Epson PowerLite 1985WU Projector Review

The Epson Powerlite 1985WU is one of a new breed of affordable high brightness projectors suitable for medium and larger venues.  100″ screens even in bright rooms handled well.

Overview

There used to be a time, not very long ago, when if you needed  say 4000 lumens (twice what was typically used in auditoriums a decade or so ago), you spent a small fortune on a projector that was not only bright but loaded with features, including very expensive interchangeable lenses (and lens shift), that many people who needed the brightness did not require.  In fact, typically a long or short throw lens for one of those projectors still costs more than this new Epson projector.

That’s the point of the Powerlite 1985WU, which is the flagship of Epson’s 1900 series, and highest resolution projector at 1920×1200 – WUXGA!  If maximum placement flexibility isn’t a requirement, this projector may be just right.  It still has advanced networking and an impressive list of capabilities.

Highlights

OK, enough about all the different models in the series.  Here’s a list of the key major features of the Powerlite 1985WU beyond the usual brightness and resolution already mentioned:

  • Wide range Zoom lens:
  • WiDi, and Miracast (see Special Features section), screen mirroring
  • MHL on HDMI for streaming from MHL compatible devices
  • Split Screen (two sources)
  • Auto Fit let’s the projector resize the image to fit your screen
  • DICOM simulation for observing medical films such as X-rays, CAT scans, etc., meeting training level display requirements
  • Wireless and advanced Wired networking, including remote monitoring, push notifications…
  • Moderator and PC Free – connect with up t0 50 devices, display up to 4 simultaneously for real collaboration
  • 2 year warranty with two years of rapid replacement program

MiraCast and MHL

Epson not only offers MHL on one of its two HDMI inputs, but goes a step further and offers Miracast built in to its wireless capabilities.  Let’s talk Miracast first.

Miracast is first, a certification process for peer to peer wireless.  If a projector (as a display device) has Miracast, it can display what the source screen displays.  It does this wirelessly from devices that also support Miracast.  Note that Miracast supports only certain protocols, so it doesn’t work with all or most peer-to-peer solutions out there.  But, in most cases, two Miracast devices should work together.

There are resolution limits.  Officially Miracast will stream up to 1080p (1920×1080) just a little less than the maximum native resolution of this projector at 1920×1200.  Miracast also supports audio up to 5.1.

Think this way.  We’re used to communicating wirelessly in many cases over a local WiFi network.  MHL is an example of that.  Take an MHL source – such as some of the Android tablets, and they can, using your home wifi, talk to, a display that supports MHL, such as this Epson Powerlite 1985WU projector.

ist of Features

The Powerlite 1985 WU is loaded with many features, some major, some minor.  Here I will list a large number of them.  A sentence or paragraph will be found in the Menus section for many of them, when viewing the appropriate menu in its comment area.  Some need no comment.

  • Auto Iris for improved black level performance (two speeds)
  • Color management system both Grayscale and individual color calibration controls available
  • Gamma adjustments – 5 preset, plus custom
  • 8 Preset modes including Dynamic, Presentation, Theatre, DICOM etc.
  • Many audio inputs, audio output
  • 2 Noise reduction levels
  • Overscan
  • Fine or Fast image processing
  • Split Screen – two sources at once – equal sized
  • Non-laser Pointer built in, controlled by remote
  • Closed Caption
  • User Logo
  • High Altitude Mode
  • Auto Source Search (or manual)
  • Define which audio to output
  • Multi-screen control brightness and color correction
  • Scheduling of Use, Power/Standby, Dates and Times
  • Screen Mirroring

PC Free Presenting

The Powerlite 1985WU offers basic PC Free presenting by way of an onboard media player.  The 1985WU supports image files and PDF, but is not as extensive as some, as it does not support Microsoft Office formats.   Of course you can convert Powerpoint type presentations to a series of JPGs, and many other “documents” into PDFs to use the media player. That said, this is a projector that can work wired or wirelessly with smart devices, do screen mirroring, etc.  So, while you may not be able to pop in a word document off of a USB thumb drive, your options likely include viewing it wirelessly from your computer, or tablet of phone, or in some cases, via wire.

Easy MP Software (free) for Command and Control

Epson’s Easy MP software has been around for perhaps a decade, maybe longer, as a way to control the projector from software on your computer.  Although not as sophisticated as some of the advanced command and control protocols such as Crestron RoomView, it does handle the basics rather nicely and has a good feature set. The Powerlite 1985WU is, however, also compatible with Crestron RoomView and some other advanced systems, as might be found in a school district or corporate HQ.  Even without those, however, the projector does support features such as email notifications of status.  (Letting the IT folks know that the lamp has failed, or other problems or certain uses.

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