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Since the dawn of time, humans have never faltered from their ambitions to climb the tallest mountains, read the longest books, and buy the largest televisions. These things dictated what it meant to be human—but no longer. With the release of Epson’s new MegaPlex MG-850HD we may never buy another television again. It’s that good.
The MG-850HD is a 2,800-lumen projector with more bells and whistles than a marching band. Chief among them is a hideable iOS dock, which allows you to display iOS media in glorious 720p while charging your device. But if you don’t have an iOS device, there’s still dozens of ways to display your favorite media—the MegaPlex also has component inputs, an HDMI port, USB ports, and a PC input. This thing can play just about anything, and with loud, crisp, internal speakers you almost definitely won’t need to plug in any additional ones. But make no mistake, awesome as it is, a projector isn’t for everyone and the MegaPlex has some issues.
The iOS dock is on the back of the projector, which means if your projector is against a wall you’ll likely struggle with plugging in your iOS device (iPads especially: if you hang your projector from the ceiling, you’ll need to take extra precautions to ensure your iPad will even fit). We were fortunate enough to have a huge blank wall to project on, but many people will need to buy a screen and at $800, the MegaPlex is already nearly as expensive as a TV (granted, not one that is over 100 inches diagonal). Add to that the fact that over time your lamps will burn out and you’ll need to buy new ones, which are unsurprisingly expensive (we found them for about $225).
The bottom line. The MegaPlex is as much a lifestyle commitment as it is a brag-worthy cinema setup. You’re not just buying into a projector, but a screen to project onto, a seating arrangement that won’t block the display, and blackout curtains if you plan to watch anything during daylight. If you’ve got the necessary cash and setup, the MegaPlex MG-850HD might just replace your TV forever.—Nic Vargus
Large wall or other blank surface; iOS device recommended
Hideable dock. Sounds great even at ultra-loud volumes. Crystal-clear image. HDMI port.
Expensive. Between air filters and lamp replacements it takes more maintenance than a TV. Position of iOS device on the back of the projector can be impractical.