Epson Home Cinema 3010 Projector - A First Look
The Epson Home Cinema 3010 projector looks to be the lowest cost value in 3D 1080p projectors to date!
Update 2/1/2012: Just a quick reminder, in October (2011) we completed our full review of the Epson Home Cinema 3010 projector. Click here, to see the full review. Thanks! -a
Original Posting: 9/2/2011 - Art Feierman
Epson Home Cinema 3010
Let's start by saying I got to see this one perform - and it did! Since the Home Cinema 3010 will ship before the 5010 and 6010, it was also the one closest to being "ready for prime time".
The Home Cinema 3010 is finished in white but those large front vents are dark grey. This makes it really pretty, one of the most stylin' projectors in a while, (although the Epson 5010 looks even better)! I really like the grey on the front for another reason as well. With most of the front surface dark, it's not going to be reflecting any noticeable amount of light back to the screen.
At $1599 with two pair of active shutter glasses, you can't beat the price. Note that if you would like the same projector, with the addition of WirelessHD, simply choose the 3010e, for $200 more.
And unless you spend a whole lot more, you probably can't beat the brightness either, in a 3D capable projector. 3D projectors to date, have generally been dim on 3D. This one won't be.
Although the room I viewed it in had white everything, the Epson managed to look reasonably bright when doing 3D on an 80" diagonal white screen (not high gain). I took the liberty of adjusting the zoom lens to overshoot the 80" screen to get what was probably 96 to 100" diagonal. It still looked very respectable in 3D. I've complained that while really expensive Sony's and JVC's have plenty of lumens for 2D, that they are watchable, but dim, for 3D. That is, you can watch it, but you'd be far happier if you have more lumens. Sure high gain screens can offset that, but they have their own issues.
Home Cinema 3010 Specs and Features
- Brightness: 2200 lumens
- Contrast: 40,000:1
- 480hz LCD panels for that extra brightness and other benefits
- 2 pair of 3D glasses included (active shutter glasses)
- Split screen capability - two side by side images (2D only)
- 7 total color modes, including 2 for 3D (Cinema and Dynamic)
- Two year warranty with replacement program
- Two built in 10 watt speakers - handy if you are moving it around, and if I recall correctly, an audio output so you can plug in a nice powered sub-woofer to rock the house
- Shipping in October, being reviewed in Sept.
- 13.2 pounds
And remember, if you would like WirelessHD, (and your sources have it, such as AV receivers and Blu-ray players, and Cable/Satellite - and this year, lots of such products will have it standard).
Home Cinema 3010 Projector - Picture Quality
I'd rather have seen the 3010 in my theater, to make a better assessment. Overall, the color looked pretty good, but I'd really like to have it calibrated and compare the before and after. I didn't play with the settings, nor see if Epson was using the defaults or had tweaked it a bit.
I only viewed 2D briefly, and on the 80" screen, it was capable of a dazzling image, even in its best mode. I don't know if the Epson will deliver the 2200 lumens claimed, but Epson is usually close, and sometimes even beats their claims - something few projectors do.
For those consumers that just want a good looking picture, and don't care about calibrating it, I expect they will be just fine with the out-of-the-box quality. For those who will want to tweak it, Epson typically provides very good color controls.
At the very least - this is a step up from the Epson 8350, which I believe Epson says is the best selling home theater projector in the US (I can't confirm that).
Home Cinema 3010 3D Performance
3D was not only bright enough, but it looked rather good. Oh still a few artifacts and I expect Epson will be able to improve a bit more on crosstalk before they ship, but I think that the 3D was very close in that area, than some of those really expensive LCoS 3D projectors!
Blacks in 3D looked great! Not surprising, though, since the brightness is down. Blacks in 2D looked good, but not up to the Pro Cinema 6100. On the other hand this Epson offers a higher 40,000:1 contrast ratio, than their less expensive Home Cinema 8350. Is it a real "ultra-high-contrast" projector? I couldn't say for sure, in the viewing environment. We'll have to wait a couple of weeks until I've got one to review in my facility.