The first question we asked when taking the Epson EMP-DM1 out of its packaging was, "why doesn't Blockbuster have a stock of these to rent out along with some DVDs?"
It wasn't until entertainment retailers such as Blockbuster began stocking DVDs that the format really took off and consumers got over their dependence on tape. It wasn't long after that they also realised there was decent money to be made from renting out games -- and with them came additional revenues from renting games consoles.
Surely projectors are the next step? And if they are, the EMP-DM1 seems like an ideal product to help the evolution of home entertainment.
The boxy EMP-DM1 measures 320mm wide, 230mm deep, 135mm high and weighs in at 3.8 kilograms. The mostly white unit is offset by a grey bottom which houses a built-in DVD player, so there is no need to connect it to anything in order to watch a movie -- except possibly a set of decent speakers.
The unit does have two eight-watt stereo speakers, which are usable but far from ideal. Unsurprisingly, the sound lacks depth and bass. In our tests, we found it far more pleasurable to plug it into your hi-fi -- we paired our review unit with the Apple iPod Hi-Fi.
We found that watching television shows was acceptable but when it came to a feature film there was no option but to plug it into a decent set of speakers.