Epson Home Cinema 2030 Projector Review

We discuss the Epson Home Cinema 2030 projector’s brightness in its multiple modes of 2D, and provide our subjective assessment of its 3D brightness. You will find images showing the differences in brightness (and color) between the 2D modes. Below that, we consider the Home Cinema 2030′s sharpness, image noise, audible noise.

Epson Home Cinema 2030 Brightness

The Epson Home Cinema 2030 is easily described as a “light canon.”  Interestingly, the HC2030 measured almost exactly as bright as the $600 more expensive Home Cinema 3020, that’s despite the 3020 being rated 2300 lumens vs. 2000 for the HC2030.

To make things even more “interesting”, this HC2030 is an engineering sample, and those typically measure less than full production projectors, often around 10% less bright.  We won’t know for sure though, until Epson follows up with a full production version for me to verify, in a couple of months.

Consider therefore, that the HC2030 and the slightly less bright HC2000 are about as bright as home projectors get, and therefore suitable in “normal” rooms that lack the lighting control (and typically the dark surfaces) one expects to have in a dedicated home theater.  As a result, it has to be one of the best affordable choices anywhere near the price range.

3D brightness is discussed a bit further down.

Lumen Output at various modes at 100 IRE
Mode Output
Dynamic 1999 @ 7588
Living Room= 1669 @ 8947
Natural 1425 @ 7063
Cinema 1373 @ 7675

Those numbers are all “right out of the box”, without any adjustments, to settings like contrast, which can affect overall brightness. They are also taken with the zoom at mid-range.  However, due to the limited zoom range typical of projectors in this price range, even at full wide angle, we only found an extra 37 lumens.  (Not enough to even notice.)

Epson HC2030 Calibrated: User "best" mode, based on Natural mode = 1408 lumens

That’s interesting, because it makes the HC2030 slightly brighter (46 lumens) than the HC3020 (and again, this is a sample).

Effect of zoom on lumen output (Dynamic mode)

Effect of Zoom on Lumen Output (Dynamic Mode)
Zoom Effect Lumen Output
Zoom out (wide) 2036
Mid-zoom 1999
Zoom in (tele) 1943

As you can see, where you position the projector in terms of the zoom lens, has so little effect (less than 5%) as to be of no importance at all.

Home Cinema 2030 Eco-Mode vs. Full Power:

Using Cinema mode
Full Power 1373 lumens
Low (eco) Power 887 lumens

It doesn’t really matter which mode Mike measures – the percentage drop between full power and eco mode should remain the same (give or take measuring error).

That’s a drop of almost exactly 35%, which is about the same drop on the more expensive HC3020.

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