Now that the home entertainment market has moved towards streaming video services and Blu-ray content, there has never been a better time to convert DVD collections to digital.
Epson EH-DM3 projector
Epson's EH-DM3 is the company's latest home entertainment projector
- Very good built-in speakers, inbuilt DVD player with good picture quality
- Slightly expensive, poor stand
The Epson EH-DM3 may be a bit pricey but it does sufficient justice to its claim of being a home theatre projector, and it comes equipped with all the necessary features -- not to mention a very good pair of built-in speakers.
Price$ 1,249.00 (AUD)
Epson's EH-DM3 is the company's latest projector offering for home entertainment. It's a three-in-one device, with the functionality of a projector, DVD player, and music system all rolled into one.
The Epson EH-DM3 is slightly larger than the normal conference-room business projectors, measuring 335x239x127mm and weighing 4.4kg with a handle on its right side to help tow it around. It is glossy black all around, with the projecting lens tucked away in its front left corner, and a host of control buttons placed on its top.
The slot-loading DVD drive is placed at the front. The projector's build quality is pretty good, but for its cranky adjustable stands. Instead of a single stand placed at the center, the Epson EH-DM3 has two stands on either side: you press two levers to release a spring and lower the respective stands down. The whole setup is very finicky, and aligning the stands isn't very easy — Epson should rethink its stand design for future projectors.
The Epson EH-DM3 has a native resolution of 940x540 pixels and rated brightness of 2000 ANSI lumens and a 3000:1 contrast ratio. Its lamp has a rated life of 4000 hours in normal mode and 5000 hours in Eco mode.
The Epson EH-DM3 comes with some handy features like auto-keystone correction, an ambient light sensor, and Dolby Digital surround sound support. Apart from VGA, HDMI, DVD, and USB, the EH-DM3 also supports Component and Composite video inputs. It is also accompanied by a full-sized remote control with extensive keys (more than on the projector's top panel) that allow you to do things from turning on the Epson EH-DM3 to popping out a disc from it. You'll also find a coaxial audio-out port and headphone jack on the Epson EH-DM3 — it is one of the most feature-rich projectors we've come across in terms of connectivity options.
The Epson EH-DM3 utilises 3LCD technology for projecting an image, and it certainly has its advantages over DLP technology, primarily in terms of colour saturation, image sharpness and overall brightness. The projector takes under a minute to get started and display its splash-screen. After that, you have the choice to insert a DVD, plug in a USB drive (formatted in FAT32), or connect your computer over VGA or HDMI to the Epson EH-DM3. We tested the EH-DM3 in a semi-dark room with the projecting distance at 5ft and 10ft, and we liked what we saw.
Playing Eagles' 'Hell Freezes Over' was a good experience: the image playing on the screen was sharp and crisp, and the two 10 watt speakers belted out the songs pretty well. We then hooked up a laptop through HDMI and watched The Dark Knight in all its 720p goodness; later we tuned into an episode of Planet Earth in its 1080p splendour.
In both these instances, the Epson EH-DM3 projector had absolutely no problem creating a cinema-home theater environment, with its detailed visuals and surprisingly good onboard sound. The speakers are situated on the back panel of the EH-DM3 and they are more than sufficient to pump out decent music at max volume in a large room.
It played normal DVD video and DivX files without any problems, but can't play MKV files. The Epson EH-DM3 did heat up a bit, while in use, but cooled down quickly when switched off. And it ran pretty quietly throughout. Overall, it did a very good job of playing movies and other digital media content.
In our DisplayMate benchmarks, the Epson EH-DM3 (at default settings) performed quite well. Its picture was bright (414 ANSI lumens) uniformly (for the most part) on the projected canvas, and contrast levels weren't too bad. It aced the test in areas like purity of colour, white level saturation, and display of low-saturation colours.
It had no problem with displaying smooth gradients and we experienced no colour streaking of any kind. However, the Epson EH-DM3 doesn't come with an autofocus lens, shows a hint of moire pattern, while reading text remains a pain on the eyes — but that isn't its focus area, anyway.
This is no business projector, focusing only on multimedia content. The Epson EH-DM3 may be a bit pricey but it does sufficient justice to its claim of being a home theatre projector, and comes equipped with all the necessary features — not to mention a very good pair of built-in speakers. If you want to take movie-watching beyond the realms of a large screen television, take a look at the Epson EH-DM3.
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