Epson Home Cinema 5030 UB vs. Optoma HD8300

A brief comparison of the Epson HC5030UB and Optoma HD8300 projectors.

Comparing the Epson HC5030 and the Optoma HD8300

The Optoma HD8300′s higher price (sold only though local dealers) is probably the biggest difference between it and the Home Cinema 5030UB. The Optoma, though is a good example of a good single chip DLP. The Optoma has a really good looking image, although technically, the Epson has a modest advantage in black levels. NOTE: The Optoma HD8300 is 3 years older than the new Epson Home Cinema 5030UB. Optoma hasn’t brought out any new mid-grade home theater projectors in 3 years, and seems to be recently sticking to home entertainment, rather than straight home theater, projectors.

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The Projectors

The Epson Home Cinema 5030 UB

Below, we will discuss how this projector compares to the Optoma HD8300.

The Optoma HD8300

Below, we will discuss how this projector compares to the Epson Home Cinema 5030UB.

Comparing Picture Quality

As mentioned above, these projectors were released three years apart  As a result, not having had both projectors in the same place at the same time, the side by side comparison images above are the Optoma HD8300 (left) and the older Home Cinema 5010, one of the 5030UB’s predecessors (right). NOTE on the 5010UB vs. the 5030UB: The 5010UB  was first succeeded by the 5020UB and now by the 5030UB, but they are all basically the same projector. The few key differences are that each generation has:

  • Inconsequentially higher brightness
  • Better black levels
  • 3D advancements**

**In fact, many of the changes from one generation to the next are just 3D related (i.e. dynamic iris was not able to operate in 3D in the past) The 5020UB made some improvements, and the 5030UB made all the controls 3D capable. The biggest area of improvement from one generation of Epson to the next is is 3D brightness, black levels and 3D glasses technology (now radio frequency).

Comparing 3D

Because the older Optoma lacks the advances made in 3D technology since it was released, the Epson Home Cinema 5030UB has vastly better 3D performance. Even if you compared the Optoma HD8300 to the old 5010UB, the Epson would crank out a lot more brightness per lumen in 3D. Now due to technological advances, the 5030UB is dramatically brighter in 3D and provides an even better overall picture.

The Bottom Line

With the HD8300 you get that DLP look, which I’ve always tried to define an image that offers particularly rich darker colors, that pop, but aren’t over the top… (that at least should be a distinguishing feature of a good DLP projector). The Epson wins in all the usual areas – far lower price, longer/better warranty, brighter by far in brightest mode, greater placement flexibility, smoother iris action, and especially far brighter 3D. The Optoma HD8300, by comparison is a bit brighter in “best mode” (the Optoma offers about 750 lumens at best, vs about 630). That DLP “look and feel”, and it has support for an anamorphic lens. All considered, the Optoma is a very nice projector, but ultimately, it’s hard do justify the roughly 40+% price premium over the Epson.

If you love DLP projectors and the Optoma works in your environment, this is a very good one.  It is perhaps not as natural as say the entry level Runco DLP, and its dynamic iris could still be a touch smoother, but overall, it produces a really impressive picture. Both calibrate well enough, to produce a great “best picture.”

 

Want more info? Click for the full reviews:
Epson Home Cinema 5030UB Review
Optoma HD8300 Review

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