Review Contents
The Viewing Experience
Best Home Theater Projectors
Performance
Features
Ease of Use
Value
Intended Use:
DIY Home Theater
Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3000 Projector Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3000
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Street Price: $1,299
3D: Full HD 3D
Contrast:60,000:1
Lumens:2300
Weight: 14.9 lbs
Resolution:1920x1080
Aspect Ratio:16:9
Technology:3 LCD
Lens:1.6x manual
Lens Shift:H + V
Lamp Life:3,500 Hrs
5,000 (eco)
Lamp Cost:$299.00
Warranty:2 year
Connectors:  Composite, Component, RGB, HDMI (x2), USB (x2), RS232, 12Volt Out
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 1080p/24, 1080p/50, 576i, 576p

Epson Home Cinema 3000
1080p LCD Home Video Projector

Bill Livolsi, December 18, 2014

For several years now, Epson has been the only game in town when it comes to entry-level 3LCD home theater projectors. Their Home Cinema 8350 has been consistently popular for four years - an eternity in the consumer electronics world, where almost every other projector released at that time has long since been discontinued. So Epson has now released a successor model--the Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 3000.

The Home Cinema 3000 is an upgrade to its predecessor in just about every measurable way. A bold, bright image makes it a good fit for bright living rooms rooms and extra-large screen sizes, and it's easy to install thanks to its 1.6:1 zoom lens and extensive lens shift. With prices starting at $1,299, the Epson Home Cinema 3000 is a great stepping stone between the sub-$1,000 projectors and more specialized home theater models that cost $2,000 or more. By striking a balance between performance, features, and price, the Home Cinema 3000 should appeal to a lot of folks looking for their next projector.

The Viewing Experience

The main reason to get a projector instead of a television has always been picture size, but a lot of folks who are new to the hobby aren't ready to commit to a blacked-out cave for their home theater. The Home Cinema 3000 is ideal for these people. The sheer brightness and vividness of the picture means that you can put up a big, bold image in a room with white walls or imperfectly covered windows, such as a spare bedroom or living room.

When you start up the Home Cinema 3000, you get a big brilliant picture. As with many other Epson home theater projectors, the lumen rating is slightly conservative, and Dynamic mode exceeded the expected 2,300 lumens. And while the color is greenish, Dynamic mode isn't unusable by any means; it would be a good choice for TV viewing when precise color accuracy isn't as important as brightness.

The real promise of this projector, however, is its Cinema mode. Producing over 1700 lumens with the lamp at full power, Cinema mode's color is accurate enough to begin using right away, and contrast and black level are surprisingly good for such a powerful projector. The automatic iris noticeably improves black levels and is useful in dark rooms. The image is smooth and has little in the way of digital noise, but a one-notch increase in Noise Reduction removed what little was there to begin with and didn't appreciably decrease detail.

Review Contents: The Viewing Experience Key Features Performance Limitations
  Shootout

Reader Comments(19 comments)

Posted Aug 6, 2015 2:29:43 PM

By Jeff Richardson

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I had a Epson 8500UB that we loved so much we burned up the imaging unit. Im getting ready to replace it, is this a good choice or will I only be happy with the 5030UB?

Posted May 27, 2015 8:28:03 AM

By rac

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Looking for a replacement for my 60" television in our family room (TV/computer/movies). Strongly considering a projector. Budget is modest. I appreciate any recommendations? rac

Posted Apr 5, 2015 10:47:58 AM

By Esteban

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I have an Epson 8350 projector and I'm looking for a new one projector. I,ve placed the 8350 on top of a bookshelf (ion the left side) located at the back of my living room, using the horizontal and vertical lens shift to point at the screen. With the zoom totally closed, the smallest possible image fits just right in the screen. Is the zoom capacity of an Epson Cinema 3000 equal or better compared with the 8350? I want to place the new projector in the same location and be sure that the smallest image provided by the zoom will fit well in the screen

Thanks and best regards

Posted Apr 5, 2015 10:19:58 AM

By Ths

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I just bought the 3,000. I'm having the same problem that the aspect ratio won't work. Also, I can't get the image to match our 120" screen which is 59 x 104. The closest image I can get is 54x104, a full 5 inches off? Any ideas?

Posted Apr 4, 2015 5:29:30 AM

By Bob Coulter

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I purchased the Optima 3500 and cannot get the aspect ratio to work to fit the projector to my 101" screen. I was told by a manufacturer rep that the aspect function cannot be used with a HDMI connection. I find this unbelievable as this is supposed to be a 3D projector and how or why would the connector type have anything to do with the aspect ratio? Thanks.

Posted Mar 4, 2015 11:11:10 AM

By John

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Hi just wondering how much of the picture quality is sacrificed in fast mode. I do play quite a bit of FPS games and some people are saying the picture quality looks like 480p in fast mode.

Posted Mar 3, 2015 11:46:40 AM

By Kenny Bee

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How does the 3000 compare to the Sony VPL-HW40ES.. I know the right comparison should be with the Epson 5030 UB but if I were to decide between a sub $1500 Epson 3000 or a $1800 Sony which one is preferred. This is for a loft where there is ambient light during the day (we do have drapes to shut off the light but it still won't be pitch dark). The Sony does not list the contrast and the 3000 contrast looks good (not that I would base my decision on this metric alone)

Posted Feb 10, 2015 11:23:19 AM

By Bpositive

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Thanks for a good review.

I'm interested in this as an upgrade to my Epson TW3200, but it doesn't seem like it's available in Europe! Can anyone confirm this!?

I can get the TW6600 / 3500, but in the white version it costs 2000 dollars, which is a bit too much. BTW can anyone explain to me, why the white version is over 300 dollars more expensive than the black in Denmark???

Posted Jan 26, 2015 9:27:04 PM

By Mikko Rasinkangas

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Hello.

I currently have a Hitachi PJ-TX200 projector which has an audible noise of 28db. The projector has problems with it's LCD panel so I'm in the lookout for a new projector.

This Epson one has the noise listed as 35 db. Is this a big increase in noise?

My home theatre setup is so that the projector has to be located on shelf which is basically above the sofa so quite close to the viewers.

Thanks in advance.

Posted Jan 3, 2015 10:23:05 PM

By wem003

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@Dave Wilson - per your first post about an Epson 3000 vs an Epson 5030.

I tried a 3000, it was quite bright for my room and game mode had quite a few artifacts.

I tried an 8345, and it was OK - just felt like an HD version of my Z2 I was replacing, nothing amazing.

So I decided I'd try a 5030 because I wanted to see if it was truly worth almost 3x what I paid for the 8345.

Within an hour of getting the 5030, I had the 8345 boxed up and ready to return. It's a stunning projector for the price point. Do yourself a favor if you haven't decided yet and give one a try.

Posted Dec 30, 2014 10:51:21 PM

By smi aga

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hi. reader but 1st time writer. i want to ask what is the distance throw distance. how to calculate it. is throw distance and zoom the same thing? please expliain with an exapmle

Posted Dec 23, 2014 9:32:17 AM

By Bill Livolsi

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Judy,

If you have a 2.35:1 screen, you'll either need to use the anamorphic lens (the same lens you have now will work fine) or get a projector with Lens Memory. The 5030UB would look better in your room, but it doesn't support anamorphic lenses and it doesn't have lens memory. The 6030UB does support anamorphic lenses, and the only projector (that I'm aware of) in this price range with Lens Memory is the Panasonic AE8000.

Posted Dec 22, 2014 8:43:32 PM

By Judy_wrede

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My original comment was for bill. Would like to add would like to buy the 3000, but if the 5030 betterin a dark room might have to get that ne . My screen and how the picture projects is my biggest issue. Thanks again

Posted Dec 22, 2014 8:26:32 PM

By Judy wrede

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Dave We currently have a Runco 810 with a Stewart grey 2.35.screen approx 10ft wideby 4 ft high 125 diagonal screen. Thr Runco is working but peaher is not bright. This is a dedicated theatre room with no ambient light with a ceiling mounted projector approx 18.50 feet from screen. We are looking at purchasing a Edson 3000 or 5030 . Our concern is the screen size we have been told we will have change out the screen to a different size in order for the projection to be right. My question is can we keep our screen that is built in and still project a movie or TV movie well enough so we can keep our screen in place. The Runco we have now is only720 p and has a anamorphic lense . Which they are saying we will need if we keep our current screen . These cost over 2-3000 dollars please give me your input . It appears that the 5030 would work better as our room is completely dark, sometime we like to have a little light with the overhead lighting thank you for your response .

Posted Dec 19, 2014 3:46:48 PM

By Bill Livolsi

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Dave -- we switched to the new test in mid-November 2013. Any reviews published after that point use the new testing method. The 5030UB was one of the last projectors measured using the old method, and our new measurement of Cinema mode using Fast processing is 56 milliseconds.

Lance -- I'm not familiar with that particular problem. It's unfortunate, but we only get to see a projector for a few weeks to a few months, so it's impossible for us to catch long-term problems like the one you're describing.

Posted Dec 18, 2014 8:21:39 PM

By Lance

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I have the 8350 and have enjoyed it for the past 2 years. But like so many others, mine is now affected by the "Auto Iris Error." Has Epson ever acknowledged this and presented a fix to it? I am hesitant to buy another Epson for this reason (the projector started to fail a few months after warranty expired...)

Posted Dec 18, 2014 5:46:43 PM

By Dave Wilson

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Thanks for your detailed & speedy reply!

2/3) Excellent points, and great analogy. Anything today will blow away my 2002 Corolla. I just don't want to be the guy that only upgrades every 12 years and bought the last of the relevant 1080p projectors.

The interesting thing is that not only is more and more UHD content becoming available faster than naysayers predicted, unlike the vast majority of LCD panel tvs, a 90-100"+ projector screen size means the UHD resolution can be picked up with average human visual acuity at standard home seating distances... http://carltonbale.com/does-4k-resolution-matter/

4) You list 5030 at 37ms, is that the old or new method? Gaming is definitely a factor for me. http://www.projectorcentral.com/epson_home_cinema_5030ub_projector_review.htm

1) Wow - "steamroll" sure does sound good! Actually, I just realized that the 5030ub is old enough now to have made it onto the refurb market for a very attractive price. I've used this technique with for example, Apple laptops and they are as good as new. It comes with a full mfr warranty, have you or someone you know had luck/problems with refurb in the projector world?

Cheers, Dave

Posted Dec 18, 2014 2:50:30 PM

By Bill Livolsi

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Hi Dave,

There’s a lot to address in your comment, so I’ll just get started.

1. If you’re using the projector in a dedicated room with little to no ambient light and some decent room treatment, the Home Cinema 5030UB will steamroll right over the Home Cinema 3000. They’re not built for the same sort of use -- the level of contrast and detail you get out of the 5030UB would be wasted in a living room setup.

2. I have no more information about Epson’s release schedule than you do. But if I were you, I’d avoid playing this waiting game. When you’re ready to make a purchase, pick whatever’s best for you at that time, and then stop wondering if the one you picked is technically “the best” or not. Something new is always coming, and it’ll always be better. You have to make peace with that.

Think of it this way: you're driving a 2002 Corolla. It's served you well, but it's starting to show its age, the engine makes some odd noises, and the interior is beginning to smell funny. Should you not buy a new car this year because there'll be a newer car next year?

3. Projectors are a much smaller market, so the TV comparison doesn’t quite work. I do expect a price drop, but 4K projectors won’t be competing with the Epson 5030UB any time soon.

4. Though it’s not 100% consistent, the new tests reveal about one frame (17ms) more lag than the old tests did. So a projector that measured 17ms using the old method (like the Home Cinema 8350) would measure at least 33ms now.

Posted Dec 18, 2014 2:36:42 PM

By Dave Wilson

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Hi Bill,

Long time reader, first time commenter.

Great review, and after waiting a long time to upgrade (I have a Sanyo PLV-Z2, on the original bulb after 8000+ hours!) this projector looks like a top contender. You mentioned the 5030 a few times, and for me I'm torn between a projector at this price point and one at the low $2000's like the 5030. I'm curious about how you'd compare just picture quality between the 3000 and 5030. Ambient light is a small concern for daytime, but at night we have a pretty dark setup so the deeper blacks on the 5030 could really make a difference. I've read so much about how contrast is king (above all other specs) and to some extent have been wowed by LG's OLED panel when seeing it in person, though I know I want a projector. So

1) I wonder if the PQ upgrade is worth a full $1000 more.

Also one request is to include more in your content about timing of releases for those of us waiting for the perfect time to buy... e.g.:

2) Do you expect a 5030 successor next year at CES or CEDIA? 3) Do you think the UHD projectors might drop in price in 2015 as dramatically as UHD panels did in 2014? (So many portable devices are focusing on ultra-high PPI so I have to imagine those small LCD panels for projectors are a target for manufacturers.)

4) Lastly, you've mentioned that your input lag test changed, but we don't yet know by how much. Is it possible to test (perhaps just one) projector with both methods so that we can get a rough percentage to error correct the older reviews? (Also the method used isn't necessarily specified in the review.)

Thanks for all the great work and fantastic reviews! Best projector site I've found by far.

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