Epson Home Cinema 5030UB Projector Review - Hardware 1:
Appearance, Control Panel, Inputs
The Epson case is slightly off-white with dark grey front vents. I like that despite the white, most of the front is dark so it dosen't reflect light back to the screen. This Epson is a medium sized home theater projector. It's not bad looking at all, sporting some rounded edges and some sculpting. It's fairly impressive looking if a size smaller than competing JVCs and Sonys. Hey, it's the picture we really care about, however if there is a "partner" factor (formerly "wife factor"), and white isn't inherently a bad thing, there should be peace in the family.
You would be hard pressed to spot any physical differences between the Home Cinema 5030 UB and its predecessors. Epson's Pro Cinema 6030 UB, the same basic projector, but in a black case, and sporting anamorphic lens support, comes in all black.
The Home Cinema 5030 UB's lens is a center mounted, recessed. manual, 2.1:1 Fujinon zoom lens. For this year, Epson reports that the Fujinon lens has been modified with some improvements over the lens in previous UB projectors.
Focus and zoom controls are located on the top, directly behind the lens. If the projector is powered down, then a lens shutter closes to protect the lens and keep dust out. There is a front IR sensor for the remote control. Intake and exhaust vents are in the front as well. The hot air is aimed forward and to the right.
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I've said this before too, in previous reviews: "If you aren't ceiling or shelf mounting, you probably don't want to be sitting 2-3 feet in front of the projector and a foot or two to the left. It will get toasty there due to the exhaust."
Near the lens controls are two more dials on the top. The one to the right (if facing the projector) is the vertical lens shift control while the horizontal lens shift is slightly to the left of the lens.
The Home Cinema 5030 UB's control panel is small, it's on the right hand side, near the front (again, the right side if you are facing the projector). You can see a small sliding door which moves out of the way to reveal the control panel which is recessed. Just to the front of the control panel are two buttons right on the side of the projector. One is the power (press once for on, twice to shut off), and the other is the Source selector.
Inputs and other connectors are on the back.
As just mentioned the power switch and source selection buttons are up by the front (right side if you are facing the projector). The rest of the Control panel consists of a square recessed panel with a sliding door to cover it. They are backlit blue. (You may turn off the projector's lights via a menu option). The control panel itself is pretty standard, as you can see in this image:
There is a menu button, the navigation buttons in a diamond shape, the enter button is in the lower left, and escape button (takes you back up a menu level) is in the lower right.
Just above the control panel, actually on the top, are three indicator lights for power, temp and lamp.
The Home Cinema 5030 UB is rather typically equipped when it comes to inputs and other connectors.
Let's start from the left side (facing the rear) You can see all of the connectors in this image of the back of the Home Cinema 5030 UB projector.
First are the two HDMI inputs, of note, they are recessed and offer a screw hole so that you can use HDMI cables that have a screw to tighten and hold the cable firmly in place. (Nice touch!). Next comes three color coded RCA jacks for Component video. That's followed by a standard composite video. Epson no longer offers an S-video connector (nor did they last year).
In the middle (left to right) and along the top, is the rear IR sensor for the remote control. Back down on the line of inputs, next is an HD15 connector, otherwise known as a VGA connector, or (analog) computer connector. It can be used to interface with your computer, or it can double as a second component video, using an adapter cable. Next over is a single 12 volt trigger used for controlling a correctly equipped motorized screen or other purpose. There's a small USB service port connector next, and finally, a Kensington lock slot. On the far right is the power cord receptacle, and that, folks, is it!
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