Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 710 HD
LCD Home Entertainment Projector
What is a home entertainment projector? While there is no universal standard, these projectors are typically bright enough to overcome ambient light, have better color than business presentation projectors, usually have speakers onboard, and may or may not be portable. They are brighter than home theater projectors and have lower contrast, since they are designed for use in ambient light. They differ from presentation projectors in that they are designed for use with film, video, photos, and games. They are meant to be used in living rooms, family rooms, and other places where a traditional home theater projector wouldn't fit.
Epson has been making home entertainment projectors as long as anyone. In fact, they made home entertainment projectors before people really knew what to do with them. Their new Home Cinema 710 HD is a great living room projector, combining high brightness and a solid feature set to create a projector that is more versatile and more casual than Epson's home theater offerings.
With 2800 lumens of brightness in a slim, portable package, the 710 HD will appeal to those looking for a living room entertainment solution that bridges the gap between home theater projector and flatscreen television. The 710 HD is perfect for photos, video games, casual movie viewing, and watching sports. At only $649 from authorized resellers, it is also a bargain.
The projector's full name is the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 710 HD, but that is a little misleading. The 710 HD is not a Home Cinema projector. It is instead built for home entertainment -- the kind of thing you'd do in a living room, or at a friend's house on a weekend evening, or in a game room. If you purchase a 710 HD and try to use it for home theater, you're going to come away disappointed.
We set up the 710 HD and turned it on. The first impression one gets of this projector is its brightness, which at 2800 lumens is nothing to sneeze at. Despite some pretty significant room lighting, we had no problem using the 710 HD at 80" diagonal without it looking washed-out or pale. Its default mode, Dynamic, pushes brightness hard, which keeps ambient light at bay but loses punch when it comes to color saturation. If you have less ambient light, a switch to Theater mode will reduce light output by about 35% but commensurately increase color saturation, so it is our preferred mode for film and video when ambient light allows.
The picture itself is sharp and clear, despite the projector's lower 1280x800 native resolution. Film and video is displayed at 1280x720, assuming a 16:9 aspect ratio, so while it's not full 1080p you still get a high-definition picture. Color accuracy is better in Theater mode than in Dynamic, but even Theater mode shows a bit of a green cast. It is easy to knock this down with a touch of adjustment, which Epson makes easy by including color adjustment controls. Detail is clearly reproduced and sharpness is excellent, and there is no trace of artificial edge enhancement at the default settings.
|Review Contents:||The Viewing Experience||Key Features||Performance||Limitations|