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Epson Home Cinema 2030 Projector Review

Posted on August 27, 2013 by Art Feierman

Specs Preview

Epson Home Cinema 2030 Specs
Price 999
Technology 3LCD
Native Resolution HD 1080p (1920x1080)
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 2000
Contrast 15,000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio
Lens Shift No
Lamp Life 5000
Weight 6.4 lbs.
Warranty 2 years w/overnight replacement

The brand new Epson Home Cinema 2030 is one of two similar new home entertainment projectors just launched by Epson.  This one, the Home Cinema 2030 that we are reviewing, will be sold by retailers, from big box houses like Best Buy, to smaller dealers.  Street price is set at $999 for which you get a Home Cinema 2030 claiming 2000 lumens.   The Home Cinema 2030 is the first 3LCD projector with 1080p resolution (Full HD) to sell for under $1000. 

A similar projector, known at the Home Cinema 2000 will be sold by online dealers. It's expected to sell for about $100 less but offer slightly less brightness and contrast.

WATCH THE VIDEOS HERE: Epson HC2030 "Projector Reviews TV" Video Summary and shorter Video Overview

Epson Home Cinema 2030 Projector Overview

To get started, I just want to say that the Epson Home Cinema 2030, is a projector that looks great, right out of the box, no muss, no fuss. True, like any projector, it can be improved with adjustment, but unlike many competitors, even if you never change a setting, it's going to blow you away. It never looks bad.  Your friends will be dazzled!  Sports fans, in particular, rejoice, but most everyone looking for a bright, a bit above entry level performance projector should be at least a good bit impressed with this Epson Home Cinema 2030.

We worked with an engineering sample of the Home Cinema 2030 projector.  That means several things to you, our readers.  First, there are always minor issues with engineering samples (which are even earlier than "pre-production" projectors).   Historically, we find that engineering samples don't measure quite as bright as full production projectors (sometimes there might be an extra 10% or so in the final product), Also we find the occasional minor quirk that is fixed in the firmware by the time the projector ships to dealers and end users.

Not only is this Epson  Home Cinema 2030 extremely bright, but it has a few tricks up its sleeve.

Yes, of course it is both 2D and 3D capable, (sorry no glasses included in the $999 price).  The good news is that you can buy Epson’s very light weight RF glasses, and also know that you can find other, less expensive, but compatible glasses available online.

As you check out all of our images for comparing projectors, here's a quick note about sharpness. Remember, we're not showing you a 1080p resolution image.  Even when you click to enlarge, those are only 1000 pixels wide,(well lower res than even 720p) not 1920 wide (1080p). Also capturing images from HDTV 1080i, starts out with half the vertical resolution of 1080p. So you better believe projectors look dramatically sharper in real life.

Speaking of tricks.  This first one isn't exactly new, just primarily new to home projectors.  I'm talking support for a Roku stick and other MHL devices.  (I am aware of at least a pocket projector with a Roku stick capability.)

We couldn't help but give the Home Cinema 2030 a Hot Product Award.  And that goes for the Home Cinema 2000, since they are almost identical, although the HC2000 claims 200 less lumens and slightly lower contrast. We'll spend a good portion of this review pointing to the various strengths that helped these two Epson projectors earn the award.

This is certainly the first projector I’ve reviewed that can work with a Roku stick, and my first time working with Roku.    The Home Cinema 2030 and 2000 both support MHL – Mobile High-definition Link.  I guess I’m “old school” as I use mostly DirecTV and Blu-ray players as my sources, and occasionally my computer).  Using the Roku with the Epson really was simple.  I explain the process in the Special Features section.  Wow, there's lots of stuff to choose from on Roku!

Epson Home Cinema 2030 Projector: Highlights

  • 3D Capabilities with support for Blu-ray 3D, satellite channels... game consoles
  • Extremely bright home projector, ideal for family and bonus rooms, and theaters with large screens (brighter than last year's)
  • Four preset 2D modes, 2 preset 3D modes.  Pick the one that's best for what you are viewing, and room conditions
  • Modest built in sound, can be supplemented with a surround sound system, or powered subwoofer, thanks to the audio out.
  • Full color controls allow for a full calibration
  • Lag times should be acceptable for fast game playing.
  • Backlit remote control
  • Dynamic iris for better black level performance, the iris operates in 3D modes as well as 2D
  • Epson offers optional 3D glasses that are light, and are RF and quickly rechargeable
  • It only takes 3 minutes to put on enough quick charge to get through an entire movie
  • Excellent warranty
  • One of the lower priced 1080p 3D capable projectors, but above entry level performance
  • An impressive value proposition!

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