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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


One of the quirks of the Cinema 720 is that it has no user selectable low lamp mode. Instead, certain image modes provide higher lumen output than others, so you'll have to pick one that offers the lumens that you need and fine-tune the projector from there. You cannot, for example, use "Dynamic" in low lamp mode to boost lamp life, or "Theater" in high lamp mode to increase lumen output, as the option simply does not exist. Keep this in mind, as the brighter image modes will cause the fan to make more noise than others, but this should not be distracting unless you are sitting within a few feet of the projector.

The Cinema 720 has a very long 2.1:1 zoom lens, which is as high as we've ever seen on this class of projector. At the maximum telephoto setting, the projector loses approximately 45% of its total light output. This is slightly above average for a long zoom lens, but not enough to be aberrant.

The Cinema 720 has a pixel structure which is visible in certain circumstances out to 1.6 times the screen's width. However, at this distance it is only visible when viewing white text, such as in scrolling credits or subtitles. When viewing video or film, pixelation is much less visible. At normal viewing distances, visible pixelation does not detract from one's immersion in the material on the Cinema 720 unless one is hypersensitive to it.

As far as connectivity goes, the Cinema 720 is a little sparse, with one HDMI 1.3 input and one set of YPbPr Component inputs. This is less than some competing units which offer two of each input. If you have several HD sources or need more connectivity, you'll need to use an A/V receiver or a dedicated HDMI switcher.

Many projectors these days allow aspect ratio switching while using HD signals, which allows them to be used with an anamorphic lens without the assistance of an external scaler. The Cinema 720 lacks this feature. However, since people spending only $1299 for a projector are unlikely to invest an additional $2000 in an anamorphic lens, the lack of this feature is irrelevant.

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