The demand for high performance computing in laptops has never been greater.
- Great concept, well-designed, built-in DVD player, wide range of supported formats, good range of ports, integrated speakers
- Poor image quality in HD compatibility modes, flyscreen effect when watching DVDs, not suitable for rooms with ambient light.
The Epson EMP-DM1 is a great idea for a projector that doesn't quite hit it home. It has quite a few image quality problems but since it's so insanely cheap, it's a great projector for regular families that just want to watch their moves on a wall at home.
Price$ 1,190.00 (AUD)
The Epson EMP-DM1 is a projector and DVD player combination device. It can project at a native resolution of 854x480 which is a good resolution for standard-definition usage. Its image quality isn't brilliant but for the low price and considering the integrated DVD player, it's a cheap projection solution for those on a budget.
We tested the projector using various DVDs as an image quality check, but we also connected various hig- definition devices as well. Even though the projector is really only suited to standard-definition resolutions, it has the ability to accept high-definition signals up to 1080p via the rear component connector.
The DVD tests were fairly good but far from perfect. The biggest problem this projector has is an appalling flyscreen effect. The space between each pixel is noticeable which can get a little distracting if you sit too close. Unless your lounge room is massive, there is a good chance that 'too close' is your only option. If you think it will be a problem, make sure you buy the projector from a retailer with a rock solid return policy, just in case.
The colour reproduction is good when in a darkened room but any ambient light will immediately wash out the image. We found no contrast problems or image noise and found black levels to be quite good.
At high-definition resolutions, the projector tends to fall flat on its face. It's no surprise though, considering it isn't really designed to be used with HD sources. The fact it supports them at all is fairly surprising, especially 1080p. In HD, the images loose quite a bit of clarity and tend to look a little hazy. Edges are rife with artefacts and on a whole, the viewing experience is displeasing. It's nice that the option is there if you need it, but realistically, if you are looking for something to play HD content, this is not the projector for you.
It also supports connection to a PC but again, any resolution over the native is practically useless due to a combination of poor scaling and the aforementioned flyscreen effect. This projector is really only good for watching DVDs as any other function tends to be rather below average.
The integrated DVD player utilises a front-loading slot drive and is capable of playing back not only regular store-bought region 4 DVDs but also custom content on writeable CDs and DVDs. It supports JPEG, MP3, WMA and DivX files and has support for VCD and SVD. This is a great feature which makes the projector far more versatile (and useful) than if it only supported DVD-Video.
The projector can create a 30-inch image from a distance of 0.87 metres or up to a maximum 300 inches from 8.97 metres away. The unit doesn't produce any excessive amounts of heat and runs fairly quietly. There is a manual shutter to protect the lens and the unit has a carry handle and integrated speakers.
The speaker system isn't brilliant but certainly does the job. It lacks the definition and clarity of a dedicated speaker system but for basic use it is as good as what you would find on most CRT televisions.
We would recommend this LCD projector/DVD player combo to families who want to watch DVDs on a projector but can't afford the high prices being charged for projectors in the current market. It is by no means a high-end unit but for the price, it is a good deal and worth considering.
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