Posted on September 18, 2017 By Nikki Zelinger
The Epson Home Cinema 760HD is one of a trio of projectors from Epson’s new value line. Similar in feature set and hardware, the three differ in a few small ways. The biggest differences are seen in resolution and price point. About that – they all fall below $700. List price of the HC760HD is $549, but street prices start at $499 (the current price on the Epson online store). The projector is sold online, and at big box houses, as well as some smaller dealers.
A 3LCD projector claiming 3,300 lumens, the Home Cinema 760HD is impressively bright and will be able to combat most instances of ambient light. With 720p resolution (1280 x 720), it is a step up from the Home Cinema 660, and could be one for you to consider when shopping for your low-cost home entertainment projector.
This First Look Review of the Epson Home Cinema 760HD will explore an overview of the projector, delve into its features and benefits, talk about the differences from the HC760HD’s siblings, and review the projector’s highlights.
Before we continue – what is a First Look Review? It’s something between our full-fledged reviews where we spend lots of time both watching projectors perform, and playing with the projector’s full feature set, and, the other extreme – putting up a manufacturer’s press release, as loaded with hype as they are, (as many sites do).
In some cases, our First Look Reviews are done after we have had a brief look at the projector – at our facility, typically for just a few days. Other times, such as this time, we haven’t had a chance to play with the projector. In such cases, our goal is to apply a mix of insight and common sense to describe how this projector might fit your needs.
This is something we like to do, especially when the projector is just announced, is expected to be very popular, and/or is a direct descendant (with limited differences) with a projector we’ve already reviewed. Enjoy!
The Home Cinema 760HD, priced at $549.99, has a resolution of 720p (1280 x 720). That’s the lower end of HD resolution, but it’s still HD. The image will be crisp and clear, and the price point makes it competitive with other projectors in its class. I recently reviewed a pocket projector of a similar price, and I’m pretty confident the image projected by the Epson Home Cinema 760HD would knock that projector’s image out of the water.
That this projector has 3LCD technology is a major plus, as that means the HC760HD will have as many color lumens as it has white ones (typical of 3LCD and LCoS projectors) – that’s 3,300 color lumens and 3,300 white lumens. This means colors will appear a lot brighter, and have a lot more pop. We do expect the Home Cinema 760HD to have excellent color, as this is characteristic of many Epson Home Theater Projectors.
There is a 2-watt mono speaker, which should be loud enough for small rooms and quiet family gatherings. And I mean pretty quiet. There’s no audio input for connecting external speakers, which I’ve already ranted and raved about in my First Look Review of the Home Cinema 660. I see fit to do so again, and again when I write my piece on the Home Cinema 1060.
The speaker is small, and Epson shows imagery of the projector being used outdoors. I haven’t tested this projector myself, nor have we had it in for review yet, but I’m pretty confident that the speakers won’t be able to compete with significant outdoor noise. So, if there’s a freeway nearby…
The rated fan noise of this projector is 37db. That’s loud. That’s just 5 db short of the loudest projector HT projector I’ve reviewed, and that one has louder speakers than the HC760HD. Epson did do a good job lowering fan noise in ECO Mode – 28db – and you’re not going to lose too much brightness when in ECO since the projector is already so bright, but I still can’t wrap my head around the absence of an audio out jack, at least for those streaming. Other sources all should have viable work arounds, i.e. with HDTV, Blu-ray, etc. going through an AV receiver.
Good news, everyone! Playstation 4 (possibly Xbox – I do not own one), BluRay and internet players, HDTV cable and satellite boxes generally will have other ways than HDMI to send audio out to an external sound system. So, you’d have your HDMI cable plugged into the projector from your player, and an audio cable plugged into the player and external speakers. That’s how you can get good sound when you need it. However, most streaming sticks do not have an audio out port – Apple TV used to – and so you’ll have to use the built-in speaker.
Other connectivity includes a single HDMI port, a VGA computer input (no audio out input, but we’ve got a VGA… fantastic), old school RCA ports for composite video and audio input, and two USBs – a Type A for PC-Free playback from a USB and a Type B for connecting a computer for easy plug-and-play projection.
Update: It’s been half a year since this First Look review. We still hope to find the space to bring in one of the Home Cinema 760’s for a full, in-depth review.
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