Runner-Up – Best in Class (Under $2000): Epson Home Cinema 2000 and 2030
Again Epson offers two extremely similar projectors sold through two different marketing channels. The HC2000 is online, while you are ikely to find the HC2030 in places like Best Buy and local dealers.
The Epson Home Cinema 2000/2030: Why It's a Runner-Up
Officially the 2030 is brighter and $100 more, but both clock in under $1000. We found little difference between the two projectors in brightness, or contrast despite the 2030 having the slightly better specs.
Both projectors offer excellent color right out of the box, especially for projectors in their price range. Black levels aren’t a strength, and can’t match the W1070 or I’d consider these to have the overall advantage. My regular readers know that I put great weight on black level performance, when you have a theater type room – that you can fully darken. In the more typical living room/family room, bonus room type environment the HC2000 and HC2030 really shine, and I mean overall, and in brightness, because they are both very bright. BTW they make really great projectors for watching sports, and can handle some rather large screens even in more than a little ambient light.
Both come with a 2 year warranty with two years of rapid replacement program, in a price range where 1 year, and no replacement program is the rule. That’s a far better than almost all of the competition, although there are a couple of sub $1000 projectors with 3 years (no replacement program) Of all the projectors in this Class, the Pro Cinema 4030 offers better warranty and support than this pair. (Epson seems more focused on after sale support than any other manufacturer offering projectors under $10,000. While replacement programs are common on the “business side” few. That’s my personal opinion, but they have the programs. In my previous life as owner of a major online projector reseller that sold roughly 20,000 projectors in my 9 years of internet sales, we considered Epson easily the best in this regard. If peace of mind means anything to you, Epson’s warranties and support programs provide a real advantage over every other projector we’ve reviewed under $2000.
Either Epson – is a buy it, take it home, plug it in and blow your mind, or more realistically, blow your friends’ minds type of projector. Did I mention that both come with 2 pair of light weight active 3D glasses? It seems all Epson 3D capable projectors do.