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Epson PowerLite Pro Cinema 6030UB Projector Epson PowerLite Pro Cinema 6030UB
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Street Price: n/a
MSRP:$3,499
3D: Full HD 3D
Contrast:600,000:1
Lumens:2400
Weight: 18.4 lbs
Resolution:1920x1080
Aspect Ratio:16:9
Technology:3 LCD
Lens:2.1x manual
Lens Shift:H + V
Lamp Life:4,000 Hrs
5,000 (eco)
Lamp Cost:$299.00
Warranty:3 year
Connectors:  Composite, Component, RGB, HDMI (x2), RS232, 12Volt Out
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 576p

Epson PowerLite Pro Cinema 6030UB
Home Theater Projector Review

Bill Livolsi, November 15, 2013

The Epson PowerLite Pro Cinema 6030UB sits at the top of Epson's classic home theater projector line. As in previous years, Epson's Pro Cinema line is sold through specialized dealers and custom installers, whereas their Home Cinema line is sold in open distribution via Internet-based vendors. That can make the 6030UB a bit more difficult to track down, but it's worth the search.

Physically, the Pro Cinema 6030UB is almost identical to the Home Cinema 5030UB with a few small changes. However, the addition of anamorphic stretch mode gives the 6030UB the ability to display movies in 2.39:1 anamorphic widescreen, something the 5030UB cannot do. Add an extra year of warranty, a spare lamp, a ceiling mount and cable cover, along with support from the pros who sell them, and the end result is an outstanding value for $3499.

Editor's note: Since the Home Cinema 5030UB and Pro Cinema 6030UB are nearly identical in certain respects, some content from our Home Cinema 5030UB review has been reproduced in this article when appropriate. However, all measurements, calibrations, charts, and graphs used in this article use data generated from the Pro Cinema 6030UB and are not reproductions of data from the 5030UB. - Bill Livolsi

The Viewing Experience

The 6030UB is a feature-rich projector, to be sure, but the real draw is its excellent image quality in 2D and 3D. In short, the 6030UB produces the best picture we've ever seen from an Epson home theater projector.

The Pro Cinema 6030UB is meant to be used in a home theater, which means it looks best when you take steps to reduce both ambient and reflected light in the viewing space. The 6030UB is more than bright enough for such an environment, so a screen with mild positive gain like the Stewart Cima Neve 1.1 gain white screen is just about ideal. Black level is already very deep and light output is highly adjustable, so the 6030UB does not require the black-boosting abilities of a gray screen.

In 2D, the 6030UB's image is natural and smooth, giving the image a true-to-life quality that can be hard to describe. Highlights are bright, but not blown out, while shadow detail is excellent and overall dynamic range makes the image appear to pop off the screen. Black level has long been a strong point of Epson's home theater projectors, and it is as deep as it has ever been once the 6030UB's automatic iris is turned on. The Pro Cinema 6030UB shares the great color performance of its predecessors, with good color saturation and comprehensive color adjustment controls. The projector's factory configurations need a little bit of fine-tuning, but this isn't unusual in home theater projectors.

The 6030UB produces a 3D image that allows for large-screen 3D display without compromising brightness. The projector has three 3D color modes that can be fine-tuned independently. 3D viewing is made more pleasant thanks to bright, well-saturated colors and good shadow detail.

If you still watch a lot of DVDs or other standard definition media, technologies like Frame Interpolation and Super Resolution improve image quality and give new life to SD material. And while no amount of image processing can turn SD into HD, the Home Cinema 6030UB can clean up standard-definition material enough to make it easier on your eyes, now that you're used to high definition.

One big draw of the 6030UB is its ability to accept an anamorphic lens. Using such a lens, the 6030UB's 1.78:1 native image is stretched horizontally into the 2.39:1 super-wide aspect ratio used by many movies. When paired with a 2.39:1 screen, this allows those movies to be displayed without letterboxing -- the dreaded black bars at the top and bottom of the image. It also allows the projector's full pixel matrix to be used, albeit at the cost of a 1:1 pixel match, and can increase image brightness slightly since the entire imaging area of the chip is used. This capability is unique to the 6030UB in Epson's home theater line; both the 4030 and 5030UB lack the ability to apply anamorphic stretch.

We tested the 6030UB with the CineVista lens from Panamorph. The CineVista is an anamorphic lens designed for those on a budget who still want ultra-wide home theater. The package for Epson projectors is called the CV-E100. It sells for $1,995 and includes a mounting plate that mates it to the 6030UB. The mount plate requires that the projector be ceiling-mounted, but the 6030UB includes a ceiling mount.

For a direct comparison, we put the 6030UB with CineVista lens up against the 5030UB with its image zoomed up to the same size. When watching 2.39:1 content, the 6030UB's image is slightly brighter (about 10%) and has markedly less digital noise in the picture. Pixel structure is slightly smoothed, giving the image a film-like appearance. On the other hand, the 5030UB appears to have higher contrast, and fine detail can appear slightly sharper when standing close to the screen. From normal viewing distances (anything more than one screen width), this difference in detail is much harder to detect, while the smoothness and increased brightness of the 6030UB's image remain perceptible.

The CineVista is a fixed lens; it does not move in and out of the light path based on what type of content you are viewing. As a result, the projector must horizontally compress 16:9 and 4:3 content in order to view them properly once the CineVista is installed. In these instances, the 5030UB looks sharper, brighter, and clearer than the 6030UB with CineVista, because it is using more of the projector's pixel matrix to display the image. However, this isn't a limitation of the 6030UB as much as it is a design decision of the CineVista made to reduce costs and make anamorphic theater more affordable. Panamorph does offer several lenses with automated transport sleds including the UH480 ($7,250 with transport) and the DC1 ($10,500 with transport), though these obviously increase the cost of the system overall. A fixed lens like the CineVista can still be a great idea, especially if most of the movies you watch are shot in the ultra-widescreen 2.39:1 aspect ratio, which has become increasingly popular over the last decade. This includes most recent Hollywood blockbusters and high-budget action and drama movies of the past few years.

Review Contents: The Viewing Experience Setup and Configuration Key Features Performance
  Limitations Conclusion

Reader Comments(14 comments)

Posted Jul 21, 2014 12:22:03 PM

By dave

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can I make the 6030 ub wireless hdmi? aftermarket?

Posted Jul 15, 2014 5:47:01 PM

By Steve

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I am considering using the Epson 6030UB with a 108" Black Diamond Zero Edge screen with a 0.8 gain. The projector will be placed in the ceiling about 19 to 20 feet from the screen in a media room without any light. Is this a good combination? Thank you for your assistance.

Posted Apr 7, 2014 12:38:40 AM

By Iftikhar Awan

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Why not a projector with a built-in anamorphic lens? I mean a separate model for 2.39:1 aspect ratio movies.

Posted Feb 8, 2014 8:27:25 AM

By Mike

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Will this projector do 1080P/24?

I don't see it anywhere in its specs.

Thanks.

Posted Jan 23, 2014 12:47:02 AM

By Greg

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What are the mounting requirements for the Epson 6030? Is it top of screen and center, or is it recommended to be mounted bellow the top of the screen? I know we can always keystone a projector and lens shift. But it's my understanding for the best image we should mount the projector correctly. And when done so we won't need to using the keystone and lens shift etc. Looking at their site, I get the impression that the projector should be mounted about 1/4 the way down bellow top of the screen. To me that's a little disappointing. I'd like to have it ceiling mounted, and yet still work well with a 2.39:1 lens. But worry it won't work it's best without pincushioning etc if the protected isn't mounted in the best position. Which means it's pretty low compared to the audience. Was this your finding with your testing?

Thanks for any feedback

Greg

Posted Dec 11, 2013 7:03:39 PM

By Munster

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Bill, I have a question regarding the saving of different RGB settings for each color mode. As you state, changing the RGB for one Color Modem, changes all of them. How do you save it to emory? I have tried and it still replaces whatever was there with the latest adjustment. Thanks

Posted Nov 26, 2013 4:43:27 PM

By Ryan

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I saw a projector calculator for this projector and it said the throw distance could go up to 23' back w/ a 110" 16.9 screen. Will I still get a great picture if I mount it in the back of my room at 22 feet? I've heard yes but I might lose brightness but could gain crispness in picture quality. I just want to make sure it's OK to mount it that far back w/out losing quality?

Also if I did have a 2.35 screen will the anamorphic mode on this new projector allow HDTV/Sports to show in full screen mode on a 2.35 screen? If it does, will it still be a great picture or do you lose quality when it's expanded? Thanks

Posted Nov 21, 2013 2:24:27 PM

By Zee

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One interesting thing about the anamorphic lens with a slide - if the more expensive lens and slide mechanism costs more than a projector and a fixed lens, why not simply mount two projectors - one with a fixed lens for 2.35, and one without a lens for 16/9?

Posted Nov 20, 2013 5:49:59 PM

By Romel

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Bill,

Thanks for providing some clarity on this subject; It's very much appreciated. Its nice to know that we have sites like PC that can set the record straight.

Posted Nov 20, 2013 7:59:41 AM

By Sanjay Shanbhag

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How does this compare, in your opinion, to the: DLA-RS4810U

with respect to black levels, colour quality, etc.

We were suggested to the JVC...we've tested it with our ps3 and we didn't notice lag on it. movies looked good. Black levels seemed nice. Our room when we get a projector isn't very dark. At night, it gets dark but the walls are lightly coloured.

Thoughts?

Regards,

Sanjay

Posted Nov 18, 2013 12:02:10 PM

By Bill Livolsi

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Patrick - Yes, the Epson 6030UB is much better than the Mitsubishi HC3200. You will see a large difference in picture quality.

Romel - That's what I thought, as well, but the folks at Epson say that's not the case.

From a user standpoint, the menu systems of the 5030UB and 6030UB are identical, so any such controls would be in a service menu or passcode-protected and only accessible to ISF certified technicians. That's not terribly unusual in projectors, so I asked for instructions on how to access the ISF menu and I was informed that there isn't one. There are no additional calibration control systems on the 6030UB.

Tony - You're right, I misspoke. I made the same mistake in the 5030UB review and I've now corrected both. Thanks for the heads-up.

The loss of clarity is intentional; Epson is aware of it and does not consider it a flaw in the projector. I'm not sure from your question what you want me to contact Panasonic about, so I suspect the Typo Bug bit you, too. ;)

Posted Nov 18, 2013 7:51:15 AM

By Tony

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I think this is a mistake: "The end result is that the 6030UB is faster in "Fine" mode but slower in other modes than the 5020UB was last year. Since gamers who care about input lag are unlikely to use anything but the fastest setting available, this comes out as a win for the new model. "

According to your results, the 6030IB is faster in "FAST" mode but slower in "FINE" mode than the 5020UB.

The only think holding me back from this projector is the reduced clarity in fast mode (yes it matters to me even if it's only noticeable on text in games). Is there any way you guys can contact Panasonic and see if there will be a fix for this issue? Thanks

Posted Nov 18, 2013 7:10:22 AM

By Romel

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Bill, Evan,

I was informed that the Epson 6030 has ISF calibration settings that the 5030 does not have, which allows the 6030 to be calibrated in a way to produce a better picture than the 5030.

My question is does the ISF setting used by authorized calibration technicians allow the 6030 to produce a better picture than the 5030 or does these settings allow the 6030 to simply be calibrate quicker and more easily? I have yet read anything stating the 6030 can produce achieve a better calibrated picture than the 5030. I think I asked this question before but don't remember gettng an answer. Thanks in advance for providing info on this subject.

Posted Nov 17, 2013 9:31:54 AM

By patrick

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hello j'ai actuellement un Mitsubishi hc 3200 dans un salon non dédié. Ecran de Projection 16/9 Lumene Embassy II 240C 132 x 234 cm.j'utilise PS3/4 +pc gamer hd 60% je regarde quelques blu-ray 30% l'Epson 6030UB est-il nettement meilleur? cordialement

patrick ....................................................... Hello: I have at present Mitsubishi hc 3200 in a not dedicated lounge(show). Projection screen 16/9 Lumene Embassy II 240C 132 x 234 cm.j' uses PS3 / 4 pc gamer hd 60 % I look some at Blu-ray 30 % Epson 6030UB is it clearly better? Cordially

Patrick

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