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Epson Home Cinema 700 - Entry level 720p projector at a breakthrough price!

Epson sure has been busy, with five new projectors shown at CEDIA. It's time to talk about the least expensive of them all, the the Home Cinema 700. The first thing is the $799 price tag. This is definitely a breakthrough in terms of the 3LCD projectors out there, although a couple DLP projectors can be found around that price. Ok, let's see what we've got here. I recognize the projector's case, they've been using it in the entry level business projectors, for a couple of years. The prelim spec sheet doesn't say, but this projector is either going to have a lens without zoom, or one with a very limited range. I'll try to update on that, before the review. The business projectors do not have zoom lenses. Epson's philosophy here seems to bank on consumers wanting a projector that is brighter than most of the other entry level projectors, to better deal with room ambient lighting. This makes it practical in rooms that are a bit too bright for other cost projectors. My first impression is a very affordable family room, bonus room type of projector, rather than a more single purpose room. We shall see, when it comes in for review. Contrast is a modest 2000:1, but Epson claims 2000 lumens for this little guy, and they tend to be conservative. Epson rates their lamp at 2000 hours life at full power, and 4000 in low power mode (usually 20-25% less bright). That makes for low cost of operation, when you don't need all those lumens. Also they charge less for their lamp than most other companies charge, for competing projectors. As a family product, it has an SD card slot as well as USB, so you can use it to view photos directly out of your camera, or from thumb drives. No doubt there are other fringe benefits to having these. Should be a fun review, a product with a slightly different slant in concept, and target audience than most other low cost models. $799, yep, should be very interesting.

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