Epson Pro Cinema 4030 Projector – Review

PRO CINEMA 4030 PERFORMANCE 4

Light Leakage

One thing about all the Epson projectors that use this particular projector case have in common is the lack of any significant light leakage.  There’s virtually no leakage out either of the large front vents.  Certainly nothing that could be seen if hitting your screen or front wall.

There is minor light leakage out through the lens, but it is very minimal as well.

Let’s summarize by saying – nothing to be even remotely concerned about.  Good optics, good optical light path, and good case = nothing to see (leakage wise).

If there’s any stray light – it’s the Epson’s bright blue LED indicator lights – two of them.  But, they are mostly on the left side, not front.  And, if they bother you, go into the menus and turn them off when viewing. Then they’ll only work when powering up and down, or if indicating a hardware problem.  Enough said!

Image Noise

The Epson Pro Cinema 4030 projector is pretty clean. It passes our Silicon Optix tests just fine.    With some projectors slow panning is jerkier than others on 24fps movies.  This Epson is better than some others including some very good projectors like Sony’s VPL-HW50ES which is a full $1000 more, and a really fine projector.

Background mosquito noise handled well, and it is signficantly less discernible than on any of the competing DLP projectors.  DLP projectors seem more susceptible to showing visible background noise, although I couldn’t begin to tell you why.  Super-Resolution, as you might expect, when engaged at mid-levels tends to make noise slightly more visible, but even 3, the highest setting I use, still has mosquito noise not as visible as the typical DLP.

Audible Noise

At full lamp power, seems perhaps a couple of decibels quieter (very slightly) than the Epson’s UB projectors.  That probably even makes sense.  I believe the Pro Cinema 4030 projector shares the same lamp, as well as the same housing, but the projector isn’t quite as bright. Epson might not be driving the lamp as hard at full power, so they might be running the fan a little slower. I’m just speculating.

No matter, at full lamp power the Epson is not the quietest projector around.  It’s definitely up there around 30 db or a little more (we don’t measure).  Pretty quiet is under about 25 db, and the Epson gets there in Eco-mode.  Those who are more noise adverse in typical rooms likely will only use eco-mode.

The other noise related issue is the Epson dynamic iris, which can rumble. It makes most of it’s noise when cycling, as when sources are changing, but can in the right, changing, dark scenes, be hears when there’s little audio.   If you are using on a table top, and the rumble is more noticeable than you like, it may be the table, or shelf resonating and adding to the sound. I suggest, in that case, you try putting some sound absorbing material between feet and table, if mounted, same thing, get some soft spacers in there.  Most folks don’t seem to mind, but it is something that could be better.

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