The Art of Home Theater Projectors

New Epson Home Theater Projectors – A First Look!

Introducing two new series of 3D capable Epson home theater projectors.  Believe it or not, we’re talking two different core projectors, and several variations, including a very interesting twist!!!

New Epson Home Cinema 5010 Projector

Epson launches new 3D Home theater projectors - Home Cinema 5010

Everything I now know about these projectors is going live at the same time, although I’m splitting all the info into  this blog and five separate articles on our main projectorreviews.com website, one for each new projector.  The links below will take you to the other articles and blogs.  Enjoy!  It’s going to be very fun fall home theater projector season, far more exciting that last year’s which left quite a bit to be desired, in terms of new projectors.)

The articles on the main site will be the ones that include my impressions after watching these new Epson projectors.  Note, those articles have the correct images of the projectors.  More images coming soon.

I was able to preview these new Epson projectors very recently, at Epson America’s HQ.  Although seeing them in a conference room with basically white walls, isn’t ideal, I did get a good two hours plus, of viewing, even bringing and viewing a couple of my favorite discs.

All of the Epson projectors sport Epson’s new 480hz panels, which per Epson, is how they are able to offer the brightest 3D home projectors to date (assuming you ignore $70,000 Runco projectors, etc.

Let’s start with the short version and intro and comments in each of these new projectors.  The links will take you to First Look reviews of the new projectors:

Epson Home Cinema 3010

Epson caught me by surprise when I got to look at the Epson Home Cinema 3010 projector.   Sure, the rumors have been going around (I’ve been helping, I guess) about a higher end projector, or rather projectors, which are the Epson Home Cinema 5010 and Pro Cinema 6010.  The Home Cinema 3010, however, blew me away.  With an MSRP of only $1599, the Home Cinema 3010 projector looks to be the least expensive 1080p Home Theater projector that’s 3D capable.  OK, you are going to say – “but the Optoma HD33 you just reviewed was only $1499.”

The thing is, the Epson Home Cinema 3010 comes with two pair of 3D glasses, but with the Optoma, the glasses are optional (at $99 each).  Based on that, the title (for now) for lowest cost 3D ready projector, will belong to Epson when it ships.

Ready for this?   The 3010 offers 2200 lumens, with a very impressive 40,000:1 contrast considering the price.

The Home Cinema 3010 can do split screen.  You can view two sources side by side. It could be two video sources, or perhaps you’d like to be watching NFL football on one half of the image and be viewing your fantasy football stats from your computer, on the other half.   This could prove to be much fun!

Epson Pro Cinema 6010 3D Projector

Of course Epson will also have a “pro” version of the Home Cinema 5010.  That one is the Pro Cinema 6010.  As is typical for Epson’s local installing dealer only Pro Cinema series, the Pro Cinema 6010, comes with a spare lamp, a ceiling mount, and 2 pair of 3D glasses.  Cool styling, tons of lumens – 2400 claimed – great black level performance, split screen and improved CFI, are some of the biggest highlights.

Did I mention there are two Home Cinema 5010 projectors?  No?  OK, not only is there a 5010, but also an Epson Home Cinema 5010e!

While I’m at it, note:  There are also two Home Cinema 3010 projectors, the regular 3010, and the 3010e.

I’ll get to the two Epson e series projectors further down. For now, I want to give you all the basics of the Home Cinema 3010, and also the Home Cinema 5010 / Pro Cinema 6010.

And I’ve got lots of specs for you too. And even pricing on some of them, but not all!

For the sake of search engines noticing these projector announcements, I’m going to do this a bit different than in the past, as I mentioned above, I’m going to go into detail on each, with my viewing comments, in separate blogs and articles.

Let’s continue though:

Epson Home Cinema 5010 Projector

This is the projector that rumors were circulating about. The Epson Home Cinema 5010, and the similar Epson Pro Cinema 6010, are the Epson’s new premium projectors.  Sadly, I don’t have pricing yet on these, and I don’t expect Epson to announce that until CEDIA.  I won’t speculate further, since I did a couple of weeks ago in my early rumor blog.

Think of the Home Cinema 5010 as the replacement for the Home Cinema 8700UB.   It’s finished in white, and will be sold by online and local dealers. The Epson Home Cinema 5010 is Epson’s answer to the Panasonic PT-AE7000 projector.  Once again a new Epson – the Home Cinema 5010, will go head to head with a Panasonic, that shares the same Epson LCD panels!

Excited yet?  Consider this:  Epson’s claiming a massive 2400 lumens, and says the Home Cinema 5010 offers up to 200,000:1 contrast (same as the to be discontinued Home Cinema 8700UB).

Did I mention that the the 5010 (and the “e”), have support for an anamorphic lens, with two modes, so you can save the expense of an expensive motorized sled for the anamorphic lens?

If your math is good, so far, you’ve counted three different projectors:  Home Cinema 3010, Home Cinema 5010, and Pro Cinema 6010.   But, there are more!

Epson Home Cinema 3010e Projector

No, the “e” in Epson Home Cinema 3010e, does not mean it’s a version for Europe.  In fact, I was truly surprised by the e version.  First of all, the e isn’t 3D capable.  This one’s for those of you who could care less about 3D.  The Home Cinema 3010e loses the 3D capability, but replaces it with:

WirelessHD!  That’s right, if you own sources that support WirelessHD, as do some new Blu-ray players from Sony, LG, Visio and others, as well as some new AV receivers, you don’t need to run an HDMI cable from those devices to your projector.

Did I mention that both of the 3010 projectors have speakers on board as well, which can be a real nice touch if you don’t have a permanent setup with some nice 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound.

Contrast is 40,000:1   That’s an extremely impressive spec for these two $1599 projectors.

And the piece d’resistance:  Epson is claiming these two projectors using Epson’s new 480hz LCD panels (same as the Panasonic), produce 2200 lumens.   Wow!   For you “techies” out there, interested in info on these new panels, which, per Epson are why their projectors are by far the brightest, affordable 3D capable projectors out there.

For more information on the Home Cinema 3010e, click here!

That makes 4 new projectors so far, and I’ve got one more for you:

Epson Home Cinema 5010e

OK!  Figuring out the Home Cinema 5010e is easy, now that you’ve already read the brief above, about the 3010e projector.  It has the same contrast and brightness of the Home Cinema 5010, but lacks the 3D capability, but adds the WirelessHD capability!   Like the standard 5010, it claims 2400 lumens and a 200,000:1 contrast ratio!

This is the version for those with no interest in 3D!

And that makes 5!

It must be noted, that Epson plans to keep their best selling Home Cinema 8350 in the lineup, as the lowest cost of their 1080p home projectors.  The 8700UB, though will be gone.   All told that means 6 Epson’s to choose from this fall.

The 3010 projectors will ship in October, according to Epson, but those of you who can’t live without one of the 5010 projectors or the 6010, will have to wait for November.

Enough.  Check out the articles with my viewing comments.  Actually I only watch the Home Cinema 3010, and the Pro Cinema 6010.  From a picture quality standpoint, the 3010 and 3010e, should be identical.  The three bigger projectors –  5010, 5010e, and 6010 should share identical picture quality, and be a solid step up overall from the 3010 series, thanks to the far better black level performance.

Go read the individual articles!  -art

News And Comments

  • Zac

    Hmm. Anamorphic support mentioned but no mention of the rumored lens memory feature for poor mans CIH. Can you confirm if these projectors have the same lens memory features as the Panasonics have had a monopoly on? I won’t buy a projector without one.

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Zac, as answered elsewhere, you need motorized lens features. If you have an 8 foot ceiling or lower, though, you can always do it manually… NOt near as much fun, but that’s what I do, in my theaters, as my primary two screens are 2.35:1′s. -art

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  • Matthieu

    That 5010 projector is the best looking of all the 2011 projectors out there.
    Man what a beauty.

    What I like to know is,…
    Is wireless HD to be taken real serious?
    I don’t mind to spend a $800 extra to make my cinema wireless (Hey, I need that 3d, so no e for me)
    It would be great for my livingroom, but when I spend a few thousands on my cinema equipment, Oppo Blu-Ray player, large screen 120″ Electric RF, Epson 5100, plus that thing to make the non wireless projector wireless afterall, I don’t want to turn it into a gimmick.

    So after spending a lot on the best players to get the best picture, isn’t wireless HD giving it a lot of artifacts?

    Have you seen wireless HD working good already?

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Hi Matthieu,

      Good question. I’m a supporter, and recommender of the concept, in fact I’ve been screaming for it for several years. I was using the Gefen lossless HDMI for a year and a half in my old house (so starting more than 2 years ago). It had limited range, barely the 25 feet it claimed, I had 22 feet of distance, so it sometimes could take 10 seconds to lock on to the source, but, it worked flawlessly after that. That Gefen trans/receiver combo saved me $2000, the cost to reopen all my walls (I had component wired in back in 2003), repainting, etc. (21 foot cathedral ceiling, and local laws, ended up requiring cutting 21 openings to drill between horizontal 2×4′s every 4 feet (fire laws). Made the Gefen’s a real steal. I now have the Peerless itrio, which I reviewed, and that’s even more awesome, still lossless, and able to pass through several walls. It might not cover an entire two story house, but probably close. It was still single receiver when I got mine, but they are now supposed to support multiple receivers!

      Wireless HDMI is showing up in AV receivers, and Blu-ray players, but it’s never more valuable than in a projector. Most folks have their LCDTVs, and electronics close to each other. In a theater, that’s far less likely. It means, in most cases you only have to get power to your projector, not run cables from your gear as well.

      Power is never more than one wall away, electronics – typically 2 walls away… and more distance…

  • John Will

    What about the reflective panel Epson that was announced last year but never showed up?

  • http://www.orderpsvita.com/ Order PS Vita

    The 5010 looks interesting…took a peek at the article for this one and I’m wondering if Epson can deliver on this one…especially with the 3D. Although 3D still seems a little gimmicky for me, I have a feeling the 3D technology they’re using now will be obsolete in a few years.

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Greetings ..Vita Oh yeah, there’s no doubt. Conjecture has it that they couldn’t get the high enough yields on the reflective panels last year, so they didn’t release them. These new 480hz D9 panels, however – well, if they don’t work, then no Epson, no Panasonic… And since Panasonic’s showing too, Epson has to deliver. Panasonic typically beats Epson to market by a month or more in each new cycle. One reason may be that their agreement for panels, makes that possible.

      As to 3D. Hey, no one wants to wear glasses, active or passive, but so far, no one’s got a better plan. I’m an old mad scientist at heart, I was playing with early laser technology in the ’70s, including holograms. We’re still waiting for that which requires no glasses, but, it’s not really practical except for rare applications…

      While handheld devices – for one person’s viewing, can go glasses free, the viewing cone is – you have to be straight on. In all the glassless demos of LCD monitors and TVs though, again you have the same problem. But, you can have 2, 3, 4, 7, 8? as many as you want, sweet spots where you can sit. Don’t lean a foot to the side of your spot… That means you can tune such a device for several seats in a theater, where they all are good spots to sit, even though, no 3D in between them. Not much flexibility, but worse, if I understand correctly, each new 3D point requires more brightness. So, if you have say 500 lumens with only one sweet spot to sit, then having 5 spots gives you five, 100 lumen viewing spots. Considering the issues with brightness…
      Someone’s going to have to get real clever, the hurdle is getting rid of the glasses – active or passive. So far, I, at least haven’t seen anything viable. So, whether you are right, or not (about being obsolete), it will almost certainly be a few years, before anything does come out that is a much better way to go. Meantime, this is what we have for now, and it will continue to improve. If the Epson’s look as good as my preview look at the Panasonic, the 3D should be pretty darn clean. As to brightness, at least the Panny and Epson are spitting out enough brightness to purportedly do a decent job, by my standards for 3D, nothing but some bright crossover 720p 3D projectors has done that for me yet. (or commercial projectors with 3D, and lots of lumens). -art

  • dennis markley

    Art:

    Will the HC-5010 have Lens Memory like last year’s vaporware – the HC31000 was supposed to have??? This is a big feature advantage for Panasonic for those of us without expensive anamorphic lenses….

    With the PT-AE7000 advertising 300,000:1 CR, why isn’t the Epson 5010/6010 there as well, since they all use the same LCD panels (made by Epson)???

    Dennis

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Dennis, no it won’t. Lens memory requires motorized zoom, focus, and lens shift. These Epsons have manual lenses. The Epson Pro Cinema 61000 (shown last year), is supposed to be back. That one did have all the necessary motors… And that famous 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, (not that we worry about contrast claims, since everyone seems to invent them differently, when dynamic irises are involved.

  • Ed Rue

    What about the reflective LCD Epson that was announced last year but never showed up? 21000 series, I think it was called.

  • Moogie

    Hi thanks for the look!! I’m very excited about these new epsons. Any chance you’ll be measuring the input lag of these new beasts in 2D and 3D with different processing modes when you review them? As an ethusiastic gamer i’m very intrested in input lags of different new projectors and this information is usually not available anywhere. Thanks M

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Moogie,

      The answer to that is almost certainly yes. The only question is how much time I’ll have with the first Epson projector in, when it arrives. Of my two gaming blogggers, Pete and Scott, (Bitbound and Ebenezer Stooge), Pete’s in Texas, just moving there to start his first “real” job, in engineering – fresh out of Penn State, so he might be out of position, however, Scott/Ebenezer’s just 20 miles up the road from me, and freshly equipped with an nVidia 580 graphics card, their 2nd highest performance (and costs more than most PCs). That card is 3D as well, so, you’ll not only get lag, numbers, but some feedback on 3D as well as 2D games.

      So, it’s all up to how fast Epson wants the first one back. My assumption at this time is that I’ll be getting the next gen of engineering sample, or a pre-production (just before full production), projector. If it’s an engineering sample, they’ll probably want it back quickly, but then send me another, probably full production, (when those ship). Epson’s one of several companies that typically leaves me one projector for the full year. Mitsubishi, Optoma, Vivitek, and Panasonic, over the last couple of years, have done the same.

      If I was more clever, I would have thought to take a PC laptop with the lag test on it, up to Epson when I got to see the new projectors, but it never occurred to me. Of course the models I saw were still a fair way from primetime, so, any results wouldn’t necessarily reflect a full production model.

      Well stay tuned. I have to believe I’ll have one of the Epson’s at my place within 2 weeks. -art

  • reuben

    Thanks, I was looking for another PJ for my living room or game room – one of these Epsons will be awesome fun!

  • Eskay40

    Hi Art, Thanks for the updates. Did any of these new Epsons have electric zoom and lens shift controls?

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Eskay40 – No these are all manual. Last year Epson showed those reflective panel projectors, 41000, 51000 and 61000 (If I remember all three numbers correctly, without looking, but those guys never materialized. At least the 61000 is supposed to be back – at CEDIA. At any rate that series did sport motorized lens features, but not these new projectors.

  • Travis

    Art:

    As always, I love your coverage on these projectors. I’m a huge Epson fan and still have the first generation UB in my home theater. I’m looking to upgrade and just read this blog post. I’m stoked about this new model and can’t wait until November so I can finally upgrade.

    I know you don’t have prices, but care to venture a guess? My gut tell me this will come in around $3,000.

    Travis

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Greetings Travis,

      Well, as I have mentioned in a couple of the blogs, Epson and Panasonic have been slugging it out for years, between the Panny PT-AExxxx and the Epson UB (now 5010). Panasonic has an MSRP of $3499 and a MAP of $2999. Best I can recall Epson has either been at the exact same price (back in the PT-AE1000 days. Since then, the usual difference has been about $200 (with the Epson higher) So your guess is probably right +/- $200

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  • Peter Riedel

    You must be sitting on pins and needles, anticipating your chance to evaluate and compare the new Epson 3D models with the Panasonic 3D projector. I’m so looking forward to your upcoming reviews. -Peter

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Peter, amen to that. Since I haven’t received the PT-AE7000 yet I figure there’s a good chance I’ll have both at the same time… -art

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  • Travis

    Art:

    Another quick question for you…if a guy isn’t concerned about 3D at all, how does the 5010 compare to the 8700UB? The 8700UB is super cheap right now but just comparing the specs between the two (3D capabilities aside), the 5010 does seem to blow the 8700UB out of the water. As an expert on these things, you might have some perspective as to whether or not the picture really is that much better on the 5010 than the 8700UB.

    Travis

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      A side by side would be interesting. Impossible, though to tell in a trade show environment with content I’m not really familiar with. The 5010 has new panels with the faster 480hz, which probably will provide some small improvement somewhere (that aspect is more up RonJ’s alley). But you are getting a projector claiming 2400 lumens, up from 1600 (or is it 1800 (no specs where I am now, and no time to look it up) either way, it will be brighter, if nothing else, but I would expect at least some other minor improvements, and that might include the CFI, which might benefit from the faster panels?
      I still have an 8700UB at my place, but I doubt I’ll actually get the 5010 in before October sometime… -art

  • Mark

    Travis, Art: That’s my question as well. How much brighter in best mode and brightest mode is the 5010 than the 8700UB, and is the shadow detail any better or worse? I’m looking at upgrading, but unleess there’s a serious difference, I don’t seeing it being worth the upgrade. Also, are they getting brighter because of a better lamp and/or light engine, or just higher watt lamp? I don’t need too much more heat in my room.

  • Travis

    Art:

    I think your reply convinced me to wait and spend the extra money on the 5010. With new panels, faster 480hz processor, and more lumens – it just makes sense if I’m going to upgrade to upgrade to the latest and greatest.

    Thanks,

    Travis

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Travis, works for me. Of course I still can’t wait to get one in and run it through its paces. I’m ready here, just waiting on Epson… -a

  • reuben

    ARt – when do you think you’ll get one in to review against the Optoma HD3300 series?

    I didn’t notice 3D is replaced with wireless HD, so now I have to choose between 3D and wirelessHD…

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      Rueben, no u don’t. If you want both you buy the 3010e and buy the glasses optionally.

  • Mike B

    Art – Does the Epson 3010 have CFI? In the beginning of your review you indicate that this projector has the capability. Later on in your review you state that it does not exist for this model.

    • http://www.projectorreviews.com/members/lisasonfeier/ Lisa Feierman

      No, FI only. I thought I had caught that, will double check. I know I discuss FI, towards the bottom of the first page… -a

  • http://hometheaterspeakerplacement.blogspot.com/ tiffany@home theater

    Wonderful update! I’m an EPSON fan and I got interested on the products posted above not to mention the impressive specs being provided. Now that most people prefers to have home theater projectors, this post will somehow help in deciding about what type of projector to have. Of course, it all depends on our budget and preference.

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