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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

Performance

Light output. The Pro Cinema 6030UB is capable of outputting quite a bit of light or very little light, depending on the needs of the situation. On the high end of the lumen scale is Dynamic, which on our projector measured 2211 lumens with the lens at its widest angle setting. Before adjustments, Dynamic has a greenish cast, but is useful whenever maximum light output is needed. We were able to reduce the green tint to a tolerable level using the 6030UB's RGB Gain/Bias controls for the cost of about 200 lumens. The end result is a much more balanced picture that is useful in a greater number of situations.

Living Room mode, measuring 1561 lumens on our projector, has a bluish tint that pushes color temperature up to around 8000K. This cooler tone actually helps to fight ambient light, which is predominantly yellow, when the projector is used in a living room or other non-theater environment. However, Living Room is also a great mode to use if you want a bright, engaging picture that does not require a lot of fiddling with the controls. By taking the Color Temperature slider from +3 to 0, you'll end up with a picture that measures 6400K to 6600K across the grayscale with no effort on your part, though green is under-driven slightly. Making this color temperature adjustment lowers light output slightly to 1395 lumens, a decrease of about 11%.

Natural and Cinema mode, at 863 and 796 lumens, are quite similar, with only some differences in gamma and color gamut separating them from each other. Both Natural and Cinema default to low power lamp mode, though our measurements were taken with the lamp at full power.

The 6030UB also includes B&W Cinema mode. B&W Cinema is tailored for the display of black and white movies and measures 818 lumens with the lamp at full power. B&W Cinema has a color temperature around 5500K, which is ideal for black and white films.

THX mode is the projector's default image mode and our preferred setting for home theater film and video. It has more accurate color than the 6030UB's other image modes, which calibration improves even further, and the best contrast performance as well. THX mode at its factory settings measures 675 lumens with the lamp at full power and 514 lumens at low power. Our calibration, which improved both white balance and color gamut, resulted in a final light output of 529 lumens at low power and 695 lumens at full power.

Switching to low lamp power reduces light output by 25% on average, though some modes (Dynamic, Living Room) lose slightly more light while others (THX) lose slightly less. Note that in THX mode, the low power lamp setting is called "Normal" while full power is called "Extra Bright." In all other image modes, low power is "ECO" and full power is "Normal."

The 6030UB's 2.1:1 zoom lens allows different amounts of light to pass depending on zoom position. The lens's wide angle position passes the maximum amount of light, which is reflected in our lumen readings above. But the maximum telephoto setting, which produces the smallest image size at a given throw distance, restricts light output by 43%. As an example, THX mode drops from 529 lumens to 302 lumens with the lamp at low power. This is important to keep in mind when mounting your projector, as a lack of brightness can impact your ability to use large screen sizes.

Contrast. The UB on the end of the 6030UB's name stands for Ultra Black, and if anything that's a modest assessment. The 6030UB has an automatic iris that effectively combines aggressive performance with unnoticeable operation, leading to the best black levels available in a home theater projector in this price range. When combined with the projector's sparkling highlights and well-defined shadow detail, the end result is a projector that can handle the most difficult Blu-ray content without breaking a sweat. The dynamic range of the 6030UB's image gives it a three-dimensional quality that makes it a real pleasure to watch.

If you want to fine-tune the 6030UB's handling of shadow detail, the projector has very good controls for gamma adjustment, allowing you to individually adjust ten points along the gamma curve. If you are more visually-minded or lack the required hardware to do a full calibration, the system will also allow you to pick a point in the image and then make adjustments from there. That can be especially helpful when you can see what's wrong in the image and want to fix it right away.

Color. When evaluating color on a home theater projector, we are looking for two things. The first is good, if not great, color performance straight out of the box. The second is the ability to fine-tune the projector until it looks even better. The Pro Cinema 6030UB delivers both.

Straight out of the box, the 6030UB defaults to THX mode. On our test unit, factory-preset THX mode has a consistent grayscale that measures about 6400K across the board, though the upper end of the grayscale is deficient in green and the shadows have too much red.


THX mode, factory settings

On our projector, we corrected for this by adding green and reducing red and blue in the highlights, and then decreasing red in the shadows to compensate for the shift brought on by our calibrations. This gave us smooth, consistent 6500K grayscale tracking across the entire spectrum.

Epson 6030UB, THX mode
Color Temperature: 6500K
Offset
Gain
Red-1Red-3
Green11Green1
Blue-2Blue0


THX mode, calibrated

The 6030UB has a full color management system, and while the gamut in THX mode wasn't far from the Rec. 709 color space to begin with, we found the system exceptionally easy to use. We ended up making a significant improvement to the 6030UB's color gamut with just a few minutes' work using our color meter.


Color gamut after calibration

Living Room, at its default settings, measures right around 8000K, but as stated earlier it can be corrected with a minor reduction of the Color Temperature control. The end result isn't nearly as precise as the THX calibration above, but it is a noticeable improvement over the factory settings.


Living Room mode with quick adjustments applied

Cinema mode can be every bit as accurate as THX mode, given a little bit of work. The factory settings of our projector give Cinema too little green, too much blue, and a color temperature that ranges between 6600K on the low end and 6800K on the high end.


Cinema mode, factory settings

After increasing green and reducing red to compensate for the shift towards blue this caused, our final Cinema calibration actually measured brighter than the factory setting. Grayscale tracking was much improved as well.

Epson 6030UB, Cinema mode
Color Temperature: 6500K
Offset
Gain
Red-14Red0
Green12Green4
Blue-8Blue-3


Cinema mode, calibrated

The Pro Cinema 6030UB is about as easy to calibrate as a projector can get. By the end of our adjustments, we were left with three accurately-calibrated image presets, each useful for different situations, that all made the projector look wonderful.

Input lag. If you're into gaming, you'll want the least input lag possible. That is achieved by switching the Image Processing control from "Fine" to "Fast." This setting is designed specifically to reduce input lag, and resulted in only 37 milliseconds of lag, which is a touch over two frames on a 60 frame per second signal. While this isn't the fastest home theater projector on the market, it is certainly a marked improvement over last year's 50 milliseconds using the same settings. Note that "Fast" processing has a softening effect on the picture that reduces the appearance of fine detail, and this reduction in apparent resolution is most visible when there is a lot of small text or other detail on the screen. Depending on what kind of game you're playing, that softness could be invisible, obvious, or anywhere in between.

If you use the projector's standard settings, which include "Fine" Image Processing, the 6030UB measures 91 milliseconds of input lag, equivalent to five and a half frames of a 60fps signal. That's slower than last year's Home Cinema 5020UB (67 ms) and equal to the Home Cinema 5010 (92ms).

Several features increase input lag even more when activated. Frame Interpolation is the worst offender at 183 milliseconds, or about 11 frames. It did not matter which level of Frame Interpolation was applied; all three settings result in the same increase. Super Resolution, on the other hand, only increases input lag to 102 milliseconds or six frames, a half-frame increase over the baseline.

The end result is that the 6030UB is faster in "Fast" 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.

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Key Features
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Limitations
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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