Epson Home Cinema 3000
1080p LCD Home Video Projector
Light output. We've already mentioned the Home Cinema 3000's impressive brightness several times. Out of a 2,300 lumen specification, Dynamic mode measured 2,495 lumens with the lamp at full power. Ironically, we've come to expect that Epson projectors will exceed their advertised lumens, despite a tendency in the projector industry to publish sanguine specs.
Cinema mode, our preferred setting for film and video, measures 1703 lumens at full power on our test sample. Dropping to Medium power brings light output to 1,533 lumens, a reduction of 10%, and significantly reduces audible noise. Eco mode, the lowest setting with the least audible noise, still measures 1196 in Cinema mode. That's a reduction of 30% from full power, but still plenty of light.
The Home Cinema 3000's 1.6:1 zoom lens is notable for causing a very small reduction in light output, even at its maximum telephoto setting. Whereas other projectors with 1.6:1 zoom lenses tend to lose about 20% of their light output, the lens on the Home Cinema 3000 reduces output by a scant 11% at full telephoto. You can put the projector in the back of your room without fear.
Contrast. Built for big screens and bright ambient light, black level on the Home Cinema 3000 can't measure up to the performance of dedicated home theater projectors like the Home Cinema 5030UB. It still produces an engaging picture with good definition in shadows, and is perfectly capable of creating a compelling image for home theater, but the Home Cinema 3000 is not a less-expensive 5030UB. Likewise, the Home Cinema 5030UB is wasted in a room with ambient light, because you aren't getting the super-deep black level that you paid for. Folks shopping for a projector need to understand the difference between the two.
Color. At factory settings, Cinema mode's grayscale is within spitting distance of 6500K, so most folks will probably just run with the projector as it comes. If you already have calibration equipment and want to take a crack at improving the picture, the Home Cinema 3000 has full color controls, including high-end and low-end adjustments for red, green, and blue in addition to a full color management system.
Input lag. We measured 104 milliseconds of input lag in all of the Home Cinema 3000's image modes when Image Processing was set to "Fine." That's six frames of a 60 frame per second signal. At that speed, an audio delay circuit would improve your home theater experience and ensure that the audio doesn't arrive before the video. Switching to "Fast" Image Processing reduces lag to 46ms, or 2.75 frames. That's fast enough for most gaming use, but still a bit pokey for serious fast action gamers.
|Review Contents:||The Viewing Experience||Key Features||Performance||Limitations|
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