I had the chance to bring the Epson 2030 home this weekend to get a test in our home theater. Again, on first impression I am impressed and its a great little home theater projector.
One quick reminder as before, I am not a professional reviewer, I am just putting info out there to help the average user get a look at the projector and some features … without all that technical talk that makes my head hurt after awhile … all that technical info is good and very necessary, but sometimes a simple look is nice too…
Setup: Our setup out of the box, plugged in, running and mounted to the ceiling was about 8-10 minutes, if that… but remember we already have a dedicated ceiling mount, so we did save some time by already having that up and knowing how to quickly connect it…
…funny story on a side note here, our almost 2 year old daughter was “helping” and grabbed the remote for our Epson 720 that was disconnected at sitting on the counter at this point…I thought, hey no problem, its not connected – until the Epson 2030 turned on a second later… yes, she knows how to work a remote! … and apparently all Epson remotes are universal … ok anyways
We played with the viewing settings to see which mode we would want to watch most – and for our setup – ceiling mounted, projecting onto a 120″ Vapex Tensioned Electric screen 11 feet away, we preferred ECO lamp mode and Cinema viewing mode. Where we have the unit mounted, right in front of a support beam – some fan noise bounces off and feels louder then it is, and Cinema mode is much quieter on the fan.
I should note, at the 11 foot mark where our mount it, our Epson 720 only projects a 100 inch image – but the Epson 2030 gave us a full 120 inch image… making it very hard to not want the upgrade! For your next question, the lens is 5-6 inches from the ceiling – the mount is 5 inches high, plus a little…
So now came time for a movie! Since it was 730pm Friday night, the movie of choice was “Brave” … a nightly staple in our house for the previously mentioned toddler … here are 4 screen shots of Merida on her horse Angus towards the beginning… the scene itself turned out a little fuzzier then i anticipated, but you can see the difference in the 4 viewing modes available for the Epson 2030 – Dynamic, Living Room, Natural and Cinema
We took another set on the next scene – just for a calmer shot – same four modes
When looking through the Epson 2030 settings later, we noticed that Cinema mode operates in 1280 x 720 which is not its full 1080p mode of course, but its a balance of saving the lamp on some things and watching them in Cinema mode with a quieter fan, or watching something in full 1080p Dynamic mode, with a little more fan noise. **update – after some extra research at the office, we discovered the image coming from our blu-ray player was only projecting in 1280×720 – Cinema mode on the Epson 2030 is still 1080p. Apologies for the error, we are updating our blu-ray player settings now.**
Living room mode would also be very acceptable as a 1080p solution, as it was still very bright, just maybe a little easier on the eyes during the really bright scenes…but again it would depend on your preference for the fan noise. The noise would not stop me from buying this projector. Our feeling was that if you were going to have a Superbowl party and wanted the full 1080p Dynamic mode experience, there would be enough sound coming from the game and your party that you wouldn’t notice it
Another comparison, since as mentioned we watch Brave every night… the Living room mode and even Cinema mode compared closely to our 1080p television we usually watch the movie on. It was just as bright and crisp to watch. Obviously Cinema mode is a little less bright, but still very pretty for the animated feature.
One last thing we watched was the Packers/Redskins game Sunday… in our house this is the game of the year! Two die hard fans, one for each team and the biggest argument is usually who’s team our daughter and dogs are routing for… they are routing for the Packers with me of course
Anyways though – again, Cinema mode, the picture was beautiful and crisp. Dynamic mode was insane – so bright and with a 120″ image, you get real close to the players… and there was no hearing fan noise from the Epson 2030 this time with these fans
Thats all for now- enjoy! … and remember – friends dont let friends watch football on a small screen
**update – for those that were asking about offset, etc – our current setup of our Vapex 120″ Tensioned Electric screen has the Cinema White material 12 inches from the ceiling – with the Epson 2030, the lens was about 6 inches from the ceiling on our mount, as opposed to our Epson 720 where the lens is 8 inches from the ceiling. We did not adjust the screen height and no issues**