Posted on October 18, 2011 Art Feierman
We already concluded in the main Home Cinema 3010 review, that the 3010e and 3010 deserve our Hot Product Award. As a short summary, the things that impressed us with these Epson projectors include: Excellent brightness, including enough lumens to be reasonably bright when in 3D, very good color, dynamic iris, respectable black levels, reasonable placement flexibility, and a great warranty, all for $1599 or $1799. Definitely Epson has raised the bar in terms of the performance that can be expected in a low cost, 3D capable projector. In fact, all considered it’s a great 2D projector value, with 3D thrown in for free, so to speak.
There are two factors which will help you determine whether you should purchase this Home Cinema 3010e, or whether the base version, makes more sense for you. Those are the addition of WirelessHD on the 3010e, and that it supports 3D (like the 3010), but does not include two pair of 3D active glasses for it’s $1799, whereas the base projector, selling for $200 less, comes with the glasses.
The math is pretty simple. You are basically paying $400 for the WirelessHD version, but since the 3010e doesn’t come with the two pair of 3D glasses (($99 x 2) that the base 3010 comes with, you only see a $200 difference. Put another way, if you want 3D with 2 pair of glasses, and WirelessHD, then the total price is $1799 + $198 = $1997, compared with $1599 for 3D without WirelessHD.
Let’s understand what WirelessHD is. And what it brings to your party. Basically, WirelessHD provides a lossless wireless transfer of HDMI (complete with HDCP), from the provided transmitter, to the Home Cinema 3010e projector. The transmitter comes with a typical low voltage power supply to plug into AC. After that, you simply plug in your HDMI source into the side of the Transmitter. The Epson projector scans for a signal (it lists WirelessHD as one of the source options.)
As I see it, there are two definite rationales for going the Home Cinema 3010e, which is to say, going with WirelessHD.
The first relates to setting up your new home theater. If you are planning to mount the Home Cinema 3010e, then you normally need to deliver at a minimum, two cables to the mounted projector. One, of course is power, and the other, would be HDMI, the most popular choice in delivering HD source material. The thing is, in most homes, power is found on most walls, and in many ceilings. But your projector is likely to be further away from its electronics, found typically, closer to the floor, and in the front of the room. If you were planning to pay folks to wire your room, then the cost of getting that HDMI wire to the projector is likely to set you back at least that $400, if you have to open the wall at several points and later close it up and repaint. If you are a DIY person, you’ll have to make your own assessment of the savings in time.
Not everyone will mount the Home Cinema 3010e, in fact, perhaps half of owners won’t. This group of people may just set the projector on a table, permanently, or just set it up when watching it. In some households the projector might even be used in more than one room (not at the same time, of course). Some people will want to haul the projector outside on occasion, to shine a movie on the garage door, or perhaps onto an inflatable screen in the back yard. In each of these cases, having WirelessHD is very handy. Since the Home Cinema 3010e projector has onboard speakers, if you wanted to use it out back, you’d only have to get power to it, just run a safe extension cord. Next, place the WirelessHD transmitter next to the nearest DVD or Blu-ray player (or satellite/cable box) in the house, and transmit the content to the projector. It makes life much simpler than moving more gear outside.
And since the Epson Home Cinema 3010e supports HDMI-Link, you can even be outside and control that indoor Blu-ray player, if it’s HDMI-Link compatible. Nice.
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