Epson Home Cinema 3020 Home Theater Projector Review

Epson Home Cinema 3020 Lens Throw

As previously noted, the Home Cinema 3020 and 3020e have a manual 1.5:1 zoom lens. That makes the placement range pretty good, although not as good as the 2D only Home Cinema 8350 which has a 2.1:1 zoom (the same lens as on the 5020/6020 series).

For a 100 inch diagonal 16:9 screen, the front of the HC3020 can be as close as 9.7 feet, or as far back as 15.7 feet. (2.96 – 4.78 meters).

The 9.7 feet is very typical. Most projectors except for some business/education the fixed lens ultra or very short throw projectors, have a closest distance for that size screen, of between 9 and 12 feet. This projector just can’t sit as far back from the screen as some others designed to also be able to be rear shelf mounted (like the 8350). Projectors without lens shift aren’t suitable for rear shelf mounting normally, although it can be done using keystone correction, if the other measurements work.

Lens Shift

The Epson Home Cinema 3020 lacks adjustable lens shift.  You’ll want to get the vertical placement right, so that you don’t have to use keystone correction to keep the image rectangular.  Keystone correction adds a small amount of distortion/softness to the image.

“How bad is using keystone correction,” you ask? I have an easy way to describe that for existing projector owners: Any softness caused by using keystone correction, is going to take away less from picture quality, than the inherent high compression being used on satellite and cable transmissions. So, while we cringe at the thought of using keystone correction, it’s not going to do something drastic, like make a 1080p image seem as soft as a 720p one in terms of sharpness.   al.

A movie scene from a Blu-ray disc, with keystone correction in use, is still going to be visibly better picture quality than the same scene coming off my DirecTV, with no keystone correction engaged, and all else being equal. On Blu-ray disc, you should be able to see a slight difference between keystone on, and off. It will be harder to see on lower quality sources.

Anamorphic Lens - Wide Screen

The Home Cinema 3020 and 3020e do not support an anamorphic lens.  The only projector in the Epson line up that does, is the Pro Cinema 6020, a projector that’s about twice the price.

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