Epson Pro Cinema 4030 Projector – Review
SPECIAL FEATURES 2
Black and White Cinema Mode
I like this black and white movie mode, although few people will use it very often. Not only does Epson provide a mode for viewing old black and white movies, but they are targeting the correct 5500K color temp. But Epson also added a touch of sepia, giving my copy of Casablanca that slight brownish caste that old movies had “in the day.” It’s a nice touch, and I can think of two friends who would really like this. One’s really into horror flicks and the other loves the old classics.
Let me be clear about how this works. Selecting B&W Cinema does not get you a monochrome image. It’s still a full color image, but with that warmer color temp than the usual 6500K. Epson adds that slight sepia flavor to the picture as part of the mode. If Mike measured that mode, it would be interesting to see the CIE chart.
This is a definitely a nice extra feature to have! The real trick is to remember you have it, the next time you watch something black and white!
Full Color Management System
While most home projectors (not all) that compete with the Pro Cinema 4030 have full CMS setups, they don’t always work as well. Sometimes adjusting something affects other things it shouldn’t. Mike is consistently pleased with the behavior of the Epson CMS and other color and image controls, when he calibrates these projectors.
The Pro Cinema 4030 lacks the THX modes that the step up UB series offers Yet, as you can see in the images we display, or much better, what you observe in your home if you buy one, it calibrates every bit as well.
3D and 3D Glasses
All the new Epson home theater projectors, from under $800 to the more expensive models, now sport 3D. The Pro Cinema 4030 has what it takes to be a good 3D projector. For openers, it’s got plenty of lumens. It’s not the brightest out there, but it’s still brighter than most. And 3LCD projectors seem to be slightly better than the other technologies at delivering the highest percentage of brightness to the eyes.
3D is considered very good, and I have watched a good deal of it. There is always some minor cross-talk and you can give up some brightness for less cross-talk. DLP projectors should be crosstalk free by comparison. Just remember, the projector isn’t necessarily where the cross-talk comes from. It’s often in the content.
I like Epson’s glasses, they are some of the lighter ones out there, weighing in in the mid-30 gram range, not much different than my normal glasses. They fit a large head like mine, better than most. Epson’s glasses are RF, not IR or DLP-link. That’s definitely the right way to design them.
The technology is well thought out. The glasses are rechargeable, but what really is cool, is that if you are ready to watch, and you pick up a pair of glasses and they need a charge, just 3 minutes of charging will allow them to last all the way through the average movie. That is, you can put enough charge on in less time than you can microwave some popcorn! Clever folks.
As with most manufacturers, their 3D glasses aren’t inexpensive, but you do get two pair with the projector. An $89 list price graces the glasses, but you can buy 3rd party 3D glasses for a fraction the price. The snap together Samsung glasses that are compatible, are flimsy, but at $20 a pair, you can afford 10 extra pair for 3D Movie party night.
Epson Panel Alignment
Epson’s panel alignment helps to maximize perceived sharpness. The projector allows you to start off aligning the RGB both vertically and horizontially in each corner. You can then pick other points around the image to further refine. This is not the same as having true perfect alignment, but I found it helpful in producing a slightly sharper image with this 4030.
Epson offers excellent lamp life. The Pro Cinema 4030, like the UB series, claims 4000 hours running at full power, 5000 hours in Eco-mode. It doesn’t get a whole lot better than that. Usually if you see a rare projector claiming 6000 or 7000 maximum, those have management systems that can really save extra hours, if your own habits are sloppy. That is, if you walk away from your projector while it’s paused, some projectors will drop power usage significantly, keeping the lamp in a quick standby mode.
That extra management on a few projectors is a nice touch, surely, but, at 20 hours of viewing a week, this Epson’s lamp is rated to last 4 years at full power.
And let’s not forget, the Pro Cinema 4030 comes with a spare lamp!
There’s more good news. At $299, the replacement lamp cost is lower than most. Out here in California, the electricity can easily cost more per hour than cost of running a lamp for an hour.
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