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Epson Home Cinema 5020 UB Home Theater Projector Review

Posted on December 14, 2012 by Art Feierman

Specs Preview

Epson Home Cinema 5020UB Specs
Price 2599
Technology 3LCD
Native Resolution 1920x1080
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim) 2400
Contrast 320,000:1
Zoom Lens Ratio 2.10:1
Lens Shift Yes
Lamp Life 4000 hours at full power, 5000 hours in eco mode - Lamp replacement cost: $299 (at list price)
Weight 13.2
Warranty 2 years w/overnight replacement

Epson Home Cinema 5020 Projector Highlights

    • Excellent placement flexibility thanks to a 2.1:1 zoom and lots of vertical and horizontal
    • Long life lamp, reasonably priced
    • 3D glasses are RF - radio frequency - they stay in sync when you look away - and the new ones are very lightweight
    • Super-Resolution - a dynamic detail enhancement feature
    • Excellent price/performance value
  • 2D and 3D capable with best in class brightness for both 2D and 3D
  • THX mode for excellent color, right out of the box
  • Great black level performance - as has been the case with each of it's previous 4 generations
  • Rated 2400 lumens (and comes very close) making it very bright for a home projector targeted first for a dedicated home theater, but just as happy in a family room

Epson Home Cinema 5020 Projector Overview

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE: Epson HC5020UB "Projector Reviews TV" Video Summary

The Epson Home Cinema 5020, aka the Epson HC5020, aka the Home Cinema 5020UB, is Epson's second generation 3D capable projector.  It starts shipping any day (11/12)  Like all Epson projectors, it is an LCD projector.  Epson is the primary manufacturer of this LCD technology, with most of the worldwide marketshare.  They supply LCD panels to other manufacturers, including to their most direct competitor, the Panasonic PT-AE8000.  That Panasonic uses the same panels as this Epson Home Cinema 5020 UB.

There are essentially three similar Epson projectors. We received and worked with the Home Cinema 5020e.  The standard projector is the Home Cinema 5020 UB (Ultra Black). Next comes the the HC5020e.  That version adds wireless HDMI capabilities, That can save some folks money which would otherwise be spent on wiring costs.

Both of those projectors are sold online and locally. There is also the Pro Cinema 6020, which is almost identical (though it has a black case). The Pro Cinema 6020 is only sold through Epson's local dealer network.

Let's talk brightness.  The claim of 2400 lumens makes this Epson Home Cinema 5020 projector a light canon.  It is bright. Of the 3D capable home theater projectors, only the Panasonic ties it in terms of manufacturer specs (though the Epson did measure brighter, both calibrated and in "brightest" mode - but more on those numbers, on the Performance page.

The real competition for Epson's HC5020UB are other 2D/3D projectors. That includes other major players besides the Panasonic PT-AE8000, including the Sony VPL-HW50ES, the Optoma HD8300, Sharp XV-Z30000, and JVC DLA-X30 (RS45).  Of course there are more expensive projectors as well, but all of these are essentially under $3500 street price, though some by only a few dollars.

Another Hot Product Award for Epson

The Epson Home Cinema 5020 will share it's Hot Product Award with both of its siblings; the Home Cinema 5020e and the Pro Cinema 6020.  I realize the Pro Cinema 6020 has a slightly different value proposition, but this year, with the Home Cinema models now sharing features like THX with the Pro, they are similar enough, and have a similar price performance ratio (when considering the various "Pro" value adds), to put them all together.

The HC5020 is designed for your home theatre.

But thanks to its brightness, the HC5020 is just as capable in those not so perfect "media rooms", family rooms, living rooms, bonus rooms, etc.

In fact, this Epson is the brightest of all the over $1000, under $10,000 home theater projectors, with 3D, (and only 1 2D projector - Panasonic's PT-AR100U) -we've ever reviewed.  (I'm not talking about those business projectors adapted (a bit) for the home. Those can be far brighter, but they do not approach "home theater" quality.

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