With Entertainment Projectors Contrast Ratio isn’t all that important because unlike with Theatre Projectors they’re not intended to be used in darkness by viewers attempting to re-create the environment of Movie Theatres. So, buyers should pay more attention to brightness and the kind of Sound System an Entertainment Projector has. You’re looking for one with a good all-round performance in ambient light for games, movies and surfing the net. With these points in mind I reviewed Epsons dedicated Multimedia Projector the Epson Home Cinema 730HD, to see how it stood up to some rigorous tests.
- 720p Native Resolution
- 3000 Lumens of Brightness
- Excellent Color Performance
- Good Manual Zoom
- Easy Set-up
- Keystone Correction
- Only 1 HDMI Port
Size and Design:
The design looks really good and so it will fit into any room without ruining the décor. The neutral white helps the Epson Home Cinema 730HD fade into the background as a smart functional device, rather than being a standout feature of a room. The weight is 5.3 pounds and while this is reasonably lightweight, it is by no means a Super-Portable, so we’re talking mid-range weight but it’s still easy to carry around. Furthering the portability they’ve provided buyers with two USB slots to accompany the HDMI Port on the side of the unit. The measurements are 9.2 inches of length by 11.7 inches of width and there’s a depth of 3.1 inches making the Epson Home Cinema 730HD a small Projector buyers will be able to fit into a carry-on case or bag.
The set-up is pretty easy if you do it in the right way but as with all of these devices, diverting from the instructions can lead to difficultys. 1.2x Manual Zoom has been provided as have Manual Focus Adjustments and I suggest buyers use these to avoid problems because Keystone tends to import distortions. There’s a general rule for buyers of any projector that keeping Keystone use to a minimum is best, as while it might be the quickest way to set-up, it’s not always the most effective. Using the Manual Focus and the Zoom I was happy with the overall set-up and it took less than 15 minutes.
I was reasonably happy too with the connections. You get only 1 HDMI Port but you can connect another HD device through the VGA Port because it is set-up to handle Composite Video. You also get an S-Video Slot and USB Slots for buyers with external devices they’d like to hook up like Phones or Tablets. The resolution is a mixture of good and bad news, and buyers who want 3D should look elsewhere but an excellent 720p 2D picture is provided with excellently performing pixels. Rainbows and other distortions are kept to a minimum and mainly occur when you’re watching DVD’s on screen sizes above 150 inches. For Blu-Rays there aren’t any distortions or noise and this is because the Epson Home Cinema 730HD is a Single Chip Projector so is not prone the rainbows like it’s Single-Chip counterparts.
The 3000 Lumens of brightness is enough for an 80 inch screen in ambient light, which is really good although with the low Constrast Ratio you’d only get half that in darkness, but as I said in the introduction this isn’t a Theatre Projector. The Games Mode plays very well and you get four Color Mode options here to make a choice out of for each individual game, giving buyers lots of control over the experience. Although the speakers are only 2 Watt they performed surprisingly well with good volume and like the picture, there where hardly any distortions. However they haven’t supplied an Audio Out Port so if you want Stereo Sound or if you want a higher volume, you’ll need external speakers.
It’s a fair deal for the money because although you don’t get 3D, lots of people don’t want 3D and 2D fans get a good picture here. It’s 720p and not 1080p, but you have to balance this with the fact that it’s also not a Single-Chip Projector so isn’t prone to picture distortions; it’s 720p but clear of rainbows and other artefacts. The brightness at 3000 Lumens will allow you to watch movies and play games in ambient light, but with the low Contrast Ratio you’re not going to get the same quality in darkness. So, it all depends who you are and what you want from a Projector. Take a look and think about how you watch movies, play games and surf the net, asking yourself which quality’s are important to you and make a decision based on that. Thank you for reading.