Epson Home Cinema 5010 Projector - with 3D
Of the total of five new announced Epson home theater projectors, it's the Home Cinema 5010 that almost has me the most excited. (I like the 5010e even better.)
9/2/2011 - Art Feierman
Epson Home Cinema 5010 Projector
It's a bird, it's a plane, no, it's an Epson Home Cinema 5010 projector with 3D capabilities. The Home Cinema 5010 will be sold on the internet, by authorized dealers, and no doubt some big box houses and local dealers as well. As is always the case, this Home Cinema 5010 is less expensive than the almost identical Pro Cinema 6010, that is sold through local installing dealers only.
This is one great looking projector, and the picture says it all. The almost identical twin, the 5010e, looks exactly the same, but for the input panel.
While performance should be about identical to the Pro Cinema 6010 (which additionally includes a spare lamp and mount), the Home Cinema 5010 should come in price-wise as a bit better value (better prices do excite me)! No, the Home Cinema 5010 doesn't come with the spare lamp, the ceiling mount, nor the 3rd year warranty, but it should cost at least that much (the value of those items) less.
The almost black trim really gives the Home Cinema 5010 some physical contrast, and with even more dark, than the less expensive 3010 series, virtually no light coming off the screen will be reflected back from the front surfaces of the 5010 projector.
The Home Cinema 5010 starts out with the same 200,000:1 contrast ratio, but really ups the ante when it comes to brightness, compared to previous Epsons. The Home Cinema 5010 boasts 2400 lumens. That's 20% more than the Panasonic PT-AE7000 which no doubt will be its closest competitor. It's also about 10% brighter than the lower cost Home Cinema 3010.
Translated, that means the 5010 won't be somewhat, or very dim on 3D, unlike all of the $4000+ 3D home projectors we've reviewed. Rather, it rocks pretty well. I viewed its 6010 variation at 80 and almost 100" diagonal. Even in an unfamiliar room, a conference room, I'd have to guess that even its significantly less bright of two 3D modes - THX 3D, will be as bright or brighter than the Sony and JVC 3D projectors we've reviewed. In its brighter 3D mode, the Epson should blow those others away. When I viewed, I saw bits of movies, and even my Ultimate Wave 3D Tahiti disc. The 3D graphics on the disc, were stunning. In the past, when I've seen them, they were really impressive, but never bright enough. This was a whole different world, and one I believe in! Only the Panasonic, which I also got a look at, but not yet received one for review, is likely to be even close to the Epson, which is not surprising since they use the same Epson 480hz LCD panels. Those panels not only dramatically boost brightness, but also should provide a real improvement in smooth motion Creative Frame Interpolation - which Epson has named Fine-Frame.
Before we go a bit further, here are you basic specs and assorted features.
Home Cinema 5010 Specs and Features
- Brightness: 2400 lumens (both color lumens and white lumens, as Epson measures and claims both)
- Contrast 200,000:1 - same as last year's 8700UB, which means stunning black level performance
- 3D and 2D viewing
- 480hz LCD panels for a brighter image (and other benefits)
- Split screen capability
- New Fine-Frame CFI, for improved smooth motion, plus various other dynamic features
- THX and ISF certified, with pre-calibrated THX mode
- 2 year warranty with replacement program
- Full anamorphic lens support (two modes)
- Comes with a spare lamp, ceiling mount, and cable cover
- Includes 2 pair of 3D glasses (active shutter) 3rd party glasses available
- 13.2 pounds
As noted in the my announcement blog, the 5010 is the 2D and 3D version, while the 5010e offers WirelessHD in addition to 3D. Pricing is still not determined, but I'm sure they will announce that at CEDIA next week (starts Sept 8th).
Epson Home Cinema 5010 Picture Quality
I never saw a Home Cinema 5010 work, but I did see the 6010, and they should be the same. Let's assume that. The THX modes in 2D and 3D (two different THX modes), offer some of the best color you will ever see, "right out of the box". Past experience says that those THX certified modes are excellent, and calibrating the projector is at least as much about compensating for the variation in lamps, than improving on what THX provides. Skin tones looked real good, no, make that "rather excellent" in the 2D THX mode.
Black levels were immediately stunning in 2D, which is exactly what I expected, considering the 5010 claims the same contrast as the older 8700UB, which had the best blacks I've ever seen, under the price of the much more expensive JVC projectors. For the rest, we'll have to wait for the review projector to arrive, hopefully only a few weeks from now.
The Home Cinema 5010 projector is scheduled to ship in November (no, don't ask me when in November).
Epson Home Cinema 5010 3D performance.
Once again, I remind, these assumptions are based on the 6010, which I did see in action.
Epson isn't ready for prime time, just yet. The projector had a bit of trouble getting into 3D (make that a lot of trouble) at first, but once it was in 3D, the problems weren't over. There was still a decent amount of crosstalk, to be dealt with. Epson assured me, that there would be dramatic improvement before shipping.
Well, in fairness, Epson has a great rep when it comes to delivering. In the last few years, however, they've launched models a couple of times that could have been a touch better. One example was 3 years when they implemented their first CFI on the Epson 6500UB. The bright side: Epson does take care of their customers. They improved the CFI and upgraded everyone who wanted to, paying all the shipping!
That said, I expect them to have the Home Cinema 5010's 3D performance humming before they start shipping. With a November release date, they have at least 2 full months, which is a whole lot of time for engineers to improve almost anything.
As stated elsewhere, though, it's the brightness in 3D that stands out. Only the Panasonic should even be in the league, and Epson claims a 20% brightness advantage, which I expect them to deliver, as their projectors have always been about that amount or more, brighter than the equivalent Panasonics to the older Epson UBs.
I've spent so much time kvetching about the 3D brightness of all of those more expensive LCoS projectors, that it will be great to actually say, after a full review. "Here you go, and yes, you can get decent 3D brightness on a 110 or 120" screen," rather than the "anything over 80 inches will seem dim to very dim". It sure is looking like, of the 3D capable projectors - shipping this fall, that those 480hz Epson panels (also in the Panasonic), are going to make the LCD projectors the only ones that anyone might refer to as downright bright with a normal gain typical screen.
Bring it on... I suspect this one will be one of those projectors worth waiting for, as once it's polished, it should be a blend of excellent performance and (I trust) highly competitive pricing.
I hope to get to review the Home Cinema 5010 and have it posted well before first shipments.