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Epson PowerLite Home Cinema 2030
1080p Home Video Projector Review

Review Contents
Best Home Theater Projector
Ease of Use
Intended Use:
DIY Home Theater
Epson Home Cinema 2030 Projector Epson Home Cinema 2030
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Street Price: n/a
3D: Full HD 3D
Weight: 6.4 lbs
Aspect Ratio:16:9
Lens:1.2x manual
Lens Shift:No
Lamp Life:5,000 Hrs
6,000 (eco)
Lamp Cost:$99.00
Warranty:2 year
Connectors:  Composite, VGA In, HDMI, HDMI (MHL), Audio Out, Audio In, USB, RS232
Video Formats:  480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p/60, 1080p/24, 1080p/30, 1080p/50, 576i, 576p

The latest addition to Epson's home video projector line-up is the PowerLite Home Cinema 2030, a sub-$1000 projector ideal for living room use. The Home Cinema 2030 has 1080p resolution and full HD 3D with radio-frequency glasses synchronization. In a first for Epson home video projectors, the Home Cinema 2030 is also compatible with Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) devices like the Roku Streaming Stick, giving you a new way to access content from smartphones or streaming services easily from your projector.

In many ways, the Home Cinema 2030 resembles a slimmed-down Home Cinema 3020 which is larger and more expensive. It lacks the 3020's longer zoom lens, higher contrast ratio, and more powerful sound system, but it retains the core functionality and image quality that made the Home Cinema 3020 a successful home video projector. The lower price of $999 will make it attractive to those looking for a first projector or even a secondary projector for game rooms and weekend use.

Editor's note 9/20/13: The replacement lamp price for the Epson 2030 has been set at $99, not $299 as this article originally stated. The text of the review has been edited to reflect this.

The Viewing Experience

The Home Cinema 2030 looks deceptively simple. The projector is encased in glossy white plastic and has an offset lens with an integrated sliding lens cap that doubles as an "image mute" switch. The projector's control panel is on top of the projector while the connection panel is on the rear. Lamps change through the top of the case, which is a bonus if you are considering a ceiling mount, while air filters are swapped through a separate access door near the lamp.

The Home Cinema 2030 produces a sharp, bright, well-saturated image that is perfect for film or video. In a living room, the projector's Living Room mode creates an image that is color-balanced and high in contrast, while Cinema mode caters to dark-room viewing and deepens black levels with the projector's automatic iris. Detail is crisp and clear thanks to the Home Cinema 2030's native 1920x1080 resolution.

On first startup, we switched the Home Cinema 2030 into its different image modes to get a feel for the projector's capabilities. The brightest mode is Dynamic, which measured almost 2200 lumens on our test sample (out of a rated 2,000). Dynamic's green tint makes it an acceptable choice for use in strong ambient light when you need it, but for better picture balance you will want to look into Living Room mode (1670 lumens) or Cinema mode (1450 lumens), both of which have better contrast and color balance than Dynamic. Living room mode has a slight blue cast, but this can actually helps to counteract ambient light, which tends towards yellow.

In a brightly-lit living room, the Home Cinema 2030 will produce a bright and vibrant 60" diagonal image. However, if you turn the lights down some you can get a much larger image without giving up shadow detail and dynamic range. The projector has an automatic iris which is a useful addition in dark viewing environments, but you may want to disable it if you have ambient light in the room since ambient light will compromise a projector's black level anyway.

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Key Features
Review Contents: The Viewing Experience Key Features Performance Limitations

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Comments (59) Post a Comment
Tate Posted Aug 28, 2013 10:29 AM PST
How does the 2D image quality compare to the similarly-priced Epson 8345? I'm looking for a good value in a HT setting for gaming and film.
Grayson Posted Aug 28, 2013 10:33 AM PST
How does this compare to the BenQ W1070?

Tate, I read elsewhere that the Epson 8350 has better black levels, but isn't as bright.
Chris Posted Aug 28, 2013 1:55 PM PST
"It lacks the 3020's longer zoom lens, higher contrast ratio, and more powerful sound system, but it retains the core functionality and image quality that made the Home Cinema 3020 a successful home video projector."

How does a projector have a "sound system"?
johnny Posted Aug 28, 2013 6:08 PM PST
how does it compare to the optoma hd25e? what about compared to optoma hd131xe??

contrast? color? is there horizontal and vertical keystone?

3LCD vs DLP? how is it different in this comparison?

What about throw distance? which would need a greater distance for a 100' screen?
Lucious Bappa Rozario Posted Aug 31, 2013 7:34 PM PST
Projctor is good bur price high for our country.
davidm Posted Sep 3, 2013 8:06 PM PST
It'd be great if every projectorcentral review could cover issues like fan noise consistently. For any sort of projector, it can really ruin the experience, whether it's drowning out subtle dialogue or frequencies of music. The Epson 8350 is one of the only sub $2000 projectors with low noise levels, no idea about this model from this review.
clay Posted Sep 4, 2013 5:25 PM PST
Yeah, how does this compare to the competition? HD131xe, HD25e, and the W1070?
praethian Posted Sep 6, 2013 12:30 PM PST
The only thing preventing me from buying one right now is the input lag. If it was halved (single frame) then I would have no issues using it to be my regular display. I don't see why they can't just have an optional by-pass (it could even be a separate hdmi port) and disable all image processing/etc and let that be performed on the source, to the best of it's abilities.
Jheeoh Posted Sep 9, 2013 1:48 PM PST
I am planning to purchase HC2030 or HC8350. HC2030 looks more affordable projector with decent functions and performance. I am wondering 2D image qualities of these two projectors. If the image quality is not noticeable, HC2030 may be good choice.
Sis Posted Sep 11, 2013 6:11 PM PST
This projector just arrived at our house. We've had two other projectors in the past. This projector has stunning colors and bright whites. 3D is incredible. The noise level is low. We've had aSony VLP and it was like a train running. I cannot remember the other brand we had before the Sony. We are pleased with this especially the price. Excellent projector!!
JulioGF Posted Sep 19, 2013 10:56 AM PST
Where can I buy this projector in Miami Beach?
Dust&Bones Posted Sep 19, 2013 1:11 PM PST
Hello, this model is it a good option for the video game, including online? Otherwise what other models (3LCD or DLP) in this price range that have better latency and are therefore more efficient. thank you
Dan S Posted Sep 20, 2013 7:23 AM PST
I'm not sure that I get Epson's marketing strategy with the 2030. The under $1000 pricing, along with a very bright & sharp image will surely be noticed by a lot of prospective buyers. However, I wonder how many units will be sold given the extremely limited placement options: no lens shift, the unusual (that's an understatement) throw angle, and a 1.2x zoom. My bias here is that I have a fading Panasonic ae900u on a 15 inch-wide shelf built into the wall 5 ft high, behind the couch, projecting 15 feet onto a 8 foot wide screen.... a very nicely centered and proportioned set-up. Sure, $1000 sounds great, but if it cost $200 more and had a 1.6x zoom, a little lens shift, and got rid of that ultra-high throw angle, I would buy it in a second. Given it's compact design, I'd bet it would give the Panasonic ar100 some serious competition, given that projector's mammoth size.
Bill Livolsi Posted Sep 20, 2013 3:46 PM PST
Hi folks,

We are preparing a shootout of 1080p projectors under $1000, and the Epson 2030 will be included in that comparison.

In the meantime, here are answers to some of your other questions.

Chris: the Epson 3020 has two 10W speakers. Compared to most projectors, that is a "sound system."

johnny: the optoma DLP projectors you mention are two models we have yet to review, so we cannot comment on comparative benefits. However, you can answer your own throw distance question by using our Projection Calculator Pro. The link is in the sidebar.

praethian: The 2030 does have a bypass -- switch Image Processing to "fast." Unfortunately, it's still not the single-frame delay we were hoping for.

Sis: glad you enjoy it!

Dust&Bones: the BenQ W1070 is very fast for video games and costs about the same.

Dan S: it sounds like you're the perfect customer for the Epson 8350. It lacks 3D, but so does your current projector, and the 8350 will blow the AE900 out of the water.
Chris B. Posted Oct 2, 2013 9:42 PM PST
RE: Epson 2030

If I buy this one it will be the third projector we have had, what keeps the brakes on from buying this is the throw angle. Can someone help me on this ???

Here are my numbers:

Throw distance: 14 ft

Ceiling Mount: 73" from floor

Ceiling Height: 78"

Top of Screen: 75.5"

Am I going to see half the image on the ceiling???
BHall Posted Oct 4, 2013 6:31 PM PST
I got this projector a couple weeks and I'm a little mixed. I inherited an Optoma Pro 260X from the previous home owner, and it crapped out after 5 months (no older than 9 months of total use) so I didn't want any of that. After reading this review in particular,I went with this projector. The picture quality, especially the black levels, is much better (don't know what you're missing until you see better) and compares decently to most flat screens despite the obviously larger image size. I haven't tried out 3D yet, but I am definitely looking forward to it!

Now for the bad. All of the placement troubles are accurate. The previous owner had that crappy projector, but a great set up. 100" screen and the projector was discretely hidden behind the viewing area with a ceiling mount, which I was planning on using. Problem is the mount was about 3 feet too far back for the limited zoom. It is also incredibly difficult to get it aligned properly. A millimeter here or there and it throws the image off noticeably, so I've been going nuts trying to mount it without the use of keystone (using a tabletop mount for now).

The other huge pain in the a$$ is the throw calculator on this site doesn't indicate how far from the ceiling it needs to be, and the Epson site's calculator doesn't even have this model yet. On top of that, the utterly useless (and I can't emphasize how useless) online manual doesn't have any instructions for ceiling mounting, aside from telling you how to turn the image upside down.

I will admit I have never had a projector before the ill-fated Optoma and this Epson, so I'm no expert, but this has been frustrating. The picture is very good, but I also can't find out if this natively displays 1080p/24Hz. It "supports" that format, but is it scaled? Blu Ray's do look great and don't have much shudder, so I think it does.

Bottom-line is if you know what you're doing when it comes to projector setup, this is a great buy. If you are a novice with projectors, yet an electronics perfectionist like me, be prepared to be incredibly frustrated
Chris F Posted Oct 17, 2013 10:58 AM PST
So is this my best bet for a low light budget home cinema room? I see they suggest the BenQ W1070 at thewirecutter(

What projector currently reigns king for a dark room under $100?

Thanks for any help!
Bill Livolsi Posted Oct 17, 2013 11:09 AM PST
Chris F - You should check out our new shootout article, "Best Video Projectors Under $1000." I think you'll find that it answers your question.$1000.htm
Scott Posted Oct 24, 2013 9:09 PM PST
I'm a novice to projectors, but want to start an outdoor movie night so friends can all come sit on the lawn under the stars and watch classic films. I purchased a Camp Chef OS132 (132" SCREEN) for this project, and need to know what specs I will need in a projector in order to get a decent movie experience outdoors. Any help would be appreciated. (I don't demand perfection)
Jim Posted Nov 23, 2013 2:45 PM PST
Have you had any luck with this question? I have the same scenario. Cheers
Michael Posted Nov 30, 2013 10:02 PM PST
I have serious lag time with my epson 2030 while playing ps3 at 4 players in the same time. Does anybody have suggestion that could reducethis problem?
Drew Martin Posted Dec 16, 2013 7:29 PM PST
Hey Scott, I am in a very similar situation. Did you get any answers on what projector to get? I also want to use it at home but want to pull it off the shelf to use it outside at our "Drive-In"! A 8 ft X 12 ft screen about 25 feet away from the projector.

God Bless! Drew
Adam Baldwin Posted Dec 22, 2013 8:10 AM PST
I got the 2030 as a Christmas gift from the wife. First off this is my first projector so my expectations were low but I did do my research before and wanted a quality 1080p projector. This projector exceeded my expectations . The picture quality is excellent and matches my flat screen 52 inch in my living room. This projector is easy to use as you can essentially get it running and formatted with little to no instructions reading. The cool factor of this projector is at level 10 as you have a 200 inch beautiful TV screen out of the box. Playing Maddden football and music videos is awesome now! I recommend this projector! A+
John Ianiro Posted Dec 29, 2013 9:59 AM PST
My wife has also given me the EPSON 2030 for Christmas with an Elite ezcinema 100 inch pull up screen and all I can say is......WOW!!!! This projector rivals my Sony 52 inch LCD and my Samsung 59 inch plasma. You need to see the 3d in order to believe how good it really is....I would've paid twice the price for this projector if I didn't know any better. Thanks to the reviews on Projector Central, I picked out "what I believe" is the best projector for the money. HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE.
Chipmonk Posted Jan 6, 2014 2:43 PM PST
I have the Epson 2030, I was excited to try out the 3D feature, but I am having problems. I have the projector hooked up to my PS3 and have Samsung glasses that seemed to sync at one point, but the error message that my player couldn't detect my 3D compatible viewing device kept showing up. I tried hitting the 2d/3d button with no better results. I tried updating my PS3. What could be my problem, and how do I fix it?
michaelcasdf Posted Jan 11, 2014 3:56 AM PST
Hey I figured out the lag problem for the ps3 and or gaming in general question. You have to set the setting to fast instead of fine in the menu options under the signal tab. Fixed my gaming experience right away. Hope you have as much fun as I'm having with this wonderful product! :-)
Nyraiderfan Posted Jan 12, 2014 10:10 AM PST
If you are hooked up with a HDMI cable then your device and player should sinc automatically. I am also using the PS3 and hooked up a sound bar so my HDMI goes from my PS3 and in to the sound bar then another HDMI comes out of the sound bar and into my Epson 2030 and everything sinc's simultaneously . Now maybe your glasses are not compatible with your projection. I'm using the ssg3100 that I was using from my 2011 Samsung plasma and they work fine, another thing to consider is maybe your battery is dying in your glasses which will make your glasses lose sinc.
Nyraiderfan Posted Jan 12, 2014 2:32 PM PST
I received the epason 2030 for Christmas with an ezcinema 100 pull down screen the image is great but even though I have the image perfect on the screen their seems to be another image behind the picture image which is a distorted white rectangular image that projects off the screen on the top right and on the left side of the screen now I have my projector set off to the left side of the screen using the keystone adjustment the verticals is at 10 and the horizontal is at 40 so I'm wondering why I'm seeing the white light of the projector screen even though my image is perfectly on the screen? Does anyone have any idea on why this white image is off the screen even though my picture image is perfectly on the screen? could it be that I have the projector to the left of the screen and using the keystone? Or is my projector defective? Any help would be greatly appreciated .
Wayne Posted Jan 14, 2014 1:06 PM PST
Can an IR emitter be used with the epson 2030/2000? I have ps3 3d glasses I'd like to use with it? Anybody?
Bruce L. Posted Jan 25, 2014 11:26 PM PST
I got my Epson 2030 less than a month ago. I have had an Epson Powerlite 705HD for the past 4 years and have been happy with it so decided to upgrade to the 2030. The only problem I'm finding with the 2030 is that I can't change the Aspect ratio. It's always set to the normal mode and the other options are grayed out. I have a Sony Blu Ray player connected to the Projector via HDMI cable. I realize that you can't change aspect in 3D mode, I'm unable to change it in the 2D mode. My old 705HD could change to any (16x9,Full,Zoom,Native) of the ratios at any time. I was told by a tech at Epson that this is normal when you connect your player using the HDMI input, and he told me that my Powerlite 705HD should NOT be able to change aspect ration hooked up the same way but it has for the past 4 years. Any help would be appreciated.
Spectre Posted Mar 7, 2014 4:44 PM PST
You just need to make a list of features you want, then look for a projector that has them. Make sure to read reviews. Viewing outside at night requires less light, but I'd still go with 1500+ lumens. Also, make sure it has "tabletop" mounting capability. You also might want to consider a short throw projector. Just do your homework.
Spectre Posted Mar 7, 2014 4:51 PM PST
BHall--your negative comments have nothing to do with the actual projector!!! They are all about the previously installed ceiling mount in your home, this site's online calculator and the manufacturer's instruction manual--which by the way, is all they need to provide. It's up to YOU to do your homework and research the best way to mount it--Google is FREE. Please don't bash a product over preexisting circumstances and lack of research.
Vick Posted Mar 12, 2014 7:21 PM PST
I am looking for a ceiling adjustable mount for this projector. Any recommendations? Thanks
Joe Posted Apr 7, 2014 12:28 PM PST
I have been trying to get an answer to the same question. Did you have any luck?
PRG Posted May 1, 2014 8:39 AM PST
I own this projector and it is ceiling mounted. It certainly wasn't the easiest, in fact out of my 3 PJ's it was the most difficult, but certainly nothing that can't be handled. Get your measurements right the first time. And be aware that there are no forgiving adjustments with this PJ, either physical or mechanical. If you have the option, mount the PJ before your screen. it might help slightly with lining things up. Now that its up there, I couldn't be happier. And ,my wife appreciates the brightness:) Shadow detail not the best, but its good enough to where I don't notice its shortcomings. I've seen some questions about fan noise, and int the eco modes, it is very quiet. it is right above our heads and hardly ever notice it. Once in bright mode, it does get quite loud. But I usually only do that for a sporting event in daylight hours when guests are over. I am seeing it online and around town for $800. That's a steal. I paid $200 more and feel its a bargain even at that point. I went from 408p>720p>1080p btw, the 3d is cool too. Works better than anything I have seen in the Theaters.
Richard Posted May 13, 2014 11:58 AM PST

i brought this projector and put in the rgb settings above which did improve the image quality but i can see the yellows and blues are out do you have the RGBCMY settings for this projector?
Amir Posted Nov 27, 2014 8:10 PM PST
hey did you get an answer to your question?
lucy Posted Nov 28, 2014 12:36 PM PST
i wanted to purchase this projector but its only use will be for outside, i notice everyone is using it indoors. would this be a good choice for evenings outside in the summer?
carlos Posted Dec 16, 2014 8:59 PM PST
I use it both outdoor and indoor and I couldn't be happier. Easy to set up and very satisfied with the picture. Of course I wait until it's dark to watch the movie.
Dan Posted Jan 1, 2015 11:20 AM PST
I switched mine to "fast" response time and it fixed that issue. Play the PS4 just fine.
Missy D. Posted Jan 4, 2015 8:24 PM PST
We are having the same problem as Bruce L. We cannot change the aspect ratio once the BluRay is turned on. The aspect ratio is not syncing. Does anyone have advice?
mac Posted Jan 22, 2015 9:42 AM PST
Can someone post the calibration settings for epson 2030?
Delos Posted Feb 2, 2015 11:12 AM PST
I'm thinking of purchasing this projector for a dual purpose applications. It will primarily be used as a home theatre projector, but will be used once or twice a month to present images to my photography club (in a moderately large, dark room) and for teaching photography in a library meeting room. I wonder how the brightness compares to a DLP stating 3000 lumens output and if the projector is "tough enough" to withstand the back and forth between home and presentation sites. I know there are bigger, brighter devices, but this one is at the top of my budget.
Ginny Posted Feb 10, 2015 8:32 PM PST

I am interested in the Epson Powerlite Home Cinema 2030, but it does not seem to be available in Thailand where I am based. Maybe it goes by a different model name here? Would anyone know about this?

Jigar Posted Feb 22, 2015 10:04 AM PST
I recently purchased this and I love it!

Is it possible to get rid of the gray background box behind the actual screen? I am asking this because it is currently being projected from an angle (left side of the room). I am very iffy about mounting it.

Also, once you turn off the projector should the blue power light shut off at any point? Because I have noticed that once I shut off the projector blue light in power button stays on....or Am I not waiting long enough for it to shut off?
John Schenkel Posted Feb 22, 2015 10:50 AM PST
I am wanting to mount my 2030 from the celing but dont know if i can rotate image or if i mount it upright.
Bob Posted Feb 24, 2015 8:48 AM PST
John, the answer is yes it can be mounted from ceiling. The following modes are described in the manual:

Front Front/Ceiling Rear Rear/Ceiling
Linda 8-) Posted Mar 29, 2015 12:59 PM PST
This 2030 is my second Epson projector and so far it's been great. One problem though....I've owned it for just over 1 year and I'm just now trying out the 3D function. I bought 2 pairs of Epson RF glasses (not cheap!) and bought 2 3D movies at Best Buy and invited a friend for a movie. What a disaster! It seems when I change to 3D format I need to select side-by-side signal option - else it remains in 2D. Unfortunately as soon as I select 'side-by-side' the resolution changes drastically and I can only see about 1/3 of the image - also after the glasses are paired the image is not synced at all!!! Actually hurts my eyes to look at image. Can anybody help with this???? I've checked all my cables from Panasonic BDT360 BD player through Yamaha RXV565 receiver through to Epson 2030...all are 'Hi-speed HDMI'. I've spent the good part of 2 days searching for answers online and trying different settings. Appreciate any feedback please....
Alain Girard Posted May 18, 2015 3:44 PM PST
I bought this Epson projector One year ago. Since a dew weeks, when I turn it ON, the image is blurred by a pink shadow. Sometimes it goes away by switching OFF and ON, but yesterday, I stayed pink. Has anyone encountered this ? It's not a lamp problem cause the menu shows ok, but the image coming from the HDMI prot (whatever the source) is pinked.

Rach Posted Jun 4, 2015 5:52 AM PST
Epson 2030, is also known as eh-tw5200 in other marketa
Rocky bov. Posted Jul 4, 2015 2:34 PM PST
I have to sit here and shake my head i have had no zero complaints with this projector i bought A 3d dvd player hooked it up to projector got samsund glasses pushed the on button hold it down it flashes then wham it synced you have to have the projectors 3d mode on first put in a mivie and jaw dropping 3d just like the movie theaters i use a 120 inch widescreen screen its awesome
Bhupinder singh Posted Aug 9, 2015 6:29 AM PST
I bought this Projector EPSON 2030HT from Jacsonville(USA) working onboard ship in merchant navy. Can someone tell me can I use flash drive for video movie on this projector. If someone is aware please can also send message on whatsup on india 91-8146823216 then I can get message instantly.Thanks in advance if some one can send this information to me.
Joshriggsdotcom Posted Oct 10, 2015 3:17 PM PST
OK guys - when I bought my Epson 2030 I thought it would be a great idea to buy a white cabinet with doors and hang the cabinet at the end of the room high up (all the way to the ceiling). I sat the projector on the shelf in the cabinet and the display was on the ceiling. Come to find out it is made to only be upside down (mounted) when that high up. So for now I turned it upside down and put it on a towel on the shelf. I notice though it sits a bit crooked - does anyone know of any type of bracket they make I could sit in on while upside down?
Evan Powell, Editor Posted Oct 10, 2015 4:07 PM PST
Josh, all projectors need a reasonable amount of clearance around them to dissipate heat. You can invert them and use any compatible ceiling mount, but inverting it, setting it on its top and putting it in a cabinet will very likely cause internal operating temperature to rise. Engineers plan for heat to be eliminated both through the fan and exhaust, and through direct heat radiation from the casework. When you put the top in direct contact with a shelf or towel, heat will be trapped. A small cabinet will also trap heat. This can cause all sorts of failures--lamp blow outs, power supply failure, image degradation due to damage to the LCDs. Or it may simply cause the unit to shut down when it gets too hot. And many vendors typically declare warranties invalid when projectors suffer heat damage related to improper installation. So do not under any circumstance set a projector on its top in direct contact with a shelf. And if you use a cabinet, make sure it is large enough to give plenty of clearance on all sides for sufficient ventilation.
Lance Holoway Posted Feb 6, 2016 5:22 PM PST
I have a question...Can a wireless soundbar be hooked up to this projector?
John ianiro Posted Mar 20, 2016 10:09 AM PST
Yes it can, I have a wireless Samsung sound bar and sub hooked up to it and it sounds great.
mike bryntwick Posted Apr 19, 2016 9:42 AM PST
Hi can it do 2d to 3d conversion?
Omar Alvarado Posted Aug 20, 2016 10:56 AM PST
Hey i have a samsung hw350 sound bar and i want to know how can i connect to my espson2030
Amber Dawn Posted Mar 25, 2017 10:23 AM PST
Home cinema projector 8345 has pink blur spots all over it!! Anyone else have this problem and know how to fix it???

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