When we were expecting our first child, we were advised by experienced parents to see a movie in theaters while we still had the chance. We’re glad that we did, because for the next two years, getting out of the house was incredibly difficult. However, with pregnancy two underway, we’re sitting pretty at home and feeling no need to run out to the theater, thanks to Epson and their incredible line of projectors. With the Megaplex MG-850HD and the PowerLite Home Cinema 3020e, you can now bring the theater experience right into your home and enjoy movies from the comfort of your couch.
These two Epson products immediately eased my projector hesitancies. Remembering projectors that required dimming the lights, I couldn’t imagine being able to replace my television with a projector system. However, these projectors are so bright with the Megaplex emitting 2800 lumens and the PowerLite emitting 2300 lumens that you can watch movies even in the middle of the day with brilliant color. Images are incredibly sharp as well, with the Megaplex projecting at a 720 pixel resolution and the Powerlite at a full 1080 pixel HD resolution. And, the advantage over a traditional television is that you can project on any clean surface, from a formal screen to a blank wall to a sheet. The Megaplex is especially portable, with a built-in handle, so you can take it with you to a friend’s house or even to the backyard for a summer outdoor movie night. Adding to the portability is both projectors’ ability to deliver amazing sound right from their built-in speakers, removing the need for any external ones.
It’s also incredible to realize how the available projector inputs have increased. Today’s projectors are no longer just a means for watching home movies or for viewing films in school — these two are fully equipped to connect to smart phones, tablets, digital cameras, flash drives, cable boxes, gaming systems, laptops and DVD players. This means that you can project everything from slideshows right off your phone to presentations off your laptop to streaming movies from an internet-enabled DVD player or iTunes. The Megaplex even has a built-in dock to make it as easy as possible to just plug in your iPhone or iPad, making for an extremely compact entertainment system that delivers on a really big screen. Given that we now snap a large majority of my daughter’s photos on our phones, this is a great way to share memories with the whole family.
While the Megaplex has the convenient iDock, a key feature of the PowerLite 3020e is its ability to display 3D content, enabling the full experience that movies like Avatar, Polar Express and Alice in Wonderland have to offer. Included are two RF 3D glasses, which are charged by plugging them into a USB port — as little as a few minutes will get you through a full movie. It was great to learn that you don’t necessarily have to purchase costly 3D Blu-ray movies to enjoy the 3D effect. You can now stream a lot of great content directly from providers like Vudu if you hook your projector up to an internet-enabled device. Even if you don’t have 3D content, you can use the 2D-to-3D conversion feature to add a 3D element. While the little ones might not yet be into wearing the 3D glasses and be a little overwhelmed by seeing objects pop out of the screen, this is a feature that mom and dad fully enjoy.
The PowerLite 3020e also has the benefit of working wirelessly via an included Wireless HD transmitter, a plus for keeping young kids from tripping over wires. It also gives you freedom to spread your devices around the room so that you don’t need a dedicated entertainment center and eases the problem of finding enough electrical outlets in one place. With five ports, you have plenty of options for viewing sources and can leave your game console and DVD player hooked up at all times rather than having to switch them out. The screen can even be split to watch two sources at the same time. Admittedly, I haven’t yet found a reason to watch two sources at once, but one day this may come in handy!
These projectors are so easy to use that I was able to set them up in no time, even with a curious toddler at my side. Once set up, we were able to immediately see Happy Feet on the big screen, and my toddler was in awe. She now constantly asks for the “Big TV” and is eager to show it to all visitors. In all honesty, my husband and I are, too. Being able to see television shows, movies and even our family photos in such great color on a big screen is amazing. The only caution I have for young families is to watch your kids around a projector. Unlike traditional TV, a projector beam can be pretty bright and may attract curious eyes, so be sure monitor your kids and keep them from looking directly into the light. Other than that, these projectors are an amazing addition to any household. A great new way to play slideshows, give presentations, play video games and watch TV and movies!
The Epson Megaplex MG-850HD is available for $799, while the PowerLite Home Cinema 3020e retails for $1899. Learn more about both Epson projectors at www.epson.com.