Home Cinema 705HD Picture Quality - Out of the Box
The Epson Home Cinema 705HD performs rather well, right out of the box. Skin tones are actually very good for a low priced projector. Skin tones are very reasonable in Theatre mode - this Epson's best image mode. Moving to Livingroom and Dynamic, skin tones take a slight hit in Livingroom mode, but still, very watchable. I actually had a bunch of friends watch the first twenty minutes of the Golden Globes, on the 705HD, before switching to my JVC. Mostly teenagers, and one set of parents. Most didn't notice the change from Epson to JVC, actually, although some time after the switch, one of the more clever ones asked me something like this. "This projector isn't as bright as the other one, is it?" (Ahh, rocket scientist!). Actually you would think a bunch of people who are more interested in the dresses the women are wearing on the Red Carpet, than who won which award, would notice the subtle difference between the Epson 705HD, and last year's "best projector under $10,000". It just goes to demonstrate that while there are hundreds of thousands of enthusiasts, most people are still "turn it on and watch it" folks, who have never adjusted any TV set they've ever owned, except to turn it on, and change the channels.
The Epson does have individual color calibration ability, but relies on its selection of pre-defined color temp settings for grayscale balance. As such we did not calibrate the individual colors, and therefore continued to work with out of the box performance.
In this case, the pictures tell the story! Not bad, not bad at all!
From Lord of the Rings - images of Gandalf, and Arwen (SD-DVD). Almost all screen images in this review can be clicked on for a much larger version.
Moving to Blu-ray source material:
First, for your consideration, here, we have Daniel Craig as Bond, in Casino Royale, under three different lighting situations. The first image is full sunlight on his face, the second is in an airport, with fluorescent lighting, and the last of the three, is filtered sunlight (shade). These images are here to demonstrate that there really is no single correct skin tone, that lighting plays a key role, in what a skin tone will and should look like: