Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2030
1080p Home Video Projector Review
August 27, 2013
Throw Distance and Throw Angle. The Home Cinema 2030's 1.2:1 manual zoom lens can display a 100" diagonal 16:9 picture from 8' 11" to 10' 9". That throw distance is about 1.4 times the screen width, or about where many viewers may want to be sitting. If that is your preferred viewing distance you may want to consider placing the projector on a pedestal between the seats or ceiling mounting it.
The 2030 has an unusual throw angle for a home video projector--the projected image is 92% above and 8% below the lens' centerline. On a 100" diagonal image, that would put 4" of the image below the centerline of the lens. If you place the image on a standard height coffee table, the bottom edge of the projected image would appear only 12" to 14" above the floor. This may be too close to the floor for ideal viewing, especially if you are sitting behind the projector.
If you ceiling mount this projector you will probably need to use a drop tube extension to avoid placing the top edge of the image right up against the ceiling. Or you can simply tilt the unit downward and square up the image with keystone correction. The Home Cinema 2030 has excellent keystone correction, but you may not want to use it if you are trying to obtain a 1:1 pixel-mapped 1080p picture.
Placement locations for the Home Cinema 2030 could be a high coffee table (at least 20" tall), a ceiling mount with a drop tube, a pedestal between the seats, or a low rear shelf mount projecting just over the heads of the audience.
No lens shift. The 2030 has no lens shift which is typical for 1080p projectors priced under $1000. This means that extra care must be taken to position the projector precisely in order to fill a screen that may already be installed.
Contrast. While the Home Cinema 2030 produces a great image, dynamic range is average when compared to other sub-$1000 home video projectors. Many of these use DLP light engines which tend to have higher dynamic range. However, with the use of the automatic iris, the Home Cinema 2030 can have superior black levels to these projectors in shadowy scenes.
Color controls. While the Home Cinema 2030 has excellent controls for adjusting color temperature, those adjustments are saved across all image modes. In other words, you cannot have one set of color temperature adjustments for Living Room mode and another set for Cinema mode. If you plan to use the projector at different times of day and in different amount of ambient light, this can become frustrating.
Sound. The Home Cinema 2030's 2W mono speaker is a good option for sound output when nothing else is available, but several of its competitors feature more powerful speaker systems, making them more useful in a portable capacity. When no other sound output device is available, powerful onboard speakers can be a life saver.