Projector Overall Picture Quality
Certainly this is the best experience yet from any of the all-in-one projectors I have reviewed. It is the first to offer HD 720p resolution, and it provides very good color performance out of the box. As noted previously, while black levels are nothing to "write home about", shadow detail is very good.
Not a perfectionist's projector but one that provides a viewing experience that most people should fully enjoy. When you combine that with the versatility, and price performance value, this projectors should get sucked off store shelves.
MovieMate 72 Viewing - HDTV
I spent a significant amount of time watching HDTV and SD-TV, including a good six hours of assorted sports viewing (mostly football). Other content included Discovery HD channel, Boston Legal and Leno (re-runs).
When positioning the MovieMate in my theater room, I placed it right behind the first seats, so a good 15 feet back. At that distance, the Epson, with its shorter throw zoom lens almost completely filled my 128" screen, and that was the smallest I could project from that far back. I don't really think this projector is ideal on a 125" plus screen, but it didn't do badly. The lumen measurements found in the next page confirm this. Still, the projector has plenty of power for a 110" screen in best mode, and it really cranks to fill my large screen, when in Dynamic mode, as you will see in some of the images.
Football looked really good on the MovieMate, I had a couple of friends over, and everyone was impressed, especially considering the price of the MovieMate 72.
All the HDTV images were shot mid-afternoon, with the shades all down, and light, as usual leaking in around the sides of the shades. In the image above of Jay Leno, you can see the amount of ambient light on the wall below the scren, and you can see its impact on the left side of the image. Remember, this is at almost the full 128" screen size. At 92" diagonal you need only about half the lumens to do as well in this room, so size - matters.
HDTV images, the MovieMate 72 was in the Living Room preset mode. In dynamic mode there is a substantial jump in brightness, as you will see below in a comparison of modes. Moving to some concerts from MTV's M-HD channel, Jen from Sugarland, and Pete Townsend.
Picture Quality - Bottom Line
Extremely impressive for an all-in-one projector, the Epson combines really good out-of-the-box image quality, in terms of colors, with plenty of lumens, and 720p native resolution, to provide a very good viewing experience at an extremely reasonable price.
MovieMate 72 Preset Modes - Relative Brightness
Below I photographed four of the five preset modes, using the same exposure, to show you how the brightness varies from Theater Dark mode (best) to Dynamic (brightest). Only missing is the game mode. The game mode is not available when using the internal DVD player, which makes sense. Obviously some of these will be dark, others brighter.
As you can see, there's a pretty substantial difference between the modes in terms of brightness.
MovieMate 72 Relative Brightness SlideShow
Theatre Black Mode
Living Room Mode