Epson Home Cinema 5010 Home Theater Projector Review

Epson Home Cinema 5010 Projector Highlights

  • 2D and 3D capable with best in class brightness for 3D
  • Full color management system for excellent color and skin tones
  • Ultra High contrast projector with superb black level performance in 2D
  • 480hz D9 LCD panels – the latest and greatest, and fastest
  • Rated 2400 lumens, highest rated home theater projector under $5,000
  • Suitable for theater or family room
  • Excellent placement flexibility
  • Very Long life lamp
  • Zoom lens with wide range, lens shift, for placement flexibilty
  • 2 HDMI 1.4a inputs (Blu-ray 3D compatible)
  • Split screen, two choices of sizes, both can be hi-res
  • Great warranty
  • Excellent price/performance value

 

Split Screen viewing

Click to enlarge. So close.The Epson 5010 series projectors, and the Pro Cinema 6010, offer the same Split screen viewing as the lower cost Home Cinema 3010 projectors. I’ve dropped in the copy from the 3010 review, with minor revisions:

The Home Cinema 5010 lets you select two different sources and put them up side by side, either with both images the same size, or the one you designate, to be larger than the other (about 2:1).

 

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Here’s the catch (a standard one). You can’t feed it two different HDMI sources, because there is, as is typical, only 1 HDMI circuit in the projector (shared by the two inputs). That means you will need a second source, and if you want that second source to be another hi-res source, you are looking at either component video or traditional analog computer. I’m just pointing all this out to you. It’s no sweat if you aren’t mounting the projector and have a temporary setup. It’s always easy to run another wire as long as they are outside of walls. If you are wiring, though, and not sure, add a component video, analog computer, or a pair of USB cables (the analog computer also carries component, so the most flexible).

 

I did it. Had to rummage through my storage room, found a component video cable and fed component from my satellite box, and HDMI from my PS3, and put them up side by side. I am ready for Fantasy football – with the game on one side, and my online tracking of my players on the other. Why not!

I did encounter some problems when I tried my DirecTV box on the HDMI side. My Playstation worked better. Regarding the satellite box, it worked shortly before on full screen, but would come up “not suported” in split screen. I’ll work this out with Epson. This is a pre-production projector, and I trust problems like this will be fixed in the full production versions. Epson always makes good, it seems.

Update: Fu

If you are willing to run the extra set of cables, it sure is a lot of fun for some applications. You can watch a movie while your kid is playing a game on the other side of the screen. The kid can listen to sound through his head phones.

Home Cinema 5010 Dynamic Iris

Click to enlarge. So close. A dynamic iris is the key on most projectors to improving overall black levels on darker scenes, and the resulting improvement in the viewing experience.

Epson’s dynamic iris in the Home Cinema 5010 is what we’ve come to expect. Epson offers two speeds or off settings. Both are very good examples of what’s possible in faster and slower irises, and more to the point, the Epson delivers blacker blacks, than any other projector near its $2699 online street price! As has been the case with older Epsons, their dynamic iris has a lower rumbly sound, with some clickity sounds, too. For most, you will only notice during silence, ie. while switching sources.

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Home Cinema 5010e WirelessHD

Epson’s blacks are perhaps the key reason I’ve been a huge fan of the Epson UB projectors we’ve been reviewing for the last 4 years. The HC5010 is the 8700UB’s logical replacement, and claims the same black levels, which is to say – outstanding, especially for a 2D/3D projector at this price, and better than almost all projectors selling for twice the price.

This is a feature found only on the Epson Home “e” projectors, that would be the Home Cinema 5010e, and the lower cost 3010e The short version though is that the Epson can receive wireless HD signals from the transmitter that is included. Place the transmitter by your (HDMI) equipment, and you don’t need to run an HDMI cable to your Epson projector. Very cool, and for those who have older theaters without HDMI wiring, a potential huge cost saver.

The system is lossless – that is, the picture quality should be every bit as good as when using expensive wiring.

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