Epson Home Cinema 5020 UB Home Theater Projector Review
Epson Home Cinema 5020 Special Features
A dynamic iris is detectable, sure. They all are to one degree or another. I prefer the High Speed setting (there are two settings).
What’s special about Epson’s iris, is that it seems to have more range than most others. Consider; the more range to the iris, the more likely it’s going to be noticeable. It also depends how clever the design is. The end result, this Epson’s iris delivers darker blacks than any other sub $3000 projector I know of. And it accomplishes this while still having one of the least noticeable iris actions around.
Home Cinema 5020e WirelessHD
This is a feature found only on the Epson Home “e” projectors, that would be the Home Cinema 5020e, which we mentioned above. (There is also the lower cost 3020e, a lower performance projector with the same WirelessHD capabilities.) The short version 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.
For this year, the WirelessHD has been improved with more HDMI inputs, and now, digital audio, compared to last year’s projectors.
HC5020 Projector: 3D
Better than last year. As I blogged – 3D is significantly approved with the the HC5020 UB and its siblings, compared to the older 5010 projectors.
How is it improved? Let me count the ways:
- Black levels drastically improved in 3D, thanks to the Home Cinema 5020 UB’s dynamic iris, which now works when in 3D (assuming you want it to). Last year’s model did not allow the iris to be usable in 3D. I really wasn’t happy with that, and complained to all who would listen (including Epson). As I said at the time, why deny users the choice? Considering that 3D is darker to begin with than 2D, last year, Epson wouldn’t let you use the iris in 3D.
- New, lighter (and brighter) glasses, which are pretty comfortable, when on the head of a large headed, glasses wearing, reviewer
- Glasses are now RF (radio frequency – no line of sight required) not IR. They don’t drop the sync if you look away briefly, or
- Overall a rather noticeable increase in brightness, thanks to the new glasses?, plus “who know’s what” other technologies inside the projector.
HC5020 Gaming Abilities
Lag times coming soon. Epson has indicated that this projector would have sub-50ms lag times. Last year they were around 80. Generally under 50ms is acceptable to most serious players of fast games such as first person shooters. I had the opportunity to measure lag times using the same timer that my two gaming bloggers use. These are based on using the timer on my MacBook Pro, feeding the projector via a high quality HDMI cable (8-10 feet). In multiple photos (about a dozen) of the two timers (on the projected image and the laptop screen, almost all cases it measured a 50 ms lag difference, the three cases where it did not, the projector measured 48, 49, and 49. I think at least relative to the MacBook 50 ms should be the number. The 5020UB is on the way now, to one of my gamers, for a more indepth look at gaming on the HC5020 UB.
HC5020 Creative Frame Interpolation
The Home Cinema 5020 has CFI. It seems like previous CFI’s on the older UB projectors, which is to say, even the Low setting is too much for most movies, at least for any purist. It does its job nicely for sports viewing. My daughter understands the difference, and can easily spot CFI, but doesn’t seem to really mind a good CFI on a movie. For us purists and enthusiasts, though most of us will prefer OFF for movies. In 3D, as was the case last year, CFI is disabled.
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