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Epson MovieMate 72 LCD Home Theater Projector Review

Manufacturer: www.epson.com

Epson Moviemate 72 by the Numbers

  • 1280 x 720p
  • 1000:1 advertised contrast
  • 1200 ANSI Lumens

Epson MovieMate 72 Home Theater Video Projector
MSRP: $1,099.99

Pros and Cons

Epson Seal


  • Really nice looking unit. Projector module pivots
  • Quiet operation
  • Simple to setup and very adaptable
  • Large horizontal and vertical offset capabilities
  • Excellent connectivity options, including a USB port for DivX, MP3, WMA and JPEG.
  • Bright, clear picture, strong colours and good black levels
  • When was the last time a projector had great Dolby Virtual Surround playback?
  • Built-in progressive scan DVD player with 480P playback
  • Includes Duet ultra portable projector screen


  • CD only user's manual
  • Can't be ceiling mounted (see below)
  • CD only owner's manual
  • Friends without a projector will constantly bug you to come over.

Projector Review

The Epson Moviemate 72 doesn't look like your standard video projector - particularly if you see it with the projector unit swiveled slightly on the base. The Moviemate 72 has a metallic flake black case. Subtle until the light hits it, at which point it glitters slightly. Sounds cheesy, but it's a cool effect.

Like the other Epson home theatre projectors, it's a breeze to set up. It features a 50% vertical and 25% horizontal lens shift with adjustable rear legs. The throw ratio is 1.5:1, making it very adaptable to wherever you'd like to put it. With 1200 ANSI lumens, it's bright enough to throw a nice bright picture even with our boardroom lights on.

The remote is a combination of projector and dvd player. It's a little confusing at first, but a quick glance at the owner's manual (on a PC) showed all available options. It's not backlit, but the buttons glow. We would have preferred a real backlit remote but it's a small criticism.

The connectivity on this unit is impressive. The inputs include a 15 pin for PCs, which doubles as a component video input when used with the supplied adaptor. HDMI, S-Video, and composite are also supported. Audio can be fed via HDMI, stereo RCA jacks, or USB key. Outputs are even more impressive with a headphone jack, subwoofer out, and optical audio out, making this a very versatile piece indeed.

But how does it perform you ask? One word - beautifully! We have been thoroughly impressed with the Moviemate 72. It looks great! Blacks aren't the best we've seen, but still very dark and smooth. Colours are well saturated with a lot of pop. The picture has excellent uniformity with good, clean whites. Picture control is limited to what you'd find on your typical TV, but this isn't intended as a hard-core home theatre piece. The Moviemate 72 was designed to be fun and easy to use, and it accomplishes that in spades. Playing Call of Duty 4 on our PS3 at 720P through this thing for the purposes of this review was officially more fun than you should be allowed to have at work.

Included is a “Coffee Break” button. Push it and it pauses the internal DVD playback and fades the image to white, brightening the room, No tripping on your way to the kitchen to grab a snack. The Coffee Break feature also allows you to brighten the room to make notes. While it's a load of fun, everything that makes the Moviemate 72 a versatile home theatre piece also makes it great for boardroom presentations given the diverse connectivity options.

It's worth discussing how good the Moviemate 72 sounds. The speakers, along with the 480P DVD player, are located in the base below the projector. Factory default has the sound set to stereo, but switch it over to Dolby DS and the sound comes alive. We were surprised at how loud the Moviemate 72 could go, while still maintaining clean, distortion free audio playback. Epson has included several EQ presets to tweak the playback. It even features an audio jack to plug your MP3 player into.

What the Moviemate 72 doesn't do is install on your ceiling. The Moviemate isn't designed as an installation projector. If that's what you're looking for, check out the Epson Powerlight Home Cinema 720. The Moviemate 72 is intended for boardroom tables, bookshelves, coffee tables, anywhere you can put it. More than any other projector we've tested, the Moviemate 72 practically begs you to take it with you. Grab a Moviemate, your PS3, a few of your favorite games, and head up to the cottage for the weekend. It really is an all-in-one entertainment display. Just don't expect to attach it to your ceiling. It's a great apartment option too. Set it up on the weekends, or for the play-offs, anytime you want a really BIG picture.

The Moviemate72 also comes with a Duet Ultra Portable Projector Screen. It includes a floor stand to set up your screen or mount it to the wall with the included bracket. The screen pulls out to the size that works best for you, 65 inches for standard (4:3) viewing or 80 inches for widescreen (16:9) viewing. Look for a review on the Duet projection screen in the near future.

Bottom line

The Epson Moviemate 72 rocks! It's a fantastic piece that is more than the sum of its parts. It does everything well, and makes for a great traveling companion. HD on the road anyone?


Projection System

  • 3LCD technology 3-chip optical engine
    Poly-silicon TFT active matrix


  • Resolution
    Native 720p (1280 x 720)

Projection Lens

  • F-number
    1.7 – 2.1, 13.7 – 20.5 mm focal length


  • 140 W UHE (Ultra High Efficiency)
  • Lamp Life
    Up to 3000 hours

Screen Size: (Projected Distance)

  • 30" – 150" wide (2.4' – 12.2') for 16:9 image

Keystone Correction

  • Vertical ± 15 degrees

Brightness: (typical)

  • Up to 1200 lumens (in Dynamic Mode)

Contrast Ratio

  • Up to 1000:1 (in Dynamic Mode)

Sound Output

  • DTS and Dolby 5.1 (optical port)
  • Terminal Inputs:
    • 2 RCA (Audio L/R)
  • Terminal Outputs:
    • 1 RCA (for external subwoofer)
    • 1 optical audio out
    • 1 headphone stereo jack

Video I/O

  • Video Input Signal
    DVD Region Code 1
    NTSC, NTSC4.43, PAL, M-PAL, N-PAL, PAL60, SECAM, HDTV (720P, 1080i), SDTV (525i / 525p / 625i / 625p)
    HD-DVD and Blu-ray (external source only)
  • DVD Unit
    Digital Direct Progressive Scan system
    DTS Digital Surround and Dolby Digital
    Media and Format
    DVD Video, DVD-R/RW, DVD+ R/RW, DVD-ROM, DVD Audio, CD-R/RW, CD-ROM, DVD-VR (without CPRM) Video CD, Super Video CD, Audio CD, MP3 (CD/DVD), WMA (CD/DVD), JPEG, DivX (CD/DVD), DivX Ultra (CD/DVD), Dual Disk
  • Terminal Inputs
    1 RCA (composite)
    1 Mini Din (S-video)
    1 VGA (analog RGB/component video) D-sub 15 pin
    Analog RGB to component video adapter included
    HDMI 1.2a
  • Computer Compatibility


  • 12.9" x 10.2" x 6.9"


  • 15.2 lb

Fan Noise

  • 28 dB


  • Two-year quick exchange warranty (includes priority, toll-free technical support), plus 90-day lamp warranty.

Review by Mike English

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