Epson Home Cinema 5050UB: Big, Bold and Beautiful

Epson Dwelling Cinema 5050UB: Large, Daring and Lovely

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The Epson Dwelling Cinema 5050UB is a critical dwelling theater projector for critical dwelling theater fans. It incorporates a motorized lens with horizontal and vertical lens shift, plus ample zoom. Its 4K enhancement expertise gives numerous element. Its largest profit over cheaper 4K projectors, nonetheless, is a superb distinction ratio for deep, darkish shadows and vivid, popping highlights.

Like


  • Excellent total image high quality


  • Wonderful distinction ratio


  • Motorized lens


  • Ample lens shift and motorized zoom

Do not like


  • Could possibly be quieter


  • Chonkers

There are only some disappointments, and so they’re minor. It would not fairly have the colour or razor-sharp element of its direct competitor, the LG HU810P. That is to not say the 5050 is not sharp and colourful. It’s, only a bit much less so — though I preferred 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 occasions bigger than many of the projectors I’ve reviewed within the final 12 months (together with the LG).

In sum, the Dwelling Cinema 5050UB is a superb all-around projector that appears implausible with all content material. It gives a big step up in image high quality over cheaper projectors, just like the Optoma UHD35, and prices loads lower than one thing just like the Sony VPL-VW325ES. It even offers its dearer, laser-powered sibling, the LS11000, a run for its cash. Extra on that under. General, the Epson 5050 is my go-to selection for anybody with a devoted dwelling theater who needs a projector worthy of the area.

Editor’s word, November 2022: For its glorious image and worth, we’re as soon as once more giving the 5050 our Editor’s Selection award. Whereas the laser-powered LS11000 gives some further advantages and efficiency over the 5050, it is also much more cash.

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Specs 4(Okay) days

  • Native decision: 4K enhancement (1,920×1,080 x2)
  • HDR-compatible: Sure
  • 4K-compatible: Sure
  • 3D-compatible: Sure
  • Lumens spec: 2,600
  • Zoom: Motorized (2.1x)
  • Lens shift: Motorized H/V
  • Lamp life (Medium mode): 4,000 hours

The 5050UB is a 4K- and HDR-compatible projector. As such, it may settle for 4K and HDR alerts, although remember that no projector can do HDR very nicely

Like all Epson projectors the 5050UB makes use of an LCD gentle engine, not the DLP that is present in most different projectors. Those used on the 5050UB aren’t technically 4K native decision. As a substitute, they seem to be a expertise known as “4K enhancement” that “shifts every pixel diagonally to double Full HD decision,” in keeping with Epson. That is finished in a short time, so it is only a higher-resolution picture to the attention. Here is a deeper dive into the expertise. The quick model: It seemed a lot sharp to me, if not fairly as razor-like because the DLP-powered LG; see under for particulars.

One of many 5050’s most notable options that units it other than cheaper projectors is a motorized lens. This gives ±96.3% vertical and ±47.1% horizontal motion, which ought to be sufficient to let the 5050 slot in nearly any dwelling. There’s additionally a big motorized zoom of two.1x. 

6thingsprojectorstill.jpg 6thingsprojectorstill.jpg

Watch this: Six issues to find out about dwelling theater projectors

Epson claims the 5050UB can produce 2,600 lumens. I truly measured barely greater than that… within the much less correct Dynamic shade mode. Within the extra correct Brilliant 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 aspect. 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 have been able to upward of 15,000 hours of their most lamp-conserving modes. That mentioned, 5,000 hours continues to be over three years of use at 4 hours an evening.

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Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Connectivity

  • HDMI inputs: two HDMI 2.0
  • PC enter: Analog RGB
  • USB ports: 2
  • Audio enter and output: No
  • Digital audio output: No
  • Web: LAN
  • 12v set off: Sure
  • RS-232 distant port: Sure
  • Distant: Backlit

Each HDMI inputs are HDMI 2.0 and may settle for as much as 4K60. As you would possibly count on from its supposed 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 standard projector association with both a receiver or at the very least a soundbar for audio.

Alongside the identical traces, there are many management choices for dwelling automation techniques, together with a 12-volt set off, RS-232 and a LAN port.

The distant is a giant boy (similar to the projector it controls) and has a pleasing amber backlight. In case you 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 possibly can zoom the projector and fill the display screen with 2.35:1 content material with out getting off the sofa. That is at all times a bonus.

epson-5050-6-of-10 epson-5050-6-of-10

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Image 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 linked each utilizing a Monoprice 1×4 distribution amplifier, and considered them side-by-side on a 12-foot-wide 1.0-gain display screen.

Proper off the bat, each are nice projectors, however their strengths and weaknesses are virtually polar opposites.

So far as gentle output goes, they’re very related. Of 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 vivid. So we’ll name that kind of a tie.

Coloration, 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. That is kind of like saying a Porsche is slower than a Ferrari, nonetheless, because the 5050UB is not any slouch within the shade division. By itself it seems nice, the LG on this regard seems higher. 

epson-5050-8-of-10 epson-5050-8-of-10

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

It is a related story with element. The LG makes use of a 4K DLP chip to create a picture, and element is that expertise’s essential power in comparison with LCD with pixel shifting, which is what Epson makes use of. The picture simply seems slightly sharper, particularly with movement. Nevertheless, when you’re not watching them aspect by aspect, I am unsure you’d discover. The 5050UB definitely would not look gentle, it is positively 4K to my eye. 

The subsequent facet of image high quality is the place the tide turns towards the Epson by loads. 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 occasions increased. So the picture has considerably extra punch and is much less washed out. Even when you dial the LG’s lasers and iris again as a lot as potential, it solely simply matches the Epson’s black degree 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 vivid elements of the identical picture which might be seven occasions brighter than when the LG’s lasers are dialed all the way in which down and the iris is closed. Flipping that round, when you match their gentle outputs, the Epson’s black ranges in the identical mode are 9 occasions darker. 

epson-5050-10-of-10 epson-5050-10-of-10

Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

What does this appear to be? A 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 lowering 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 vivid highlights, make for an especially pleasing picture. 

Comparability to the Epson Dwelling Cinema LS11000

Whereas reviewing Epson’s personal LS11000, I in contrast it to the 5050. The LS11000 is $1,000 dearer, and makes use of a laser as a substitute of the 5050’s UHP lamp. Since there will probably be no lamp replacements for the lifetime of the projector, the entire possession value distinction between these two projectors is lower than it initially seems.

A front view of Epson LS11000 projector A front view of Epson LS11000 projector

The Epson LS11000.

Geoff Morrison/CNET

Sharpness is among the most noticeable variations between these two. The LS11000’s pixel shift quadruples the pixels from its 1080p chips, so it is 1080pX4 in comparison with the 5050’s 1080pX2. So between these two projectors the LS11000 is certainly sharper, which is sensible as a result of it has twice the decision. Each are much less detailed than a 4K DLP, however sharpness is that expertise’s largest power.

Distinction is a distinct story, and a stunning one. I measured the 5050’s distinction ratio at 5,203:1 vs. the LS11000’s 1,808:1, which is considerably worse. Even the LS11000’s dynamic distinction is decrease, the place the laser energy tracks the brightness of incoming video sign and adjusts accordingly. Nevertheless, this mode is extra helpful on the LS11000, since this adjustment occurs just about immediately, far quicker than the mechanical iris on the 5050. So although the numbers recommend the 5050 blows the LS11000 away, subjectively and side-by-side they’re pretty comparable. That is spectacular, particularly because the 5050 is cheaper and much older.

With SDR the LS11000 seems slightly higher and has extra pure shade. With HDR the LS11000 does a greater job reproducing a wider shade gamut. Nevertheless, the distinction is not big in both case.

Epson Home Cinema LS11000 Epson Home Cinema LS11000

Geoff Morrison/CNET

All informed, the LS11000 is a diagonal step from the 5050. General it does look higher, however not the 25% higher implied by its value. Nevertheless, when you embrace the “complete value of possession,” which on this case means $330 lamps each 2.5 years or so with the 5050, the value is ultimately roughly the identical. So with a bit higher efficiency and that laser protecting the possession prices in verify, the LS11000 is value contemplating when you’re wanting on the 5050, regardless of being, on paper, $1,000 dearer.

For extra, learn our in-depth Epson Dwelling Cinema LS11000 4K laser projector evaluate.

Cost your pals admission

The Dwelling Cinema 5050UB is a superb projector. At $3,000 it is definitely not low-cost, however for these trying to purchase a PJ for a devoted dwelling theater or a light-controlled front room that may do its black ranges justice, the picture high quality is certainly a step above cheaper projectors. Is it, say, over twice nearly as good because the $1,300 Optoma UHD35? Maybe. The Optoma is superb for the value, however that is definitely the caveat: “for the value.” It holds its personal, however it has a means worse distinction ratio and would not deal with HDR almost in addition to the Epson. 

I believe most individuals can be completely content material with the UHD35. However for fans searching for a extra “dwelling cinema” expertise the… oh wait, I simply mentioned the title of the factor within the factor. Let me strive that once more. For these searching for a extra “dwelling theater” expertise, the Epson Dwelling Cinema 5050UB does nearly the whole lot proper and appears implausible.

Geek Field

Take a look at Consequence Rating
Black luminance (0%) 0.046 Common
Peak white luminance (100%) 192.3 Good
Derived lumens 1732 Good
Avg. grayscale error (10-100%) 7.624 Poor
Darkish grey error (20%) 6.223 Common
Brilliant grey error (70%) 7.432 Poor
Avg. shade error 3.636 Common
Crimson error 3.527 Common
Inexperienced error 2.199 Good
Blue error 4.345 Common
Cyan error 5.111 Common
Magenta error 2.461 Good
Yellow error 4.173 Common
Avg. saturations error 8.34 Poor
Avg. shade checker error 8.5 Poor
Enter lag (Sport mode) 28.4 Good

Measurement notes

I discovered the Brilliant Cinema shade mode supplied one of the best mixture of sunshine output and accuracy. Within the six-color temperature mode, the 5050UB was fairly spot on D65 throughout the grayscale vary. As well as, all main and secondary colours have been spot on their Rec. 709 targets. This is among the most correct projectors we have reviewed within the final 12 months. 

The native distinction ratio was glorious for a projector, with a mean of 5,203:1 throughout numerous modes. For comparability, the second greatest distinction ratio we have measured lately was the BenQ HT2050A with a local distinction ratio of two,094:1.

With the lamp mode (known as Energy Consumption) set to Excessive and the iris off, the 5050UB places out a powerful 192.3 nits, or roughly 1,732 lumens. The Eco mode drops the sunshine output by about 30%. When you activate the iris, which opens with vivid photos and closes with darkish photos, the dynamic distinction ratio rockets up past 100,000:1.

Whereas the Brilliant Cinema mode seemed higher total, the Cinema mode supplied wider colours for HDR content material. Nevertheless, it was additionally a lot dimmer. I did not discover the ~10% larger shade gamut for ~60% much less gentle to be a worthy trade-off, however be happy to test it out. The distinction ratio was about 40% higher on this mode as nicely, which was solely barely noticeable. 

When you want much more gentle, the Dynamic shade mode places out a powerful 323.6 nits, roughly 2,914 lumens, although the general picture is not nearly as good or correct. 



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