Epson Home Cinema 700 Projector Review

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The Epson Home Cinema 700 is one of the smaller home theater projectors out there, but definitely not the smallest – which I believe is currently the Optoma HD65. Still, it is pretty small, and lightweight (6.2 pounds – 2.8Kg). I can’t think of any 3LCD home projectors that are quite this small, only a couple of DLP models. The Epson Home Cinema 700 is finished in a shiny, slightly off white case. The projector has rounded edges and some mid-gray finish on the lower 1/4 of the projector to give it some style, but this projector is not going to win design awards for styling.

Click to enlarge.  So close. In the front, the zoom lens is recessed and mounted off center to the right (if you are facing the projector). Further to the right is the front Infra-red sensor for the remote. Directly below the lens is a small, slide out filter that requires occasional cleaning. Nearer to the center, mounted low is a bar that drops down the adjustable front foot. (There are also two screw thread adjustable rear feet.)

A curved, recessed door can be slid out to cover the lens when not in use. If you close that cover while the projector is powered up, it will automatically mute the image and sound.

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Moving to the top, and looking down from the back, you adjust the lens focus and zoom by rotating their respective lens barrel extensions. The control panel is on the top, toward the front. The back houses the inputs. back remote sensor and the power connector. In addition there is a small speaker back there, just below the left most inputs. One interesting feature is the power down. This is also comes from its biz projector heritage. Once you shut it down, it can be unplugged in just a few seconds. The fan keeps running for a while after.

Control Panel

Click to enlarge.  So close. The Epson Home Cinema 700′s control panel is pretty complete. On the left side is a large Power button (with its own indicator light. Right below are two indicator lamps – one for Lamp, one for Temperature. Moving to the right, next is the Source search button. Then you find the full menu navigation system:

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The four arrows in a diamond like layout with the Enter button in the center, the Menu button is between the left and up arrows, and the ESC button between Up and Right arrows. The left and right arrow buttons double as volume control up/down when not using the menus, and the Up/down arrows double for keystone correction. That leaves just one more, the HELP button, whose function is described elsewhere.

Home Cinema 700 Inputs

Click to enlarge.  So close. From a home theater standpoint, the Home Cinema 700 has a basic, but complete set of inputs. In addition there is an SD card slot for dropping in your digital camera (or other source with memory cards) pictures. If your camera (etc.) has a different card type, such as XD, or Memory Stick, you can get an adaptor. There is one HDMI (for digital sources such as most DVD players, cable/satellite boxes, etc. There is also one component video, one S-Video and a composite video. A second HDMI would have been nice! There are also two USB inputs, which the Home Cinema 700 can use for computer (and other) interfacing and presenting.

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Epson hasn’t really changed its menu look, and structure is several years. Overall, it’s a pretty good layout, that I have always liked.

Text is large enough to readable from a respectable difference. The menu itself can be positioned in different locations.

The Color mode selection is located on the Image menu (typical) and gives a choice of 7 options. You can see the choices in the image below.

There are four main menus. In addition to Image, there are Signal, which mostly deals with aspect ratio, and controls relating to hooking up a computer.

The Settings menu has one key setting, the lamp brightness control (I prefer when that is part of the Image or Picture menu). It also controls keystone settings, volume control and offers the ability to lock the projector’s control panel, a feature probably here, because it comes from the Epson Powerlite W6′s feature set.

There is also an Extended menu, where you can decide to put in your own Logo to project when there is no source, projector orientation (front/rear, ceiling/table), Control of the USB ports and menu language.

Epson puts its Reset on a separate main menu, although some menus have their own resets of only their features.

Lastly, there is, as is typical of almost all projectors, an Info menu which keeps you apprised of lamp life, input source and other “useful” tidbits.

Home Cinema 700 menu

Home Cinema 700 settings menu

Home Cinema 700 colormode menu

Home Cinema 700 extended menu

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