Epson Home Cinema 5050UB review: Superb projector for serious home theaters

    The Epson Home Cinema 5050UB is a severe house theater projector for severe house theater lovers. It encompasses a motorized lens with horizontal and vertical lens shift, plus ample zoom. Its 4K enhancement expertise gives numerous element. Its greatest profit over inexpensive 4K projectors, nonetheless, is a wonderful distinction ratio for deep, darkish shadows and brilliant, popping highlights.

    LikeSuperb total image qualityExcellent distinction ratioMotorized lensAmple lens shift and motorized zoom

    There are only some disappointments, they usually’re minor. It would not fairly have the colour or razor-sharp element of its direct competitor, the LG HU810P. That’s to not say the 5050 is not sharp and colourful. It is, only a bit much less so — though I favored the Epson’s total image high quality much more than that of the LG. The 5050UB can also be an absolute unit, a number of instances bigger than any of the projectors I’ve reviewed within the final 12 months (together with the LG). In sum, the Home Cinema 5050UB is a wonderful all-around projector that appears incredible with all content material. It gives a big step up in image high quality over inexpensive projectors, just like the Optoma UHD35, whereas providing anybody with a devoted house theater a projector worthy of the area.

    Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
    Specs 4(Ok) days Native decision: 4K enhancement (1920×1080 x2)HDR-compatible: Yes4K-compatible: Yes3D-compatible: YesLumens spec: 2,600Zoom: Motorized (2.1x)Lens shift: Motorized H/VLamp life (Medium mode): 4,000 hoursThe 5050UB is a 4K- and HDR-compatible projector. As such, it may well settle for 4K and HDR alerts, although remember that no projector can do HDR very effectively.  Like all Epson projectors the 5050UB makes use of an LCD mild engine, not the DLP that is present in most different projectors. The ones used on the 5050UB usually are not technically 4K native decision. Instead, they seem to be a expertise referred to as “4K enhancement” that “shifts each pixel diagonally to double Full HD resolution,” in accordance with Epson. This is completed in a short time, so it is only a higher-resolution picture to the attention. Here’s a deeper dive into the expertise. The brief model: It regarded a lot sharp to me, if not fairly as razor-like because the DLP-powered LG; see under for particulars. One of the 5050’s most notable options that units it aside from inexpensive projectors is a motorized lens. This gives ±96.3% vertical and ±47.1% horizontal motion, which must be sufficient to let the 5050 slot in nearly any house. There’s additionally a big motorized zoom of two.1x. 

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    Epson claims the 5050UB can produce 2,600 lumens. I truly measured barely greater than that… within the much less correct Dynamic shade mode. In the extra correct Bright Cinema mode I measured roughly 192 nits, or about 1,732 lumens. This places it among the many brightest projectors we have ever measured.  Lamp life is on the low facet. Even within the Eco mode, Epson charges it at as much as 5,000 hours. Some projectors of comparable brightness we have reviewed within the final 12 months had been able to upward of 15,000 hours of their most lamp-conserving modes. That stated, 5,000 hours remains to be over three years of use at 4 hours an evening.
    Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
    Connectability HDMI inputs: two HDMI 2.0PC enter: Analog RGBUSB ports: twoAudio enter and output: NoDigital audio output: NoInternet: LAN12v set off: YesRS-232 distant port: YesRemote: BacklitBoth HDMI inputs are HDMI 2.0 and may settle for as much as 4K60. As you would possibly anticipate from its meant use as a projector for a devoted theater, it lacks an audio out. Epson assumes, rightly in my view, that anybody getting a 5050 would have a conventional projector association with both a receiver or at the least a soundbar for audio.Along the identical traces, there are many management choices for house automation methods, together with a 12v set off, RS-232 and a LAN port. The distant is a giant boy (identical to the projector it controls) and has a nice amber backlight. If you will have a 2.35:1 display screen, as I do, you would possibly attain for this distant for extra than simply on and off, since you’ll be able to zoom the projector and fill the display screen with 2.35:1 content material with out getting off the sofa. That’s all the time a bonus.
    Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
    Picture high quality comparisons LG HU810P The LG HU810P is probably the most notable competitors for the 5050. They’re the identical value however the HU810P makes use of newer expertise, specifically two lasers and a phosphor as a substitute of the 5050’s extra conventional lamp. I related each utilizing a Monoprice 1×4 distribution amplifier, and seen them side-by-side on a 12-foot-wide 1.0-gain display screen. Right off the bat, each are nice projectors, however their strengths and weaknesses are nearly polar opposites. As far as mild output goes, they’re very comparable. In their respective most correct modes, the LG can do 166.3 nits to the Epson’s 192. Objectively, that is a good bit of distinction, however subjectively, side-by-side, they each simply look brilliant. So we’ll name that roughly a tie. Color, although, goes to the LG. The lasers, with assist from a phosphor, are completely deeper and richer. Throw on some HDR content material and the deep crimson reds and vibrant purples are far past what the 5050UB can produce. This is form of like saying a Porsche is slower than a Ferrari, nonetheless, for the reason that 5050UB is not any slouch within the shade division. On its personal it seems nice, the LG on this regard seems higher. 
    Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
    It’s the same story with element. The LG makes use of a 4K DLP chip to create a picture, and element is that expertise’s principal energy in comparison with LCD with pixel shifting, which is what Epson makes use of. The picture simply seems just a little sharper, particularly with movement. However, in the event you’re not watching them facet by facet, I’m undecided you’d discover. The 5050UB actually would not look comfortable, it is undoubtedly 4K to my eye.  The subsequent facet of image high quality is the place the tide turns towards the Epson by so much. In a phrase, or technically two: distinction ratio. Even with out utilizing its iris, the native distinction of the 5050UB’s three LCD chips is considerably increased than the LG — 10 instances increased. So the picture has considerably extra punch and is much less washed out. Even in the event you dial the LG’s lasers and iris again as a lot as potential, it solely simply matches the Epson’s black stage whereas that projector is in its brightest and most shade temperature-accurate mode.  Which is to say, the Epson’s black ranges are roughly the identical whereas on the similar time (in the identical mode) it’s able to having highlights or brilliant components of the identical picture which might be seven instances brighter than when the LG’s lasers are dialed all the way in which down and the iris is closed. Flipping that round, in the event you match their mild outputs, the Epson’s black ranges in the identical mode are 9 instances darker. 
    Geoffrey Morrison/CNET
    What does this appear like? An straightforward instance is watching any film with letterbox bars. If I set the projectors to be roughly the identical brightness total, the letterbox bars on the LG are grey. If I match their letterbox bars by decreasing the LG’s laser energy and shutting its iris, it finally ends up wanting dim in comparison with the Epson. So when watching any content material, the deep blacks of the 5050UB, whereas sustaining brilliant highlights, make for an especially pleasing picture.  Charge your folks admission The Home Cinema 5050UB is a wonderful projector. At $3,000 it is actually not low-cost, however for these seeking to purchase a PJ for a devoted house theater or a light-controlled front room that may do its black ranges justice, the picture high quality is certainly a step above inexpensive projectors. Is it, say, over twice pretty much as good because the $1,300 Optoma UHD35? Perhaps. The Optoma is superb for the worth, however that is actually the caveat: “for the price.” It holds its personal, however it has a manner worse distinction ratio and would not deal with HDR practically in addition to the Epson.  I feel most individuals could be completely content material with the UHD35. But for lovers on the lookout for a extra “home cinema” expertise the… oh wait, I simply stated the title of the factor within the factor. Let me strive that once more. For these on the lookout for a extra “home theater” expertise, the Epson Home Cinema 5050UB does nearly every little thing proper and appears incredible. Geek Box




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    Measurement Notes I discovered the Bright Cinema shade mode supplied one of the best mixture of sunshine output and accuracy. In the six-color temperature mode, the 5050UB was fairly spot on D65 throughout the grayscale vary. In addition, all major and secondary colours had been spot on their Rec. 709 targets. This is likely one of the most correct projectors we have reviewed within the final 12 months.  The native distinction ratio was glorious for a projector, with a median of 5,203:1 throughout varied modes. For comparability, the second greatest distinction ratio we have measured just lately was the BenQ HT2050A with a local distinction ratio of two,094:1. With the lamp mode (referred to as Power Consumption) set to High and the iris off, the 5050UB places out a formidable 192.3 nits, or roughly 1,732 lumens. The Eco mode drops the sunshine output by about 30%. If you activate the iris, which opens with brilliant photos and closes with darkish photos, the dynamic distinction ratio rockets up past 100,000:1. While the Bright Cinema mode regarded higher total, the Cinema mode supplied wider colours for HDR content material. However, it was additionally a lot dimmer. I did not discover the ~10% larger shade gamut for ~60% much less mild to be a worthy trade-off, however be happy to test it out. The distinction ratio was about 40% higher on this mode as effectively, which was solely barely noticeable.  If you want much more mild, the Dynamic shade mode places out a formidable 323.6 nits, roughly 2,914 lumens, although the general picture is not pretty much as good or correct. 

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