Epson Home Cinema 5020 UB Home Theater Projector Review

Epson Home Cinema 5020 vs. Optoma HD8300

This comparison, has only had minor changes from last year’s comparison of the Optoma against the older Epson.

Once again, the Optoma higher price (sold only though local dealers) is probably the hugest difference between these two projectors. 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.

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.

Both calibrate well enough, to produce a great “best picture”.

The Epson is on the right on all of the images. Click expand in top right corner to enlarge.

Above, the Optoma HD8300 offers blacks very close to those of the Epson in our usual incredibly overexposed night train image from Casino Royale

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.

The airplane and mountain images are from the 3D and 2D disc Legends of Flight, one of the discs I rely on heavily for viewing a projector’s 3D abilities.

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.

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