For the second year in a row, the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB is a star in our Holiday Guides – and for good reason! This 4K content capable projector offers the same great performance at a price tag that gets more affordable every year! Epson has dropped the price of the Home Cinema 5040UB down to $2,499, which is $200 less than last year and a whopping $500 less than its initial list price in 2016. Check it out on Amazon! So we’ve made it clear that it’s a good value – but just how well does it perform?
The Epson Home Cinema 5040UB is a 4K content capable pixel shifter – it’s native 1080p, but will display 4K content in a way that is sure to blow you away. This is the benchmark that we compare all home theater projectors we review – the black levels are such that you can’t expect better unless you take a significant leap in price. Perhaps that’s why the UB in 5040UB stands for Ultra-Black. Placement flexibility is about as good as it gets with any home theater projector currently on the market, with a 2.1:1 zoom lens and plenty of lens shift to go around. If you’re like Art and have a Cinemascope screen, you’ll enjoy not having to spend time changing lens settings every time you change the type of content you’re watching – just select your saved settings and relax. No letter boxing to distract from the content.
But it’s the picture that you really want to know about. Out-of-the-box, there are several color modes with simply excellent color – and again, the best black levels anywhere near its price! Its so good that you don’t have to calibrate it, but doing so will squeeze that last ounce of performance. If you decide to enjoy it simply out-of-the-box, it will not disappoint.
Obviously, we’re not talking about beating, or even matching, a $25,000 Sony true 4K projector, but we do see similarities.
Lumens, lumens, what about lumens? Well, the HC5040UB claims 2,500 lumens and measured in at just slightly below that claim, see the full review for details. With that level of brightness, is suitable for living rooms, media rooms, and even bedrooms, and looks incredibly bright and vibrant in a fully darkened room. Epson utilizes 3LCD technology which gives them a distinct advantage over DLP projectors in terms of handling ambient light - 3LCD projectors produce as many color lumens as white lumens, meaning bright color across the spectrum.
As is to be expected, this Home Theater projector does not have any built-in speakers. This is because the manufactures assume, and rightly so, that if you’re going to spend the money on a quality projector, you’re going to spend the money on quality audio. The fact is you will never have the kind of quality audio from speakers internal to a projector than you will with an AV receiver. If picture quality is important to the point of using a high quality projector, sound quality ought to be just as important.
Epson is by far the largest producer of projectors sold in North America, claiming 50% of the home projector market. The sheer number of options they have in a single category of projectors often dwarfs their competitors’ entire lineup.
When it comes to inputs and connectors, the Home Cinema 5040UB offers everything you need for home theater – two HDMI inputs (one HDCP 1.4 and one HDCP 2.2.), two USBs and a Mini USB (for service only), an RJ-45 LAN to connector to your home network, one VGA input for your computer, the obligatory RS-232c for “old-school” command and control, and a 12V trigger for your motorized screen, should have one. The HC5040UB is supports 3D for extra fun, and also offers other key features like Frame Interpolation, which is great for sports viewing, and Miracast. Miracast allows you to wirelessly mirror your smartphone or tablet screen through the projector.
All Epson projectors offer a great warranty. The Home Cinema 5040UB comes with a two-year limited warranty on the projector with Extra Care HomeService, Epson PrivateLine dedicated toll-free support, and 90 days on the lamp. This includes two years of Rapid Replacement, which gets you a replacement projector within two business days should a warranty issue arise.
Out of the home theater projectors on the market, it’s no wonder that the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB is a favorite among so many. Here's a quick link to the 5040UB on Amazon.