In my spare time, there’s nothing I love more than watching movies, bingeing series, and doing a little gaming. That’s why I became a big fan of projectors when we were all stuck at home during the pandemic. There’s no more significant upgrade for your home theater than a good projector with a 100-inch or larger screen. It truly takes the experience to the next level.
Plus, these days, projectors are becoming smarter and offering HDR at more affordable prices, making picking one up even more tempting. Thankfully, our friends over at Epson were nice enough to lend us one of its latest projectors, the Home Cinema 2350 for review.
The Epson Home Cinema 2350 is a smart streaming projector with a 4K resolution utilizing PRO-UHD technology—which means it’s not native 4K—but instead uses pixel shifting to achieve a similar resolution.
Inside of the Home Cinema 2350 is a bright bulb capable of outputting 2,800 lumens making it possible to watch content in HDR with support for HDR10 and HLG. This is paired with 3-chip 3LCD technology that provides fantastic colors and eliminates any sort of rainbowing effect.
Additionally, the Epson Home Cinema 2350 has a vertical lens shift capability of up to 60% with a 1.6x optical zoom lens, making it easy to find a good spot for mounting.
Now, for one of our favorite features, the Home Cinema 2350 comes with an Android TV dongle hidden inside and gives you access to most of your favorite streaming apps. Since there is a separate dongle, and Android TV isn’t baked into the projector itself, that also means it can be removed and replaced if you like. That also means the projector actually provides two HDMI ports, albeit with one hidden, and there’s even a separate remote for the dongle if you choose to move it to another device.
While we’re on the topic of ports, there are two USB Type-A ports—if you count the one hidden—and a 3.5mm audio jack. Unfortunately, the exposed USB Type-A port is a service-only port. At least both of the HDMI ports are 2.0b/HDCP 2.3 compliant with CEC support though.
The Epson Home Cinema 2350 is quite large measuring at 10.8 x 13.1 x 4.8 inches and weighing 9 pounds. It includes a foot in the front to elevate it when placing it on a surface, but I found this to be a little wobbly due to the size and weight. Despite also having adjustable feet on the back, I still found it a little challenging to get the picture straight. However, at least the keystone correction worked well for fixing the offset.
Having only one HDMI port can seem a little limiting, but with the built-in Android TV dongle covering most of your streaming needs, then it won’t feel too bad. It would be tough to connect multiple consoles or a dedicated Blu-ray player along with a console though.
While I am a big fan of Android TV, I did come across an issue. The Apple TV app is not compatible with the dongle on the Home Cinema 2350. That’s a shame, because the Apple TV app is one of the apps with the highest streaming quality and Apple has some great original programming.
Another issue that popped up was the error message I received when connecting my PlayStation 5. Regardless of using a compatible HDMI cable, the Epson Home Cinema 2350 cannot display the PS5 in 4K with HDR. Instead, you are given the choice of 1080p with HDR or 4K in SDR. That was a bummer, because I was looking forward to playing games in 4K HDR blown up at over 100 inches. It also meant I couldn’t watch the Apple TV app from my PS5 in 4K HDR.
On the bright side, I never noticed any input lag that affected my gaming performance, and games still looked nice at 1080p in HDR.
Even though the Epson Home Cinema 2350 has a bright 2,800-lumen bulb, it still wasn’t enough to enjoy content on a sunny day. You’ll definitely need a dark room to fully enjoy the Home Cinema 2350, and be warned that the fan is quite loud and this projector generates a lot of heat. Not so bad in the winter, but it’ll be a different story in the summer.
While it’s true the Epson Home Cinema 2350 lacks native 4K support, I was still quite impressed with the sharpness while watching 4K and 1080p content with it. I tested several movies and shows from various streaming services over the past few weeks, and not only was I satisfied with the sharpness, but also by the lack of rainbowing.
If you’ve ever experienced rainbowing, then you know just how distracting it can be. It was such a relief to not have to worry about that with the Home Cinema 2350.
One area I wasn’t that impressed with was the dynamic range. However, after some tweaking with the brightness levels, I was able to get much better results. I found the blacks to be on point, providing spectacular contrast in dark scenes and some great brightness in the highlights.
While gaming on the Home Cinema 2350, I was more than satisfied with the video quality, even though it was running at 1080p so I could take advantage of HDR. I would have thought it was 4K if I hadn’t known any better, and this was even blown up at over 100 inches on the wall sitting around 10 feet back from the picture.
I did try running games at 4K a couple of times but the increased resolution didn’t make as big of an impact as HDR, so I quickly changed back.
There is a 10W speaker inside of the Epson Home Cinema 2350 projector that left me underwhelmed. It has plenty of volume to override the considerable fan noise, but it lacked depth and bass. It works fine, but it doesn’t live up to the picture quality, and hopefully, if you purchase this projector you’ll have a better audio system to go with it.
Bluetooth is built into the included Android TV dongle making that an option for external audio, however, it won’t work with any other HDMI devices you connect to the Home Cinema 2350.
The Epson Home Cinema 2350 has a lot going for it. It offers a sharp faux 4K picture, uses a bright 2,800-lumen bulb with support for HDR, and features a 3-chip LCD system that prevents rainbowing.
Regardless, it does have a few flaws, such as the lack of 4K with HDR support on the PlayStation 5, the speaker is mediocre, and the incompatibility with the Apple TV app when using the built-in Android TV stick. Depending on your needs, some of these might be a dealbreaker, while some might be easy to work around.
If you only plan to watch movies and add your own streaming dongle, then the Home Cinema 2350 would make a fantastic addition to your home theater. It is even great for gaming with the PS5, as long as you’re ok with running them at 4K without HDR or 1080p with HDR. The Epson Home Cinema 2350 is currently available from Amazon for $1,090 or $1,300 from Epson’s website.