Epson MovieMate 85HD
Home Entertainment Projector
Convenience: The 85HD is very easy to use. DVDs and music CDs begin to play shortly after insertion. Photos selected from the file menu start automatically in a slide show format, but you can pause and move forward or backward with a touch of a Chapter key on the remote. Track selection for music CDs or chapter selection for DVDs can be made via function keys or on the numeric portion of the remote control. All in all, the 85HD user interface is simple and intuitive.
Connections: This is the 85HD's strong suit. Standard DVDs (not Blu-Ray) and music CDs insert directly into the front slot, and chapter or track selection is made from the remote control. Game consoles (e.g., Wii, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360), memory sticks, or iPods connect through a USB connector on the rear panel. Computers connect via a VGA connector, and cable/satellite TV and external video sources (e.g., Blu-Ray players) are accommodated by either component video RCA connectors or an HDMI port.
Kid Features: Parents will like the kid-protection features built into the 85HD. You can disable the power switch so that young eyes are protected from the bright light of an inadvertent power-up. To keep the lens cap from disappearing, Epson made it a sliding panel that cannot get lost or broken. DVDs can be password protected to keep junior from watching inappropriate material, and, except for the power cord, there are no cables to trip up the youngsters in the family. Adult supervision is always a good idea when children are around projectors, but the 85HD offers some extra kid-protection.
Speakers: Even if you are in your backyard where sound dissipates rapidly, the 10-watt speakers should provide more than enough sound to eliminate the need for external amplification, but an audio output is available if needed. The speakers in the 85HD are solid performers with no tinny or buzzy sound at moderate to high volume settings.
Warranty and Support: Epson offers a 2-year warranty on the 85HD and 90 days on the lamp, but it has a unique customer support feature. In the box with the projector is a card with Epson's PrivateLine® phone number that gets you directly to a human who can answer your questions. In these days of "please press 1 for English", it is refreshing to see such attention to customer satisfaction.
Preset Modes: The 85HD's preset modes are very close to optimal settings, so you can avoid fiddling with image adjustments when your audience is anxious to get started. There is even an Auto setting that can automatically change image brightness to compensate for the increasing or decreasing ambient light . . . a handy feature if you are outside and daylight is fading.
Fan Noise and Heat: Fan noise is modest with no high frequency components, and the heat exhaust from the front right side can barely be felt a foot away. So the 85HD can be used on a coffee table right in front of you without it causing a distraction.
Lamp Life: Lamp life is rated at a hefty 4,000 hours in normal power mode and 5,000 hours in Eco mode. That's enough lamp life to watch a two-hour movie every day for over five years. When the lamp starts to dim, replacements are available for about $200.
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