The Art of Home Theater Projectors

3D Projectors: Epson Home Cinema 3010 Projector – Behind Door #2

Epson Home Cinema 3010

Epson's $1599 Home Cinema 3010 - a 2D and 3D Projector

Greetings all of you folks that have just been dying to learn more about Epson’s new, and least expensive 3D capable 1080p projector; the Home Cinema 3010.

The Home Cinema 3010 projector has an MSRP of $1599, and includes two pair of 3D glasses (and internal emitter).  There is also a second version, the 3010e (also 3D capable) which sells for $200 more, lacks the 3D glasses (optional).  Other than the wireless HD – WiHD – and the number of glasses included, the two projectors are identical.

The big story, is that just two hours ago, Fedex delivered a pre-production HC3010e projector for me to review.  I’ve already got it plugged in, and have been viewing football – in 2D, and in 3D, and a brief mix of other content – 2D and 3D so far.

Too soon for any real opinions, except to say that the Home Cinema 3010e – and therefore also the Home Cinema 3010, are both pretty bright – they seem about equal to the Optoma GT750 gaming projector (2D and 3D) in brightness, As I just noted in my previous blog, that one  (GT750) has good brightness – enough to do a respectable job in 3D on a 100″ screen.  Respectable is something that the far more expensive Sony VPL-VW90ES, JVC DLA-RS60, Sharp XV-Z17000, Optoma HD8300, and Mitsubishi HC9000D really can’t claim – marginal at best.  Most of those can just reach 1000 lumens in their brightest mode, while this Epson Home Cinema 3010 claims 2200 lumens, and should measure fairly close to that.

With 3D and active glasses wiping out effectively at least 75% of effective brightness, we need all the lumens we can find when watching 3D content.  I haven’t watched enough to know, in 3D, if I’m really happy with the brightness (at 100″ diagonal on a 1.3 gain Studiotek 130), or just satisfied.  I’ll settle for satisfied, which is more than I can say for any of those far more expensive LCoS and DLP 3D projectors mentioned above.

The Home Cinema 3010 and Home Cinema 3010e projectors – in a nutshell:

  • HC3010 MSRP:  $1599 (with 2 pair of active glasses for 3D and built in emitter)
  • HC3010e MSRP: $1799  (no glasses), but with wireless HDMI.
  • 2200 lumens claimed
  • 3D and 2D capabilities
  • Manual zoom and focus
  • Keystone correction, but no lens shift
  • Great warranty
  • Full color management system
  • Split screen (can support 2 hi-res sources at once – one HDMI, one Component), side by side

I’ve got that Optoma GT750 to finish writing up, this Epson Home Cinema 3010 e to review, and still another 3D capable projector arrived as well, the Sony VPL-HW30ES which is more expensive and will compete with the higher end Epson 5010, most of those LCoS projectors I’ve mentioned, etc.  More in my next blog.

The Sony arrived first, but Mike took it for calibration before we even opened the box.  As a result I’ve started viewing the Epson first.  Not sure which will get written up first, but one will publish by 10/8 when I leave for a week vacation.  Fear not, my vacations are never “all vacation”.  Whichever of the two reviews is not published before I head out, will be finished within a day or two of my vacation start – figure by October 10th.

So, hang in there, 3 different 3D capable projectors, from the low cost Optoma, to the low-mid-priced Epson 3010, to the $3500 Sony, and all will be written up and published in a 10-11 day period.

One final note.  I still have the Optoma HD33 here, for a couple more days.  That Optoma is $1499 – just $100 less than the Epson HC3010. But it doesn’t come with glasses – they are optional, making the Epson the less expensive of the two, for those who want to play with 3D at least a little.   The point is, I’ll be doing a fair amount of side by side viewing, including 2D and 3D.

Hang in there, things are getting exciting!  -art

News And Comments

  • Mark

    Looking forward to the review. I’m particularly interested in any LCD convergence issues and whether there is ‘motorized pixel alignment.’

    For me, and a lot of other people moving to 3D, it’s either this or the Optoma HD33, so a comparison between the two would be extremely useful.

    All the best.

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Mark, no pixel alignment adjustments of any kind. Convergence of this projector is only OK, but it’s an engineering sample. I’ll get a production one in, after they start shipping. -a

  • Basshead

    All I care about is the 3010s Blacks and sharpness in 2d compared to the 8350, can not wait for the review :)

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      I don’t have an 8350 here, and it’s been a long time, but, I would give the black level advantage to the 8350. I dont believe the difference between the two is anywhere near the black level difference between the 8350 and 8700ub. It bests the Optoma hD33. Not bad if you can live with a non-ultra high contrast projector. -a

  • Trick McKaha

    Great. It is that side by side comparison to the HD33 that I am waiting for. Brightness, crosstalk, eye fatigue – and any other points of comparison you find relevant.

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      You shall have it.. I’ve already completed the side by side photos lot and observation. Of course something’s lost when you can’t see both at the same time for having to switch glasses.

  • Edwin Jaehn

    Art,
    Why don’t the 3010 models have lens shift? Lens shift is very important to me.

    MY only guess would be that it screws up the 3D somehow.

    Thanks for all your hard work.
    Ed

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Edwin, no it doesn’t screw up the 3D, but it does screw up pricing. It adds to the price, so one decision to keep the cost down was to eliminate it. So far the two low cost 3d capable 1080p projectors are similarly priced – the 3010 and the hd33. Lens shift might have added a couple hundred or so dollars?

  • Hanna

    Art,

    that’s great news on the epson. Just one quick question from your observation thus far and all we would like to know…is the 3010 on the same level with the 8700 at all or is it better?

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      The 3010 is not a match for the 8700ub in terms of 2D. It is a whole lot brighter, though. T hink of the 5010 as being the better, and 3D replacement for the 8700ub – which I wouldn’t mind seeing them keep in the lineup. So far I REALLY like the home cinema 3010, or, rather, the 3010e, that I have to play with.

  • Reuben

    Good last note, we need a comparison of Optoma HD33 and Epson HC3010 before we all start purchasing like nuts.

    Thanks,
    ELmO

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Next week if I do a separate HD33 vs. 3010 article, but plenty in the 3010 review, which I had hoped to publish before vacation starts this weekend. Most likely I’ll be able to finish on the plane, and post by next Monday.

  • Paul

    Art, your reviews are the best!

    If you have the 3010 in hand now, here’s a few questions that a few of us are curious about:

    * for people who need to shift the image, how good (or bad?)is the keystone correction for the 3010? does it work up to a point and then degrades badly? Or is it noticeably bad through and through?

    * could the “dual display” feature be a “poor man’s horizontal lense shift” for 2-d content? the idea would be to either just have the second display not display, or display a dummy input black screen, or something like that.

    * how is the 3010 2-d image quality vs. the 8350?

    Thanks so much for all your hard work.

    Paul

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Paul, I’m on it… Just a few more days…

  • reuben

    Excellent, can’t wait! What screen are you using to review? What are the ambient light conditions like?

    I suspect many (I hope, like myself) are not throwing the 3010/E or HD33 in a completely light controlled environment.

    Thanks,
    ELmO

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Greetings Elmo (Reuben?),

      I’m using two screens. Most of my watching is being done on the Studiotek 130, in my theater. I’m also using the similar Carada Brilliant White, in my testing room downstairs. I’ve already had the 3010e calibrated, and have taken all the photos. 3D comparison side by sides with the HD33 were taken downstairs. For that shoot, since these are both primarily family room projectors, the smaller testing room was set up more like a family room than an theater. On one side wall, a large screen with white surface occupies most of the wall, being at least as bright as anyone’s off-white paint. On the other side, the wall is about 2/3 dark paint, and 1/3 white door. The back wall, for these shots, white double doors, and an sliding closet doors. Overall, that whole back wall, is probably about half as bright as a white wall, but far, far brighter than a dedicated dark walled theater like I have upstairs. For all my sports photos, I had the blinds at least partially open, to give some indication of what a room with ambient might look like.

      In both rooms, though, I’ve got dark ceilings, and a dark wall behind the screen. The dark wall, inherently makes the picture stand out more, just as the 3-4 inch frame around a screen helps. Before it’s all done with and published, I plan to take the 3010 into my livingroom, where I have a south facing view, and at least 120 sq feet of windows and glass doors. That room is never less than “bright” during the daytime, and even on an overcast day, is still “fairly bright” – much brighter than the “modest ambient light” I often talk about. There will be pictures of the image, and the room… -a

  • Andreas

    Art,
    Great review on the 3010. Do you have any word on the 5010? Will you be reviewing it? Thanks much!

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      I’m hoping one will arrive within two weeks or less. Awaiting an update. -art

  • Ken

    Art,

    FYI: Just a small correction on your Epson 3010/3010e reviews…
    The price difference between the two is more like $400, not $200.00! The Epson 3010 comes with 2 pair of $99.00 Shutter Glasses… the 3010e DOES NOT!

    So, now the question would be, “Would it be better to buy the 3010 and find a wireless HD unit for under$400.00?”

    Thanks

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Yep, Epson providing glasses on one, but not the other defnitely leads to confusion. I mention that a number of times. that you are really paying $400 for the Wireless HD. That if you wanted WirelessHD and 3D (2 pair) it is a $400 difference. But for those who don’t care about 3D, it works out to the $200 difference in MAP price.

  • Matthieu

    Hi Art.
    Now you’ve tested this projector, how is the wireless compared to direct HDMI Cable in 3D?
    I upgraded my PS3 for the Oppo 93, but is the difference in extra quallity still visible when I go wireless?

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Hi Matthieu,

      At first I thought there was a problem. The system is supposed to be lossless (if it works at all). Anyway, I was noticing jerkiness, but that turned out to be my fault. One of Mike’s saved modes has the default for 2:2 pull-down as on. I know that doesn’t bother most people, but it sure doesn’t work for me, and others similarly sensitive. Once I turned that off, it seemed to be clean. The engineering sample was the 3010e. The later unit was only a 3010, so I never got to play with a production version of the WirelessHD. I’m hoping that the 5010/5010e/6010 they send me has it so I can take a closer look. I definitely did push 3D across it with no problem. -art

  • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

    Terrill, just a few more days…out of the box color is pretty good. Mike just calibrated it, am firing it up soon.
    It’s bright. Significantly brighter than the Optoma HD33. I’ve taken side by side images for the review. -art