Epson HC710 Appearance
The Epson Home Cinema 710HD is one of the smaller home theater projectors out there, although there are some smaller - mostly DLP models. (DLP type) even smaller, if that's important. This Epson projector 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 710HD is finished in a shiny, slightly off white case. The projector has a mildly interesting styling.
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 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.
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 projector's filter hides behind a door just to the left (looking from the rear), of the lens controls, and is easy to remove for cleaning or replacement. When it finally becomes time to replace the long life lamp, the door is situated on the top in the back right corner.
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.
The control panel is a well laid out, and logical affair. The Power button is to the left (press once, for on, twice to shut down). Then comes the source (input) search function. Above it the menu, and across from Menu, the Esc(ape) button to back you up a level in the menus. In the center of the control panel are your four arrow keys in a round configuration, with the usual Enter button in the center.
When not navigating themenus, the left and right arrow buttons double as volume up and down (in fact, as you can see, that's how they are labeled - no arrows in sight). The up and down buttons control manual keystone adjustment. That leaves only the Epson Help button, which brings up interactive help, for things like getting better color, adjusting sound, etc. Unlike most help functions when you find the right question, you can directly affect changes from there, and not have to separately
Home Cinema 710HD Inputs
From a home theater standpoint, the Home Cinema 710HD has a basic, but complete set of inputs. Unlike last year's Home Cinema 700, the 710HD lacks a card slot, but still allows you to play memory/flash cards, usin a USB adapter. It works just fine. 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. As I always say - a second HDMI would have been nice! There are also two USB inputs, one which the Home Cinema 710HD can use for computer (and memory card) interfacing and presenting, and one strictly for servicing the 710HD.