Epson Home Cinema 2030 Projector Review

Epson Home Cinema 2030 Pre-Calibration Color temp

Color Temp over IRE Range, Best Mode:Natural Mode
30 IRE 6996
50 IRE 7342
80 IRE 7169
100 IRE 7063

Right out of the box, the color temp is fairly consistent, but a touch on the cool side.  With our settings that can be improved, although I believe most non-enthusiasts, probably prefer their picture to be a little cooler than the official 6500K.  That probably helps clarify why I am so pleased with the out of the box color.

Home Cinema 2030, Post Calibration, Best Mode (Natural)

Color Temp over IRE Range (Post calibration)
20 IRE 6608
30 IRE 6429
40 IRE 6589
50 IRE 6636
60 IRE 6564
70 IRE 6601
80 IRE 6508
90 IRE 6404
100 IRE 6481

Average gamma = 1.62

Brightness: 1408 lumens

That’s a pretty excellent grayscale (looks good too) with a total variation of less than 250K which is slight.  More to the point, it’s not just the color temp that should be at 6500K, but the balance between R,G, and B.

Below, the same photo taken with the same exposure so you can get a handle on the relative brightness and color aspects of most of the major modes. Of course, since the exposures are the same, the brightest modes are a bit overexposed, especially Dynamic.

And as long as I’m mentioning Dynamic mode, although Mike did his usual “quick-cal” to improve the brightest mode, I must admit to not using it but for a few minutes.  In my room, I found Living Room to still look better, and to be more than bright enough for my purposes.  Mike’s settings though, should be very useful to folks working in media rooms, family rooms…

The HC2030 and HC2000 lack the Auto image mode of the more expensive HC3020, but hey, how hard is it to switch from Natural – for best color, and movie viewing, to an even brighter Living Room or Dynamic mode!

Home Cinema 2030 Picture Modes

Cinema Mode
Natural (calibrated) Mode
Living Room Mode
Dynamic Mode

Epson Home Cinema 2030 3D Brightness - Subjective

Brilliant! Simply Brilliant.  With each generation of 3D projectors, we seem to be retaining more brightness in 3D.  First generation 3D projectors from about 3-4 years ago were lucky if 3D was 20-25% as bright as 2D.  Today, it’s probably more like 1/3 as bright, and perhaps better.  The improvement comes from better 3D glasses designs, as well as other efficiencies. Sadly many first generation (and 2nd gen.) 3D capable projectors were barely able to hit 1000 or 1200 lumens in 2D.  So by comparison, today’s projectors in 3D should be roughly twice as bright in 3D or even more.

As mentioned elsewhere, in my theater environment with the lights out, filling a 124″ diagonal screen, even in 3D, Cinema had respectable brightness.

And the HC2030 should measure almost 40% brighter in 3D Dynamic, (based on the 2D measurements – we do not attempt to measure 3D brightness.)

Which reminds me, the HC2000 (the online version) claims only 1800 lumens, not 2000, and only 13,000:1 contrast not 15,000:1.  What does that mean to you?  Well, first, it’s interesting that the HC2000 has less lumens and less contrast. Strange. Normally given the same projector, upping the contrast results in less lumens, not more.  I therefore would suggest, that short of having an HC2000 to measure, that the two projectors are probably closer in brightness than their specs suggest.

Enough – let’s move on!

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