Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 705HD WXGA 3LCD Projector
Projector Central Highly Recommended Award

Highly Recommended Award

Our Highly Recommended designation is earned by products offering extraordinary value or performance in their price class.

  • Performance
  • 5
  • Features
  • Ease of Use
  • Value
Price
$649 MSRP Discontinued

Last year, Epson's Home Cinema 700, a 1280x800 LCD projector designed for home entertainment, provided a great option for folks who wanted a high-definition multi-purpose projector suitable for use in the living room or game room. This year, they've upped the ante with the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 705HD. The Home Cinema 705HD is brighter, higher in contrast, and more portable than its predecessor, being both smaller in size and lighter. It has a lamp life of 4,000 or 5,000 hours, using normal or eco-mode, respectively. While the Home Cinema 700's SD card reader did not make it into the 705HD, it retains the ability to project photos from many devices directly over USB. At street prices around $750, the Home Cinema 705HD is a great choice for any ambient light situation.

Advantages

High lumen output. The Home Cinema 705HD's 2500 lumen specification is no joke; our test unit measured no less than 2561 lumens in Dynamic mode. Unless you have light shining directly on your screen, the Home Cinema 705HD's impressive lumen output should be more than enough to compensate for ambient light on a screen of up to 100". In low ambient light, the Home Cinema 700 can be used on much larger screens (up to 150" or ever larger) without the picture appearing dull or flat.

There's also a Living Room mode, which reduces light output by roughly 10% but provides much better color balance and improved contrast when compared to Dynamic mode. This mode is ideal for rooms with a medium amount of ambient light, such as a room with one or two lamps but no direct sunlight. It does not have the same color accuracy and contrast as Theater mode, but it is a solid in-between setting that's useful when you don't need the extreme brightness of Dynamic mode.

Finally, there is Theater mode, which produces the best color balance and contrast of all the image modes, but also has the lowest lumen output. Still, this mode measured 1620 lumens when displaying a 1080p signal over HDMI, which is a very bright picture by any metric. In a room with any amount of light control, even if it's just dimming the lights, Theater mode is bright enough to use on 120" screen. It can be used on 150" and larger screens if lighting is more in line with a traditional dark home theater. If theater mode - or any mode, for that matter - is too bright for the screen size you want to use, Eco lamp mode lowers lumen output by 21%, bringing Theater to a more manageable 1280 lumens. This can be useful in rooms with good light control and smaller screen sizes.

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As a side note, the Home Cinema 705HD produces an slightly brighter picture when using the VGA input than it does when using the HDMI input. For example, Dynamic mode measured 2561 lumens over VGA, but 2267 lumens over HDMI - a reduction of 12% overall brightness. This is not uncommon.

Contrast. From the specifications, the Home Cinema 705HD looks like just another portable WXGA projector - nothing special. This is incorrect. The Home Cinema 705HD is much higher in contrast than typical presentation models, making its image appear more three-dimensional and vivid than typical data projectors. The Home Cinema 705HD also has an auto-iris, which helps to improve black levels in scenes which are mostly black. When used beside a typical LCD presentation projector, there is no contest--the Home Cinema 705HD blows it away.

This is not to say that the Home Cinema 705HD is ideal for use in a light-controlled home theater, because it isn't. Black level is not as deep as any of this year's crop of 1080p projectors. Even last year's 720p home theater projectors compare favorably. However, those home theater machines are nowhere near as bright as the Home Cinema 705HD, so it fills a unique niche - higher in brightness than home theater projectors, but higher in contrast than presentation projectors.

Color. Out of the box, the Home Cinema 705HD has reasonably accurate color. It could benefit from a little fine-tuning here and there, but overall it offers well saturated, vibrant colors that are approximately on-target and look quite natural. It looks great with HD sports and video games, especially, but even Blu-Ray and DVD movies do not appear to have inaccurate or unbalanced color when using the factory calibrations. People won't want to spend several hundred dollars having a $750 projector professionally calibrated, and the good news is that the 705HD doesn't need it.

Epson Instant Off. Something we have always appreciated about Epson's presentation projectors is their Instant Off feature, which takes a projector from full power to complete shutdown in a hair under three seconds. This feature exists on the Home Cinema 705HD as well. This is especially useful any time you're in a hurry or just don't want to spend a lot of time packing up your gear. Instead of powering off the projector and then waiting several minutes for the cooldown cycle to complete, you can simply unplug it and go.

Versatile resolution. 1280x800, or WXGA, is possibly our favorite resolution for data and multipurpose projectors because of its versatility. The Home Cinema 705HD can display signals of 1024x768, 1280x768, 1280x800, and HD 720p without doing any scaling whatsoever. On a projector that is designed to display many different types of content in many different environments, this versatility is useful.

Low cost of ownership. The Home Cinema 705HD isn't just inexpensive to purchase, it is also inexpensive to maintain. The projector's lamp has a stated life of 4,000 to 5,000 hours, with the latter referring to eco-mode. Replacements cost only $199 directly from Epson. If you drop a dime in a jar every time you watch a movie, you will have more than enough cash to buy a replacement by the time the lamp fails. The projector does have an air filter, but it is easy to remove; it comes out through a trap door in the top of the projector so it can be easily cleaned and replaced. If your air filter requires replacement, they cost only $15 from Epson.

Connectivity. The Home Cinema 705HD has a VGA port and an HDMI port, for easy connection of both data and video sources (the VGA port can display component video, as well, if you own the correct adapter). It has both USB-A and USB-B connections for use with a computer, USB hard drive, USB flash drive, digital camera, or other device capable of holding photos; the 705HD can display jpeg images directly from the device without the need for a computer.

Integrated lens cap. If there is one universal truth in the world of electronics, it is this: small parts get lost. Remote control battery doors, small adapters, extra screws, and especially lens caps all seem to disappear over time. To avoid this, the Home Cinema 705HD has an integrated lens cap which slides open and closed in front of the lens. There is also a sensor that tells the projector when the door is closed and engages the A/V mute.

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Sony VPL-VW295ES
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Limitations

Poor remote. The Home Cinema 705HD's remote control is difficult to use, even under ideal conditions. The buttons are smaller than tic-tacs, and there is no backlight, nor do the buttons glow in the dark. The menu navigation controls are located near the bottom of the remote, making it easy to fumble or drop. We did discover that the remote controls from Epson's cinema projectors operate on the same channel and use the same codes, so we used one of those for the majority of our testing.

Small speaker. There is at least one area where the Home Cinema 705HD falls short of its predecessor, and that is sound. The Home Cinema 700 had a 7-watt mono speaker, and while it was a little tinny, it was at least loud. The newer Home Cinema 705HD has a 1-watt speaker, which retains the tinny character but none of the volume. If you were planning to use the projector for video games independent of an external speaker system, you might want to reconsider.

No SD Card reader. The Home Cinema 700 also had an SD card reader integrated into the projector, allowing you to insert memory cards from cell phones, cameras, PDAs, and camcorders directly, without the need for a cable. While the Home Cinema 705HD can still display all the same types of content that its predecessor could, it requires that the device in question be attached via a USB cable, which is one more thing to haul around. And since several devices use USB cables with proprietary plugs on one end, this could lead to more than one cable - and more hassle.

Noisy iris. The Home Cinema 705HD's auto iris can be heard in operation. It sounds like a soft clicking and can be heard whenever the content on screen gets brighter or dimmer. If you are using an external speaker system at normal volume, you probably won't notice; however, if you wanted to use the projector to give a presentation, it might be wise to disable the iris for a few minutes.

Conclusion

Epson's new PowerLite Home Cinema 705HD is, in many ways, an improved version of last year's Home Cinema 700. It is brighter, higher in contrast, smaller, lighter, has a lower overall cost of ownership, and it is $50 less expensive. It is lacking the SD card reader and 7W speaker that were found in its predecessor, but for many people, these features either weren't important or came second to image quality, which the Home Cinema 705HD has in spades. If you want a projector that can display a colorful, high-contrast image in almost any environment, this is it.

For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 705HD projector page.

Comments (23) Post a Comment
Neale Peeling Posted Dec 8, 2009 12:10 PM PST
Epson also makes the EX71. From the specifications it looks to be almost identical to the 705HD. Other then the Black vs. White casing are there any differences in actual perfromance?
Jon Posted Dec 16, 2009 11:31 AM PST
While the black EX71 and the white 705HD appear to be the same chassis, there are a few differences from the spec sheets; I'll let you look up which one is which:

- warranty 1 vs 2 years, WUXGA, Throw ratio range, power consumption, noise, contrast ratio, keystone.
Mike Posted Dec 17, 2009 10:37 AM PST
I would like to know how versatile the projector is in terms of room placement, and I would like to know how well it scales 1080P content. Some image quality comparisons with the low-end 1080P projectors would also be nice. Finally, a review of its noisiness (fan noise--not iris noise) compared to some other projectors would be helpful. Thanks.
dumfa Posted Dec 24, 2009 3:26 PM PST
Your review is quite favourable and I have learnt to trust your reviews as they are fair and accurate. Over at avsforum there is surprisingly quite a bit of negativity surrounding this projector. I have auditioned one (the tw-450 Australian version) for 2 hours and found it to be a very bright well performing projector - especially considering it's price bracket. The only negative I saw and was unable to eliminate was image tearing on high contrast panning scenes. I hope it was a faulty unit and I am waiting for the retailer to replace it so I can audition it again. If it was not a faulty unit, then given it's usually a syncing issue - I wonder if it only affects the non U.S. versions.

Cheers Dumfa
Bobby Brown Posted Dec 29, 2009 11:08 PM PST
I used this website as a tool to find out which is the best projector to buy going by their reviews because no one on the net had a video of the epson 705hd. I LOVE THE 705HD!!! video is superb on HDMI!!! I HAVE VIDEO PROF! THANK YOU PROJECTOR CENTRAL FOR THE REVIEWS!!

http://www.youtube.com/v/gHLuKYPpiZ8&hl=en_US&fs=1

http://www.youtube.com/v/26a3WaOBFsQ&hl=en_US&fs=1
Mike Posted Dec 30, 2009 8:08 AM PST
I received my 705HD yesterday and while I am quite satisfied with the picture - I am sourcing from HDMI for CATV or Blu-Ray as well a PC, plus component/computer from a Wii - I was saddened to discover that I had a blue pixel on the screen even with no sources plugged in, only a black background. Fortunately, Epson stands behind their products, and a new projector is on the way for exchange with no troubles. Bear in mind I am replacing a Panasonic PT-AE700U with a bad polarizer and crappy warranty and you can see understand why this pleases me. Other experiences with Epson products have been positive so I'm chalking this up to just plain bad luck.

For the gent who asked, it is not very flexible with placement - no lens shift, no horizontal keystoning, only vertical keystone, plus only a 1.2x zoom. However, the picture frankly is just as good as my old projector (in fact better in some ways) at a small fraction of the price, so I can live with it. I paid $700, and thus don't expect incredibly brilliant perfect images, but the image is much better than I expected - it doesn't detract from watching my blu-rays.
Peter Bragg Posted Jan 6, 2010 3:26 PM PST
I think the attitude from the postings on the AV Forum reflect an attitude that nothing for the general consumer can be any good. It reminds me of the days when we all listened to stereo recordings. If you had a turntable/stylus from an electronics store you really were missing the true sound. How could you buy such crap? I think the 705 is just fine, the blue ray recordings look sharp and bright, and I got myself a nice projector for about $750.00.
Allen Posted Jan 15, 2010 6:28 PM PST
I bought this projector as my first projector. I love it. Great picture! My only issue with it is the fact that it does not have a lens shift option. So you need to physically set it up perfect. Which just takes some extra time and adjusting but worth it once you're set up.
Ian Posted Jan 22, 2010 11:37 AM PST
I really am interested in this projector for its low cost. However I have a very small room and the brightness is an issue... would a ND (neutral density) filter help? has anyone ever done this?
dumfa Posted Jan 28, 2010 12:06 PM PST
So..... I ended up buying this unit and am happy to report that the tearing problem is nonexistent on my unit, confirming it was a faulty unit in the store. Can a projector have too many lumens? - Almost :) Some answers for Mike 1080P scales down just fine. (havent tried 1080/24 yet) Fan noise sounds same as my ae900 ( on eco and thats all you need trust me, on high lamp - it's noticable) Image quality is great for the price - colour registration is taking some getting used to - may have to do some a little calibrating. (Service menu access anyone?) Room placement - image is 10% larger than my ae900 from same distance, not very versatile only a little zoom and no way to move the image.

Cheers Dumfa
Dennis Lewis Posted Feb 7, 2010 5:51 AM PST
I was recently at a local sports bar/restaurant near my home and this place had just updated all their HD TV’s to new Panasonic 50 inch Plasma’s. This bar has about 35 of those installed throughout the bar and dining area. But what I really noticed was the bar had also updated the four large screens with new Epson PowerLite 705HD projectors. I was amazed at how great the image looked. This bar/restaurant has a fair amount of ambient light and the image looked fantastic. I was amazed how bright and “contrasty” the image appeared in this well lit environment. At home I have a HP 6121 DLP projector that has a 2000 ANSI rating. I thought my HP had a nice bright image but when you would turn lights on in the room the picture would degrade significantly. I came home and instantly logged on to projectorcentral.com to see if they had tested the unit. After reading their review I went to a local retailer and purchased a new Epson 705HD for under $600.00 including tax. The review projectorcentral.com did on this unit is spot on. I have a dark viewing room and to help the black levels I went with a gray viewing screen. I had to change screens dimensions anyway my old HP was HD but not wide screen. The image on this projector is so bright I run it in the eco mode and it is still brighter image than my old HP 6121. I am very pleased with my purchase and for the price I paid I think this projector is hard to beat.
IvanK Posted Mar 3, 2010 5:59 AM PST
I am returning my 705HD today. I was very disappointed by its black levels. I bought this unit to replace my ancient Infocus X1 (rated at 2000:1 contrast), so I thought that whichever model I go for, it will certainly beat 6-year-old technology in every respect. Wrong - this projector is unable to produce anything darker than light grey (and yes, I did tweak the settings and tried various sources). But the real dealbreaker was lack of placement flexibility - what isn't obvious from the projectorcentral review and other reviews I've read is that it's impossible to place this projector behind the seating position (i.e. rear shelf-mount) and still stay within recommended THX spec regarding image size - the image will simply be too big to watch comfortably (about 40 degrees viewing angle or more, the recommended maximum being 36). The throw distance is so short that coffee-table is the only viable position, and then there's the added difficulty that the bottom of the projected image is slighly lower than the centre of the lens, so basically you'll be projecting on the bottom of the wall (and there's no lens shift). Disappointment all around.
Mohankumar-India Posted Jan 21, 2011 8:20 AM PST
i have purchased Epson 705HD after reading the review in projectorcentral, let me see how far it is worth, i will get back after sometime to rate this product..
Eric Cooper Posted Jul 16, 2011 10:29 PM PST
I loved this projector until today. The factory bulb that came with it blew. It only had 550 hours normal and 990 hours ECO on it. This is far, far less than the 4000-5000 hours advertised. Since this is the main reason I purchased this projector, I'm disappointed.
JimC Posted Aug 5, 2011 5:53 AM PST
I bought this projector as part of a blowout sale--got it brand new for under $500 which I thought was an awesome deal. Sadly, the contrast was poor no matter how much I tweaked the settings. Very flat, 2-dimensional look. So I shipped it back and bought it's big brother the 8350 for $1130. Wow, what a difference! THAT is a nice looking picture!

Ok, so before you all bash me for comparing a $500 projector to one that's more than 2x expensive...let me explain just a bit further:

I had a BenQ W600+ DLP projector from the office that I was playing with. Really good looking picture and very good contrast. And it was only about $600 including a 100" screen. Was ready to buy one for my HT but couldn't stand the rainbows (sadly, I'm highly susceptible). That's when I picked up the 705, hoping for comparable picture quality. I had them both set up in my theater and the 705 just looked, well, flat. Not a little. A lot. Trust me, I would have *loved* to have had the 705 work out. It didn't.

For those of you satisfied with the 705's performance, more power to you. I loved the packaging and UI and everything except the picture. For others of you who want a really nice looking picture and don't have trouble with DLP rainbows, I highly recommend the BenQ's picture quality for the price. And if you can swing the bucks for an 8350, you will be amazed at the picture quality.

Just my 2 cents. Ymmv.
Rene Posted Oct 31, 2011 1:24 PM PST
Is there a way to hook up speakers to Epson 705hd?
mcmike Posted Feb 21, 2012 6:03 AM PST
I find it interesting the various perceptions and ideas some people have. This projector for the price is a deal. Short focal length and no lense shift aside. It is what it is. Fun and a great price point.

I think the adventure is making it work in your space. Our first projector was given to us for free. It was the size of a suit case, I think it had a contrast of 150 to 1. Guess what, we made it work and a white bed sheet was our screen.

My 3 sons were amazed and we watched tons of movies. Lol!!!!!

Smiles and thank your " Projector central " !!!!!!. Your the best on the Web! Top of my list for professional and fun projector info.

McMike
Tony Posted Mar 20, 2012 7:37 PM PST
I don't connect speakers to the projector itself. I connect my source (DVD, Cable, Game system) to my audio system. I only let the projector handle the visuals.
Mark Posted Apr 2, 2012 9:13 AM PST
I just got this projector at Best Buy for $499. At first, I was totally disappointed. the picture was way too bright, grays for blacks, and uneven lighting on the screen. I bought a new, low gain screen (gray) and now the picture is FANTASTIC! Hard for me to tell the difference between this and my brother in laws $3000 projector. Definately use the projector in expanded HDMI mode, and calibrate with a disc (I bought the Disney WOW blu ray and it was well worth it).

After all of this I HIGHLY recommend this projector to anyone that wants to have a great picture that they can be proud of showing off to friends, but can't afford (or justify the purchase) of a $1500 projector.
ekram Posted Jul 26, 2012 3:42 PM PST
I have bought this epson 705HD on dec2011 brand new at a price of 549$including tax,8 months passed and still the projector rocks...amazing experience..no issues watsoever...very much satisfied
Alan Posted Oct 26, 2012 12:18 PM PST
I bought the 705 to use as my primary screen for TV, home theater, and as an extention screen for my PC. I'm single, living in a one bedroom apartment, so I only really need one screen.

the good: It is quite bright, and in my viewing environment that is a huge plus. I can't completely block the windows without resorting to dopey looking alternatives, so having a projector that deals with a little light is good. Overall picture quality is quite good as well provided the image is bright enough.

The Bad: Very poor black levels. Darker content is often unwatchable. I should invest in a high contrast screen, but right now a new projector is higher priority. Horrifically loud noises from the auto iris fuction. It is defeatable, and honestly I don't see a decrease in performance when it is deactivated, but it reverts to "on" every time you turn the projector off, which is infuriating. The projector is also unreasonably loud in normal mode. The lack of a lens shift option also neccesitates a mounting position near my seating position, which amplifies the noise issues.

Bottom line: For the price, it's a good unit. However, it will be relaced at the earliest convenience do the issues mentioned above.
JohnnyBallgame Posted Apr 13, 2013 8:25 PM PST
Bought the 705HD a few months ago at Best Buy. Paid less than $600. I'm impressed with the unit but wondering how much of an upgrade you get if you spend, say, another $400-700? Are the projectors you buy around $1,000-1,200 that much superior to what you're getting with this product?
bily jack Posted Jan 12, 2014 4:38 AM PST
ive bought the epson hd ithink its the 750 it has 2 speakers 10inch the sound is exelent its portable user friendly relaible hey guys why the complaints it would do any thing these big gorilas can do huge screen all you need is a huge wall its potable i take it ti my film club every week try taking these huge lcd eg 60 inch cheers i like it that much that im about to buy a other one cheers bj

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