Posted on January 22, 2010 By Art Feierman
I know what your are thinking – “Not another Epson home theater projector review!” Sorry, I can’t help it. The problem is, Epson has far more home theater models than than anyone else. In addition to their big Home Cinema line including this projector, the Home Cinema 705HD, there’s the slightly differentiated Pro Cinema projector series. Don’t, of course, forget their all-in-one MovieMate line, and the fully integrated Ensemble HD systems, essentially 3 extremely high quality “Instant (high quality) Projector based Home Theater Sysems”. There’s no escaping Epson. (Well, so far, no pico projectors from Epson.) They simply have more projectors with more differing features, at more price points than anyone else, and probably more than their two or three biggest competitors combined. Gee, Panasonic has 2 projectors, Mitsubishi has 4, Sanyo has 3 (one may be discontinued as of this writing), and so on.
The image above was taken with a fair amount of ambient light in the room with partially open window shades, and a south facing sunny view!
Last spring we reviewed the Home Cinema 700 which was essentially a cross-over projector, also suitable for business. It was so cross-over, that Epson sold a “business” version and a home verison that were identical but for the model numbers. This time around, again there is a business version, the Powerlite S7, although it sports some slightly different specs.
The Home Cinema 705HD is a small, lightweight, kick-ass projector. You can just put it on a table when desired, or you can ceiling mount it. It’s really bright compared to just about everything else out there, although the venerable Panasonic PT-AX200u is competitive.
Ultimately, the 705HD is the direct descendant of the 700. What I said in these paragraphs below, about the 700, also apply to the 705HD.
“This is one of those projectors, that are no fuss: Hook up the wires, turn it on, and watch that sporting event, movie, or general HDTV/TV content. If your room has more than the slightest amount of ambient light, this projector is designed for the job. Only a couple of projectors can push out more lumens than this low cost projector, and most projectors we’ve reviewed are no match at all in brightness, when comparing “best” modes, and few have more than 2/3 of its brightness in “brightest” mode.
If you just want to watch, while the wife has some lights on, and is reading, that’s really not a challenge for the Home Cinema 705HD, in fact that’s what it’s particularly good at.”
Want a projector you can pack up and take to your cabin (and it does have a small speaker in it, for basic sound), or take along on your summer vacation, or, want to watch it in the family room tonight, but the kids want it in their room tomorrow, or, perhaps you need a projector that can double as a business projector? That’s the Home Cinema 705HD appeal.
The Epson 705HD projector is a fine little family room projector. It’s not an enthusiast’s projector (something I’ll repeat many times), but for people who basically don’t care about the equipment, just what it does. I watched the New Orleans Saints soundly defeat (in a really good game) the Cardinals, with the little 705HD. I had window shades open more today than on any other sunny day, with any other projector, in at least a year. In fact here are a couple of shots to indicate room brightness, and the picture! More importantly, I didn’t have any problem watching this mere 720p projector, it looked great. My pricey JVC, by comparison, even with its 1080p resolution and superb color, couldn’t begin to deal with the room as lit, today.
And the Epson’s ability to do that on a really large screen just takes all the fun out of owning a 50 inch LCDTV. At less than $750, perhaps your wife WILL let you have one.
The Home Cinema 705 is one concept in an entry level projector. Its the casual projector, fitting somewhere in between an all-in-one projector like the recently reviewed MovieMate 60, or feature laden 720p projectors like the Panasonic PT-AX200U and the Optoma HD71.
It is primarily the brightness of the Home Cinema 705HD projector that earns it our Hot Product Award. Epson has produced an extremely bright home projector with good color, and lots of punch.
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