Epson Home Cinema 5020 UB Home Theater Projector Review

Epson Home Cinema 5020 3D Brightness

The Epson HC5020 UB, by Mike’s measurements, is the brightest projector yet, in a 3D mode. Altough we don’t have a measurement system to determine brightness back to the eye (factoring glasses, etc.) and we have no 3D test disk, we have a work around. Problem is, glasses, black frames, overlap, affect brightness. The end result is subjective analysis, not measurements.  I do, however have the advantage of comparing different 3D capable projectors side by side. I had the opportunity to view this HC5020 compared to the Sony HW50ES, the Panasonic PT-AE8000 and the older 5010.  The Home Cinema 5020 appeared brighter than all the others.

Most surprising was the brightness differences with the projectors at their brightest.  Consider the Epson vs. Panasonic.  When viewing both, I used a middle setting for the “glasses” control.  Doing so, the Epson was visibly brighter than the Panasonic, the Sony (expected, it’s not nearly as bright  as the Epson when they are both in 2D), and even the older 5010 (by noticeably more difference than the brightness difference in 2D would suggest).

It is always a challenge to get the brightness to match up for our side by side images.

Although not by a great deal, this Epson is the brightest home theater projector we’ve seen, when comparing brightest 3D modes.

Epson Home Cinema 5020 Sharpness

Same old, same old! Optics are not a problem. Epson’s been using the same Fujinon lens for 5 generations.  Pretty good center to edge sharpness with just a touch of softness at the edges if you focus on the center. It’s usually best to focus your projector 25% to 1/3 out from the center.

There is an auto alignment system which I used.  I also did a manual alignment working with a grid. I loathe adjusting such things, it can take a long – boring – time.  In reality, though, I only adjusted at 6 or 7 points, which went pretty quickly – 5 minutres or so, once I was ready to start.  My end result was better than Auto.  It’s easy, you just have to be motivated!

Epson makes no claims about “4K” resolution.  No gimmicks.  This is a 2K projector, plain and simple (like every other home theater projector currently (10/12) under $24K).  Epson offers their Super-Resolution detail enhancement which works very nicely in giving you a crisper looking image than without, but with any dynamic control, the more you push it, the more likely you see side-effects.  Only the Sony HW50ES so far (not even Sony’s slightly older VW95ES) has a detail enhancement control that is noticeably better.

5020UB
Sharp XV-Z30000
PT-AE8000
Sony VPL-HW50ES
Optoma HD8300
JVC DLA-RS45

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