Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 705HD
Compact & bright projector that produces a lot of light, but lackluster color performance.
The Optoma HD66 is available for about $630, a little cheaper than the Epson. The features that the two projectors offer are pretty much comparable, though.
Blacks & Whites
The Optoma had the highest brightness of the two projectors, but the Epson was more consistent across the different modes on offer. Although the HD66 had the higher luminance in its appropriately named bright mode, the brightness in the other modes was significantly lower than the comparable modes on the Epson.
Optoma had the clear winner here: we found that the color performance of the HD66 was much better than the 705HD, with much smoother color response that makes for more natural colors and much less banding from subtle color chages (such as a blue sky).
Both projectors produced smooth motion, but we found that the Optoma had a more natural feel to it. Like all DLP projectors, we did see some of the so-called rainbow effect, where some fast moving objects show a series of differently colored fringes as they move, producing a rainbow on the screen.
The Epson provides more flexibility in placing the projector, as the wider zoom range means it can sit closer or further from the screen as required. The Optoma only has a limited zoom range.
Both projectors can produce a lot of light, but not enough to fill a big screen in a well-lit room. With both, you will need to either dim the lights or get closer to the screen and put up with a smaller image.
Both projectors provide a decent range of connections, with HDMI, VGA and a variety of analog audio and video ports. Neither offers multiple HDMI ports, though, so you will have to add a HDMI switch if you want to connect several HDMI devices to either projector.
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