need.

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