Epson’s Home Cinema 730HD is an entertainment Projector that we had an opportunity to review, and it honestly didn’t disappoint.
Prior to the Epson 730HD I’ve only had experience with one other projector, but the comparison between the two are virtually day and night. The $649.00 projector is the home theatre experience that you’d expect to see on something from MTV Cribs.
After unboxing the Epson 730HD, the projector itself was pretty lightweight, coming with the projector itself, a power cord that’s standard side length, and the remote control with AA batteries (which I replaced with rechargeable batteries since the ones they give you are nice, but I cannot see lasting long). There’s also a “start here” manual bundled with a CD-ROM if you need a tutorial on how to set it up. There’s a limited warranty attached as well.
The low cost is attractive, and about the same price you’d find in a mid-tier 60-inch television somewhere at Wal-Mart, but with three times the quality, and even better resolution. When shopping for a screen projector, you’re told to look for three major things: resolution, lumens, and contrast ratio. There’s a lot of people who research and scour through forums attempting to find the perfect projector, and end up spending a small fortune for something that they’d only use for standard viewing and gaming capabilities. As someone who not only watches television in his living room, I also play video games on my (outdated) Sony PlayStation 3, and what’s better to play Madden NFL 15 (the newest version has yet to be released) on than a projector?
Epson held no punches with the 730HD as the picture quality as well as the clarity is just beautiful. It’s 720p 1280×800 resolution, while not completely full HD, will still make your viewing experience enjoyable. I did find myself catching up on Ray Donovan on Showtime without a hitch. Coming with both USB A & USA B, on top of ports to access your computer, HDMI and standard Audio/Video jacks, not only did I attempt to plug up my Chromecast, but I also had no problem plugging up my Apple TV.
Typically with Chromecast I use my laptop to stream live feeds of things such as UFC fights, Wrestling pay-per-views, and even sometimes just to have my browsing experience on a larger scale. The 730HD’s 12,000:1 ratio produces a picture where the details are highly visible, even while browsing random sites. Streaming movies came up near-perfect as things like shadows and contrasting images all seemed to flow fluidly without a hitch. Regardless of what resolution you set on your laptop itself, the Epson adjusts to it so everything looks great, since the projector auto-scales to fit according to what you’re viewing.
The 730HD’s 3000 white AND color brightness makes sure that your blockbuster films are crisp and you don’t get those annoying moments where if you’re watching on a white wall things will seem out of place. Since my couch sits about nine feet from the surface wall that the Epson plays on, I didn’t have too much worry about quality displayed on the screen. You could always mount it to a wall, or have it on a bookshelf sitting behind you at a height, which would make the unsightly view of it on your coffee table go away.
I appreciate the small attentions to detail that Epson included that might’ve been missed in another projector in this price range, which is the adjustable legs. In a previous projector I had the opportunity to review, there was no way to adjust my viewing experience so I was stuck having to manually wedge my projector in between items in order for them to be seen. Also the fan inside of the 730HD is quiet enough to not notice while audio is playing, but it is still present. I do suggest not sitting the projector flat on a glass surface as it gets pretty warm underneath, and towards the back of it, so what I did was place a table mat underneath and I had no worries.
Since I live in an apartment building, it’s kind of hard for me to go into the backyard and try to set it up. I’m almost certain if you decide to show a movie from the side of your house while grilling out for Labor Day, it will not be an issue. As a starter home theatre, this is more than efficient, especially with a price of $549.00. I was warned by a coworker that I should be prepared to buy expensive lamp replacements that go into the projector, as he said his ended up costing him a couple hundred bucks.
Overall if you want to use your projector for everything, from watching Da Vinci Code and Avatar, to playing against your friends online in Call of Duty, the Epson 730HD simply does it all. If you don’t want to spend $900+ on an HDTV and want true Blu-Ray quality without resentment of how much money you spent, this is the perfect starter projector for those who want to try something different, or even those who have a projector but want another one from a reputable company that will truly make you feel like you have that “movie theatre experience”.
You can purchase Epson’s Powerlite 730HD directly from their website here for $649.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit
What I like: Worked seamlessly with Chromecast, Roku, AppleTV; Lightweight
What Needs Improvement: Maybe including an additional bulb