Epson 3020/3020e Home Video Projector
October 19, 2012,
Loud iris. The Home Cinema 3020e has an auto iris, but it makes noise while it operates. If you sit too close to the projector, you can hear a soft clicking as the iris adjusts in response to the picture on screen. To get around this, you have three options: turn the volume up, mount the projector farther away from the audience, or simply turn the iris off. On this projector, the iris is not vital to an enjoyable picture.
Slow menu response. Sometimes, the 3020e's menu takes a second to respond after you push a button on the remote control. This isn't annoying until it is, at which point you've overshot your option and have to go back. Once you have the projector set up and calibrated, of course, this ceases to be an issue.
WirelessHD inputs all use the same calibration. As mentioned above, the Home Cinema 3020e's wired inputs all get their own calibration. Unfortunately, the five HDMI inputs available over WirelessHD have to use the same calibration. This isn't a big deal most of the time, but it's worth pointing out.
Input lag. The Home Cinema 3010, the 3020e's predecessor, had pretty severe input lag in the range of 100 milliseconds or 6 frames. After extensive testing of the 3020e, we can say that input lag has improved, but still won't be fast enough for many gamers.
We tested input lag on the 3020e in several modes. All of our tests used HDMI as the input, and all used native-resolution 1080p signals as the source. Typically projectors are fastest at processing signals that do not need to be scaled up or down to match the projector's native resolution.
Our first test was of Dynamic mode, which measured 84 milliseconds of delay, or five frames. This is faster by one frame than last year's model. The next test was Cinema mode, which measured the same exact delay of 84ms. What this indicates is that Cinema mode is not applying any additional processing that slows the image down, so you can safely use it for gaming without adding additional lag.
The last test used Cinema mode, but this time we went to the Signal menu and switched "Image Processing" from "Fine" to "Fast." This reduced input lag to 67 milliseconds, or four frames. If you do intend to do any gaming on the 3020e, we definitely recommend engaging Fast processing.
Now, the good news - our tests of WirelessHD indicate that the wireless system does not add any appreciable amount of input lag. All tests of input lag found numbers nearly identical to those from wired signal transmission. So if you do want to game but don't want to run wires, you can use WirelessHD without fear.
No frame interpolation. While not unusual for such a low-cost projector, the Home Cinema 3020e has no frame interpolation system. This means that fast action and camera pans will retain some of the judder you've come to expect over the years from 24 frame per second film content.
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