Epson Home Cinema 5010 Home Theater Projector Review

Time to put into perspective all the features, performance, flexibility, warranty, and other aspects of the Epson Home Cinema 5010 projector, and for that matter, the Home Cinema 5010e and Pro Cinema 6010 projectors.

Epson Home Cinema 5010 Projector - The Bottom Line

This year’s crop of 2D and 3D capable projectors had grown in both size, and level of performance when compared to last year’s projectors. I know a lot of you aren’t sold on 3D yet, but if you, like me just returned from the other side of the Universe, watching Hubble 3D on the Home Cinema 5010, you most likely would change your mind. I’ll say this important message, one more time: Don’t judge projector 3D, performance by what 3D looks like on those puny little 40 and 50 inch LCDTVs, etc.

The huge difference in immersion going to a 100″ or larger screen, is enough to take your breath away on great content, especially if you are close to the screen. I actually now watch a lot of HDTV (stuff like Hubble 3D and Legends of Flight) within 6 feet of the 100″ screen. Awesome!

When I reviewed the Sony VPL-HW30ES, I was impressed at the combination of natural looking image, and other features. Only the lack of more lumens really bothered me for “serious” 3D usage. The Panasonic then came along, the first 1080p 3D 3LCD projector announced. Loaded with a whole lot more lumens than any other serious home theater to we had seen, it was what I was waiting for.

We’ve had great 2D projectors that just seemed limited – in some cases dim, when doing 3D, but now that’s changing.

And here comes the Home Cinema 5010 and its siblings. Every bit as bright as the Panasonic, and a bit more in fact, it’s another light canon, like the Panasonic PT-AE7000. The Epson has the horsepower in 3D to fill a 100″ screen to movie theater 2D brightness, on a normal screen, in your theater.

That’s right – you’ve seen 3D in non-IMAX theaters at your local Cineplex. Many complain the picture isn’t bright enough (I agree in many cases). Well, worry not, Not that I’m recommending a 130″ screen, but I’m pretty confident that this Epson can do 3D, in 3D Dynamic mode, at that size and still be brighter than most 3D theaters.

Epson setting the MAP (minimum advertised price) of the Home Cinema 5010 at $2699 and the 5010e at $2699 truly surprised me. The Panasonic is at $2999, and I expected the Home Cinema 5010 to be at least as expensive.

Whether you have need, or want the WirelessHD feature in the 5010e, for $2999, the $2699 has to be the best value yet. Overall, the Epson, and the Panasonic are fundamentally similar, but with some very different special features.

Regardless of which one I like, or some other reviewer likes, much of your choice, will be made based on which of those special features you want. I mean if you can’t live without Split Screen features, for example, then the Epson is the projector for you.

Placement flexibility is downright excellent, except that the HC5010 does not support an anamorphic lens. The more expensive Pro Cinema 6010 projector does, however.

Epson’s two year warranty thanks to the value 2nd day replacement program for both years. It is still, to my knowledge, the best warranty in the price range, though some might favor one of the rate 3 year warranties (around this price), that lacks any rapid loaner or replacement program.

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