Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 500 – Silver Edition

by Jane on September 28, 2014

Home Theater Viewing Made Easy or Cheap

Reviews of the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 500 ProjectorThe following reviews the key features and technologies included in the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 500 (Silver Edition) Projector. We came across this model at a trade show, we learned a few things watching the demonstration on how to operate the unit and also took the time to view the quality of the on screen images the model was capable of producing. And of course we asked a few questions of our own.

In our opinion, both pros and cons exist with this model.

Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 500 Review

Home Theater, Gaming, Presentations


Good for the Budget, not the Future of Home Cinema Projectors

Being satisfied with your purchase

The model performs well for the price point and design, and has also received high ratings and positive comments from current owners. Many people have been very happy with the purchase of this Epson model.

How can you be satisfied? The key is to fully understand what you’re getting before you buy. Does it fit your needs?

Having realistic expectations when you buy

Reviews of the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 500 ProjectorTaking into consideration, there projector models on the market with price tags of $800, $1000 and even over $2000 that exist.  Would you agree, it’s not realistic to think a model costing under $400 will provide the same overall level of performance as these more pricey models?

This is exactly what you will be buying if you decide to purchase the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 500 model. A home projector costing under 400 dollars ($380 to be more exact)So as we stated, don’t expect this inexpensive model to preform as if it has $2000 worth of technology inside. 

Addressing the Pros and Cons

As with any item you purchase, no matter what it is, there will always be positives and negatives. We would like to now mention a few of the more important pros and cons to consider.

First, this isn’t a piece of junk but definitely don’t expect the world. If you’re on a budget, can’t wait to watch DVD movies or have a larger screen for viewing then for then price ($380) is definitely fair and friendly for the value the Epson PowerLite 500 provides.

About the Resolution

Epson 500 Projector reviewIf  you only need something for watching DVD movies. This projector works flawlessly with DVD, you will be completely satisfied. It’s also decent for gaming and can be used for business or classroom presentations.

With said, don’t expect ANYTHING awesome. The resolution is SGVA 800×600, which is fine for playing DVD’s but if you’re wanting a HI-DEF viewing experience this is not the machine you want. Currently in 2014, true a HI-DEFINITION costs a lot more than $400, you will probably need to pay around double this amount for a model with true high definition.

HDMI connectivity. Yes, it does have have inputs for HDMI which allows connection of different devices such as Blu-Ray, popular gaming consoles, laptops, etc. However, what you need to take into account is the resolution of this projector is SGVA 800×600.

This means, connecting your Blu-Ray to watch movies will not give you the high resolution of the Blu-Ray you will be watching the movie in the lower SGVA 800×600 resolution of the projector.

Native Aspect Ratio what is it? Is it Important?

Another thing to take into consideration, the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 500 (Silver Edition)  has a 4:3 native aspect ratio.

See the video below for a greater understanding. Our basic explanation of native aspect ratio: The ratio between width and height of the image a projector is able to produce.

The 4:3 ratio of the Epson 500 produces basically what is a square image.

As you probably know, technology is moving away from square (4:3 ratio) into widescreen images. Projectors with 16:9 or 16:10 ratios are best suited for producing widescreen images.

A projector with a 4:3 ratio will support widescreen content but you will see black bars on the side or top. A 4:3 ratio does the job for displaying images for DVD and works well with most software for presentations, such as, PowerPoint.

Watch the video to gain a better understanding:    

Contrast Ratio and Colors

epson 500 colorsContrast ratio is a attribute describing how dark and light, colors appear. A high contrast ratio greatly enhances the viewing experience by producing very dark and light colors.

The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 500 has a contrast ratio of 3000:1, which means the darkest colors appear 3000 times darker than the lightest colors on the screen. This is an OK ratio but there are many models on the market with higher.

The colors produced are outstanding and life-like. The projector has the Epson cutting edge 3LCD, 3-chip technology included which allows it to produce over 1 billion colors. This 3-chip technology also greatly enhances the sharpness of the the images produced as well.

Brightness and Image Size

Epson 500 projector brightnessA very bright projector with a 2600 lumen rating for both white and color brightness. When we first view the image produced by this model at the trade show the image image size was between 70 inches much larger than a 55 inch TV and the image looked great.  Then the image size taken up and to over 300 inches and the picture quality was very nice for a projector costing under $400.


Does it have built in speakers? Yes, a 2-watt mono speaker system.  This produces acceptable audio but if your big on sound your going to want more. And the bad news is there is no audio port so you will need to by-pass the audio system and use and external sound source.


The Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 500 (Silver Edition) does have limitations in areas of resolution, audio and it’s also not 3D compatible. However, for what it brings to the table and considering the inexpensive price this is an acceptable choice. It produces nice colors and large bright images with a high level of sharpness.

If you must have a high-definition projector with the highest resolution (such as 1080p) then this is not the right choice for you. But remember resolution level is probably the main feature dictating price. Expect to pay much more for high definition.

If you’re interested in buying this model or anything else online, it’s always smart to look at how current owners rate the product you’re interested in purchasing and take the time to read what they write in their reviews. Read both the good and bad.

Reviews of the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 500 ProjectorYou can find many reviews of the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 500 from owners at Amazon. It has received fairly high overall rating of around a 4.3 out of 5 stars. 

Reading on the Epson Website

A word to the wise. Although you will find accurate information on specifications and features, the last place you want to visit to form your opinion of a product is the manufacturers website.

This is because you will also encounter a marketing pitch which puts the product in a 100% positive light at the manufactures website.

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