Epson Home Cinema 5010 Projector Overview
The Home Cinema 5010 (click for specifications) projector starts off with all the performance of last year's Best In Class winner, the Home Cinema 8700UB. It too, is a 3LCD projector, although it sports newer LCD panels; Epson's latest D9 panels (which are also used by Panasonic). These 480hz panels improve overall performance, and enhances 3D as well.
And that's the point. The Home Cinema 5010 offers 3D as well as 2D, and is the brightest under $10K home theater projector we've seen, when doing 3D.
The Home Cinema 5010 projector is the standard projector in the Epson lineup, and comes pretty loaded with features. There is a second version, the Home Cinema 5010e, which sells for $300 more, and gives you wireless HDMI capability for the difference in price. More on that later. There is also the Pro Cinema 6010 sold only by local authorized dealers. It bears a black case, has just a couple extra features, but is basically a 5010e with anamorphic lens support.
Epson sticks with the same Fujinon lens it's been using for years. The HDMI ports are new HDMI 1.4a for handling Blu-ray 3D.
But mostly, this Epson is a all purpose home theater projector, designed for your home theater - or "cave", but with all that extra brightness, it will be just as happy in the bonus room or living room.
What is the most direct competition for this Epson projector? From a pricing standpoint, if you clear the $2000 price point, there are a handful (and growing) list of home theater projectors that are 3D capable, and some additional that are 2D only.
The most direct competiton is, of course, the Panasonic PT-AE7000, which even uses the same LCD panels. This contest will be discussed at length, as the major shoot-out in the $2000 to $3500 Class that we consider the market sweet spot.
Interestingly, this is the first time Epson is selling their projector for less than the competing Panasonic. Other contenders will include - the forthcoming BenQ W7000, the Mitsubishi HC7800, and at the top end of that range, the Sony VPL-HW30ES, JVC RS45, and Sharp XV-Z17000. All of those should be shipping by the last days of 2011. A few more will likely be announced at CES, and ship in Q2.