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Editor's Choice
Performance
5
Features
Ease of Use
Value
Intended Use:
Home Theater
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 720 Projector Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 720
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10000:1 Contrast Ratio
1600 Lumens
Street Price: n/a

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 720
Home Theater Projector

Bill Livolsi, January 11, 2008

Comparative Notes

Epson Home Cinema 720 vs. Epson Home Cinema 400

The Cinema 720 has much improved black level and shadow detail, which is already enough to push it head and shoulders above the Cinema 400 - but the differences do not stop there. Color is likewise improved, and the Cinema 720 has a 2.1:1 zoom compared to the 1.5:1 zoom on the Cinema 400. All in all, we have no qualms about recommending the Cinema 720 over the Cinema 400 in every situation.

Epson Home Cinema 720 vs. Panasonic PT-AX200

The popular Panasonic AX200 is one of the brightest 720p projectors available at this time, and it is indeed brighter than the Cinema 720. In their brightest modes, the Cinema 720 measures 1453 ANSI lumens while the Panasonic AX200 measures a whopping 1845 ANSI. However, the Cinema 720 compensates for this with superior contrast and much deeper black level, as well as more accurate color. So while the AX200 is still the favorite in rooms with high ambient light, the Cinema 720 offers real advantages in traditional dark rooms, especially when using very large screens. In these instances, the Cinema 720's superior contrast and black level really shines.

One key advantage of the AX200 is its Smoothscreen technology that eliminates any trace of pixel structure. If you want a projector without any trace of pixelation even at close viewing distances, the AX200 is unique among 720p resolution projectors in delivering a pixel free image.

The AX200 also offers two HDMI ports instead of one. On the other hand, the Cinema 720 has a 12-volt trigger, which the AX200 lacks.

Overall, the Cinema 720 delivers much better contrast, color saturation, and black level performance, whereas the AX200 gives you an incrementally brighter image with no pixelation, and an extra HDMI port. The decision between the two depends on which of these factors is most important to you.

Epson Home Cinema 720 vs. Sanyo PLV-Z5

The Sanyo PLV-Z5 has been one of our favorite 720p projectors for a long time. We have done extensive comparative testing of the Z5 with many other 720p projectors, and the Z5 usually comes out on top. However, in this case the Cinema 720 showed better black level, overall dynamic range, and lumen output in all image modes. Color saturation was richer as well.

The Sanyo Z5 maintains a clear advantage in connectivity with two HDMI ports and two component video ports compared to one each on the Cinema 720. You also get three years warranty compared to two years on the Cinema 720. Pixelation is comparable on both models. Overall, we feel that unless the connectivity is a key factor for you, the Cinema 720 produces the stronger image. It appears that the Z5 has finally met its match.

Conclusion

The Epson Home Cinema 720 is a killer projector. It gives solid performance in all areas with extra emphasis on rock-solid contrast and black levels. With the exception of limited connectivity, it has no major flaws. Meanwhile, the picture quality is outstanding for the money. The Cinema 720 is an exceptional value at $1299, and it was an easy decision to give it not only very high ratings in the 5-star categories, but our Editor's Choice Award as well.

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