Epson Home Cinema 705HD Projector Review-2

Epson Home Cinema 705HD Projector Highlights

  • Ease of use
  • A home entertainment projector, rather than a home theater projector
  • Designed as a very bright projector suitable for family rooms and bonus rooms. This projector is not really designed for a dedicated home theater, nor the movie/home theater enthusiast
  • Can double as a viable, entry-level widescreen projector for business (and has a speaker built in)
  • Extremely long life (and low cost) lamp for lowest cost of operation
  • Limited zoom lens range of 1.2:1, limits placement flexibility
  • Two year warranty – with overnight replacement – a great warranty
  • Limited color controls – only the most basic calibration possible
  • Can be ceiling mounted, or set on a table top, but is small enough/ light enough to take it with you, or move from room to room

Projector Lamp Life

The Epson Home Cinema 705HD sports a 200 watt lamp. They rate it a most impressive 4000 hours at full power, and 5000 in eco-mode. That’s about as good as it gets, and is about twice the average. Epson shows a list price of $249 for the lamp, while most lamps are $300 – $400. Even if you run a very hefty average of 8 hours a day (normal TV usage), you’ll get more than two years out of their particularly affordable lamp.

This means that your long term cost of operation will be significantly lower for the Home Cinema 705HD than most competing projectors. If one considers, that compared to the popular Panasonic PT-AX200U, which is more expensive, their lamp is rated only 2000/3000 hours, and costs $349 I believe. Thus, at full power, to get all the way to 8000 hours (8 hours a day, for 4 years), and have a lamp with 200 hours left on it, you’ll end up with buying 4 additional Panasonic lamps ($1396 MSRP total), or, for the Epson, one lamp ($249 MSRP total). The Panasonic would then have a new lamp in place, with 2000 hours left, and the Epson would have 3000 hours on its (2nd) lamp, with 2000 hours remaining. All of a sudden, the $250 price difference between these two projectors, turns into, over that period, to be a cost difference of over $1250 – the Panasonic will have cost 2x as much (excluding electricity costs).

Doubles as a Widescreen Business Projector

Click to enlarge.  So close. The 705HD’s combination of small size and light weight, plus native support for 1280×800 resolution (the most popular for widescreen laptops), as well as a wide range of other resolutions, all the way up to UXGA (1600×1200), inherently makes it suitable for presentations as well. In addition, its brightness is similar to most entry level business projectors (typically 2000 – 2500 lumens). The Home Cinema 705HD bright enough to be a dual use projector. It has both HDMI, and a classic analog computer input, suitable for interfacing with a computer.

Click Image to Enlarge

Audio Built In

Finding a speaker on a home theater projector is certainly uncommon. But, it can be handy. In the past BenQ has offered a speaker on a couple of models, but generally, home theater projectors (other than, of course, all-in-one projectors) come without audio. One of the Optoma entry level projectors also has a small speaker if I recall correctly.

Having the audio on the Home Cinema 705HD can be handy, especially if you plan on moving the projector to different locations. True, it’s not overly powerful, nor will it have real hi-fi sound, but, in a pinch it can provide you with sound, while playing a game console, or watching some TV, in a room without an audio setup (including your backyard). It will work for movies too, just don’t expect sub-woofer calibre bass.

SD Card Slot No More

Last year the older Epson had an SD card slot. This year, though Epson came up with a better solution. Gone is the card slot, and, instead, there’s the already mentioned HDMI input – a really important improvement, and to replace the SD slot:

USB Input

A second USB port can be used for presentation purpose, but, in addition, it replaces the SD slot. So, just get yourself a basic $5 – $20 USB card slot device (mine has 4 different card sizes, including XD, SD… which I got for $9.99 somewhere). Basically you can plug the little adapter into the USB and feed the projector your favorite memory cards that way. Actually I do find it handy to plug memory cards into projectors. We do it here, on occasion with our Epson Ensemble HD system which has the ability too. It’s all very “integrating”. From the USB, you can show .jpg images using the Epson 705HD’s built in media player. I believe it is still images only, not able to do videos. (For videos download to your computer, or DVD player and run from there into the projector.)

More:

There are other odds and end features, of less import. For example, there’s a door to cover the lens that shuts down the lamp when you want to take a break. There’s also a heavier duty security bar, in addition to the usual Kensington lock slot.

And, there are two timers. One let’s you have the projector turn off if it sees no active signal for a period of time, and the other, a pure power down timer. You can tell it to power down the projector anywhere from 1 to 30 minutes after setting the timer – perfect for those who like to “crash” – fall asleep while watching a movie, or a music DVD. (That would be me!)

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