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Epson Unveils 3LCD Value Projectors

Looking to open the front projector market to a wider audience, Epson America will use CEDIA Expo to introduce a pair of entry-priced 3LCD front projectors optimized for home theater applications.

The company will unveil the first model in its new MovieMate family of projector combo products. The MovieMate 25 is a combination EDTV-level 3LCD projector and progressive-scan DVD player.

The unit, which will carry a $1,199 suggested retail price, is designed for a wide range of home entertainment applications, from placement in permanent home theater systems to a variety of portable applications.

Epson will sell the unit as a complete A/V solution, offering built-in speakers and bundling an 80W-inch pull-up screen that rolls into a compact carrying case.

The projector features a white, cube-style cabinet that is compact and light for easy room-to-room use. It includes a built-in progressive-scan DVD player produced for Epson by JVC, and two built-in 10-watt speakers using JVC’s Direct Drive technology.

The projector will employ three Epson-made 0.55-inch LCD panels producing 854 by 480 resolution. It will support the 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio, natively, and produces 1,200 ANSI lumens of brightness and a 1,000:1 contrast ratio. Inputs include composite and S-video.

Epson will also unveil the PowerLite Home 20 ($999 suggested retail) entry-level 3LCD projector. The stand-alone model offers EDTV (854 by 480) resolution, 1,200 ANSI lumens of brightness and a 1,000:1 contrast ratio.

As with the MovieMate, Epson will bundle an 80W-inch pull-up screen with the projector.

Designed for both home theater and occasional business applications, the projector includes component video, S-video, composite video and VGA (PC) inputs. It includes a one-watt speaker.

Epson plans to use both models to grow its share of the entry front-projector market, by targeting major CE chains in its distribution range, in addition to A/V specialty dealers and custom installers.

Epson will work with CE retailers on merchandising placement and shielded theater enclosures to demonstrate the projectors on well-lit, high-traffic sales floors, the company said.

Epson was also keeping under wraps until show time a few other video display products, which are expected to include Epson’s first 3LCD projectors capable of full 1,080p high-definition resolution, and a new entry in its 3LCD rear-projection family.